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Madden NFL 10: Building a Super Bowl Contender Part II
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Recently, I took the Arizona Cardinals and talked about what I would do to make them a Super Bowl contender for years to come in Madden 10. The Cards already have some key pieces to build around, but I want to take them to the next level. So what I have to do is balance out my team while injecting youth at every position. For the Cards, this means establishing a running game and building a lockdown defense.

I started my franchise with fair trades on and default rosters. (I will warn any "sim" players now, this is not a "sim" franchise. This is maximizing a franchise within the limits of fair trades.)

After a flurry of trades, this is how my Cardinals team looks before the first kickoff.

Roster Breakdown


Offense (Potential grades listed after overall)

QB- Matt Leinart (68 OVR) B
QB- Vince Young (68 OVR) B

HB- Reggie Bush (79 OVR) B
HB- Beanie Wells (79 OVR) A
HB- Rashard Mendenhall (72 OVR) B

FB- Jacob Hester (70 OVR) A

WR- Larry Fitzgerald (99 OVR) A
WR- Anquan Boldin (94 OVR) A
WR- Steve Breaston (79 OVR) B
WR- Devin Hester (72 OVR) B
WR- Ramses Barden (66 OVR) B
WR- Early Doucette (64 OVR) B

TE- Greg Olsen (82 OVR) A
TE- Vernon Davis (78 OVR) B
TE- Dustin Keller (77 OVR) A
TE- Jared Cook Jr. (75 OVR) A
TE- Martellus Bennett (75 OVR) B

LT- Herman Johnson (67 OVR) B
LT- Jason Watkins (65 OVR) B

LG- Leroy Harris (72 OVR) B
LG- Trevor Canfield (69 OVR) B

C- Mike Pollack (81 OVR) A
C- Lyle Sendlein (72 OVR) B

RG- Deuce Lutui (76 OVR) B
RG- Brandon Keith (69 OVR) C

RT- Levi Brown (81 OVR) B
RT- Kevin Sampson (61 OVR) D

Defense

LE- Darnell Dockett (93 OVR) A
LE- Vernon Gholston (81 OVR) B
LE- Kenny Iwebema (67 OVR) B

RE- Tommie Harris (92 OVR) A
RE- Elvis Dumervil (85 OVR) B

DT- Albert Haynesworth (99 OVR) A
DT- Glenn Dorsey (75 OVR) B
DT- Calais Campbell (72 OVR) B

LOLB- A.J. Hawk (80 OVR) B
LOLB- Larry English (72 OVR) A
LOLB- Cody Brown (65 OVR) B

MLB- Karlos Dansby (87 OVR) A
MLB- Gerald Hayes (80 OVR) B
MLB- Lawrence Timmons (74 OVR) B

ROLB- Jonathan Vilma (87 OVR) A
ROLB- Manny Lawson (72 OVR) B

CB- Nnamdi Asomugha (99 OVR) A
CB- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (87 OVR) A
CB- Antonio Cromartie (84 OVR) A
CB- DeAngelo Hall (79 OVR) B
CB- Bryant McFadden (78 OVR) B
CB- Brandon Flowers (77 OVR) A

FS- Antrel Rolle (84 OVR) B
FS- Gerald Alexander (68 OVR) B

SS- Adrian Wilson (97 OVR) A
SS- Rashad Johnson (71 OVR) B

K- Neil Rackers (81 OVR) B

P- Ben Graham (69 OVR) D

Offensive Breakdown

Passing Game

Matt Leinart and Vince Young do not have outstanding ratings, but they will do just fine in my offense. Twin TE sets of Greg Olsen and Vernon Davis, along with Fitzgerald and Boldin on the outside, create an explosive passing attack with great after-the-catch abilities. I plan on utilizing my receivers YAC abilities to make life easy for Leinart and Young, never asking my QBs to do more than quick routes and dump-off throws. Factor in the receiving talents of Reggie Bush and Jacob Hester out of the backfield, and this passing attack is lethal. With a quick passing attack, my O-line is not asked to do much.

Running Game

My offensive line has low overall ratings, but each lineman is a great run blocker. They will allow the one-two punch of Beanie Wells and Reggie Bush to be a thunder and lightning combo for my offense. Jacob Hester also has some talent running the ball from the fullback position.

Defensive Breakdown


Defensive Line

A monster front three. Albert Haynesworth, Darnell Dockett and Tommie Harris. Haynesworth will clog the middle, allowing Dockett and Harris to wreak havoc in the backfield.

Linebackers

A.J. Hawk will help shutdown the strong-side running game, while Gerald Hayes is in charge of stopping the middle. My other two linebackers, Karlos Dansby and Jonathan Vilma, excel in coverage. Dansby makes throws over the middle difficult with his 6-foot-4 height, and Vilma is among the best man/zone cover linebackers in the league.

Secondary

This is where it gets exciting. I will probably play man coverage most of the time to utilize the talents of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromatie, thus allowing Antrel Rolle and Adrian Wilson to roam free. With Antonio Cromartie and DeAngelo Hall as my nickel and dime backs, I will never be afraid of opposing teams that spread four wide.

Notable Trades

1. Kurt Warner to the Browns for their 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks.

2. Mike Gandy to the Texans for their 1st, 3rd, and 4th round picks.

3. Chike Okeafor, Pago Togafau and Wilfrey Fontenot for Jonathan Vilma, Reggie Bush and Saints 1st round pick. (For anyone who has read my article on trade logic, this is a prime example of how certain trades can unlock other trades.)

4. Haynesworth, Asomugha, and Harris were acquired from multiple draft pick trades.

Madden NFL 10 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 mikemulloy @ 11/30/09 01:28 PM
awful. unrealistic and completely what not to do with the franchise mode, you would have been better off just doing a fantasy draft. how are you going to establish the run with scrubs on the o-line? in the first year of a franchise you should only be making subtle changes, saving big ones for the first offseason
 
# 2 psymin1 @ 11/30/09 04:56 PM
I enjoyed reading this. I am not positive it will help with my Franchise, but it was a very good read, nonetheless. I would love to be able to play with your new team, and see how well they progress. I may have to try that out when I get time. Nice article.
 
# 3 sraczk2011 @ 11/30/09 10:26 PM
I thought this was about how to build a Super Bowl Contender, not how to exploit a game's trading AI.
 
# 4 raidersbball20 @ 11/30/09 10:38 PM
you are stacked
 
# 5 Jump @ 11/30/09 10:43 PM
fair trades. lol
 
# 6 Birdman18 @ 11/30/09 10:51 PM
playing with that team doesnt even look fun
 
# 7 TeamBuilder @ 11/30/09 11:40 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemulloy
awful. unrealistic and completely what not to do with the franchise mode, you would have been better off just doing a fantasy draft. how are you going to establish the run with scrubs on the o-line? in the first year of a franchise you should only be making subtle changes, saving big ones for the first offseason
Did you miss this part...

I started my franchise with fair trades on and default rosters. (I will warn any "sim" players now, this is not a "sim" franchise. This is maximizing a franchise within the limits of fair trades.)
 
# 8 DoubleIt5 @ 12/01/09 01:29 AM
Quote:
1. Kurt Warner to the Browns for their 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks
I don't see how this is a fair trade.
 
# 9 N51_rob @ 12/01/09 07:55 AM
I see that this isn't for the sim crowd, but man this is laughable. I would love to see how all these "fair trades" came about. The log jam at TE alone make me shake my head.
 
# 10 turpintine419 @ 12/01/09 09:11 AM
I gotta agree with most of the above, i quit building teams this way when i was about 12.
 
# 11 kblu54 @ 12/01/09 09:43 AM
Chike Okeafor, Pago Togafau and Wilfrey Fontenot for Jonathan Vilma, Reggie Bush and Saints 1st round pick.

this trade is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more unfair than kurt warner for 3 picks... making that trade along with the warner and gandy trades is just outreagous... so now you have an unreal defense plus what, FOUR 1st-round picks next season? that's craptastic and stupid in my eyes... have fun with that franchise going 17-0 every year
 
# 12 TeamBuilder @ 12/01/09 10:19 AM
Funny how most people that have posted are getting bent out of shape over the "unfair trades".

Read the second paragraph that states this article isn't a "sim" franchise and that all trades were done with the idea of maximizing your franchise within the limits of fair trades placed on franchise mode.
 
# 13 JaymeeAwesome @ 12/01/09 11:00 AM
But he's using madden's in-game "broken" fair trade engine....You have to be logical in the worth of players. Kurt Warner isn't worth 1st, 2nd, and 3rd pick....maybe 2nd and 3rd...it's just silly. This isn't maximizing a team, it's exploiting madden.
 
# 14 TeamBuilder @ 12/01/09 11:09 AM
Haha, how can you say he "has to be logical in the worth of players?" He stated above that it's not a "sim" franchise. Why would you expect it to be "sim" when he stated it's not?
 
# 15 TeamBuilder @ 12/01/09 12:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjake62505
Hey Madden team.......do you see a problem here? How about an option to turn off the "improved" (hopefully) trade logic in madden 2011 so if someone wants to strip teams of their better players they can. Maybe then we will not have articles from guys showing just how bad the trade logic is in your game.
http://askmadden.com/madden-10-trade-logic-not-so-logical/
 
# 16 northface28 @ 12/01/09 12:27 PM
That is so phony, how is that in any way, shape, form, or fashion fun? Just when you think you have seen it all, something like this happens. "Tips" on how to exploit Madden, what a farce.
 
# 17 ANDROMADA 1 @ 12/01/09 01:03 PM
Is there no salary cap for this set up to my estimates the pay roll is oh right off the top without even looking....500 million....Yeah that team would never be assembled even without a Cap,where is the money comming from?AZ is small market they earm mabe 100 million to 150 million per year....SMH
 
# 18 ANDROMADA 1 @ 12/01/09 01:06 PM
Edit: Unless Bill Gates bought the Team *wink*
 
# 19 Nyrican127 @ 12/01/09 01:21 PM
No way anyone trades a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick for Kurt Warner. Not even the Browns.
 
# 20 Madden Head @ 12/01/09 03:49 PM
Quote:
I will warn any "sim" players now, this is not a "sim" franchise. This is maximizing a franchise within the limits of fair trades.
So, if you are not going to do a simulation franchise, then why stop there? Why did you trade for Haynesworth and Tommy harris while keeping Dockett? Ratings of linemen don't matter, we all know that by now. Trade those guys away along with your offensive linemen to go and get draft picks, Adrian Peterson and Big Ben. Don't stop with reggie Bush and Vince young. Go all the way. Blow the 2007 Patirots record out of the water. Go 19-0, score 50+ points per game and see if you can keep it up by going 38-0 or even 57-0 or better. Doesn't that sound like fun? That sounds like putting the FU in fun to me.
 

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