I know some players out there use the Colts, Patriots, or Chargers because they are very offensive minded. I gotta tell you, I use the Baltimore Ravens because they are defensive and they have some nice weapons on offense(Todd Heap,Mark Clayton, Willis McGahee). During the franchise mode, the Ravens played all 3 of these teams during the season. And the result, I shut out the Colts 45-0, and blew out the Patriots and Chargers by more than 25 points...all on All-Madden(if I'm lying I'm dying) Though having the players helps you out alot, it depends on how you play with them and what strategy you use. For example: I played the 49ers(yeah I know they aren't good in the game) All I did was stop Frank Gore and prevent Vernon Davis from getting the ball and the game was mine for the taking. Yeah they have very good linebackers, but my offensive line was better. So I ran the ball right down their throats.
Here is what I did to get ready for the season:
(I'm going to use the Ravens for my example NOTE: I had a perfect season and won the Super Bowl with what I did...all on All Madden level. And I created a player at the LOLB position and made him to where he was like me:overall of 78):
When you get to the training camp menu, go to Rosters and go to Free Agents. You will see the Antonio Bryant is free at the WR position. He is a fast receiver with good hands so sign him to a 5 year deal. He is young and he can be the #2 receiver behind Mark Clayton and ahead of Derrick Mason. Now go to the LT position and sign Mike Williams. Sign him to a 4 year deal.
Now here is a trick or 2 that I used to get either picks or players that I need:
Sign some of the best players in free agency, just make sure you sign them to 1 year and with a no-bonus contract. If you do then when you trade them you will get hit with a cap penalty.
Now here is what I did with my team:
1. Since I needed a young CB, I traded one (or sometimes 2) of the free agents and got Dominique Foxworth from the Broncos.
2. One of the free agents I signed was Grant Winstrom (DE) and I traded a right guard on the Ravens for Jarhi Evans (RG)
3. Another thing I did was I signed a couple of free agents and traded a 3rd round pick to the Colts for a 1st round.(Make sure the players that you trade are players that that team needs. I know its helping out the other team but usually the would keep the starters the way they are)
4. I re-signed Terrell Suggs and Chris McAlister. They are vital to the defense, trust me.
*NOTE: If you have a player on your team that doesn't have a bonus and you don't need him, go to the trading block and see what picks you can get for him. If you can get another pick or 2 out of them go for it; 5th-7th round picks don't hurt at all if you know how to pick them. If you have 10 picks, try to get it to where your 7th can be traded for a 5th. Or even better, try to get 2nd or 3rd round picks. That is where your future can be at if you can't sign good players in free agency. Always try to move up in the draft, your future may depend on it.
Here are the players I picks for each session:
Precision passing-Troy Smith(good luck with this)
Running Attack- Willis McGahee
Pass Coverage-Dawan Landry
Chase and Tackle-Created player(you can pick whoever, I just pick me to get better)
Trench Fight-Haloti Ngata
The kicking and the punting is a no brainer so I'm just going to leave it at that.
I would usually just simulate this, but since your players can improve with playing time and numbers, I do it anyways just to see what I have.
I don't know how you play or what your strategy is, so I will just tell you mine and how I do things with the Ravens.
1.Run the ball
-its simple, if you can get the run game going then you will get the play action going. I used Todd Heap on a play action doing a corner route with 2 receivers on the left and him on the right and he got me 71 catches for 1079 yards and 12 TDs. He was my go-to guy to get that first down. I even got La'Ron McClain (rookie FB)involved in that same play and he got me 56 catches and 4 TDs
2. Scout 'em out!!
Before every game I look and see who I'm up against on the other team. There could be an important player on that team that is out with an injury or there could be a player that can stomp a mudhole in you because you didn't plan to stop him.
3. Be conservative and smart
Especially with a lead!!! I almost blew a 3 TD lead because I wanted to get that extra touchdown. By any means, DON'T DO IT. Be aggressive when you know you can, not if you THINK you can. Surprisingly enough, the other team does do better when the game is on the line, so be careful of what you do.
4. Know how to run your position
I don't know about you but I do my best playing a linebacker that is covering a RB or FB. I used to do D-line all the time in Madden from 2002-2004, but the game changed. The guy I created had 111 tackles, 32 sacks (no joke!), 6 INTs, and 5 forced fumbles. He was Defensive player of the year, Def. Rookie of the year, and Linebacker of the year. If you know how to blitz at the right time and place you can really mess up the passing game for your opponents.
5. Watch the pass!
Out of all the things that I'm not the best at, passing defense is it (and returning kicks and punts). You have the defense, you just have to use them properly. I'm the kind of player that doesn't really do zone defense. I prefer man-to-man because there isn't any confusion for me on who is defending who. Usually when the opposing QB passes, I'm usually the one to try to pick it off. I don't deflect as much as trying to pick it off.
I guess in a nutshell I'm saying THINK SMART AND MAKE SMART DECISIONS. Steve McNair threw 49 TDs but he also threw 33 INTs(I felt like Ryan Leaf with the interceptions) so my defense had to do some more work then they needed because of my dumb mistakes.
Now I'm not going to tell you how I played against the other teams because is you that makes the decisions, so I'm just going to skip straight through to the offseason.
Here are the moves that I did/happened:
Mike Anderson retired
-I signed Josh Brown. Matt Stover is 40 in the game and hes gonna call it a career soon.
-traded Troy Smith. I got a 4th round pick for him from the Cowboys. All hes good for is scrambling anyways, and defenses can stop that eventually
-signed Tony Romo(QB) Musa Smith (RB)and Alex Smith (TE)
(I wasn't getting too many players in Free Agency because I wanted to spend it on the draft and maybe after)
-released Steve McNair. I know its a dumb move, but I wanted to get younger. And Jessica Simpson isn't in the game, so Romo is a safe bet for me.
-cut Derrick Mason. He was getting older and slower.
I had two 1st round picks so I drafted a DE (82 overall) and a WR (84 overall)
But here is probably the best tip in the game that I can give you to where you have the best draft possible. You ready? here it is:
Save before the draft
Then simulate the draft and get to the regular season and see what the overalls are of each rookie. It will take a little bit of time to see what players are best suited for you, but it will help. 5 out of 9 players that I drafted had an overall better than 80. My last pick was a 71 and he is one of my faster players on the team. Look ahead to see what players you need, write the names down, then exit out of the franchise mode then come back to it and start the draft and pick up the players you need. Just make sure you have the money for the players.
You are a hunter, just like 26 other teams.
Your hungry for a Ring, just like the other 26.
You want to de-throne the champion, just like the other 26.
You fought, bleed, persevered and made it to the playoffs.
You won the Super Bowl in the 2007 season and silenced the critics.
There is a new champion!
You just proved that you are the best team not only in the NFL but in the world.
You played in the Pro Bowl in Hawaii and you got a nice tan out of it.
Now the season is over and its time for the offseason.
You have new players and coaches on your team, hoping to repeat your success.
The players that you wanted to get signed with teams that your are going up against.
The teams got better, faster, stronger.
Now the quesiton I have for you is....
how does it feel being hunted by 27 hungry teams?
How does it feel to have a huge target on your back?
Can you handle the pressure?
Are you ready for some football?
Thanks for reading my submission. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please let me know. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and good luck. Go Ravens!!!