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    Offensive Strategy Guide by xocoach2009

    Version: 0.99 | Updated: 07/31/09 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    by: S. Lewis
    06-20-09 (Corrections made 07-28-09)
    Version 0.99 
    Hello and welcome to my strategy guide/walkthrough of NFL Head Coach for
    PS2. I have always been a big fan of 'Franchise/Owner' mode of the EA
    Sports Madden games. I have played numerous games of Madden as numerous
    teams for the entire 20 seasons allowed. I liked NFL HC from the first
    time I saw it in the store and bought it. The first time that I played it, 
    like most people, I set it down in frustration. It was later that I
    decided that I was going to figure out a way to be competitive. After more
    frustration, I decided to search the internet for help. I did find some
    good information but just not what I was looking for. I used all of the
    information I could find and a lot of experimentation (and huge amounts of
    time) and came up with the techniques included in this guide. If you are a
    fan of Madden Franchise/Owner Mode, this game is for you. I hope that you
    take something from this guide that will help you achieve more in the game.
    Please understand that this is an open-ended game and anything can happen.
    PLEASE NOTE: This guide is just that - a guide. This guide outlines what I
    call an aggressive vertical offense. You may choose to do things
    differently. It is completely up to you. You're the head coach of your
    team. I use this strategy because the quarters are short (five minutes).
    If you spend a lot of your time running the ball, you will burn through
    game time like there's no tomorrow and your players will end up with stats
    that are so-so at best. If you follow this guide, your players should
    score more points and win more games which makes you look better as a
    coach. My team has won two Super Bowls in a row (2006 & 2007 seasons) and
    working on a third! If you decide to use another strategy, that's up to
    you. Maybe you can incorporate some of these ideas into your game plan
    with your favorite team. I hope that you find a few tips in here that will
    help you score more points and win more games. Heck, maybe this will
    convince you to blow the dust off of your copy and give it another try!
    For starters, this game is a little long-winded at the first. Lots of time
    L-O-A-D-I-N-G... SO BE PATIENT! This is a very cool game when you finally
    get to the season. The game starts out at the first of the off-season and
    it takes a while to get to the first game. The hardest part of this game
    is knowing when to sim. That will come to you in time. A good rule of
    thumb: When the game tells you that you have completed the assigned task
    and asks if you want to sim to the next task always choose 'no' and go
    into your computer and then to the 'Calendar'. You can then sim to the
    next important task on your calendar. You need to learn how the calendar
    works. This will save you tons of time. There is some good info on the web
    and there is some bad info, too. For example, using the name 'Robert
    Vapor' will not make other coaches accept any trade that you offer, so use
    your own name so you can enjoy the glory of winning and creating your own
    legacy. You are going to have plenty of time invested. Don't do it as
    someone else. Be sure and read through this guide before starting. There
    are some tips at the end that may be helpful. I will probably add an 
    update or two after I have progressed further in the game. These updates 
    will appear at the end of this guide.
    *CHOOSE OFF/DEF PHILOSOPHY: The game starts by asking you what kind of
    background that you have. You should choose 'offensive'. You will then 
    create your coach. Make him 30 years old and whatever else that you want.
    You then choose your offensive and defensive philosophy. Go with a vertical 
    offense and 3-4 defense. The rest of this guide will assume that you have 
    chosen these philosophies. Once finished you will be in your home office. 
    Use the phone and call the Texans to let them know that you are interested
    in being their coach. They will make you an offer soon after. (They have 
    first pick in the draft.) The game will ask you a series of questions that 
    will build your personal attributes depending on how you answer the 
    questions. Be sure to answer them with your vertical offense in mind. 
    Take the job with the Texans. The owner will show you how to do different 
    things with the 'quick nav' tool. You will have to do what he asks and 
    then come back to him. He will eventually cut you loose to hire coaches.
    *SIGN COACHES: You will have to fill all of your coaching positions. Trust
    your gut on this and fill all positions. To look at your coaching staff go
    to your computer then click 'Coach Roster'. Look at each coach. The box
    below their info tells their contract length. If it is red and the
    contract length is '0', you will need to either resign the coach or fire
    him and hire a new one. During a 'Manage Staff' task, you can either go to
    the coach as described above and press 'circle' to set up a meeting to
    discuss a contract or you can leave the computer and go to the phone and
    look at available coaches and set up an interview with one of them. You
    can do three tasks per 'Manage Staff' session on your calendar. Your
    scouting director will send you emails about perspective coaches, but it
    seems like he seldom looks at the right type of coach. He's a moron- more
    on him later... If you have chosen to be the Texans I would consider
    replacing the following coaches: Off. Coord, OL, DL, LB, DB. You will have
    to fire the OL, LB and DB coaches because they still have contract left.
    To fire a coach go to the coach, as outlined above, and press 'square'.
    This whole process does take some time because you can only do three tasks
    per session. Remember that you can change any session on the calendar that
    doesn't have a lock to the left by highlighting the session, press 'X' and
    change it to whatever you want. After signing all of the coaches that you
    need, go to the calendar and sim to the 'Management Meeting' right before
    the 'Sign Players' phase and save. If you don't have all of your coaching
    positions filled by the end of the 'Manage Staff' time, don't sweat it.
    Remember you can change any task on your calendar that does not have a
    padlock to the left of it. You can reassign a 'Sign Players' or 'Re-sign
    Players' task to a 'Manage Staff' task and hire more coaches if you are 
    in a bind. (Do be sure and go to the management meeting and weekly staff
    *MANAGEMENT MEETING: Move your cursor over to the owner on your left. He
    will tell you that during the next weekly staff meeting your coaches will
    recommend players with an expiring contact that they think that you should
    keep on the team. If you agree, the player will be put on your 'Keys to
    Victory' list and become a goal. He also talks about RFAs (restricted free
    agents). A quick note on RFAs- this game does not make this task very easy
    at all. As a rule of thumb, I don't even mess with RFAs unless I am in a
    DIRE situation. There is more on this later in this guide. OK, back to the
    recommendations coming from your coaches. You will need to be ready when
    you go into that weekly staff meeting. You will probably need a notepad if
    you don't already have one handy. Your first season will go much easier if
    you keep notes. If you are playing as the Texans, you will want to keep
    the following players at all cost: Davis (HB), Johnson (WR), Gaffney (WR),
    Robinson (CB), Buchanon (CB) and Earl (SS). Before going to the weekly
    staff meeting, go to the computer and choose 'Roster' then 'Salary Cap'.
    Sort your players by 'Contract Length' and hit 'X'. Players that are red
    have an expiring contract. Look at the red players and decide if you want
    to keep them. I make a list of players whose contract is up and I want to
    keep for sure. I then make another list of 'hold outs' that I want to
    keep. You will have to go through the players one by one to find the hold
    outs. Note at this point that I only listed who I want to keep. If they
    are not on one of the lists- they're gone. Now you have the information
    that you will need at the staff meeting. Sim to the first weekly staff
    *WEEKLY STAFF MEETING: Go around the table and talk to each coach that has
    a blue triangle above him. He will either name a player that he wants to
    keep (look at your list and decide) or he will name a rookie that he wants
    to watch in the combine. Always agree with his combine choice because this
    will increase his trust in you. The same is true with the player(s) that
    he recommends for you to keep. Only agree on keeping players that are on
    your list of 'keepers' because the player's rehire will become a goal if
    you agree. If you don't agree, just say no. When done, go to your
    computer, pick 'Calendar', highlight the next 'Re-sign Players' task and
    hit 'X' to sim to it and save.
    *SIGN/RESIGN PLAYERS: Jeeez this is taking forever.. hang in there.. this
    game is awesome once you get past this first off-season!  Now you need to
    re-sign your good players that have no time left on their contract. You
    can see this in your computer in 'Roster' then 'Salary Cap'. You can sort
    your players by 'Contract Length'. The red ones and the hold outs need
    your attention. To sign a player- highlight the player and hit 'X' to call
    their agent to make a deal. Make an offer or tell him you want to cut the
    player. If you need the player, I would just accept the deal that the
    agent offers. This game makes it difficult to haggle. I would wait until
    later off seasons to haggle with these guys and just get deals done for
    now. You can do three players in a 'Re-Sign Players' session. Do the three
    and then sim to the next 'Re-sign Players' session. Keep doing this until
    you have everyone signed that you want. Remember you are going to have
    draft picks coming in the draft. If you picked the Texans and have stayed
    within the outlines of this guide, expect to get the following positions
    filled by the 2006 draft that is coming up soon: QB, WR, MLB, LE and FB.
    Be sure to read all of the way through this guide before signing any
    players. You can also use any left over 'Re-sign Players' session to cut
    players that still have a contract. If you took the Texans, I would cut
    one of each of the following: QB, FB, TE, and MLB. This will create some
    room on your roster. You are allowed 55 players total. You want to make
    sure that you leave room for your draft picks. The way to count your team
    members is to go to 'Roster' then 'Player Roster' and count the rows and
    multiply that by 8 and add the total of the last row. Some things this
    game does not make easy.. (Note: you can see your total on the screen
    while you are making a trade with another team.) Anyways... when you have
    re-signed everyone that you want to keep go to the calendar and sim to
    'Scout Players'. (There will be some players left with no contract. This
    is OK. They will automatically be cut at a certain point in the
    pre-season. There may also be some holes in your line-up but the draft is
    coming and you can also fill holes with free agents at the last minute, 
    after the draft, if needed.)
    *SCOUT PLAYERS: Now is the time to scout some of the 2006 draft class. You
    will talk to your scouting director. You have to choose if you want to
    pick who to scout or if he should pick who to scout. You should tell him
    thanks but no thanks and do it yourself. He's an idiot..   It will take
    you to the list of  rookies. If not, you can go into 'Roster' then 'Player
    Roster' and change the team to 'Draft Class'. Highlight a player and hit
    'X' to scout him. You may have to scout a player multiple times to see
    his true ability spectrum. Be sure and completely scout Reggie Bush HB,
    Matt Leinart QB, Troy McCoy MLB, Chris Craig LE and BJ Dean FB of the
    draft class. Once you have scouted the maximum number of players that you
    can, go to the calendar and change the next available task to 'Trade
    Players' and then sim to it.
    *TRADE PLAYERS: During the first 'Trade Players' task, make a deal with
    the Saints. Trade your 2nd and 3rd round picks and FS Marcus Coleman for
    the second pick in the draft. (Try to get their 4th or 5th round pick if
    possible, but you HAVE to get that 2nd overall pick) I know Coleman is one
    of your best players but you have to do it. You can pick a different
    player to trade but be careful not to trade any of your stud players. In
    the off-season, players numbers are at the bottom of their ability
    spectrum. Always look at a players 'high number' because this is what he
    should be at after practicing. The numbers that you see at the first of
    the game are a little deceiving. There is a list of my 2008 (season #3)
    roster towards the end of this guide that might help you decide if you
    should keep a player. Now you should have the first and second pick in the
    draft! OK, this part of the game is a bit tedious. (Imagine that) You can
    sim through most of it. If you are comfortable at this point, sim to right
    before the draft and save.
    *THE DRAFT: (This assumes that you chose the Texans and made the trade
    with the Saints to get the 2nd overall pick.) In the draft, move the
    cursor to the notebook on the left and pick HB Reggie Bush and then QB
    Matt Leinart (in that order) in the first round. Hit 'circle' to sim to
    your next pick. This will finish the first day of the draft because your
    next pick is in the 4th round. You will have to go into your computer and
    to the calendar and sim to the next day if it doesn't offer to do it
    automatically. You should be able to pick up MLB Troy McCoy in the 4th and
    LE Chris Craig in the 5th. These guys are 'sleeper picks' and you really
    need them! Use your 6th round pick to get (FB) BJ Dean. Pick whoever that
    you want in the 7th round or ask your scouting director's opinion.
    Remember to hit 'circle' to sim to your next pick. If not, you will have
    to wait for the computer to pick every single one until your next pick
    comes up. You might prefer to watch the draft but it is very
    time-consuming. When done go into your computer then sim to the next
    'Management Meeting' task on the calendar and save. After talking to the
    owner, go into computer and sim to first 'Sign Players'. (You can skip
    this particular weekly staff meeting).
    *SIGN PLAYERS: Sign your draft picks. You sign them the same way as you
    did current players whose contracts had expired. During this first season
    I would take whatever contract that their agent offers. Remember that you
    can only do three signings in a session so sim to the next 'Sign Players'
    on the calendar until you get everyone signed. Cut anyone that seems to be
    making a lot of money and isn't that good. (I wouldn't cut too many
    players the first season, it's confusing enough.) You cut players by
    calling their agent during the 'Sign Players' task and telling them that
    you do not want them anymore. If a poor player is making big bucks, it is
    better to cut them and pay their bonus than to keep them for millions a
    year. Note, at this point, your players haven't practiced and they are at
    the lower end of their ability spectrum so don't sweat it.
    *PLAYER CONTRACTS: Player contracts are a little complicated to handle in
    this game if you change the contract length or dollar amount at all. If
    you change it and submit it to the agent, there is a possibly long and
    somewhat tedious procedure to go through to finally sign the player. You
    have to wait for a call back or email from the agent. If he takes the deal
    (doesn't seem to happen often for me) then great, but if he doesn't, then
    you have to go through the process again. Of course, this wouldn't be too
    bad if you didn't have 10 or so players to sign and the fact that you can
    only do 2 or 3 actions in a session! In the beginning of the game, the
    agents just don't have much trust in you so you are sort of at their
    mercy. On thing to note here: As time progresses in the game, you will
    build up a trust level with the different agents. If the agent has trust
    in you, his first offer will be the best deal he is willing to make. So a
    trusting agent is your best friend. He can save you a lot of time, money
    and headaches. You should make notes about which agents trust you before
    starting the 'Sign Players' and 'Re-sign Players' tasks in later seasons.
    *RFAs and UFAs: This game has made free agency quite the pain for the most
    part. (Maybe it is in real life.) It is easy enough to sign a player from
    the 'Free Agents' pool in the 'Roster' Menu. When it comes to RFAs that
    are on another team, this game makes it difficult. As far as I know, you
    have to manually go through every player on every team to get the list
    that you might need. My policy is as follows: I get my talent from two
    places: (1) the draft and (2) the 'Free Agents' pool in the 'Roster' Menu.
    It is up to you if you want to spend the time looking through the
    possibilities. Also remember that the RFA system is a little complicated.
    You can and probably will lose a draft pick to the team that you get the
    player from.
    good running back in D. Davis. So you ask: Why did I pick Reggie Bush?
    Well you need to now change him into a WR. Yes, a WR! He is short but I am
    telling you he is as fast as they come, he can catch very well and can be
    uncontainable after the catch. He is absolutely awesome! To change him
    into a WR, sim to next 'Office Hours'. Go to the computer and pick
    'Roster' then 'Player Roster'. Highlight the player and hit 'X'. It will
    ask you if you want to change the player's position. Pick 'Yes' and then
    change the position.  Once you get him switched over, set Reggie Bush as
    your 2nd WR position in the depth chart. (Go to 'Roster' then 'Depth
    Chart'. Pick 'Offense' then move cursor to 'WR' and hit 'X'. Highlight the
    first stringer (Reggie Bush) and hit 'X'. Now highlight his replacement
    (Andre Johnson) and hit 'X'.) This will switch them. I have found that if
    you leave Bush as your 1st string WR, he will end up in double coverage
    all of the time and will not put up the numbers that he deserves. Also
    make Reggie Bush your PR guy in the depth chart under 'Other'. You can
    only make so many changes per session (usually 2 or 3), so you may have to
    go to the next 'Office Hours' to make more depth chart changes or to the 
    next 'Sign Players' task on the calendar to sign more players.
    *ON TO THE PRESEASON: Once you have your roster full (look under 'Roster'
    then 'Roster Breakdown' and see that you have the required number of
    players at each position. If not, you will have to put a 'Sign Players'
    task on your calendar (if there's not one already), sim to it. Go to
    'Roster' - 'Salary Cap' - change team to 'Free Agents' - find the player
    that you want, highlight him and hit 'X' to contact his agent and sign a
    contract. When you have the required number at all positions go ahead and
    sim to the first 'Management Meeting' after all of your days off (about 7
    weeks) and save. After the meeting, sim to 'Weekly Staff Meeting'. The
    coaches will make recommendations on changes that should be made to the
    depth chart. Go ahead and agree with them so you will get the trust
    increase. If you are really against the change you can change it back
    later during office hours before the game. When done, sim to the next
    'Scout Players' task. Now you can see next year's draft picks! Start
    scouting them now. When you have chosen the 8 players to scout, sim to the
    next 'Scout Players' if there is one before the pre-season games start.
    Always do the 'Scout Players' tasks. Your scouting director will usually
    want to scout players on other teams. You should scout next year's rookies
    instead of the current players that he wants to scout, but that's up to
    you. Go ahead and sim all but the last pre-season game. Check your injury
    roster. hope for the best. (fingers crossed) Before the last pre-season
    game, check your depth chart and make any changes that you need to and sim
    the last pre-season game. You could also choose to replace your starters
    with 2nd stringers through the pre-season to lower the risk of injuries to
    your key players. It will take some time to switch to 2nd stringers and
    then switch back to 1st stringers because you can only make three changes
    to the depth chart per session. It's a pretty good insurance policy but it
    is also very time-consuming. You make the call on that. I've been known to
    use my starters out of laziness and to get them closer to the top of their
    ability spectrum... I've had a FEW injuries in pre-season. I take a lot of
    risks as a coach and it has paid off big for me but... again... that's 
    up to you. (You can also actually play the pre-season games...)
    *ON TO THE SEASON: Sim to the 'Management Meeting' and then the 'Weekly
    Staff Meeting'. After finishing business in the staff meeting go into your
    computer and pick 'Calendar'. Look at the last three practices before game
    day. They need to be OFF VS DEF CON - OFF VS DEF CON - PASS SKELETON CON
    (in that order). Do these three practices, in that order, before all of
    your regular season games. If they need changed, just highlight the
    session on the calendar that you want to change and hit 'X'. Choose 'Swap
    Task' and change it to the above practice types. These practices are
    important because (1) they prepare your players for the game by raising
    their stats and (2) you get money plays for every play (offense and
    defense) that you run 5 times (make 100%) in practice. These money plays
    have a better chance of working well on game day. They are key to winning
    in this game. Practice offensive and defensive plays that you are going to
    use during the game. In time you will become accustom to what good 
    plays your OC and DC usually call in and make the most common ones money
    plays. Run each play 5 times so it will become a money play. After the
    first game, your money plays will still be close to being money plays
    (usually 46% or so) and you will only have to do them three times to make
    them money plays for the next game. I would go with at least one first
    down pass play (WR Option), a first down run play, a 2nd and long passing
    play (X Clown) and another play of your liking (preferably a WR passing
    play that has Reggie Bush as the primary receiver). Use your first string
    offense and defense most of the time. I go with 1st string vs. 1st string
    about 8 times out of the ten and 2nd vs. 2nd the other two. I've never had
    a major injury in one of these practices (knock on wood) that I actually
    played. That's not to say that it can't happen. Always check the injury
    list after all practices and games to check for an injury that you may
    have missed. After doing the last (2) OFF VS DEF CON practices and then
    the (1) PASS SKELETON CON, check you depth chart then sim to game day and
    save. I should note here that some of the time my players are not ALL at
    the top of their ability spectrum at the start of the game. (For example:
    my QB is a 79-94. It varies but he sometimes starts the game as an 88 or
    so. I check my depth chart in the two minute break at the end of the 1st
    quarter and he is usually at 94. Your players rating can and probably will
    increase during the game.)
    *GAME DAY: Alright coach, you have made your choices and all the hard
    decisions to get to this point and now here you are at the best part of
    this game: GAME DAY! To start, you have the coin toss. Make your choice. I
    always choose to kick but you can decide. After the coin toss, you have 2
    minutes to work with before the game starts. This is VERY important. Hold
    left on the directional pad (Talk to players) and hit 'X'. Now push right
    on the directional pad until you get to the WR/TE group, pick 'All', then
    'Strategy' and tell them to 'Fake-Use their speed to get open' and do it
    for the 'Entire Game'. Push 'Triangle' to back out. Now push right until
    you get to the LB group. Choose 'All' then 'Strategy'. Tell them to
    'Hit-Force a turnover with a hard hit' and then to do it for the 'Entire
    Game'. Push 'Triangle' to back out. Now push right to the DB group. Choose
    'All' then 'Strategy'. Choose 'Pic' then tell them to 'Jump the route and
    go for the interception' and then to do it for the 'Entire Game'. Push
    'Triangle' to back out. Finally, push right to the DL group and Choose
    'All' then 'Strategy'. Tell them to 'Hit-Just don't let anyone by you' and
    then to do it for the 'Entire Game'. Push 'Triangle' to get out of that
    mode and now it's time for kick-off. (That will get easier once you have
    done it a few times.) Press 'Square' to go to the kick off. Once you pick
    how you want to kick off or receive, press L1 to change camera view. I
    prefer to push it once to get 'Classic View' but you may like another
    camera view better.
    *KICK OFF: On game day the quarters are 5 minutes long. If you keep the
    game moving, it seems to work out well. KEEP THE GAME MOVING! KNOW YOUR
    PLAYBOOK! Go with the play that your defensive coordinator calls in 95% of
    the time. Go with the play that your offensive coordinator calls in about
    10% of the time. Your OC will tend to lean toward conservative running
    plays. I tend to play somewhat conservatively, but still pass a lot, in
    the first part of the game until I have a comfortable lead. In your first
    season your goal is to win. Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart will probably not
    put up spectacular numbers until 2007. You may have to play a little more
    conservative in your first year but do take some chances. Throw the ball a
    lot. The keys to this strategy in the long term are very fast and talented
    wide receivers, a solid QB and lots of defensive interceptions and sacks.
    Interceptions and sacks are KEY. Your defense needs to get interceptions
    to make up for the interceptions that your QB is gonna throw - and he's
    gonna throw 'em. Trust me. The key players to this strategy are QB, WR,
    MLB, FS and CB. (Yes, I know. You traded off your good FS... Sometimes you
    just have to do what you have to do in the game of football. Be sure to
    scout for a FS in the 2007 draft. But for now- life gives
    you lemons-make lemonade.) Once you have a good lead (about 21 points),
    you can have some fun offensively! You will almost always overrule your
    OC's play choice with passing plays to Reggie Bush and the other WRs
    unless he calls a good passing play himself. The AI will almost always
    play conservatively until after the 2 minute warning in the 4th quarter.
    You can be on top by 35 points with 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter, and
    the AI will usually punt on 4th down. If you have a nice lead, don't be
    afraid to go for it on 4th down (unless you are in your own territory).
    There are some tips for game day listed at the end of this guide.
    *BETWEEN GAMES: Between games I usually go directly to my computer, go to
    'Roster' then 'Injury Report' to see if I missed any injuries or to check
    how long someone will be out with an injury. You should then sim to the
    first 'Office Hours' after the 'Management Meeting' and save. (You can
    skip this meeting, especially if you have been winning.) Later in the
    game, you will have trust problems with your RB coach. This is because you
    will only use your RB to get short gains for a 1st down or a touchdown.
    You should get into the habit of taking this time to go into the 'Depth
    Chart' and change your starting HB. This will lead to the RB coach
    recommending a change of the roster and, when you agree, you will get a
    trust boost for him. Now go to the weekly staff meeting. Don't be afraid
    to grill your staff members that had a bad game. This is how their stats
    increase but you will have to give up some of their trust. Praise them if
    their squad did well. They may make recommendations for depth chart
    changes. I usually agree to get the trust increase. If I don't agree I
    will still OK it for the trust boost and then just go into the depth chart
    before the next game and change it back. A quick note here: I have found
    that it doesn't help to grill a coach who has a 99 rating. He doesn't get
    any better and loses more trust than if you didn't. You should keep track
    of  which of your coaches are maxed out later in the game. When done with
    this meeting, go to the next office hours. Go to the computer and then
    'Calendar'. Look at the last three practices before game day. They need to
    be OFF VS DEF CON - OFF VS DEF CON - PASS SKELETON CON (in that order). Do
    these three practices, in that order, before your regular season games. If
    they need changed, just highlight the session on the calendar that you
    want to change and hit 'X'. Choose 'Swap Task' and change it to the above
    practice types. Once the practices are set, sim to 'Scout Players' and
    scout from the incoming draft class. I usually sort the players by speed
    or strength-depending on what position it is. (Remember that players will
    not improve much in these two categories.) After scouting the 8 players of
    your choice, sim to the second from last OFF VS DEF CON practice. Use the
    two practices to develop your 'money plays' for the next game. It is best
    to do the (2) OFF VS DEF CON practices so you will have at least 4
    offensive and 4 defensive money plays. You sometimes get one more
    offensive and defensive money play from the PASS SKELETON CON practice.
    Now, check your depth chart and make sure that it is the way that you want
    it for game day and then sim to 'Game Day' and save.
    *OVERVIEW: If you are a die-hard fan of the Madden game's Owner/Franchise
    mode and have lots of patience, you will make it through the first season.
    The second season will be much easier and gratifying. Don't sweat it if
    you lose some games the first year. You will be honing your coaching skills
    to take the league by storm in  2007! Using these guidelines, I took the
    Texans from being a 2-14 team in 2005 to a 12-4 team in 2006 with a Super
    Bowl win. The Texan's 2007 season was absolutely phenomenal. You can hear
    the crowd: REGGIE - REGGIE - REGGIE. Sorry, got a little carried away
    there! In 2007, my Texans had a perfect season (16-0) including another
    Super Bowl win (19-0). In the final game of the season we played the Bills
    at their stadium. The final score was 91-10! (personal high score) Matt
    Leinart had 631 passing yards with a whopping 11 TDs! For the season the
    numbers were phenomenal. Reggie Bush had 3116 yards and 22 touchdowns.
    Matt Leinart had 6226 yards passing and 64 touchdowns for the 2007 season.
    The Texans also lead the NFL in defensive interceptions, having the top 4
    players on the list for the year. I should note that Matt Leinart also
    lead the NFL in interceptions in 2007. This is just the 'cost of doing
    business' in an aggressive vertical offense. All of the interceptions and
    forced punts that my defense racks up more than make up for the
    interceptions thrown by my QB. I am just now starting the 2008 season and
    I am confident that we will take it all again this year. I also got the
    'Coach of the Year' award for 2007. I am now the 14th greatest coach of
    all-time. I will be #1 some day...
    COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT: OK there's a few things that I have to get off of my
    chest about the short-comings of this game. Just skip this part if you
    don't want to hear me whine...
    1) Good players make a good coach. This game lacks proper respect for the
    players and their achievements. There is no game, season or career record
    list. What? There is no Hall of Fame for the players. I realize this is a
    game about coaching but what about the players that you, as a coach,
    hand-picked and shaped into super star legends? They made you.
    2) I don't have control of the stadium upgrades and renovations like in
    Madden. This tied the game together because it forced me to make a profit
    and made the game more realistic. In Madden, if my team lost money for
    three consecutive years, I lost my job/team.
    3) There are no college stats for the players available in the draft. What?
    4) There is no 'meter' during the trade process that lets you know if the
    trade is likely to go through like in Madden. You just have to poke at it
    and hope for the best.
    5) You can only trade draft picks to and from other teams between the
    first of the off-season and the draft. You should be able to trade the
    following year's picks up until week six of the regular season. If there
    is a player that you want from another team, you should be able to sweeten
    the deal with a future draft pick. Come on guys...
    6) The replay system in NFL HC sucks. If the clock is running, forget it.
    If the clock is stopped, the replay usually only includes the final few
    seconds of the play. Geeeeez.
    7) The scouting director is a joke. You should be able to tell him what to
    do and who to scout. During the season, he wants to scout the team you are
    about to play and not the coming draft class. If there is a player on
    another team that I am interested in, I will scout that player. Otherwise,
    I will scout the draft class. He's hard-wired to be a moron.
    8) This game makes it hard to look through your players to get
    information. I've learned to cope but I still don't like it. (The depth
    chart is about the best place)
    9) Lineage. Lineage is your ranking for coaches that have worked under you
    and have gone on to be a head coach themselves. The better that they do,
    the more lineage points that you receive. OK, these are hard points to get.
    I keep my great coaches because it took quite some time to make them great 
    and I don't want to start over again. When you compare the time that it
    takes to work up these points to the average lifespan of a human, you see
    that it's an up-hill battle. Lineage should also include great players
    that you have developed from rookies. Players make or break a coach.
    That's just my opinion.
    10) Loading times. Oh, loading times. Patience is a virtue with this game.
    Lucky for me, I have a passion for football and this helps to dull the
    pain. I bet that the PC version is much faster, but I don't know. The
    first few times that I played a 'Game Day', I thought that the game had
    locked up afterwards. It is actually simming other games in the league and
    this just takes a while. OK- I'm done complaining. Every game has it's 
    short-comings. I do, however, truly love this game.
    (These plays may or may not be available to you.)
    1st Down: WR Option
    1st Down: WR Option
    1st Down: HB Lead
    2nd & Long: X-Clown
    3rd & Long: WR Option
    Goal Line: PA Boot Slide
    (Other possibility: 2 Minute Drill: Hail Mary)
    Under Smoke, SS Gut Blitz, Engage Eight, MLB Cross Fire
    OC: Marv Olive (99)
    DC: Richard Smith (99)
    SD: Brandon Billows (50) (I would fire him if I could...)
    SP: Joe Marciano (72) 
    QB: Tank Cleary (99)
    RB: Jacob Johnson (99)
    WR: Matthew McCarter (99)
    TE: Brian Pariani (99)
    OL: Bill Laveroni (99)
    DL: Shawn Jackson (79)
    LB: Bob Babich (97)
    DB: Brett Maxie (90)
    QB: M. Leinart (94) (Drafted in 2006)
    HB: D. Davis (99)
    FB: B.J. Dean (99) (Drafted 2006)
    TE: T. Johnson: (99)
    WR1: D. Branch (99)
    WR2: R. Bush (99) (Drafted in 2006)
    WR3: A. Johnson (98)
    WR4: J. Gaffney (95)
    WR5: J. Mathis (88)
    LG: L. Walker (90)
    C:  N. Mangold (85)
    RG: B. Moore (92)
    RT: T. Wade (92)
    LE: C. Craig (99) (Drafted in 2006)
    LE: T. Johnson (98)
    CB: D. Robinson (96)
    CB: D. Anderson (94) (Drafted in 2007)
    CB: P. Buchanon (90)
    LOLB: N. Wayne (95)
    MLB: T. McCoy (95) (Drafted in 2006)
    ROLB: A. Peek (90)
    SS: G. Earl (95)
    FS: G. Gray (99) (Drafted in 2007)
    *Here's some random tips that should help you win:
    #1: Very Important: During the off-season and between games, use the
    calendar in your computer to sim to the next task that you need to do.
    When the message comes up that says 'you have completed the current task-
    do you want to sim to the next task?' answer 'no' and go to the calendar
    and sim from there. Big time-saver.
    #2 Set and actually do (2) OFF VS DEF CON and then (1) PASS SKELETON CON
    practice right before game day. This will give you at least 4 offensive
    and 4 defensive money plays. This will also help you win more during your
    first season. The practices take about five minutes each to run once you
    get them down. I usually sim the other practices of the week. You may want
    to do them to help develop your players faster and possibly avoid injuries.
    #3: Do the above practices during your bye week and any week that you have
    off in the post-season. You will get a pleasant surprise. The money plays
    that you earn on your week off will carry over to the week before the
    game and then into game day. You will have lots of money plays.
    #4: On game day, KEEP THE GAME MOVING-know your play book-take some 
    #5: Use another team of your choosing, but I do recommend that you make
    whatever trade that you must to get the first pick in the 2006 draft and 
    get Reggie Bush and make him a WR.
    #6: Don't let it get you down if you fall behind. My team has come back
    from a 28 point deficit against the Tom Brady and the Patriots.
    #7: Don't be afraid to create a play or two during the 'create play'
    sessions in the off-season. I have created a few passing plays (with the
    far left receiver as the primary). After you have created and saved one,
    don't forget to add it to the playbook during the 'Game Plan Meeting'
    task. You can only create plays in the off-season.
    #8: Scouting the draft class: When you have selected the position 
    that you are looking to fill, sort them by ‘Overall’ then hit R1 a few 
    times to see the toughness and injury rating for the player. Go through 
    them and only scout the players that have a good toughness and injury 
    rating. A player can be good but if he gets hurt a lot, he will frustrate 
    you and cost you wins. Also look for speed. Speed and toughness are
    a great combination in this game.
    #9: Before your very first game of the season, you should try to do (3)
    OFF VS DEF CON and (1) PASS SKELETON CON. This is because all of your
    plays are at 0% to start. After the first game, your money plays from 
    the previous game will still be at 46% so you only have to do each three
    times to regain it as a money play for the next game.
    #10: Although hard to find in the early drafts, a very fast tight end can
    pay big dividends in this game. If you want one early in the game you will
    probably have to make a trade with another team. Having a very fast TE
    will make your 'TE Option' plays lethal to the opposing defense.
    #11: There seems to be higher likelihood of small injuries when you sim
    practices but seldom major long-term injuries.
    #12: Having an extra WR, CB and LB is not a bad idea in case of injuries
    mid-season. You can change a player's position if you have to. Sometimes
    you find a hidden gem!
    #13: If your team is winning most of the games in your season, you don't
    have to worry a lot about the goals that the owner set. He'll get over it.
    #14: Never run the clock unless it is a VERY close game. GO FOR IT!
    #15: EVERY second counts! Snap the ball as soon as it will allow you to if
    the clock is running! The AI doesn't manage the clock well. You may have
    to call timeout when he has the ball late in the 2nd and 4th quarters. Use
    the time-out. It's worth it! Always plan on your key players getting an
    interception or forcing the punt. A lot can happen in that final 30
    seconds. The AI will run the clock even when he's way behind. STOP THE 
    #16: Your scouting director (SD) will not like you much if you don't let
    him pick who to scout (and you should pick them yourself). He is under the
    control of the owner and you can't fire him so who cares what he thinks!
    The owner will eventually replace him with another sock puppet for you to
    totally ignore.
    #17: If you have a BIG LEAD late in the 2nd or 4th quarter, watch out for
    the onside kick. Your coach may not tell you to call it but always change
    to the 'Onside Recover' play, especially in the 4th quarter with a lead.
    The AI has done this to me in the beginning of the 4th quarter and I only
    had a 14 point lead.
    #18: Pass 90% of the time. My team's average per game is 300-500 passing
    yards and about 30-50 rushing yards (2nd season). My RB always leads the
    NFL in Touchdowns but not yards. I use him for 3rd & short, 4th & short
    and goal line touch down plays.
    #19: To change Reggie Bush into a WR- During 'Office Hours' - Go to
    'Roster' - 'Player Roster'- Pick him- Push 'X'- Change to WR.
    #20: To challenge a call on the field- At play call screen- Push 'square'
    and then watch the replay and hit 'X' to challenge the call. You only have
    so long to do this. Don't waste much time watching the replay if you know
    that you want to challenge it. Push 'X' to challenge it. If the call 
    stands then it will cost you a timeout and a challenge. If it is 
    overturned, it will cost you one challenge (you get 2 per game). If the 
    play looks close and could be a game-changer - challenge it! (Especially 
    sideline calls and fumbles) The AI is superb at calling challenges and the
    call is usually overturned. This can be a game changer. Note that you cannot
    challenge a play in the last two minutes of each half. During this time,
    the 'officials' will decide if a play needs challenged.
    #21: I chose Matt Leinart over Vince Young in the 2006 draft. At this
    point, in the 2008 Season, Young doesn't hold a candle to Leinart. (But I
    haven't coached Young)
    #22: With all of the talk about an aggressive vertical offense, I have
    neglected to talk much about defense. Troy McCoy and Chris Craig are 
    going to help a lot but you will still have to focus on having a great
    defense. Of course, every time that you score, the AI will get the ball.
    You need to possess a defense that will either get an interception 
    or force the punt on 4th down most of the time if you want to truly
    dominate your opponents. Try to atleast force them to settle for a 
    field goal.
    #23: The game gets even better after a couple of seasons. You get to know
    your players and keep/cut decisions become much easier. You will also
    become much more proficient in managing your time.
    #24: When considering a new player, always look at age, speed, strength,
    awareness, toughness and injury rating. Remember- speed and strength will
    not increase much during a player's career.
    #25: Just because it is 2nd & short, you don't have to call a 2nd & short
    play. Use a 1st & 10 money play or whatever play you want. Most of my
    money plays are 1st and 10 plays.
    #26: As WR2, Reggie Bush will be the WR on the far left of the play. The
    orange arrow is the primary receiver. Sometimes you can flip the play to
    make him your primary if he's not.
    #27: Always remember- you cannot teach a player speed and strength but he
    can improve in other areas over time, especially awareness. Consider this
    and injury rating when drafting and hiring players.
    #28: If I'm ahead by a good margin and there is :20 on the clock in the
    fourth, I will sometimes do an onside kick myself. If I recover it, I go
    with a Hail Mary and go for it!
    #29: You will have to be patient with you team during the first year. Your
    goal the first year is to simply win as many games as you can. The stats
    are probably just not going to be there. Focus on doing the best that you
    can and getting your team ready for the 2007 season.
    #30: During the off-season, before the draft, you can hire a good free 
    agent with no signing bonus and then trade him for a draft pick. This 
    works but takes a lot of patience. Be sure that there is no signing 
    bonus because there is a salary cap penalty if so.
    #31: During the game, you can push down on the directional pad and then
    'X' to enter the roster menu. I only do this during the two minute breaks
    between quarters. It can be a real time-burner if you use it while the 
    clock is running.
    #32: I never make substitutions (from the roster menu) during the game.
    This can burn a lot of time. If you are going to make substitutions during
    game play, you should do it during the two minute breaks between quarters.
    I have never made a substitution on game day.
    #33: Make sure that you use your 'Scout Players' task between games and 
    during the off-season to check out the incoming draft class. Scout 
    the key players that can replace weak or aging players on your roster.
    #34: Take notes! This is especially true during your first season. I know
    - I hate it too. You will always have to take notes, but the first year
    requires much more note-taking then the years to follow.
    #35: Know when to accept and when to decline a penalty. You only have a
    few seconds to decide. If you don't decline it, you will be forced to
    accept it. Choose wisely and quickly, Grasshopper. Seriously, pay
    attention to this. It can be big.
    #36: Kickers in this game suck. It's a fact. There are no practices for
    them that I have found so they are usually close to the bottom of their
    ability spectrum. Find the best ones you can and go with it. The 60-75
    kickers seem to do a fairly good job.
    #37: You can change a player's position during the season (between games)
    or during the off-season if it does not make that player's original
    position go below the minimum number of players. (He has to be an extra)
    Lots of positions are interchangeable. You can check what a player's stats
    at a different position would be by going to the 'Depth Chart' and then
    highlight the current player in that position and hit 'X'. Now you can go
    through possible replacements for that particular player by pushing right
    on the directional pad. This will show you a certain player's ability
    spectrum for that position. CB can be a good FS. MLB can be a good ROLB.
    The right extra players can become lifesavers mid-season after the injury
    of a key player.
    #38: You will notice that after the first game of the season, your money
    plays will not diminish completely. They are usually at about 46% or so.
    This means that you only have to run them three times during the OFF VS 
    DEF CON practices and they are a money plays for game day again. You can 
    have quite a few money plays if you work it right.
    #39: If you want the most fun and best stats, do not sim the games. Play
    them like your job and reputation are on the line. Watch your draft picks
    develop into legends. Live the dream. Make Don Shula become your right 
    hand man at the NFL Coaches Hall of Fame after you have dominated the 
    league for years to become the best coach of all time.
    #40: If this were the real NFL, the wizard offensive and defensive 
    coordinators of your competitors would probably dissect your offense and 
    feed it back to you, but luckily it's not. You can play with them like 
    a cat does a mouse.   BWAH HA HA HA HA!
    Well, there you go! I hope you found some helpful info to inch you towards
    the ultimate goal: Becoming the #1 coach in the history of the game...  
    Good Luck!
    Courtesy of:
    S. Lewis
    Credits: I would like to take this chance to thank Johnny LaRue for 
    writing a great FAQ for weekly prep of the team. His guide gave me some 
    great insight on how the game works between games and how important
    practices are to the development of players. Some of his ideas were
    incorporated in this strategy guide.
    Copyright 2009 S. Lewis    This guide may not be reproduced except for
    personal/private use. It may not be placed on any web site or other 
    medium without the expressed written permission of the writer. Use of 
    this guide on any web site or any use for public display is prohibitted
    and is a violation of this copyright. 
    UPDATE (07-06-09): 
    The numbers from the Texan's 2008 (16-0) regular 
    season are in:
    Matt Leinart: 7245 yards, 76 touchdowns, 63 interceptions (I told you 
       that he had a lot of interceptions!)
    (P. Manning was 2nd in 2008 with 3651 yards and 27 touchdowns)
    Reggie Bush: 3525 yards, 36 touchdowns, 20.0 yard average
    (Reggie won every award under the sun-again.He needs a bigger trophy case!)
    Domanick Davis (HB): 27 touchdowns (most in the NFL by far) and 601 yards.
    Team Stats: 120 Total touchdowns and 66 defensive interceptions (9 taken
    in for a TD)
    Got '2008 Coach of the Year' again and the Texans won '2008 Offensive Team 
    of the Year'!
    (Watch for other updates in the future. I plan to do an update after
    a few more seasons...  Hopefully, I will have some more tips on game
    play. Thanks for checking out the guide! Hope it helps.)
    UPDATE 07-28-09
    Time for another update!
    At this point in the game I am playing my 6th season. For the first 
    five seasons the Texans are 76-4 with 5 Super Bowl wins in a row. We have 
    not lost a game since the first season. My goal for the 2010 season was to
    win Offensive Team of the Year AND Defensive team of the Year. I got the
    OTOTY (as always) and got edged out of DTOTY by the Eagles. They allowed
    200 less yards than we did but we allowed the least points in the league.
    We beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl (63-10). Life goes on...
    As a coach, I am #6 on the all-time list. I broke the record with the
    5th Super Bowl win. I won the 'Comeback Coach of the Year' award my
    first season and have won 'Coach of the Year' all four years since.
    The Texans have won Offensive Team of the Year every year. Reggie Bush 
    had to build a new room onto his mansion to hold his trophies...
    Here's a few more tips:
    *PRE-SNAP CONTROL: During the game, you can use this function by pushing
    'Up' on the directional pad and then hitting 'X'. ONLY USE THIS IF THE 
    The choices in this mode include:
    I encourage you to experiment with this so long as the clock is stopped.
    You can exploit a weakness in your opponent's defense. I don't have any
    advice on this because I am still experimenting with it myself.
    *SALARY CAP: Staying under the salary cap can be tricky. All teams are 
    different. With the Texans, I have not had problems but some teams are
    going to be challenging to say the least. When you take over a team,
    you are also inheriting all of the decisions made by the last coach
    and maybe even the one before him. My advice is to look closely at your
    roster under 'Salary Cap' and try to identify problems. Look for older
    players that are losing their edge and make a ton of money. This is 
    especially true if there is a young player behind them that can 
    develop into a great player over time. A big factor is the player's 
    signing bonus. You will get a salary cap penalty if you release or 
    trade him. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get your
    player's salaries in line. A good example (if you picked the Texans) 
    is QB David Carr. In 2006 he is a 54-69 (or something like that) and 
    makes like 6 million a year. I chose to keep him on staff the first
    year, as insurance, and then traded him off for a draft pick in 2007.
    If my team was in a bind, I would have released or traded him in 2006. 
    This part of the game is not easy. This is the tough part of being a 
    head coach in the NFL.
    *DRAFT PICKS IN FUTURE DRAFTS: The original version of this strategy 
    guide listed some draft picks from the 2007 draft. I was curious so I 
    restarted the game (without saving) and went with the Texans and picked
    vertical offense and 3-4 defense. I went through all of the orientation 
    and then simmed to where I could see the next season's draft picks. I 
    found that they were not the same as they were on my saved game. They 
    are not predetermined. 
    *PRACTICES: During an OFF VS DEF CON practice, you will get 20% closer
    to making the play a money play. During a PASS SKELETON CON practice, 
    you will get 6-7% closer to getting a money play. The PASS SKELETON CON
    practice will raise the readiness of your QB and WRs. Be sure and do 
    these practices if you want to be competitive. Do not sim them. Another
    thing to note here is that the 'One on One-Contact' drills will help
    to develop your players long-term by shifting their range (ability 
    spectrum). If you really want to get the most for your players long-term,
    you might consider doing these type of practices between games. I would
    atleast put them on the calendar and sim them.
    *POST-SEASON PLAY: Play to win post-season games. If you have a firm 
    lead, run the clock when you can. The stats don't actually matter. 
    The numbers will not show up for your players' career stats. You 
    just want a 'W'. I do, however, sometimes go for the blow-out.
    *MISSED OPPORTUNITY: In the original guide, I did not give proper 
    respect to a couple of players that are a core part of the Texans. These
    players are WR Andre Johnson and CB Dunta Robinson. These guys are both
    keys to the Texans' success. Johnson usually has the 2nd most yards in 
    the NFL (next to Reggie Bush). Robinson is my top CB. He reels in 
    interceptions like they are going out of style. I have another CB 
    (Doc Anderson) that is very impressive himself. I picked him up in the 
    2007 draft. The available draft picks are randomly generated so you
    won't see him in your draft. Look to pick up a great CB in the 2007 
    1) When re-signing players in the off-season, consider re-signing good 
    players that only have 1 year left on their contract. You may be able
    to avoid a free agency bidding war the following year.
    2) Have faith in MLB Troy McCoy and LE Chris Craig. They are both a 
    bit injury-prone but they seem to get a little better over time. Chris
    Craig's injury rating is much better than McCoy's.
    3) If you have an opposing team's CB that keeps intercepting your 
    QB, make a note. You might want to scout him and possibly sign or trade 
    for him later. You can stumble on some exceptional talent this way. 
    This is the kind of talent that keeps the ball in the hands of your 
    aggressive vertical offense.
    4) When looking at the incoming draft class, find the postion you are 
    looking for and sort by 'Overall'. Now hit 'X' and then hit R1 a few 
    times to look at the players' toughness and injury attributes. DO NOT 
    scout players that have a low score in these two attributes. They will
    become a headache later. Players that are very fast and have a high 
    toughness and injury rating rule this game. (The exception to this is, 
    of course, linemen that are somewhat slow. You probably won't find fast 
    5) If you choose to play as the Texans, consider trading off RT Zach
    Wiegert and MLB Morlon Greenwood for draft picks in 2006. You want an 
    extra pick so that you can draft C Nick Mangold in the 3rd or 4th round.
    Be sure and follow the draft order that is outlined in the strategy
    guide above. You really need the players listed in the guide. Use the 
    pick that you trade for the two players above to get Mangold if you can.
    He will develop into a great center for your team and he's tough.
    6) After my fifth season of coaching, I received a 'Continuous Service 
    Award - Five Years'. Starting in the sixth season, I got eleven reps in 
    my practices (instead of ten) and I also got to scout ten players 
    (instead of eight)in the 'Scout Players' task. I'm not sure if this has 
    to do with staying with the same team for five years or if it has to do 
    with my coaching attributes increasing.
    Well that's about all that I have for now. Anything can happen in this 
    game, and usually does. Remember, nothing is guaranteed. Stay focused on 
    the win and keeping your players healthy and well-practiced. Your job 
    depends on it.
    Good luck!

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