Franchise Mode Guide - Guide for Madden NFL 2004

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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: [email protected]                              
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 

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 
[email protected] 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 

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 pass.

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 lineman.

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 
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, Advance.

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 merchandise. 

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 

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 guys.

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 

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 conservatively. 

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 handle.

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 
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 

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 

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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