Satisfy Your Inner 'Coach': Get Your Head in the Game
EA Sports has provided football gamers with a new distraction for the "Madden" player who really gets into the franchise mode of the game. When you're playing "Madden," if you spend just as much time on making additions to your stadium and raising the price of hot dogs, then "NFL Head Coach" just might be your game.
In this game, you don't control the players. You can coach them, motivate them or bench them, but when the ball is snapped, you're just watching and hoping that all that "coaching 'em up" you're doing pays off. It's quite an experience for football gamers who are used to controlling everything from the snap count to whether a player goes in motion.
You have the option of coaching a game right away with a team's current coaching staff or you can create a head coach and start a new career. If you do the latter, you choose a look and name and then enter the interviewing process.
You'll be asked questions that can include who do you think is the greatest coach of all time to who do you think is the best cornerback in the league or which type of defensive alignment do you prefer. How you answer determines the number of franchises interested in hiring you and could determine the size and value of the contract they offer.
Once hired, the game goes into its highly detailed career mode, which starts with a sit-down with the team owner. The game gives you options in terms of how you can respond. A word to the wise, when the owner is speaking, you should probably agree with him. You'll be given the option to say "I made these goals to improve the team, not to please you," but you should probably steer clear from those Parcells-like comments if you'd like to remain employed.
The off-season mode is extremely long but entertaining enough along the way to keep you playing. Between meeting with your coordinators, hiring coaches, re-signing your players, calling player agents, checking your e-mail, preparing for the restricted free agent period and looking at the latest scouting reports before the NFL draft, "NFL Head Coach" definitely has enough to satisfy the Joe Gibbs in you.
-- David Betancourt
NFL Head Coach Everyone; Playstation 2, Xbox, PC ($39.99) EA Sports