NFL Head Coach 09 FAQ

NFL Head Coach 09’ FAQ                                 
Version 0.5                    

''''''''''Updates   ''''''''''

8/11/08:  Started my intro and no I did not get this game at midnight!
I can see it now "Nope, not interested in Madden just here to get Head
Coach early"  

8/12/08:  Purchased the game and finished up to the Combine.  

8/13/08:  Finished the first part of the FAQ up to the start of the draft.      

8/14/08:  Finished up to the start of the pre-season games. 

8/20/08:  Still waiting to submit the FAQ as apparently this game has not been
released yet.  

8/24/08:  FAQ on hold until patch is out.  Can not continue as all 3 seasons
are glitched.

9/3/08:  Submitted FAQ (version 0.5) but rejected since I am a idiot when
it comes to understanding margins.  

9/10/08: Resubmitting FAQ in hopes of the format being correct.

9/12/08:  Format incorrect again so resumbitted in hopes third time is a

9/27/08:  Patch has been out and now finishing up the rest of the season.

9/29/08:  Finished season and submitted FAQ (version 1.0)

Contents:(i.e: search for A-4 to jump to Developing your staff)

Starting It Up = A-1
Off Season = A-2
Senior Game Scouting = A-3
Develop Staff = A-4
Combine = B-1
RFA = C-1
Pro Days/Private Workouts  = C-2
NFL Draft = D-1
Signing Draft Picks = D-2
Pre-Season Games = E-1 
Emotional mini game = E-1b
Regular Season = F-1
Scouting players = F-1a
Developing Staff during the season = F-1b
Resigning players = F-1c
Playoffs and Beyond = G-1
Staff Signing = H-1
Q&A session = Q-A


NFL Head Coach 2009 FAQ  

Well here I go again.  Good to see an upgraded next gen version of this game.
The PS2 version I grew tired of, though if you do not have it go get it then
look at my FAQ for it!  *cheap plug*.  You should be able to get a used 
version for under $10.  Or if you are a part of the young and useless crowd
ask your parents. If they don't give you permission, just take a baseball bat,
sneak up behind them, and BAM!! I kid I kid.   

Hopefully having this game packaged in with Madden 09' might get a few new
fans to this game.  Though the joke of an instruction book really grinds my
gears and may drive players away from the game.  Not to mention the numerous
bugs that infest this game.  Sadly I had to buy Madden to get this game
but oh well.  I‘m sure someday I will play Madden.  Besides why not
spend the extra $30 and get Madden I figure?  Yea the extra $30 cuts 
into my alcohol fund but no big deal.  Odds are I will win it back at
my weekly Saturday poker game.  Ok enough of my rambling, you came here
to get answers and game advice not read my random musings.        

Starting it up (A-1)

Ok select new career and chose a team (I chose the Jets since they were 
labeled a weak team and I wanted a challenge).  That and if I can turn
around a weak team then this FAQ should be of some value to you.  
Then you can pick an existing coach or a new coach.  I chose new coach
and named him after myself.  After going through 162 faces that
look nothing like me (how hard would it be to have a simple CAP?)
I settled with #42 I think.  Then you chose your coaching style.  
Be sure to chose the style based on how you plan to play.  I chose Virtuoso.
Now I have the option of choosing my skills with my margarita in one hand 
and the controller in the other.  OK I guess I need two hands on the 

You have 50K points to use and can distribute it between skills and 
special skills.  I chose the following and here is my logic for 
the choices.  

Skills:  Playcalling X 3, Performance X 2, Chemistry X 4.  

Special Skills:  Charisma (though I guess Charm could be an option too 
if you wish).  Based on the theory that I am going to piss off my staff
based on overriding their suggestions.  Speed, based on the logic that
I wanted a faster team.  

Yes I left 10K points to spend later.  Oh and be looking forward to see
what 2nd or 3rd tier skills you want down the road and their cost too.
I kept the 10K because I  want the 2nd tier special skill after Charisma.  
15K to increase all my coaches  performance skills by one is a deal.     

Now you choose your playbook and my default one was weak.  I would not 
recommend  changing the playbook if you have a decent one.  My logic 
for changing the playbook  was based on the fact that I had a weak 
playbook and wanted a stronger one.  I ended up choosing Holmgrens 
West Coast.  I plan to shape the team into a West Coast team.        

Off-Season (A-2)

Here we go!  I chose to start with the off-season since this a FAQ guide
and all.  Oh my overall skill is 14.  Yup not too good at all and have
a hole to dig out of it seems.  Ok first thing you should do is 
check the FA market.  Make a note of guys you  want and fit your
system.  Hmm, I should mention you should have a notebook and  
writing utensil handy.  Go get one now.  I will wait and make 
another margarita..

Ok now go to the Team Philosophy screen and make sure you have it set
to "give up NO control".  Now go to your draft board and at the very 
least set your top ten.  Then go  to clipboard and advance.  

Draft Board - Fix accordingly based on your needs if you have not 
done so already.

Franchise Tag - This will pop up on your clipboard.  I see no reason
to tag anyone but if you feel the need to go ahead.  
For me I had nobody worth tagging.  Victor Hobson?   
Tuiasosopo?  I think not!  As years pass in your career I suggest 
using the tag on disgruntled superstar players or if you are in need
of cap space as the player is paid  the most at his position.   

Team Needs - Select this option so you know whom to scout.  
For me I had RT1, TE1,  RG1, ROLB1, LG1, FS1, LOLB1, RE1, QB1 
and DT2 as my top ten team needs.  I also know I  need a RB that
can catch the ball as I am running a West Coast system.  

Senior game Scouting (A-3)

Sr. All Stars - Here you get to scout a few quarterbacks in this game.  
Be honest with  yourself.  If you do not plan to get a QB in round one 
pass on Flacco.  I chose mid  rounders and picked Brennan, Dixon, 
Woodson and Henne.  After you are done go to the  draft board and 
see that the scouting % has increased from 33% to 46%.  You should get
some data added as well.  Just press square to get the info.  Oh I 
just found out you  can press left and right as opposed to L1 and R1 
on the main screen.  

Season Goals -  You will get 3 goals from the owner.  Apparently my owner
is a fool  thinking I am going to get a RG, TE and a RT rated 85 of higher.
No matter I am up  for the task and will land some free agents then.  
Interestingly enough if you play as Green Bay one of the goals says 
get rid of Favre and try to convince the masses you did the right thing.
Actually I am kidding.  Or am I?  Hmmmm...  

Sr. Allstar (HB - DB) -  Same applies for the others as it did for the QB.  
I chose  Hester, Forte, Hills, Forsett, C. Johnson and Schmidt.  I found it
odd 2 players were  compared to the same NFL player (Brian Leonard in case
anyone cared).   Oh before I  continue I suggest you turn the EA ticker off.
I was puzzled for a moment when I saw  that Seau was thinking of retiring. 
I was like in the game or in real life?  I will  list the other players I 
scouted below:    

For WR:  Shields, Hawkins, Avery, Jackson, Swann & Davis For OL:  Seeing 
how I need an 85 or higher as per my owner I focused on more high rated  
players.  Williams, Baker, Pollak, Wallace, Rinehart, Radovich, Cousins  
& Sullivan

For DL:  Chris Ellis, Jones, Fluellen, Rubin, Langford, B. Jackson

For LB:  Bell, Dizon, Adabi, Crable

For DB:  I chose Lee, Porter and Demps 

For K/P:  There were only 3 so I chose all 3.  

A tip I have for you at no monetary cost to you is to look at the +’s and -’s 
for the  players.  Obviously you need players that fit your scheme.  
If you plan to be a run  heavy team why take a look at a guy who has 
3 minuses for run blocking?  Also if you  see a guy that has 2 pluses
and it says "none" just stay far away from him. Since I am  in a giving
mood here is another free tip.  Do not be concerned about the rating being
a 1 for some of the players.  As you scout them more their number will go
up.  I dunno  why they just do not have a ? instead of a 1 since it is a 
tad bit misleading seeing a  projected rating of 1 for the player.  

This finishes the Sr. Scouting portion of this FAQ.  Make sure you update 
your draft  board before moving onto the next task.  Also I noticed Adam 
Schefter (from the NFL  channel) said that the QB from Kentucky tossed 3 
Tds that game and was the MVP of the  game.  He also said the QB from USC
was awful (ok not in those exact words but you get  what I mean).  I 
would make note of this in your notebook you have by your side.  I  
just put an up arrow and down arrow by their names.  I also added any 
extra notes on  them I felt necessary.     

Develop Staff (A-4) 

Now you will have a chance to see your crack coaching team.  
You see a nice picture  you and your rating too.  Yup a whopping 14 points
for my skill.  As I scrolled  through my team I noticed that my DB coach 
had a rating of 1, my OL coach had a  whopping rating of 5 and my Strength
and Conditioning coach was a 4.  I fully plan to  fire them when I get the
chance so write down the jabronis who lack talent and  practice your best
Donald Trump impression.  Oh and make note who has special skills.   
I figure why copy their skills when you upgrade your coach.  As in 
real life have  coaches who can make up for what you lack in.        

But wait you are thinking what should I spend my points on?    
Well valued reader of this FAQ I shall tell you.  Granted 
it depends on what your coach lacks compared to  the other 
coaches.  But I would focus first on these skills for the 
following coaches.

You/HC - Provided you chose Charisma like I said earlier I would 
save up 15K so you  can choose the Leadership special skill thus 
giving all your coaches a nice upgrade.

OC - Focus on what you lack in.  I also suggest you focus on a 
few special skills.  For mine I noticed one of the special 
skills increased the playbook skill by one.  Hmm spend 10K 
for the same thing in skills or spend 4250 in special skills
and accomplish the same thing.  No brainer. 

DC-  Chose a strong run or strong pass defence and focus on that.    

All positional coaches -  Up to you.  I lean towards development skills 

GM- Start with small school scouting.  This helps out a lot.  
Having every small school player starting with 33% scouted is
a huge help.  Next focus on mid school scouting.  Unless your
GM is a dope with contract skills then I would boost those  
stats first.

*tip*  If you have an inept coach and plan to fire him at years
end do not waste your  time upgrading him.  Why allow another
team to benefit?  I would not do this with more  than 2 coaches

*tip2*  don’t waste your points on the Ambition skill.  
Do the Math!  To lazy to do  it?  I should preach to you about
not relying on others but you probably hear that  already at 
school.  Therefore I will help you out.  For every 100K worth 
of points you  save a mere 15K.  Seeing how the price is 20K for 
the 15% off!  Oh and if you are  still hellbent on choosing Ambition 
make sure it is the FIRST skill you choose as to  get the discount 
for the other skills.      

Combine (B-1)

Ok you are now at the combine!  Break out a margarita!  Get your notebook
ready!  I  hope you can take decent notes. 

We start off with the OL.  I suggest taking the top guys from each stat
category and  writing them down.  For example the top bench press 
leaders were Gibson, Adams and  Crommey.  After taking the notes 
you advance to the part where you get to interview  the players.  
Note that you can see the projected rating for the players based 
on the  combine workout.  I noticed with a few players they had 
a HUGE gap between Senior game  ratings and combine ratings.  
Wallace was one such example who had a 62 Pass blocking  
rating in the Senior game and had an 83 pass blocking from 
the Combine.  This reeks of  red flags to me.  I chose to 
avoid him based on the theory that he was either dogging  
it in the game or he had an abnormal workout.  Either way 
I made a note of it and do  not feel he is a "safe" pick.      

Choose your players you want to have a face to face with and choose some you
liked at  the Senior game.  This will increase the % number and you get to 
have a better idea of  their true abilities.  Take note of their personality
as well.  Do you really need a  locker room full of Type A’s or egomaniacs?
If you see a player who has "Optimistic" make a note since he will be more
apt to be flexible in contract talks.  Lastly I  suggest you take a look 
at their durability!  I had a guy who was in the 80’s.  Why  would you 
draft a player that can’t stay healthy and use a high round pick on him?
Make a note of those whose stock has dropped for you and then go to the
draft board  and readjust as necessary.  

Next up is the K/P and is fairly easy.  Same rules apply for the OL 
but this time  choose all the ones from the Senior game plus any 
others you want.  I was able to talk  to all but one punter.  
Once again change the draft board after the interviews.           

Next up are QBs followed by RBs and WRs.  Same rules apply here.  
Always be looking  for mid round steals at these positions.  Also 
pay attention to the ticker below.   Make note of who is pissed off
at their team.  For me it was Lance Briggs.  Maybe I  can land him
in a trade?

Before you finish the combine the knowledgeable Adam Schefter mentions 
who had a good  combine workout and who had a poor one.  For me I had 
the WR from LSU have a poor  workout.  The LT from USC had a monster 
workout.  I made notes of this and figure the  results from each player
may not be 100% accurate.  Though I will keep an eye on those  players
and adjusted my draft board accordingly.     

RFA (C-1)

Okay by now you should know what positions you need to go after in FA.  
If not you  disappoint me.  Go back and look at your owners demands and
your team needs.  Then go  look at your salary cap number.  This is 
IMPORTANT since you have no business going  after guys you can not fit
under the cap.  If you are dead set on getting high priced  players 
time to cut the dead weight.   I tried to trade away my dead weight 
and put  them on the trade block in hopes of a team calling me.  You 
go to trade and select  trade away if there is a check mark by the 
name you have successfully put them on the  trade block.  

Lots of things go on during the RFA portion of the game.  
I suggest putting the speed  to slow if you have not done so already.  
An example of one of the many things that go  on was a Mock Draft by 
the NFL network by some guy whose name I forget.  Be sure to  make 
good notes from the mock draft and see where each guy is projected.  
Compare it  to your draft board.  If you have some guy going in the 
top ten of the draft and the  mock draft does not have the player in 
the 1st two rounds you might want to rethink  your draft board.  
Lastly, any player you have an eye on mark down where they are 
projected to go.  Ok I lied the real last thing to do is at 
least to copy down all the  picks up to your draft spot and then 
3 more past your draft spot (or more if you are  motivated like me
and did the whole thing) so you can see who is projected to go where
and what each team has for needs.      

After the Mock Draft you might have two other things going on 
(refilling your drink  does not count though) I had Hanesworth
available for talks and a trade offer.  I  figured the trade offer 
was more important and looked at it.  I was offered a sub par  TE (72 rating)
for a 4th round pick.  You have a list of about 12 offers (no you can not 
make your own it like in Madden) and there are stars by each one.  The more 
stars  the better the offer.  I countered with a 5th round pick but the other
GM refused and  then wanted my 6th and 7th rounders for the upcoming draft.
I declined and the  negotiations were over.  Oh there is a timer so you 
can not be slow and must make  quicker choices during a trade.  Unlike the
last version where I could go to the mini  mart while the game was 
advancing and get a snack.  

I quickly went to the Hanesworth option to see what the fuss was all about.  
The bids  were fast and furious and eventually by looking at the upper part 
of the window you  can see the teams dropping out of the bidding.  I figured
what the hell and ended with  52 million and won the auction beating out 
his original team.  You think it is over?   Nyet!! Now you have to hammer 
out a fair deal with the guy.   He wanted a 5 year deal  and a lot for a 
signing bonus (26 mil) plus 3 bonuses  (50 tackles, 10 sacks and Pro  Bowl)
that would add another 5 million.   UGH!  We went back and forth and I 
wanted a  lower signing bonus.  We were unable to agree on a deal and I
assume he went to the  last team that bid and signed with them.  
Oh well no big deal.  There will be much  more players to sign and
DT was not even high on my list.     

I decided to look for a TE in a trade and went to the trade option.  
Unlike Madden you  do not choose who you want to trade away for the 
player you want.  You choose the player you want and the other team
makes you an offer.  If the player has a check by  their name they 
are more apt to be traded.  If they have no check then you are going
to have to give up a lot for the player (provided they even want to trade 
with you).   I browsed the players on the trade block (the ones checks next 
to their names) and  figured I would take Jolly (a DT) from Green Bay based
on the fact that his salary is dirt cheap and if I can’t have Hanesworth
I will get Jolly damn it!  Well they wanted  a 4th rounder and a 6th 
rounder from me!  To hell with that!  I left that trade as  well.    

Disgruntled but moving on I managed to bypass a lot of the other free agents
and  focused on the ones that were on my list.  I learned do NOT get into 
a bidding war.  That is a sure fire way to be over the cap in a hurry.  
Create a budget for each  player/position.  If you have 22 million to 
spend earmark a certain amount for offence  and defence.  Also remember
you need cap space to sign your draft picks later on.  Only time I 
allow you to bid high is to chase away division rivals.  For example 
the  Fish wanted Ken Lucas.  I outbid them making it a 2 way race 
between me and another  team.  I then dropped out of the bidding 
and let the other team win.  Thus preventing  the Fish from getting 
Lucas or being in the last two.  

Be prepared to go through this a lot.  The whole free agent bidding thing 
that is.   You do not have to bid or even look at the bid.  Just let the timer
tick down or press  circle.  Though I suggest you do look at the bidding and
see what they want .  Many  times in the later weeks there are players with 
no bids.  I was able to lowball them  and they were forced to take my offer.  
I got Samkon Gado for my backup for under a  million.  Some other tips are if
you plan to sign a star player be sure they have some decent players on their
side of the ball or you might get a message that says how they  have an 
attitude change thus decreasing their number.  

After getting the players I wanted I ended up with my GM giving me a +37 
and another +4 for getting the OL the GM wanted.  Though I lost quite a 
few players to free agency  and only added 2 so my overall approval from
the players went down 2 points.  Though  my staff gave me a +18.   
My approval rating is now a 56.   This calls for a drink!

Pro Days/Private Workouts (C-2)

This will go on during the FA portion of the game.  
You will get 21 schools to visit.   At least I got 21.  I won’t bore
you with the schools I chose but I mixed between  large, medium and
small schools.  I obviously went to the big schools with double  
digit recruits practicing.  I also bypassed a few big schools with
3 for a small  school with 1 or 2.  It does not hurt to get more
info on mid rounders and these  players will slip through the 
cracks in the draft.  Be sure to readjust your draft board after
you visit the campuses.    

For the workouts just pick the top guys you want to know more about.  
I picked the  first two on my draft board.  Then I picked one mid 
rounder and the rest were good  players I felt could slip in the 
draft or were players whose stock was rising.  You should have an
idea of who you want to meet with. 

Lastly, you will see the preseason schedule and get the goals for the season.
Make  note of the goals and read them CAREFULLY.  One of them says draft 
a player with  potential of 85 or higher in the first round.  If you read 
the fine print below it also says round 2.  Just as in real life with 
used car lots and sub prime loans read  the fine print!  Consider this
a public service announcement. 

Here is a short list of players with a potential rating greater than 85. 
Mind you this  may NOT be 100% accurate based on what coaching systems 
you have.  

QB: Woodson, J. Johnson, Ryan 
RB: McFadden
WR: Avery, E. Bennett
OL: Baker, 
LB: Gooden, Rivers, 
DT: Okam 
DB: Stiltz, Jenkins, Kenny Phillips 

Thanks to digitalnamshub, White_Jaguar, Killmonsternow from the GameFAQ board 
for some  of the ratings.   Yes I do give credit where credit is due! 

Before the Draft starts go over your draft board and take notes of players you  
interviewed and see if they will truly fit on your team or not.  Don’t be 
swayed by a  big name if they do not fit into your system.  Make sure you
have enough roster space  to sign your rookies too.  After a FA recap 
and a quick check of your approval rating  (mine is now a 56) take a breath,
get a snack, stretch and get ready for the draft.

*tip*  I have found out having certain players high on your draft board
sometimes  affects your trade offers.  I found out putting Jake Long #1
on your draft board will  get you trade offers as opposed to you putting
a late 1st or early 2nd rounder as your top pick

NFL Draft (D-1) 

Hey how ironic D1 for division 1 and being the draft and well.. never mind.  
Your notebook should have your top players you want and your projected round
for them.    

You have 10 minutes per pick in real time.  While you are waiting you
can do the pick  the pick option (or just be impatient and select 
advance pick) no you are not picking  for the other team but making
a prediction of who they will draft.  By doing so enough  times you
get a point boost from the GM.  Seeing how you are going to piss him
off by  rejecting his dopey suggestions in the draft I suggest you 
start predicting.   The  first few picks are easy (especially if you
are doing the 2008 draft) as the first 3  picks are somewhat true 
to real life.  After I did the draft (and saved as a new file)  I 
went back and simmed the draft 14 times and got the following results.  

Miami - Jake Long (14/14 times)
STL - Chris Long (9/14) Gholston (5/14)
ATL - Matt  Ryan (8/14) McFadden (5/14) Traded down (1/14)
OAK - Dorsey (8/14) McFadden (4/14)  Chris Long (2/14)
KC -  Clady (9/14)  Ryan (3/14) McFadden (1/14) traded down (1/14)
NYJ (is me but my GM kept wanting Gholston if he was on the board)
Cincy - Brooks (13/14)
NO - Mayo (8/14)
Seattle - Dustin Keller (11/14) if they pass on him odds are the Bolts 
will draft him.

I chose McFadden despite the GM wanting Gholston.  I was tempted to
take a trade with  the Panthers as they offered this years 2nd round
and next years 1st round and 5th  round. I declined and the aftermath
was my staff losing 5 respect points for me and an angry GM.  

Keep predicting the picks unless you are unsure about it.  Also watch out
for trade  offers as a team may want to trade down.  Oh if you chose to 
trade up and lose the bid  for it (or run out of time!) be sure to pick 
the pick as the team who traded up (yes it is a bug) has one player 
in mind and usually it is easy to predict.  The team trades up for a need  
so if the team needs a TE and if there is a good one left on the board
odds are they will chose him.  By the time I hit round 2 and picked Brohm 
as the Packers choice I  got a +2 boost from the GM.  Oh the Mock Draft I 
told you to write down earlier should  also help you not only with
the pick the pick but with seeing who should be going  where. 

You can also trade down but you have to reject the GMs choice which is more
negative  respect points.   The trades are timed so be quick.  If you do 
not like the trade  offers you can choose to ask for a better offer.  
Sometimes the team will and  sometimes they won’t.  You can try to 
choose a package but you have to be quick and  odds are the team 
will not accept unless it close to the original offer.  Use the
stars on the left hand side as your gauge.  If the best offer
is a 2 star you won’t  get a 5 star offer.  You are not forced
to trade away the pick if you hate all the  offers.  Though you
are forced to pick a player and can no longer trade the pick away.        

I also found out by sheer dumb luck that picking a popular player 
that the fans like  increases your fan rating.  I picked Jackson 
from Appy St. and got a +7 boost.  Wow for the first time in a 
long time the Jets fans cheer a pick!  By the end of day one I 
had managed to get an overall boost of 1 making my rating a 57.  

--Draft Day Two--

Before you start go back over your draft board and update as necessary.  
You can check  the news page and get a breakdown of all the trades on the
day.  For day two you have  5 minutes per pick.  Start looking for your 
mid round and sleeper picks.  Don’t be  afraid to take a chance on a player.
I took Woodson in late round 4 and the NFL  network praised my pick (they
also praise the Dixon pick).  I also got a trade offer  for Gado and a pick.
I needed to free up cap space and wanted an extra pick so I  accepted.  
I used that pick to get the FB Hester and lost a point on it making me a 
56.  Even though we had nobody at FB!  What I found interesting was the
GM wanted a  MLB in round 3 and the same one in round 4 until he was 
drafted in early round 6.  I  found this strange as the GM must wanted
a real reach to get this guy in round 3 if he  was passed on by 
everyone else till round 6.  

I would not recommend predicting the picks in the later rounds as it is a
crapshoot.  If you do not see anyone in the late rounds worth drafting 
feel free to trade the pick  away for a pick next year.  Or you can 
draft the GMs recommendation and get a slight boost.  I chose to 
trade away some late round picks and figured I could pick up the 
players I wanted in round 7 after the draft.  I wisely wrote them
down in my notebook.     

When it was all said and done I got the goal of getting the 1st and 2nd 
round picks  with a potential of 85 or greater.  I also got the sleeper
pick as well.  Though I  refused to take non need players just to 
appease the GM.  The end result being a  negative boost of 12 when
it was all said and done.  Luckily I balanced it out by  picking
the pick.  I also had a negative boost from the players since I 
let Gado be  traded.  What the hell?  He never met the team or 
stepped foot on the field!  Thus  lowering my rating to a mere 53.     

After the draft and not worthy of it’s own section is the undrafted rookie 
bidding.   Any player left over you can bid on.  Get those names you wrote
down earlier and  remember you only can bid on 5 max to bring to camp.
This is somewhat timed so you  have to be fast.  Pick the players you 
want and no mulling it over.  Then focus on the  top one and stay on 
him.  Watch the timer tick down and if another team bids on the  guy
increase your bid.  Unless the price is too high then choose #6 on
your list and  go after him.  Also quickly switch back and forth 
between players just to see if your  other picks are being bidded on.
Though I suggest you focus on your top guy first.   Once the timer 
is done you have the player under contract.  Now not every player is  
going to have the same timeframe.  Some you may have 1 minute to make 
offers.  Others have 90 seconds.   Obviously if the guy has a long time 
frame you can move screens but  don’t forget to switch back 
to make sure you have the high bid.  

Only thing left now is to free up cap space if needed for your draft picks.  
I had to  cut 2 players to make cap space.  If you can work a trade for those
players great!   Just go to trade and select trade away and click on the 
player you want traded.   Choose trade away, select the player and it will
say there is no interest or you will  get a trade offer.  Having cut 2 
players this lowered my player rating by 2 points.   

** IMPORTANT**  Please make sure you are keeping tabs on cap penalties!
Cutting  players will give you a cap penalty more often than not.  
Too many and your GM WILL  fire you!  This happened to me as I was 
ignorant to this.  Ignorance is NOT bliss in  this case!  I ended up
getting a warning from the GM after week 3 of the preseason.  I  
was forced to make more cuts before the regular season and was 
forced to cut players  with no cap penalty.  I was short one player
and had to cut a player with 30K cap  penalty (the lowest cap hit I had 
left).  I was promptly fired before the regular  season began!!  
Don’t let this happen to you!  Lastly, do NOT rely upon the cap 
space screen as it is not accurate.  Keep a running tab of your
penalties in your notebook.   I do not know what the magic number
is yet since I think each team might have a  different magic number.  

Signing Draft Picks (D-2)

This is not all that hard but you need to budget!  Don’t go tossing out mega
contracts!  Yes your first round pick will demand big bucks and will want
the max  offer.  You should be able to get away with a lesser contract a
few spots above the  max offer.  You will go through each pick and if 
you can not agree on a deal that is  OK.  The player will return later
to make a new offer.  The only downside to this is  they might miss 
the start of training camp.  The plus side is there is a chance you
may get a new goal that says sign your 1st round draft pick.  
An easy goal as the second round of talks you should be able to
sign him.    

Also you can not choose the length of the deal.  All my picks were
set in years and  only the money and incentives were different.  
I did have a backup want a bonus if  they started every game.  
What a fool!  I jumped on that offer as a 65 rated player  
will not start every game (barring an injury in the preseason).  
The philosophy screen  should pop up and make sure you have the 
control set the way you want.  After that you  will get new goals
from the GM.  Damn he is pushy!  

The GM wanted me to trade with Philly for Darren Howard, trade away
Thomas Jones, get  some players 50 reps in pre-season (easy!) and 
also add 10 new plays. 

** IMPORTANT**  There is an injury glitch in this game!  If you enter 
play creator  during a career from the coach clipboard it will turn 
off injuries (they did not want  your players getting hurt in create
a play mode I guess).  But then after you are done  the injuries 
never get turned back on. So the injury roster becomes frozen, 
no new  injuries will occur and anyone currently on the injured
list will never come out of  it. You can create plays during a
game and from the main menu. You just can't go into  play 
creator off the clipboard. 

I was too lazy (and nervous) to create plays right now so I went online
to get them.   Oh you can press R1 to change pages seeing how I thought
there was only one page of  plays.  I was going to gripe about too few
plays available then waste time making  plays in my semi drunken rage.
Though luckily some nice poster named Saintsdamnbirds  told me I 
could press R1.  Oh I forgot that my last few goals were to get some
players  playbook knowledge up to a certain % or higher.  
If you have to increase playbook  knowledge for players on 
one side of the ball I strongly suggest adding plays from the
other side of the ball.  

I hosed up on the trade as I was unaware I had to do it ASAP.  
I was looking over my  players I wanted to trade to Philly and 
I get a FAIL message!  WTF?  Upon further  review the Packers 
made a trade with Philly before I had a chance to act.  Green Bay
gets the player and I failed my task!   I first thought I could
trade with Green Bay  but they wanted much more than I was willing
to give up for the player.  Also I  noticed the goal said failed 
and clearly said trade with Philly, not trade with Green Bay because
you were too slow to get it right the first time.  I drowned my 
sorrow in  another margarita which makes it #6 for those keeping
score at home.            

Next was the training camp invites which is a bunch of drifters, 
CFL players, AFL players, XFL players and anyone else they found
to fill out your roster.  Most of them  reek of heinousity.  
No matter, maybe one has the potential to fill a roster spot. 
Write down in your notebook any players you think have potential.         

Go to the FA list and grab anyone you want for cheap.  I highly
suggest you max out  your roster if possible.  But keep one spot
open so the CPU will offer trades.  I  managed to trade away Jones
to Dallas for a 3rd round pick and their 7th round in  2010.  Back
to the FA’s though, they will be one year deals for the league 
minimum  based on their status (rookie, vet, ..etc).  I found 
one of the guys I cut to free up  cap space was still bagging
groceries so I signed him for much cheaper than what I was  paying him
(2.5 million vs. 850K).  I also grabbed Ty Law for 1 million.  Now 
take a  gander at your roster and set your depth chart.  Put anyone
on the trade block you  want and then check their health.  No point
giving them reps in camp if they are  banged up.  I had 3 players 
at 75% health so I benched them and moved onto the next  task which is the
start of Training Camp.

Training Camp

You will see how many days till your first pre-season game.  
You have from now till  then to get your team ready.  Seeing 
how I have a new playbook to teach to the team  this could be
rough.   Before I started I went to roster and changed the 
numbers of my  rookies as having a rookie be #4 on the Jets just
seems wrong.   Also take a look at  some of the stats.  I had a 
QB who had better catching skills than 3 of my current Wrs.  
You can edit their position and you might want to do so.  
If not make a note of  it for now since you might want to 
do so later on.   

Draft Preview - Nothing really to see here.  Just make a note of the
sleepers if you  want.  Make note of how deep each position is 
based on the number of stars.  

Gameplan Drills -  You can choose one from the list so choose wisely.
I chose  playbook for my top draft pick since I want him familiar 
with the playbook.  Hell  seeing how I have a new playbook I need 
to focus on getting everyone up to speed with  the plays.  But I 
chose my top draft pick first.  If you are comfortable with the  
players knowledge of the playbook and kept the system the same 
then I would focus on a  few key plays.  Write these plays down
 in your notebook.  Trust me.  

Practice Recap -  After you are done you get a breakdown of the 
days practice.   Hopefully it went well and players increased 
their knowledge of the playbook.   Check  the fatigue lost as 
well with the L2 button.    

Health and Conditioning -  This will pop up after practice.  
Keep an eye on those who  are hurting and rest them if need be.  
If the team as whole is getting worn out choose  the day off option
when you get to the next Gameplan Drill.  This will also give you
a boost from the players (for me it was +7).  

Draft holdout -  If you did not sign everyone you have chances
to do so now.  The one  late round pick I had that held out 
returned with a reasonable offer.  Apparently he  came to his
senses and realized a 7th round pick has no leverage.  I 
accepted his  offer and he was now a part of the team.  If 
you have a first round pick holdout and  got the goal of signing
him now is the time to do so.    

Trades -  Always check the injury report every day.  Make a note of
who is hurt long  term on what team.  If a team has lost it’s 
backup HB and you have a HB willing to  trade away this is to 
your benefit.  *note* You can not trade away for a player whose
potential on the other team is not unlocked.  I also would keep
an eye on the ticker  below and see who is holding out of camp. 
I noticed Lance Briggs was sitting out of  camp and I figured now 
would be a good time to offer a trade.  Sadly the cap space is  
too much for me at the moment for me but I figure the longer he
holds out the better  chance he will be up for trade.    

Rookie Progress -  A list of who is progressing.  Make notes of the
numbers.  You will  be comparing them as the weeks go by.

Cuts - You have to get your roster down for the first game
so I had to cut 5 players.   Notice you can not see their
entire ratings from this screen nor can you back out.   
See why I said write down the numbers?  No big deal for 
me as the ones I cut were  rated in the 40’s and low 50’s.  
I then went to the news option and looked at all who  got cut.
I made a note of any players I might want and looked at them
on the FA list.   I compared them to my players and dumped 
an extra DB I had for another QB who might  have potential.      

*tip*  Always have one open spot on the roster for trades.  
The CPU will not offer you  a trade for a player unless you 
have an open roster spot.  

*tip 2*  Let’s say you are using Grudens West Coast system.  
I would advise to signing  any vet players that team cuts.  
They will have the playbook mostly learned and I’d  rather 
have a backup that knows the playbook.  

Develop Staff - Unless you have points to spend it is not 
worth your time.  Come back  to this option later.  

Well, as luck would have it my starting center is out for 7 weeks
due to an injury in  practice.  I now must scout the waiver wire
to get a replacement.  I also got a boost  of +22 from the GM 
since I did not draft any busts so my approval is now at 57.   

Before you start the first pre-season game I suggest you look at your playbook
and choose 20 plays you like total.  It can be 10 offence and 10 defence.
Or 9 and 11 or  whatever.  Write down those plays in your notebook. Along
with the ones you practiced  in camp for a total of 20.  

Pre-Season games  (E-1)

Ok finally you get to actually play a football game!  The NFL network made
a comment  how I was going to be out coached and the team was not prepared.
I assume that is  based on the playbook knowledge or lack there of.  

Using the 20 plays you have ONLY use those plays for the game.  
I see no reason to  have my team run a play once or twice.  
You keep running the same plays ALL game.   This will increase
their knowledge of the plays much faster.  Who cares if you 
lose  since it is only preseason.  The whole point here is to
get your team masters of the  plays you like.  Do NOT supersim 
in the pre-season.  Ok I guess if you want to you can  but I do 
not recommend you do so.  

*note*  If you have players that require a certain % of the playbook learned
I would  do the math from the size of your playbook and every time the player
learns a play  make note of it (name of play in your notebook).       

Pay attention to the coaching bars and if they are all low for the play
then the  success rate of the play may not be all that great.  Also pay
attention to the side  bars between plays and the percentages.  
If the numbers show a low chance of a  successful scenario on the
field (i.e: 1st and long) switch to a different play from  the 20
you selected.  I know I am contradicting myself here but why go 3 and out?
You want more reps right?  I usually went Unlearned on 1st and 2nd
and then picked a  learned play for 3rd if need be.  

I kept my first string out there the full half, mainly to increase knowledge
and also  to get the 50 downs GM requirement in.  I managed to get a nice 2
minute drill (yes there is a bug with that as you have no control over the 
play and the same play gets run over and over again.  Unless you call a 
timeout.  If you have none left you are in as much trouble as Joe Namath
after a few drinks on MNF.  Wouldn't that make a cool mini game though?
in but sadly my joke of a rookie WR (I got in rookie bidding)
dropped 3 balls in the end  zone.  I screamed at him with the emotion option
and yes he lost points but I really do not care.  He better start packing
his bags if he keeps this crap up.  Though if you have Tatum Bell on your
team I think he steals bags.  I kid I kid.  I went for it on 4th and goal and 
yup the same player dropped the ball again.  Asinine!  I was down 3 to 7
at the half.  

I put in my 2nd string for both sides for the 3rd quarter though I went
into depth  chart and kept the players who needed the playbook % up in
the game.  Now this will  mess with your data as it may say unlearned 
for the play as the backups do not know  the play.  Stay away from the 
learned plays you wrote down earlier and call new plays.  If this does
not apply to you then ignore that advice.  As the game went on sure
enough my backup C got hurt and is out for 5 months.  Son of a @#%$!
I had to put a backup  3rd string RG in to replace him. My Defence 
managed to give up 100 yards on the ground  so I kept calm 
(we were only down by 4) which backfired and decreased their rating.  
I made a note of this for future reference.  

Also I accidentally picked a different play 
from the 20 I had and it really showed as the LB  
was out of position with the end result being the 
other team getting a TD and it was  14 to 3.   
I got a FG to open the 4th and I was now down by 8.  
I was forced to kick the onside  in another defining 
moment but failed.  I lost points from the players but 
my overall  approval went to 65.  I then put my 3rd string
ers in to close out the game.  My 3rd  string RB broke a few 
tackles and went 78 yards for the TD.  I used emotion on him 
and  it worked.  Looks like I will not be cutting him anytime 
soon. I went for the two and got it on a PA pass.  Tie ballgame.

My defence held tight but had given up 150  rushing yards.  
I used the emotion choice and it worked.  I had the option of 
stealing  plays near the end of regulation.  Steal a play that 
fits your scheme!  Two missed 50  yard field goals by the other 
team helped to get the game to OT.  In OT I drove down  the field 
and got it to 1st and goal.  I ran 3 times and got to the 3 yard 
line.  On  4th down I got that defining moment option to go for it.  
What a DUMB idea!  I kicked  the FG and lost points but won the game.
For future reference I suggest you kick the  GWFG on 3rd before that 
option pops up.  

After the game pull out your notebook and write down all the progression
numbers from  your rookies.  You will compare these numbers after every
game.  You should also have  reached your 50 play goals for the players.
This gave me a one point boost to 66  overall.  Next, check the injury 
report for the league and make notes of who is hurt  long term.  You 
should get a pop up that says how long your player(s) that got injured
are out for.  You can chose to put them on the IR though I only 
would do that if the  injury is a long term one or the player has a 
high salary and you desperately need to  free up cap space.  Since my 
backup center got injured I had to check the FA pool to  get a replacement.
This seems to be a weekly occurrence for me. 

Cut Day #2 -  This should be easier than the first cuts as players 
who did not perform  well got the boot from me. You also have your 
progression notes to use.  I cut a few under performing vets and the
loser who dropped 3 passes in the end zone.  Once again  go to the 
news option and see who else was cut and make note of who you want to 
get.  I also STRONGLY suggest (again!) if you are using a new system 
like me you should go  after players from that old system.  I grabbed 
vets from Seattle that were cut and  they have full knowledge of the 
playbook.  I cut a few fringe players and replaced  them with Seattle vets.
Now I have a TE and LG that know my system.  Lastly check  your skill points
though I doubt you have enough to increase your coaches skills.     

I won’t give you a play by play of my 2nd preseason game but I did the
same as game one with a few slight tweaks. Any mastered plays I backed off 
on calling and used  other plays instead.  I still had my original 20 but
added 8 more plays.  I also found  out if you call a regular 
defence play for the PAT it helps them learn the play so why  
bother calling a FG block?   Also, if one of your goals is to 
have a certain player  know a certain % of the playbook then I 
would still give that player more reps.  Just  move him on the 
depth chart in game at the half.    

I played the starters the first quarter and then focused on my backups 
as I needed to  find out their potential.  I was up 10-0 after the first
quarter and it was all  downhill from there.  On the TD I decided to go
for it on 4th and goal since it was  another defining moment (now at 73).
I scored the TD and my rating increased to 89.   My backups were hit or 
miss but I got a clearer picture of who is getting cut.  I had  a nice 
kickoff return for 96 yards but holding brought it back.  I had quite a
few  drops and missed tackles and blown coverage by the backups so I 
made note of who is  screwing up.   My 3rd string HB had another great
game (162 yards) so he is safe and  will make the final roster.   

Your sole purposes for this game should be talent evaluation and 
playbook knowledge.   Also take risks this game when it comes to 
defining moments.  I had another one on 4th  and 2 at the 50 yard
line.  I went for it (now at 85) but failed (now at 82).  Being 
behind late in the game I went for 2 onsides but missed both but
the end result was my  rating at 96.  This should secure my job 
for a while (I hope) despite the 42 to 29  loss.   I had a drink 
and was quickly over the loss.      

Emotional boosts (E-1b) - I was unsure where to put this but I figured
it out  somewhat.  Using your notebook make a list of the players who
have certain personality  types.  The ones that are easy going and 
laid back you should be calm towards.  I also  forgot to mention you
should look at your coach personality traits as well.  If you  are 
a hot head then it seems being emotional is far more greater than a 
level headed  coaches emotional response would be at least on the 
graphics in the game.  I also  suggest you get the Charisma special
skill (if you ignored my advice earlier) as for  me the positive 
reactions I get are +4 and the negative reactions are -1 more often
than not.  When I learn more I will add to this later. 

Preseason games / E-1 continued

Trades - check the trade block and see if there are teams in need.
I lucked out as  Chicago had a QB injury and offered me a draft 
pick for him.  

Cuts #3 - Okay you should have a list of players you want gone.  
I found it hard to  part with Kellen Davis since I got him in a 
later round and thought it would be a  steal but he has played 
poorly.  He is at 50 and his potential is 56 and his learning
ability is a 40.  Do not be afraid to cut players is my advice.  
I did not want to  admit to myself I picked a dud but ended up 
giving him the boot.  Also, if you are on  the hot seat I would
go with players who can produce now.  Why have a SS who is a 61
but has a potential of 88 when you have a SS who is a 77 and 
has maxed out his  potential?         

The remaining pre-season games -  Yes I know there are other events
that occur between  now and the end of pre-season but I have 
covered all those events above.  Just keep an eye out for FA’s 
and injuries.  For the last pre-season games I suggest the following:    

Game 3 focus on getting as much as the playbook learned if not 
mastered for all the  starters.  You can easily pull up their 
learning progress with R3 in the roster screen.  
If they are mastered for say goalline do not bother calling a 
lot of those  plays.  If you have to get certain players to a 
certain % once again leave them in for  the second half.  
Also keep a running tab of plays they have learned or mastered.  
If players get fatigued go ahead and have them sit.  Lastly, I 
would start calling those  downloaded/new/stolen plays to get the
starters learning them. By the end of this game  you should know
who will be on the final roster.  

Game 4 just take it easy on the starters unless you have a goal 
to get them to a  certain % of the playbook learned.  Also if you
have not yet met the 50 snaps goal do  so now.  It is possible 
the player was injured so you were unable to reach that goal.   
I had that happen in my other franchise.  I also recommend you 
take risks all the time this game.  Now is the game to experiment
and try things.  Any defining moment I would go for it.  Unless 
you managed to get your approval in the high 80’s and do not feel
the need to take a chance.    

**Tip**  I found out if it is 4th and short and the last play of
the half you will get  a defining moment.  I was at my 48 yard 
line and chose to go for it.  I completed the  pass but was well
short of the end zone and did not get a first down either.  Yet
the game boosted my approval rating with no penalty for failing.
I assume since the half  was over and the other team never got 
the ball.   Unsure if this is another glitch or  not.

Final Cuts - Get rid of the riffraff.  

I don’t have much else to say except you can  cut some high priced
players to free up cap space if need be.  Check the FA roster to
fill in roster spots.  As it happens the Cowboys cut Thomas 
Jones as Ray Rice beat him  out.  I quickly reacquired Jones 
for a one year one million dollar deal (far far less  than 
what his current salary was).  So in essence Dallas gave me
a 3rd rounder and 7th  yet have nothing to show for it.  
I celebrated with a drink and have my final roster  set.  
Although it said the Jones signing affected the players.  
I found this odd as he  used to be on the team and thought 
they would welcome him back.     

Gameplan - Ok if you were unable to get the players up to the
% required here is a  nice way to complete your goal.  Notice
the date the goal ends.  You have 2 practices  to get them to
that %.  I had one player who was short 1% point as he got 
injured for  the last quarter of the game.  For practice 
I chose the learn play option (one the  player did not know
as I double checked my notebook) and two practices later he  
reached the goal!  Score one for the good guys!  

Regular Season (F-1) 

Okay now the games count.  You should have new goals from the GM.  
Mine said to crush  the Fins in week one, beat the Bolts on MNF, 
win 3 of the first 4 games and have  McFadden the ROY.  But wait!
Damn that fine print.  It says ANY rookie can win the  award.  
So I do not need to focus only on one rookie.  I would also develop
your staff  if you have not done so.  If you are at loss on what 
to upgrade I would look at the  section I have made on this.  

Before the game you are asked to put 8 players on the inactive list.  
Injured players  are automatically put on this list.  Who you chose to
put on the list is up to you.    Then you can check the CPUs list and
fire up the game.  Oh as in pre-season if you are  dinking around and
do not select start game from the clipboard the game will sim.   

I won’t bore you with what plays I called or what I did to win.  
Just remember to call the plays you mastered.  Use the agenda 
function in the play calling screen as needed. Activate your 
gameplan (if you chose one) sparingly.   

Going into your depth chart does NOT pause the game and your OC or DC
will call the play in for you if you are  busy.  Play to your strengths.
If you are a passing team then pass.  From here on out  I will not go 
over what to do during gameday.  I trust you can call plays.  Look at Nick
Sabin if he can coach (and I use that word loosely) at Miami why can't you?  
Fear not fellow readers I will go over the tasks after the game though.   

After the game the following options appear (I am not repeating them
as some like  gameplan pop up more than once) 

Box score - check it if you wish and gloat in your win or cry after your loss

Health - check who is hurting or worn out and act accordingly.  Rest them for
the next practice if need be.    

College Scouting (F-1a)

Choose who you want to look at.  Base this on needs.  Consult your 
notebook if need be.  

For my 1st scouting group I chose big school DL as I am in need of 
an upgrade in that spot.  Now yours should vary from mine but here is 
what I did and the logic behind it.  It does not matter what 
order you go in.  Although if you plan to upgrade your GM in scouting
then I suggest you bypass scouting the small schools (or whatever you
choose for your GM).  Since I upgraded my GM in small schools I had
no need to scout the small schools and focused my time on the bigger

If you have numerous mid round picks (from trades) I would focus more
on medium schools in hopes of finding some hidden talent.  Based on 
your GM's talent (or lack there of) it may take more than just one or
two attempts to reach 100% on the position you desire (as seen by the X2

Big School positions scouted: MLB (X2), QB, CB, TE  

Medium School positions scouted:  DT, TE, ROLB (X2), QB, CB  

Small School positions scouted:  ALL (due to upgrading the GM special

Throughout the season (every month) you will get info about the 
upcoming draft class.  Take good notes in your notebook.  For example
they hyped Ozzie Jones and AJ Bishop as HBs.  They also said JaMarcus Boone
was a top 5 pick.  

When you start scouting I would also make note of your top twenty players
you have an eye on in your notebook.  Yes you do not have all the info needed
on these players but this will give you a base for later on.  

Weekly Awards - Gloat if you won the award for the week.  I noticed on 
the ticker below that some  player is hurt after cutting his hand making 
a sandwich? I also saw the Steelers have yet to sign the rookie Dre Scott
to a deal.  I noticed this in my other two franchises as well.  
I wonder if he is a pain to sign if you draft him?        

Standings - Check how the other teams fared.  When a team secures a
playoff spot they have a nice Playoffs logo on the upper right hand corner
of the screen.  When a team is offically eliminated from playoff contention
the ticker at the bottom of the screen tells you.  

Player status - make a note of who has a contract that is expiring.  
Check your cap space.  

Gameplan - choose based on who you are playing (I.e: vs. Colts
focus on shutting down Manning) or what you need work on the most.  

Scouting results - Look at them and start writing down players
that interest you. 

Developing Staff during the season (F-1b) 

By now you might have enough to start spending points.

The way the system works the player will benefit from their position
coach first.  Then their coordinator and finally the head coach.

In other words do NOT waste the points upgrading your Head Coach
in positional special skills before you have the positional coach 
and OC/DC upgraded first.  

Here is what I did for the first round of upgrades:

RBC - Improved Ball Carrier
OC - Gameplan Analysis 
GM - Small School Scouting Special Skill

Second round of upgrades:

QBC - Quarterback readiness
DC - Coverage Analysis
LBC - Performance level 2 upgrade

Third round of upgrades:

HC - Leadership (very good upgrade to have)
WRC - WR Discpline & WR Release (this increased his rating from 29 to 58)
RBC - Speed Training

Fourth round of upgrades:

RBC - Gamefilm Analysis 
OLC - Run blocking discpline 

Fifth round of upgrades:

QBC - Improved QB reads
DBC - Coverage Analysis

Now I know what I did may not work for you as your coaches may have those
skills already.  Just refer back to the other developing staff info I gave
earlier if need be.    

Depth Chart - adjust accordingly based on performance, injury and fatigue

Inactive roster - same rules as last game applies here. 

Play game - Off to week 2!  Good luck!  

Box Score - I lost to the Pats and 2 key fumbles and missed FGs cost me.  

Continue to follow the same format for the following weeks.  

Resigning Players (F-1c)

Ok before you freak out and wonder why you can't resign players right off
the bat let it be known you have to wait until week 5.  I suggest you do 
not cave and give in the players first offer.  This is going to be a back 
and forth for a few weeks.  The player will ask for the best offer possible
I tend to go with the worst offer possible.  I also tend to go with no 
signing bonus as I can cut the player without taking a cap hit.  Also, look
at the incentives.  If some backup is asking for a bonus to get 1000 yards
for the season sign him.  

For example:

Offer 6 = 3 years/1 million no bonus 

Offer 18 = 3 years/900K no bonus (1000 yds rush = 500k) 

Go with offer 18.
I do not recommend ignoring the players request to negoiate as it will
cause a decrease in the players attitude.  If you do not want the player
Just humour him and then let the time run out or just back out.  

Ok, most of what I have typed 

Pro Bowl Voting - Can be looked at later in the season.

Trade - Up till week 6.   

Coaches on the hot seat - Mid season they will start talking about
coaches that are on the hot seat.  Make note of these coaches as odds are
they will be available to be hired at the end of the season.  I have yet to see
a coach get fired mid season though.  When a coach does get fired it is 
noted under the news section.

Player roadmap - Check this every so often.  Especailly if you forget what 
incentives you gave to players.       

NFL Draft News - Just pay attention and take notes when they give the 
college news.  I just put an up arrow or down arrow as it pertains to 
the player along with some notes.

Playoffs and Beyond (G-1)

I did not make the playoffs (8-7-1) so I can't really expand on 
this.  I ended up drinking a margarita to drown my sorrow.  

Staf firing - If you do not fire anyone then the info below on staff
hiring is of no value to you.  The owner will say "I want you to keep
this staff member".  you can refuse and get a small decrease as a
result. Keeping the staff member resulted in a +4 increase from the owner. 

Staff signing (H-1)

If you fail to make the playoffs (like me) the fired and unemployed 
(including new free agent college coaches) are ordered by best 
available coach at that posititon when they start appearing in the
clipboard. Each team with a hole to fill will start deciding who they
want to go after and what they are willing to give up to get them. 

*tip*  You can go to staff firing recap to see the coaches ratings of who 
got fired.  

I had the following teams fire their head coach.

Arizona, Atlanta, Washington, Oakland (Hey he lasted longer than in real life!)
and Houston.  

The bidding process is like the Free Agent process with the following

You will see the coach available in the clipboard.  By clicking on him
you will see his rating and top three skills.  If you are interested in 
the coach enter the bidding process. You will then see a percentage of
interest the coach has in your team.  To increase the percentage of 
interest you must give up some control.  Each control has a certain 
percentage.  You are timed so you do not have all day to think about it.

It is also quite possible to give up no control as one coach I hired had
negative 7 percent interest in the other team.  I won with 0 percent! 

Some teams will gamble and decide to wait until the next round of playoff
games is over to see what staff members leave those playoff teams.  
Jon Gruden quit after Tampa lost in the second round of the playoffs to 
Philly.  I missed out on him since I did not forsee him leaving Tampa.

The risk with waiting too long is that the other teams may have
signed all of the good free agent staff members.  If no staff members leave
those playoff teams, you are stuck with a scrub.

If you are the last team with a hole to fill and you dismiss all
free agents the week after the Super Bowl, you will automatically hire the
last guy you dismissed.  

Pro Bowl game -  I was unable to play the game though I assume if you win 
coach of the year you get to play the game?  Unsure in that.    

Cut Dead Weight - You can choose to cut the dead weight the GM requests
or keep them.  If you keep them they will be put on the trade block during
the off-season.

Draft Preview - Take notes if you have not done so yet.

Team Philosophy - If you want to change it do so now.

This concludes the tasks as you are now only repeating what you did at the 
start of the game if you continue.    

Q&A session  (Q-A)

* How do I challenge?  

- Move right on the clipboard and it should be next to the timeout option.

* When can I resign my players?

- When they contact you during the regular season.  Beware there is a
resigning glitch!  See below for more info

* One of my players is always at 72% fatigue and has low health.  
I have rested him all the time and rarely play him.  What gives?

- Older players like Dilfer for example will max out at those levels.
Factors as age and past injuries play a role here.  Either cut the
cripple or keep him and don’t  overwork him.  Though it could be the
injury glitch that froze the player at that %. 

* Where is Favre?  I downloaded the updated roster!

- If you started the game at the off season and not the preseason then you
will not have Favre in the game.  I dunno why they couldn’t have just 
put him on Green Bay on  the trade block or had Green Bay offer your 
team Favre.    

* Do you have a list of the cap space for each team?

- Sadly no, I know the Jets have about 22.5 million.  

* I heard the testers at EA are really chimps due to the bugs in the game.  
Is this true?

- Yes, there are many bugs not sure about the chimp thing though it would not
shock me.  The injury glitch I touched upon earlier.  The resigning bug has
to do with scrubs asking for huge contracts mid season.  The draft day trade
bug also exists as you could offer a trade with each team than back out thus
the cpu will eventually trade down and you could feasibly have a CPU 
controlled team end up trading out of the  first round.  Yes there 
are more but since people seem to finding new bugs all the time I 
would just look at the message boards.  Now that the patch is out hopefully
the above fixes are fixed.     

* Hey your formatting sucks.  Multiple random spaces, paragraphs just for 
the sake of having them and 4 spaces after a period!  

- Yup, I tried to format the FAQ and it took one week and 2 bottles of 
tequila for the margaritas.  In fact this FAQ was rejected 6 times for 
improper formatting.  I decided to outsource it to Mr. Spanky the
monkey at the local zoo.  Blame him not me.     

[Credits and Stuff]

This should be the part where I talk about how you can not use this 
without permission and all that junk.  Personally I could not care less 
what you do with this guide as information should be free.  
Print it out and use it for birdcage lining, use it as toilet paper 
or use it to start a fire for all I care.  If this guide was of any 
benefit to you then my semi hard work and multiple margaritas was well
worth the carpal tunnel I will suffer from.  Yes, I am aware the grammar
and language use is far from perfect so if you plan to pass this off 
as your own at the very least people will think your English is poor
and will laugh at you.  If you have anything intelligent to add to this
guide or to make a comment of value or to share a great margarita recipe
then by all means contact me at  easyreader2 at the free e-mail service
Bill Gates provides that starts with the letter  "h".   If you can’t figure
that out then I really don’t want you e-mailing me anyways.