Da Bears – 2012 NFL Draft Recap and Tutorial/Experience Review

THE DRAFT – Recap

  1. ChiefsLT, Dequarius Sparks (Colorado St.) – He is an absolute beast and should be their anchor for a long time in KC.
  2. Jags QB, Clinton Derricote (Oklahoma State) – Called by some to be the “Next Mike Vick” he is just trying to avoid the QB controversy that is bound to happen with Gabbert still in town.
  3. Browns – LE, Lenard Patrick (Colorado) – A puzzling pick as the Browns run a 4-3 Defense. Perhaps they are looking to move him into the interior line?… Who knows with those idiots.
  4. Rams (From Bears, Via Bucs) – ROLB, Aaron Ross (Nevada) – Speed, power and an all around beast. He is only 6 feet tall but brings hits that would break anyone in half.
  5. Giants – Charlie Brooks (Miami OH) – He is a pure freak that reminds many of Jevon Kearse. No wonder the GMen let go of Kiwanuka.
  6. Cardinals – RG, Zack Milles (Hawaii) – He is a good player, but a RG at #6? No wonder the Cardinals are bad.
  7. Bengals – FS, Phillip Grove (Auburn) – A hard hitting FS that moved up the Bengals draft board after a good interview.
  8. Titans – DE, Tramon Saunders (BYU) – He is 6’4″ 292 lbs and looks like he could eat you. No worries, he only eats QBs.
  9. Vikings – OT, Jared Riddick (Oklahoma State) The Vikings had this guy at the top of their list after Sparks and he fell into their lap. A good pick.
  10. BEARSHB, Amos High (Georgia Tech) – The whole package! He reportedly ran a 4.35 40 Yard Dash at his Pro Day and at 6’1″ 218 lbs with moves?! The Bears had Zero HBs on their roster and now they look like they might have a Franchise Back!
  11. Saints – OLB, Darrion Lattimore (S. Miss) – The Saints moved up to get this guy. He is solid, but we wonder if they really needed to move up from 18.
  12. Jets – TE, Brent Curette (Michigan) – Looks like Dustin Keller’s days are numbered. Curette is athletic and just the drama queen the Jets love.
  13. Cowboys – CB, Rayquez Joseph (Pitt) – The second coming of Revis, but faster. The Cowboys got a steal here.
  14. Bills – LG, Carter Miller (Oklahoma State) – The third Oklahoma State guy taken, he is a solid guard and the Bills look like they are serious about building a solid core… finally.
  15. 49ers – WR, Jocqua Coleman (S. Miss) – He is sizable as he switched from HB to WR his junior year. 6’1″ 232 lbs at WR?… ok
  16. Eagles – DT, Khalek Grady (Nebraska) – The meanest player in the draft might be the final piece that brings this team to the Super Bowl.
  17. Chargers – LT, Landon Walker (Wisconsin) – Another big Badger OLineman?… Maybe the Chargers want to protect Rivers after he broke his leg due to a crap OLine in 2011.
  18. Panthers – CB, Jayden Nix (LSU) – The best ‘big’ CB in the draft, a burner with a high motor and desire to hit like a MLB… Look out NFC South!
  19. Falcons – SS, Leventrice Carswell (Penn State) – Left early after the scandal, a solid pick up to help their struggling DBs.
  20. Texans – WR, Shontrelle Quick (Virginia) – Ran a 4.27 40 at the Combine but questions about his character caused him to drop to the Texans.
  21. Dolphins OT, Case Adams (Florida) – Jake Long finally got some help from the other end!
  22. Redskins – MLB, Antwan Clements (Arkansas) – Somehow, the next Ray Lewis fell to the team that needed him the most. The NFC East is going to be a tough Division!
  23. Colts – CB, Dom Briggs (Illinois) – He is only 5’8″ but the Colts hope he plays as big as he did in the Big 10.
  24. Patriots – HB, Coco Vereen (UCLA) – He is a solid pick for a team in need of a good HB. But they really should have gone with Defense.
  25. Jags – RT, Latevin Graham (Tenn) – He is hoping to come in and compete for a starting job after the Jags moved up to take him.
  26. Steelers – LG, Martaze Bolton (Florida State) Athletic and the strongest man in the draft. The Steelers keep building winners even late in the draft.
  27. Raiders – RG, Devan Crawford (UL Monroe) – Leave it to the Raiders to draft the fastest OLineman in the Combine. Hopefully he pulls a lot?
  28. Giants – LT, Nico Archer (Kentucky) – An absolute steal that broke the hearts of Bears fans.
  29. BEARS – CB, Chandler Carter (Texas) – Projected as a 2nd Round pick, the Bears scouted him all season and fell in love with his 4.29 Speed and 39 in. Vertical Jump to go with 13 INTs his senior year at Texas!
  30. Ravens – HB, Chauncy McCorkle (Cal) – Ray Rice needs some help and McCorkle’s 6′ 244 lb frame should do just that.
  31. Lions – CB, O’Dell Tyler (USC) – The Lions traded down with the Pats and took this risk as he has a history of injuries. The upside is tremendous but the risk is crazy given their competition in the division.
  32. Packers – C, Geno Monroe (Georgia) – He is going to have a lot to worry about as he is now the #1 guy that Rodgers will talk to every snap… The defending Super Bowl Champs have a new Center… look out A Rod!
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Da Bears Franchise Update (Weeks 2-11, 2011) – Madden 12

It looked like a great season from our first few games, but between the blowout against the Saints and a couple other games that told us a change was needed… something happened to our dream season.  The Bears have gone on a journey into the depths and are hoping to come out of the battles with a miracle trip to the playoffs that requires some help from the Cowboys, Lions and Seahawks.  The Lions would love another shot at the Bears as they have trounced them twice (as you will see in the video).

The Bears are entering Week 16 with a 7-7 record and needing to win out just to have a chance at the playoffs.  There are many needs for this team as their stars on defense are showing their age in allowing big plays.  Look for a complete run-down of the coming draft class and some guesses as to who some teams might target to turn things around.  Including a detailed discussion about who the Bears are looking at in the coming 2012 Draft!

Madden 13 Must Improve Draft Presentation and Franchise Mode

Ask any NFL fan about their favorite team’s draft and you will get some sort of response.

As a Browns fan I will give you all you need to hear and more. First, we needed to fix our offense with better receivers and someone to take over after Hillis’ departure.

The Trent Richardson pick was a good one at the time and still is; however, to give up the picks we did in order to get him I would have thought that we would be super smart about the ones we had left.

Then we took a 28 year old QB, Brandon Weeden at #22.  In a league where you are looked at as old when you are 30 it is strange to see that as a pick with any sort of gainful longevity.  Yet, even that pick wasn’t too terrible in the scheme of things.  It was followed up with Mitchell Schwartz from Cal, a big and mean O-Lineman.

Then we took John Hughes!  Yeah, you read right… 16 Candles, Pretty In Pink and St. Elmo’s  Fire on the Cuyahoga JOHN HUGHES!… Actually, it is some sort of D-Lineman that is going to be a back-up for our talented middle D-Lineman Rubin and Taylor.  I was confused by this pick to say the least… then my confusion turned to anger when I saw the other players taken after we traded down and move around in the draft to get a guy that wasn’t even projected to get picked in the draft on many experts’ boards.

That said…

Ever since Madden came out on the 360/PS3 generation of consoles it has had growing pains that have led many football gamers to get banned from forums for venting their anger (which will never happen on our boards, assuming you support your opinion without major profanity— which with Madden can be hard at times).  The worst part about Madden for years had been Franchise Mode and bugs in Franchise Mode.  That said, there are three major events for NFL fans:

  1. The NFL Draft
  2. Kickoff Week
  3. The Super Bowl

Improving The Draft (What’s Missing?)

There is a reason why the NFL Draft is #1 on that list.  It gives people faith that for a moment, their team is going to get better.  They might find their ‘Tom Brady’ or ‘Peyton Manning’.  There are some players that coming out of college are looked at as ‘sure things’ like Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III and then you have big risks on guys like Vontaze Burfict (went to the halfway-house, AKA the Cincinnati Bengals after going undrafted) who have major character issues.

People go nuts for the draft and it is something that is often talked about more than the Super Bowl.  Simply because it is something that every team has a chance to do and do well.

Madden has no personality or atmosphere for the Draft.  It is difficult to see what other teams are doing in your Franchise Mode.  One example is when a team trades up or down in the draft there is usually some sort of reaction by commentators (which also don’t exist in Madden’s Franchise Mode for the Draft) – in Madden you are greeted with a notice that a trade took place and which picks were involved… and then nothing… No highlight of who was so important that the team moved up to get them.  You are also not going to see which players teams select during the draft because the Drafted Player Ticker resets after every pick, rendering it impossible to see how the draft is going or who is coming off the board in any sort of fluid manner.

If the Cowboys were to take a punter with the first pick in the draft you would probably see riots and hear commentators berate the management (Jerry Jones) of the Cowboys…. Not in Madden, take whoever you want because no one cares.  Perhaps that is the real personality of Madden’s Franchise Mode – No one cares… and frankly, why should they?

Not to mention it is hard to really have any sense of immersion in a league that seems to exist without any sort of news feed that is easily accessible to let you know that certain players are under-performing.  Then again, that is the hideous beauty of Madden’s Franchise Mode.

Minus the lacking atmosphere, here is a list of just some of the things that are missing from creating a true Franchise Mode experience worth paying $60 for every. single. year…:

  1. Player Morale and Personality – Players have no personality.  Some teams are simply not desirable to play for, yet… that never comes into play with Madden, just sign the players without any real attention  to what type of coach, owner or city they want to play in.  Are they just about money are they loyal to loyal fans?… That doesn’t matter in Madden.
  2. Player Performance – This doesn’t matter from multiple levels in Franchise Mode.  As far as the much vaunted online roster updates go, apparently a player is better on a week by week basis.  However, when it comes to any sort of adjustment to a player after he throws for 500 yards and 6 TDs twice in three weeks, there is no such update to his throwing abilities or his much over-hyped OVR (Overall) Rating.
  3. Player Value – This rating doesn’t exist in Madden at all.  This means that when you have a player that runs for 2000 yards two years in a row and then wants to be traded elsewhere you might not be able to get what you should for him because his OVR is 80 due to a low AWR (Awareness) Rating, even if he has 98 SPD, 97 JKE, 95 SPN, etc.  The system of value for performance is a constant battle between gamers that state performance means little when potential is all that matters.  My response is that performance is MEASUREABLE and potential will NEVER be.

This list will be expanded over the course of the next few months and years as Madden is sure to continue to grow and regress in quality and features.  The first step for any game mode like Franchise Mode is ATMOSPHERE and IMMERSION and that should start with the most important day  (weekend) of the NFL Year – The NFL Draft.

Building a Franchise In Madden – NFL Draft Week Edition

There are many reasons to be excited about the end of April.

The end of the school year, warmer spring weather, baseball season in full swing, etc.

However, for me there are few times of the year I cherish more than NFL Draft Week.  As a Cleveland Browns fan I always have some sort of broken sense of faith that makes me believe we have a chance to make the playoffs… or at least finish .500.

In the first season of my Browns Franchise Peyton Hillis ran for 2213 yards and broke the single season rushing record as the Browns beat the Cowboys for their first Super Bowl!

By the time September comes along it is usually a long foregone conclusion that the Browns will be terrible.  This is where Madden’s Franchise Mode can be one of the more enjoyable parts of the NFL season for a fan of a terrible franchise much like my Browns.

The trick to having a franchise last longer than one or two seasons is what most people look for and today we will give you a few different ways to get some longevity out of your Madden Franchise.

First – Make sure you pick a team you either cheer for or want to build in the long-term.  In my case, I chose the Browns and luckily they are both my favorite team and a team that is a long-term project.

Second – Have a set of challenging sliders and house rules going into your Franchise.  This is vital because nothing can derail a Franchise Mode faster than having your difficulty too high or too low.  In my case, it was way too easy in my first two seasons with the Browns as we won two straight Super Bowls in 2011 and 2012.

*Note* If you have  something similar occur and can’t bear the idea of starting your Franchise from scratch you might have to invent a story.  In my case – I came up with a story that the Pat Shurmur (Cleveland’s Coach) was caught up in a scandal to pretty much buy and cheat his way to Super Bowls in order to assure his position as Cleveland’s coach, he was then fired and kicked out of the league for a season (this is all months before the now famous ‘Bounty’ situation with Sean Payton, mind you!).

Third – Get to know your players and their abilities… Madden is more than just  OVR (Overall) ratings.  While Speed is still king in this game, make it your mission to build a team based on player skills or maybe even some sort of desire to take low OVR players and build them into budding superstars that came out of nowhere.

Fourth – This is actually the most important part, but it is last on the list because it won’t take shape until at least 2 seasons into your franchise mode. Develop and create a storyline and share it with the gaming community!  If you are one of those people that lose interest because there is no one to talk to about your team and you feel annoyed telling your significant other that you just drafted an A Potential QB in the 5th Round of the Draft and all they do is shrug… Tell the sports gaming community about it!  Make a thread, develop some talent for Photoshop and story telling and make it your mission to be the best Coach/Team President and Reporter for your own enjoyment!

Don’t get upset if you don’t get a lot of comments either.  You must post the story for yourself and invest in your franchise mode for your own enjoyment first.  As your talent and devotion grow you will have a greater audience. As an example, we will be starting a new Franchise Story on our Forums as well as posting updates and videos on Youtube as the story progresses.

If you are getting that football itch like many others are it might be time to start a new franchise mode that will take you into early September for the next Madden and the beginning of a new football season!

An example of one of my past franchises is here