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Franchise Mode Guide by plumpwonton

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 02/26/2004

Franchise Mode FAQ

Genre: Sports/ Football                                          
Developer: Tiburon 
Publisher: Electronic Arts                                       
ESRB Rating: Everyone 
Price: $49.99 (US)                                             
Players: 1-2                                                  
FAQ Version: 1.0                                              
Author: plumpwonton                                            
Email: jascl22@hotmail.com                              
FAQ Created On: 2/25/04                                        
Last Updated: 2/25/04

Table Of Contents

I: Introduction
II: Copyright Information
III: Version History 
IV: Before The Season
a.	Selecting Your Team
b.	Training Camp
c.	Preseason 
V: During The Season
a.	Playing/ Simming Games
b.	Owner' Box
c.	Rosters
d.	Coach Options
e.	League News
f.	Playoffs
VI: After The Season
a.	Stadium
b.	Signing Coaches/ Training Staff  
VII: Off-Season
a.	Retired Players
b.	Re-sign Players
c.	Rookie Scouting
d.	NFL Draft
e.	Sign Draft Picks
f.	Free Agent Signing
g.	Set Depth Chart
VIII: Closing Stuff

I: Introduction

One of the main reasons people buy Madden is for the Franchise Mode. No other 
football video game can even come close to it. Every year, EA Sports adds 
something to make the Franchise Mode better than last year's. 2004 is no 
exception. The geniuses at EA Sports have added Owner Mode, which lets you 
experience the life of an NFL owner to the max. This FAQ will guide you through 
an NFL season with your own franchise.

I will try to update this as people send more things in, and I will make a new 
one for Madden 2005. Please email me any questions, comments, corrections, and 
suggestions that you have. Thanks for reading!

II: Copyright Information
This FAQ is copyright 2004 Jason Lai. It may not be sold or used for profit any 
in sort of way. If you would like to post this FAQ on your website, please 
email me at jascl22@hotmail.com. Only the following sites may host this FAQ:


Feel free to print out this FAQ for your own personal use, save it, putting it 
on your website with my approval, tell your pals about it, although include the 
fact that I wrote it.

Do not add anything, take anything, edit anything, plagiarize, or excerpt from 
it without my permission. If you find this FAQ on another site that is not 
listed, please email me.

III: Version History

2/25/04 - 1.0
Wow. I finished this FAQ in one day. That's a first for me. 

IV: Before The Season

a: Selecting Your Team
From the main menu, select Game Modes, Franchise, and then New. Here, you can 
select the options for your Franchise. First, pick how many teams you want to 
control. The next two options, Coaching Changes and Salary Cap, should be 
grayed out. If you select Owner Mode, they automatically will be on. If you 
choose not to do Owner Mode, then you can keep them on or turn them off. If you 
want to do a Fantasy Draft, and create a whole new team, turn it on. 
Now press X. This is where you select your team. If you have a created team, 
press O to load it. To continue, press X, where you can select a new coach. 
When you're ready, start your franchise.

b: Training Camp
Training Camp was a new addition to Madden last year, and now they have put it 
into Franchise Mode. Select it from the franchise menu and pick which drill you 
want to do. Now pick which player you want to use (only certain positions can 
participate in a drill). Note that you can do each drill once and you can use 
each player only once. Here are the nine drills, what you do in them, and the 
positions they are made for.

Pocket Presence- QB: Here, your goal is to throw the ball to each target 
without getting hit by the tennis balls, which represent sacks. You get a bonus 
if you throw several complete passes in a row.

Chase And Tackle- LB, S, CB: Your goal is to tackle the running back. Be 
careful of the barriers, because the rusher will try to use them to get rid of 
you. You get a bonus if you force a fumble or tackle the rusher yourself. You 
get a penalty if the he gets into the endzone.

Swat Ball- LB, S, CB: This is one of the hardest drills in Training Camp. Here, 
you're trying to swat down or intercept the balls thrown out of the machine. 
They are aimed towards several targets. You get a bonus for intercepting a 

Trench Fight- DT, DE: Even though this drill is designed for defensive linemen, 
I like to use it sometimes for offensive linemen as well, because there is no 
drill for them. Your goal is to tag the flags by getting past the other 

Clutch Kicking- K: This one is pretty straightforward. Just kick the ball 
through the goal posts. The darker the color, the higher the score.

Corner Punt- P: Your goal here is to punt the ball in the colored area without 
it rolling into the endzone. A good idea is to kick it out of bounds.

Precision Passing- QB: Here, you have to throw the ball through the colored 
rings. Gold gives you the highest score, followed by silver, then bronze. You 
get a bonus if the receiver catches the ball. You get a larger bonus if you 
catch the ball while you're controlling the receiver.

Ground Attack- HB, FB, TE, WR: Your goal is to run the ball for positive 
yardage. You get a bonus if you get into the endzone. You get a penalty if you 
get tackled behind the line of scrimmage. 
Tip: When running outside, go out of bounds if you know you won't make it to 
the endzone to save time.

Catch Ball- WR, TE, HB, FB: This one is obvious. Catch the balls thrown by the 
machine. You get a bonus if you catch several balls in a row.

If you get a trophy, you can risk your points if you want to try the next level 
of difficulty to get more points. When you decide to quit, you can use the 
points to add attributes to your player. 

c: Preseason
I usually choose to simulate the preseason. If you play, the game should 
automatically substitute players. Let them do this, so all of you players get 
experience and improve. The main reason for the preseason is to make your 
players better and to see who should start during the regular season. You 
shouldn't take these games too competitively, and don't do risky plays that 
would injure your players.
After the preseason, you can view Progressions, or how much your players 
increased in their abilities. Some players improve, some stay the same, and 
some get worse. If one of your players got hurt and is out for the season, you 
can put him on the injured reserve. This will free up a spot on the roster, but 
you can't reactivate the player. When you're ready to advance, select, well, 

V: During The Season
a: Playing/ Simming Games
The regular season is 17 weeks and 16 games long, not including the playoffs. 
To get through this, you have to either play all the games, or simulate all the 
games, or do a bit of both. You can do whatever you like, but I like to sim 
most of my games because it makes Franchise Mode seem more realistic. Do 
whatever suits you best.  

b: Owner's Box 
If you choose to select Owner Mode, you have the responsibilities of a real NFL 
owner. You have to set prices of parking, advertising, concessions, and 

When you select Owner's Box, you get three options. Set Prices, Information, 
and Advisors. The first thing you may want to do is check with your advisors to 
see what needs raising or dropping. If you want to change something, go to Set 
Prices, where you can change the prices for certain items. By the price is an 
arrow. If it's a red arrow pointing down, it means your price is below the 
league average, so you should raise it. If it's a green arrow it means your 
prices are average. If it's red arrow pointing up, it means that you are above 
average. It's best to lower them to keep the fans happy. It's best to keep the 
prices so that it's at the highest price but still in the average area.

Information shows cash statistics. Here you'll find how much your fans support 
you, how the attendance is doing, expenses and income, how your team is doing, 
stadium info, and city info. Use these to make decisions about your team.

c: Rosters
You have several options under Rosters. Here they are.

View Roster: This is where you just view your roster. You can organize the 
columns and make changes in name, number, equipment, and things like that.

Depth Chart: Here you decide your starters, backups, and third-strings. At the 
top is where you decide your 1, 2, and 3 players. At the bottom is the players 
available. The computer usually starts the best players automatically, but you 
can set it manually if you want a rookie to start over an aging veteran, or 
whatever you want.

Substitutions: This is a good place if you want to see what your team will look 
like on the field. You can make specific changes here, like holder. Your depth 
chart should take care of most of this though.

Free Agents: These guys are players that don't have a job in the NFL. If one of 
your players gets injured and you need to fill up a roster space, this is where 
you can sign an extra man. Don't come here thinking you'll be able to sign some 
superstars. Keep in mind that 32 teams with 50-man rosters passed on these 

Trade Block: If you want to trade one of your players for someone else on 
another team or draft picks. Put the players you're offering and what you want, 
and then other teams will give you offers- if you're giving a fair deal. You 
can also view what other teams are offering.

Trade Player: This is where you make specific trades for specific players. 
Again, you post the players that you want to trade. The arrow in the middle 
points to whomever the trade favors more. If your deal is going to go through, 
it almost always has to be pointing at the other team.

Release Player: If one of your players isn't performing, you can release him 
and free up some cap room by releasing him. Be careful, if you gave someone a 
large signing bonus, you will still have to pay the remainder.

Re-Sign Player: Here you can make contract extensions to some of your players. 
It's not good to sign too many players to huge long-term contracts, especially 
veterans, because their rating will go down. However, if you can find a good 
player with a low salary, you can sign him, or else he'll want much more money 
at the end of the season. 

Roster Breakdown: This is where you can see how many players of each position 
you have. If a position is grayed out, it means you do not have enough guys, 
and you have to sign another one before you play another game. 

d: Coach Options
Gameplan: This is a very important screen, especially if you simulate a lot of 
your games. You choose what type of offense and defense you use. You also 
select how much you run and pass, or whether you play aggressively or 

Management: This is where you set how the individual positions play. For 
example, you can set your halfbacks to speed or power, a linebacker to run 
stopping or coverage, etc. You can also set what the CPU handles and doesn't 

Ratings: Here you see how many coaching points you have gotten, and there are 
comments on how well you do your job.

e: League News
This is where you find out what's up in the NFL. Every week, trades, signings, 
injuries, retirements, holdouts, releases, re-signings, and injured reserve 
moves are updated. You can also see awards here, such as Player Of The Week, 
Yearly Awards (MVP, Best QB, etc.), and Horse Trailer. After Week 8, you can 
see Pro Bowl voting.

f: Playoffs
If you are good enough to make the playoffs, you can contend for the Super 
Bowl. To make the playoffs you have to win your division or finish with one of 
the top two records of teams that didn't win their division. If you finish with 
the first or second best records in the conference, you get a first-round bye. 
If you win the Super Bowl... good for you.

VI: After The Season

The first thing after the Super Bowl is the Pro Bowl. Play or sim it. When it's 
over, you can import a draft class from NCAA Football 2004 if you have one 
saved. Now you can advance to the off-season.

a: Stadium
First, you see your balance sheet that shows you your total money made or lost. 
After the season, you have the option to change your stadium, or completely 
rebuild one. Here are the options.

Rename: If you want, you can rename your stadium after a company, who will give 
you money if you accomplish specific goals. The higher the goal, the more money 
they will pay.

Renovate: This is only available for custom-built stadiums. You can change your 
field art.

Rebuild: If you want a completely new stadium, you can build one using this. If 
you plan on doing this, save up some money to build, as this will drain your 
piggy bank.

Relocate: You don't have to pay as much to build a stadium if you relocate to 
another city. If you finish the season in the red for fan support, several 
cities will give you an offer if you relocate there. Or, you can choose another 
city and pay a bit more. When relocating, the first step is to design your 
stadium. There are three seating decks, endzones, field art, roof, and corner 
options that you can make. When you finish, the next step is to Secure Funds. 
Set the two bottom bars all the way to the right, so you get maximum funding. 
The raise the top bar until the likelihood of approval bar turns green. Submit, 
and your offer should get accepted. Now you can change your logo, colors, and 
uniform if you'd like. But prepared to have a bad season financially, because 
the fans won't be happy with you leaving.

Upgrade: Here you can upgrade your stadium by adding features, like cup holders 
and better speakers.

b: Signing Coaches/ Training Staff
There are four coaches that you need on your team: a head coach, offensive 
coordinator, defensive coordinator, and a special teams coordinator. At the 
Sign Coaches screen, the coaches highlighted in red are the ones that need 
filling. If you are in need of a head coach, you can promote one of your 
coordinators or sign a new coach. Search the different categories to find just 
the person you're looking for. Signing a coach is like signing a player, 
although you can choose which position you want him to coach. Some coaches are 
only interested in being head coaches. A coach with higher motivation and 
ethics will progress your players faster. 
Signing a training staff is the same idea. You have many to choose from, ones 
with higher ratings will heal your injured players faster, but of course, they 
are more expensive.

VII: Off-Season

This is where your team gets a whole new makeover for next season. You can 
draft and sign new players, or cut your old ones. 

a: Retired Players
A player usually retires because of their age, but sometimes he gets a really 
bad injury. No matter how he does it, you can't do anything to make him come 
back. It's a good idea to check who you've lost.

b: Re-Sign Players
This is where you sign players who's contracts have expired, or offer contract 
extensions. If you don't have a lot of cap room and you have a whole list of 
players to re-sign, you probably will not have enough money to sign them and 
still have enough to sign rookies. When signing, don't give the player what 
they want. Bargain a little, but don't offer outrageously low contracts, or 
else the player will go into free agency. Start low and work your way up, 
little by little. 

c: Rookie Scouting
Here's where you get a preview of the upcoming draft class. First check your 
roster to see what positions need some talent. If one position is just horrible 
or has an old veteran that is close to retirement, then it's good to draft for 
that position. 
The first step is to designate a few players for scouting. Check the player 
info to see their basic information. You can only scout 15 people, so only 
designate first, second, third, and maybe even fourth rounders. Next is the 
Scouting Combine. This is where you get a few notes about the players you 
scouted. If they are good, keep scouting them. If they are bad, scout some 
others. Next is the Scouting Workout. You get even more details. Same as above, 
keep the good and toss out the bad. Now you should have a pretty good picture 
of who you're hoping to draft. Here's a tip: If you're hoping to get a good 
wide receiver, draft one in the first two rounds. By the fourth, they will be 
all gone, even the lowest rated ones.

d: NFL Draft
Use your draft list to decide which players you pick. If you hear cheers in the 
background, you made a good pick. If nothing happens, then it was an okay pick. 
If you hear boos, well, you just wasted a pick. 

e: Sign Draft Picks
Usually the first and second round picks are the brashest and hardest to sign. 
You can only see their overall rating once you've signed them. As the talent 
level decreases, so does the amount of money they want. Be sure to save enough 
cash to sign free agents.

f: Free Agent Signing
This isn't like the beginning of the season, where all the free agents were 
terrible. Here, there are a lot of good (and old) players who have decided to 
test the free agency waters. You have thirty days to battle with other teams to 
get players to fill your roster. You can simulate the signing period at any 
time. If your offer is rejected, then you are shown who gave the player the 
better offer and how much they offered. 

g: Re-Order Depth Chart
Now that you've got your basic team for next season, you can set your depth 
chart again. If you want your rookies do develop faster, then put them as 
backups or even starters.

VIII: Closing Stuff

Well, there you go. Thanks for reading agina. As always, keep emailing stuff 
in, play Madden, and eat lots of wonton!

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