Developing Players In Madden 13

We recently talked about building your team in Madden 13.  There are many different ways to do this strictly by picking up talented players that

You can help save these players without a team. Please just make sure you take the time to play with them!

are rated as such.  On the flip-side, there are also many other players out there that are diamonds in the rough.  You can make it your mission to take some players out of the late rounds of the draft or even pick them up during the preseason as other teams give up on them because of low overall ratings.

You need to take some chances on players you might not know about and that will often mean scouring the free agent market during the pre-season for a player that could make all the difference for you in the current season or simply develop him into a future star.

There are a few different ways to look for a player that might ‘fly under the radar’.  The first is to look at position specific ratings and determine if they are what you are looking for in a player at that position.  Assuming you even need someone at that position.

Quarterbacks are some of the easier ones to look for as far as ratings go, but they will often be the first ones to go during the preseason.  Look at their Throw Power and Throwing Accuracy ratings.  If you run a West Coast offense you don’t need a QB with 95+ THP, but you do need them to have good-to-great accuracy when throwing short and medium routes.  If you prefer a more vertical passing attack, you will want someone with a higher THP (like 95+) and a better accuracy for deep passes.  The moral of the story is – If the shoe fits, pick up the QB you need.  As you develop a QB you should focus on improving their passing ratings first rather than some sort of speed increases.

Runningbacks are a different breed when it comes to determining what is a ‘steal’ (assuming you need one).  The first thing you will notice is that developing a runningback will be costly if you want to increase their SPD rating.  If you want a ‘fast’ HB, make sure he is fast before you pick him up.  As well, pay close attention to his ratings in Carrying and Injury/Toughness.  A decent HB can have his season and career derailed if he takes a shot from a powerful MLB or Safety.  The ratings for a HB that need to be increased in order to develop their market value are the AWR and Carrying ratings.  Use your XP on these and your HB will be a force to be reckoned with… or traded in his late 20’s.

Receivers are among the most common diamonds in the rough.  They are also the easiest to stock up on and never use… therefore, losing a roster spot just to carry a potential talent.  Receivers need to have the obvious CTH (catch) rating, but they also need to have a few others that you can easily build up if you get them enough playing time and touches.  The AWR rating is something that can effect a WR as he needs to be able to know when the ball is thrown and where to run his routes.  Also, there is an issue of getting your potential diva WR the ball often enough to build him up.  I am currently in a situation where I have eight (8) WRs on my team.  I have turned the Browns into a pass first team, but in the process I have also over-stocked my team with WRs.  Here are a few of my current project players –

Offensive Line is another easy place to upgrade players, but you should really make sure you draft them with great ratings first.  It isn’t often you will put an under-rated O-Lineman on the field to protect your QB.  On the other side of this argument, you can always grab a lineman with great strength and size, put him on the line and try to dominate with the running or passing game (whichever is his focus for XP) and develop him in that fashion. 

The hardest players to develop are Defensive Linemen and Linebackers.  The reason being that they develop most of their XP through tackling statistics.  The issue is that tackling stats are broken in Madden 13 and the interactions between defensive players and offensive blockers is shaky at best.  You will want to increase the Tackle ratings first and then move on to increase every player to ‘Big Hitter’ status so they cause more fumbles as well as increasing their Hit Power ratings.

Depending on what type of coverage you run for your defensive backs you will want to focus on their coverage ratings as well as their press ratings.  If you are running a lot of man-coverage with your CBs you will want to increase their MCV ratings first as well as their Press rating if they are a physical type of player.  Their XP is generally determined by how many INTs they get during the course of the year and if you can develop a talented defensive backfield you will be almost unstoppable.

When it comes to safeties you will want to look at how you have them playing as well.  I have a defense made up of ‘enforcers’ like Laron Landry and TJ Ward… if you come across the middle you will end up with a broken jaw because these are like Honey Badgers… they don’t give a s**t!  Make sure you up their Zone Coverage ratings as well as their tackling and hit power as they are often the last line of defense if someone does get past your front-seven.  The last thing you want are a bunch of DBs trying to ‘tackle’ like Deion Sanders.

Kickers require a lot of field goals in order to increase their stats.  The bad thing about this is that most people want to score touchdowns rather than kicking a lot of FGs.    Whenever you want to increase your kick power you will notice that it starts to get really expensive after awhile.  Your best bet is to pick up a kicker with a high kick power rating starting off.

Punters are along the same lines as kickers.  How many teams really ‘want’ to punt?  Try to pick up these players as you go and hope that they have the high kick power ratings that you need rather than try to build them up.

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Madden 13 – Live Draft Videos Show Tremendous Effort At EA

As a Browns fan one of the biggest (if not, THE biggest) days every year is the NFL Draft.  A lot of people feel this way but for teams like the Browns and all of the Browns Backers out there, it is a day where we fill ourselves with hope and beer as we watch and listen for rumors of who will be taken to turn our team around.  In the past, Madden’s Franchise Mode has grown to be a serviceable game mode but the one thing that has been lacking was atmosphere and purpose in the off-season and especially in the draft.  This year that has changed and we are happy to embed a video by one of EA’s Game Changers (MadScientist06) that shows you what the NFL Draft feels like in Madden 13.

While there are some things that I would like to see tweaked for Madden 14 and beyond, this is one of the finest examples of growth in Franchise Mode that I have seen in years.

What I Love –

+ Limiting Picks to 2-minutes – This is one of the things that had to be done to give every pick the urgency you feel as a viewer on draft day.  Sure, in reality you have more than two minutes, but in Madden it is you and your scouting expertise with a controller and a twitch reaction of pressing the ‘A’ or ‘X’ button (depending on your console).  This is a great move either way you spin it.

+ Story-Lines For Certain Players – Stories are what make sports so amazing.  Try to watch the Olympics or the NFL Draft without hearing about some guy who showed up one day and amazed people with his ability.  Or on the flipside, remember that player that was supposed to be the number 1 pick and he ended up falling to the second round because of work ethic or something else entirely?… that is what the draft is about and it is finally in Madden.

+Twitter Feed – Bringing in personalities from the sports community was genius.  I love to hate Skip Bayless most of the time and when he called MadScientist06’s pick of Corey Dallas the culmenation of  “…Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest!… A TERRIBLE pick!…” This is what I have been waiting for since Madden 2005’s boos and cheers.

What Makes Me Nervous

– Draft Logic – It is one of those things that has been improved over the years, but some teams are still making questionable decisions in the draft.  At one point you see the Rams taking a Quarterback – they already have Sam Bradford, but who knows… maybe he broke his arm?  Either way, this is something that should be perfected over time and you will probably give some picks a strange look.  You could always just say that the spirit of Al Davis is possessing people.

– Unlocking Ratings – I have never been a fan of Madden’s rating system being thrown out there as the end-all/be all for how a player is judged.  I love that you have to spend points on opening certain ratings but in reality this isn’t a good simulation of how information is gathered (at least from a fan’s perspective).

– Scouting Still Limits You – If you take a look at NFL.com’s combine coverage, they list the stats and times of every player that participated.  I don’t really think you should be able to see every rating of each player, but I should at least have the resources as a coach/owner to look on the internet and look at a player’s 40-time if he was at the combine.  In the future I would like to see this presented with a ‘range’ of times if we are looking at speed.  The Raiders base most of their drafts off of combine numbers while the Patriots look at their scouting over the year.  You should have both options and especially the combine numbers for every player.

Keep tuning in to NoobTubeTV as this is going to be a very busy week in the world of Madden (only 8.5 days left until release day).

Limitations On NCAA and Madden 13 Push Both Games to Stand On Their Own

There was a lot of flack after the announcement that Madden and NCAA Football would pretty much have nothing that brought them together.

“Hello Friends!” Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are just part of a new direction for Madden this year.

For five years they both gave you the ability to pretty much continue the careers of players that you had used, faced or competed alongside during your seasons of NCAA Football.  Not to mention the fact that if you downloaded fully-named rosters for NCAA you would also be getting to draft some of your favorite “real” college players in the future!

However, there was a big downfall to that ‘perk’.

When you wouldimport your draft class from NCAA to Madden you would notice that the best players in NCAA that were coming out in the draft would be scattered.  Not to say that this doesn’t happen in real life, but the ratings simply didn’t translate well enough to be imported into Madden without scratching your head in wonderment.

This year it is different and it is a good thing.

After many articles and thoughts on the subject of Madden and NCAA 13 it has finally clicked that these games finally get to be games unto themselves.  NCAA Football has a hardcore audience that either prefer college football to pro football; or they just can’t stand Madden football and choose to roll with NCAA every year.  Regardless of the reasons for one over the other (or even buying both) you are now playing two different games this year and it is a good thing.

NCAA Football has a hardcore audience and the ability to take screen-shots during Instant Replay… This picture was taken and posted on Operation Sports by Gymrat8168

Madden’s Connected Careers is a good direction for at least a little bit of change in the formula for Franchise Mode, etc.  NCAA has Road to Glory and Dynasty still going strong, but the fact is that you won’t be playing one of these games and wondering if it would be better if you had both of them instead.

Playing a game of video game football can take you anywhere from 40 minutes to over and hour (depending on your settings, play-style and bathroom breaks).  It is difficult to play a Dynasty and a Franchise Mode at the same time.  If you consider the fact that just in regular seasons alone there are at least 28 games that need to be played; then take into account all of the off-the-field duties you have to do in order to have any depth to your experience… it is one heck of a task to run careers on two different titles.

Madden finally gets a chance to step up and be the big brother the NCAA hasn’t had on this generation of consoles.  NCAA finally gets a chance to be more than just a place to get draft classes from for Madden’s Franchise mode.

Either way it goes, this year is different for football gaming and both titles are better off for it.