Importing Plays In Madden from Head Coach

Posted August 17th, 2008 at 4:52 pm

The integration between NFL Head Coach 09 and Madden 09 is limited to the exporting of plays from Head Coach to Madden. I wanted to try this out in an effort to see how easily it can be done and how well it works. What I found is that it’s relatively easy but doesn’t work exactly as expected.

I’ve put together a video going through the entire process, from the creation and exporting of a play in Head Coach to the importing and usage of a play in Madden. Continue on to watch it as well as read my thoughts on the feature.

The first thing to do is to either create plays or just download ones that others have created. Once that is done head into “Export Created Plays” section of My Coach-Playbooks and choose which ones you want to export. When you save that it’ll create the file that is drawn from in Madden.

Now when you start up a Play Now, Practice, or Franchise game in Madden it’ll automatically load the Head Coach file. Regardless of what team is being used those plays will now be available. When flipping through the formations there will now be a Head Coach one that includes the custom plays.

Here are the problems that arose though…

  • The passing icons are mixed up. You’ll see Deion Branch on the right assigned to A for example, when that position has traditionally received the B. Instead B went to the tight end. Engram in the slot has X instead of the Y that would be expected. I wondered if this might be based on progression, but I don’t see how that would be the case here.
  • Motion doesn’t carry over. You’ll see Branch doesn’t motion before the snap even though I had set him to in the play.
  • The players involved are mixed up. Nate Burleson was in the slot in my created play but here it is Bobby Engram. This is probably what happens if the depth charts on the two games are different. So Madden is taking the play and putting the particular players in those positions based on the depth charts and not the players. I can understand why this would be needed so that the play could apply to all teams or player movement, it just wasn’t what I had expected to happen. Also Justin Forsett is replaced with TJ Duckett which is another depth chart move given that Madden doesn’t have Forsett on the roster.

I’ve removed much of the loading time from the video below, as I go from start to finish to demonstrate how the procedure is done.

So in the end I would have difficulty using a created play because of the passing icons being out of whack, but losing motion from them also detracts from the effectiveness of the feature. Keep in mind to design the plays with the depth chart in Madden in mind if you are planning on utilizing specific players in certain spots. Hopefully in the future they allow created plays to be used in unranked online games as well. The integration between the two titles is a great idea but just doesn’t appear very useful for this year based on my observations.