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Madden NFL 10: Building a Super Bowl Contender

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As an avid franchise player, I’m always looking for teams to rebuild or improve and develop into Super Bowl contenders year in and year out. So from time to time, I’m going to showcase a team and talk about what I would do to help build it into a team that works for me -- and hopefully for you.

Arizona Cardinals Preview


Offense

It’s no secret that the Cardinals have one of the NFL’s most prolific receiving trios. Fitzgerald, Boldin and Breaston will spread out opposing defenses and give rookie running back Beanie Wells and promising second-year pro Tim Hightower room to run.

At age 38, Kurt Warner boasts some great passing ratings, at least by Madden standards, but he may only be around for a season or two. If Matt Leinart is not your cup of tea, start looking for a quarterback of the future.

The offensive line is an above average unit that won’t demolish opposing defenses, but will get the job done for your team. The center position is the only weakness because Lyle Sendlein lacks the strength that is needed to handle the more powerful nose tackles in the league.

Defense

The Cardinals defense has some playmakers in each unit. Darnell Dockett will wreak havoc no matter where you line him up on the defensive line. Former second-round pick Calais Campbell has "B" potential and progresses
nicely.

Karlos Dansby can do it all from any linebacker position. His only weakness may be coverage, but even that is helped out by his 6-foot-4 frame and ability to knock down passes. Gerald Hayes (MLB) is great at stopping the run game and hits hard.

The secondary has a nice trio of players. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will easily progress and become one of the top cornerbacks in the game. Free safety Antrel Rolle is excellent in zone coverage and has great hands (76 catch). Adrian Wilson is a dominant strong safety who excels in run support and can be used on the blitz.


Building My Cardinals

When building the Cardinals into the team that fits my style, I look at the strengths of my team. The defense already has some playmakers, so I think it’s a great idea to improve this area even more. With a few key additions, this could be one of the best defensive units in the league.

Secondary: Looking at my personnel, I think a zone coverage/zone blitz style of defense would work well. Adrian Wilson and Antrel Rolle both excel in zone coverage, with Rodgers-Cromartie quite capable of handling it as well. The first thing I want to do is look for a corner to complete my secondary. Antonio Cromartie from the Chargers would fit my zone defense scheme perfectly. He has excellent speed, good zone-coverage ratings and the best hands of any corner in the game (80 catch) -- not to mention he would be playing corner across the field from his cousin. I would want to look into possible ways to acquire him without having to lose anyone I deem essential to the future of my franchise.

Linebackers: With Dansby and Hayes already in place, I’m looking for two more linebackers to complete my linebacker unit in a 3-4 defense. A.J. Hawk and Manny Lawson are two players I would target. Hawk has good all-around skills with room for improvement, while Lawson boasts great size (6-foot-6), mobility (89 speed), and pass-rush ability (87 finesse move).

Defensive Line:Whether I decide to play Dockett at nose tackle or defensive end is really inconsequential because he is a staple either way. Bertrand Berry will most likely be moved in a trade, leaving my only hole at right end (Calais Campbell is starting at left end). A player I may look at acquiring is Vernon Gholston from the Jets. He has excellent strength (87) to play a 3-4 DE, and will provide some adequate pass rush from the position. At 70 overall, he will be a bargain to acquire.


On the offensive side of the ball, my team is looking really good. I plan to build around Leinart, so I may move Warner in trade. His 94 overall rating should bring in some great value. The only other piece I may try to upgrade is the tight-end position. A more viable receiving threat at the tight-end position would give me more options.


Be sure to check in next week. I’ll have my complete Cardinals roster along with the list of moves I made to build my franchise.


Madden NFL 10 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 MasterX1918 @ 11/10/09 12:43 PM
Typical Buccaneers...
 
# 2 qpc123 @ 11/10/09 01:04 PM
You can't really consider taking a team that WAS in the Super Bowl last year, and say that you're building a contender, Bucs or Rams or Lions those are rebuilding jobs. I think when the The Show 10 comes out I'll see if I can turn the Phillies into contenders.
 
# 3 Valdarez @ 11/10/09 01:12 PM
Instead of focusing on a per team basis, why not provide the prime abilities to look for for each position first and discuss why each ability is important? Unless this already exists somewhere? This is something I have looked for / hoped EA would provide for several years and still never found.
 
# 4 asu666 @ 11/10/09 01:39 PM
I'm playing Franchise mode with the Cardinals too and you have made some very good suggestions. I'm interested in hearing more about how things progress.
 
# 5 GlennN @ 11/10/09 02:23 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valdarez
Instead of focusing on a per team basis, why not provide the prime abilities to look for for each position first and discuss why each ability is important? Unless this already exists somewhere? This is something I have looked for / hoped EA would provide for several years and still never found.
I agree. This seems something we all just guess at. I saw a great post on how the overall rating is calculated, but what would really help is knowing, for each of our styles, who would be the best fit of players (regardless of overall rating).
 
# 6 Valdarez @ 11/10/09 02:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennN
I agree. This seems something we all just guess at. I saw a great post on how the overall rating is calculated, but what would really help is knowing, for each of our styles, who would be the best fit of players (regardless of overall rating).
Yeah, I saw that post as well, which I would have bookmarked it as it provided a really nice breakdown of what was used to determine the rating for each position. That may not necessarily correlate to the way you play the game though.
 
# 7 cjonas82 @ 11/10/09 04:22 PM
"Vernon Gholston from the Jets. He has excellent strength (87) to play a 3-4 DE, and will provide some adequate pass rush from the position."

Gholston is not a 3-4 type DE he is a OLB in the 3-4 or DE in 4-3. A DE in a 3-4 is not looking to get sacks they are looking to fill gaps so the LBs ( usually the OLBs) can get sacks
 
# 8 CreatineKasey @ 11/10/09 04:32 PM
I thought Gholston was an OLB? Wouldn't he be kind of limited in size that's required in a 3-4 DE. If I'm correct... he'd be quite the liability in the run game.
 
# 9 marcoyk @ 11/10/09 05:00 PM
Nice article. I'm gonna go start a franchise now.
 
# 10 robcoop @ 11/10/09 05:08 PM
Great article. This is the kind of content that will keep me coming back to OS. I'm all about the 'chise too and I can hardly ever find any stories about what steps gamers take to build a great team. Thanks! Look forward to next week.
 
# 11 walliworld @ 11/10/09 05:17 PM
I guess you're starting with the first team in the alphabet, but aren't the Cardinals already a SB contender?
 
# 12 stlstudios189 @ 11/10/09 05:23 PM
well I think the article is meant to be aimed at building your team for the future. just because the Cards were in the Super Bowl last season there is a great deal of work and planing to stay in that position. Good article
 
# 13 sportskid84 @ 11/10/09 05:44 PM
I'm going to rebuild the Raiders or Bills
 
# 14 dat boi Q @ 11/10/09 05:58 PM
if u want a good team on offense just go get all the fastest players cause speed is the only rating that means something on that game
 
# 15 Raven Nation42 @ 11/10/09 06:11 PM
Great article .... look forward to your write up next week
 
# 16 kingbrandon56 @ 11/10/09 07:01 PM
I have the chiefs and have done really good. I traded larry johhnson, before he was relaeased in real life. I moved glen dorsey to dt and started to use the 4-3 defense. I signed santana moss as a free agent. I won the super bowl in my third year.
 
# 17 murdamann10 @ 11/10/09 10:39 PM
Good article, but your going to get nagged on when you choose to make a Superbowl contender outta a team that was just in the superbowl. The bucs, raiders, lions, or rams would have been more interesting.
 
# 18 HiTEqMETHOD @ 11/11/09 06:06 AM
Building a Super Bowl contender out of a Super Bowl contender.....really? You should have just picked the Patriots or Steelers and topped off the ridiculousness of trying to make a contender a contender. You succeeded once you chose the Cardinals.
 
# 19 TeamBuilder @ 11/11/09 11:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stlstudios189
well I think the article is meant to be aimed at building your team for the future. just because the Cards were in the Super Bowl last season there is a great deal of work and planing to stay in that position. Good article
Exactly, that's the point.

But if many of you are interested in an article about building the Raiders, Lions, Chiefs, Rams etc... into contenders, I can definitely focus on teams like that after next week's article.

Thanks for reading.
 
# 20 football5680 @ 11/11/09 11:26 PM
the sim with the giants the first couple of years is awful. i think they have something agaisnt eli cause after like year 5 i got rid of him and that is when the giants made their first deep playoff run and i just picked up a rookie.
 

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