John Madden thinks NFL teams can benefit from hiring Madden players

Super Bowl XXXVII - EA Sports Ninth Annual Football Videogame Tournament
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John Madden was a Super Bowl-winning coach long before football video games existed, but now that football’s iconic video game bears his name, Madden thinks there could be a connection between gaming and coaching.

Madden told ESPN that if he were coaching today, he’d assign assistant coaches to play the Madden game in preparation for upcoming opponents.

“I would have a couple of young guys that are good, good Madden players, and hire them and put them on my staff,” Madden said. “And each week I would have them play our opponent. If the Raiders are playing Kansas City, I’d have one of them be the Raiders and one of them be Kansas City. And then I would run our players against their defenses and their defenses against our players. And I’d have them just check that out and then write up — this was good, this was bad, had trouble here and trouble there. I don’t know how much I would use it, but that’s what I would do.”

Some old-school coaches would scoff at the idea that gamers can teach them anything about the sport, but a gamer who has played thousands of Madden games has encountered all sorts of situations that could help with thinking through strategies, clock management, play calling and all the in-game decisions that coaches only get a chance to practice 16 times a year. The Madden game has now been around for decades, and the youngest generation of NFL coaches grew up on it, and it has helped shape their approach to the sport. The 84-year-old Madden is happy to have that as part of his legacy.

19 responses to “John Madden thinks NFL teams can benefit from hiring Madden players

  1. Madden defense is too over simplified to be of use to any NFL team. No stunts or twists on the d-line and there is no designation for the strong and weak side of the field so you’ll end up with your safeties, linebackers and DTs lined up on the wrong side of the field half the time

  2. John Madden also thought Brady and the Patriots should take a knee in the 1st Patriots SN against the Rams thus sending the game to OT. It’s a damn good thing the Pats had Bill Belichick coaching and not John Madden

  3. The winner of the latest Madden Bowl threw zero passes in every game. “Running works 100% of the time” is probably not great insight for NFL coaches.

  4. Would be a good idea if the game wasn’t trash. Can’t equate the arcade style of football madden is now to the real X’s and O’s of NFL football.

  5. Umm… it is called Analytics and it is real. Game or no game this software use complex algorithms for predictive outcome. Numbers don’t lie.

  6. Have your fastest wr run underneath routes all game. Eventually they pop off. Also, line any WR in the slot in trips formation and if the safety moves forward in zone lob it up for an easy TD. I can hear the Jets calling my name already.

  7. bogus really. when i used to play that game i could take any team to the superbowl…doesnt transfer to real life.
    .
    man must be old

  8. no, NO! John Madden has no ulterior motives to promote his namesake game as a tool for coaching. NONE. Right?

  9. Madden should be embarrassed by what EA’s product has become. The Madden players would suggest substituting the punter at QB so they could hand off left-handed like in the Madden Bowl last year.

  10. The Madden game is older than most of the players and a lot of the coaches. I’m in my 40s and I played it when I was a little kid. So, if you think it’s some new fangled thing, you must be REALLY old.

  11. John is either joking, or he’s far beyond where anyone should be putting a microphone in front of him. It’s actually pretty embarrassing. Hopefully his loved ones will disconnect his phone.

  12. They need to update and fix the video game first before they can think of doing something like that. It’s gameplay mechanics are always broken.

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