NFL Head Coach 09 is the follow-up to NFL Head Coach for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game was released on August 12, 2008. The game is available in the 20th Anniversary Special Edition of Madden NFL 09, and was released as a standalone game on September 2, 2008. The full game was released as a download on the PlayStation Store on September 4, 2008 in the US, and no Europe or other overseas release is planned.
Coach's meetings have been removed, and the game is in real-time. The player can elect to skip offseason schedules and focus strictly on game day playcalling.
Improvements and updates
The game features the following improvements to the previous version:
- Team ratings preferences: teams will draft according to individual preferred ratings (e.g., the Oakland Raiders will prefer speed players)
- Coach preferences: head coaches will favor free agents they worked with before
- Free agent signing: the game will abandon the Madden method of free agent signing, and will utilize an eBay-styled auction system, and a live timer. Also RFA will run on the same system.
- Improved player contract AI: players will be more aggressive and demanding during negotiations
- Improved NFL Combine/Pro Day: players ratings change more realistically following their Senior Bowl, NFL Combine and Pro Day activity respectively
- Improved menu system, in the form of a coach's clipboard
- Expanded Rosters now allow for 75 players in the offseason with weekly cuts in the preseason until the rosters are down to 53 at the beginning of the season.
- The GM of each team will invite unknown players to training camp, just like in real life, where the head coach will have to hold practice to find out which ones are worth keeping and which ones to cut.
- Physical punishment builds up throughout a season and can lead to various injuries. (If a player continuously gets hit hard in the same spot of the body, eventually he'll suffer a severe injury)
- Players can now come out of retirement as well as players from smaller leagues joining the NFL.
- Players can now leave for "personal reasons."
- The coaches you hire will affect the style you play, and the more famous they are, the more control they will demand from you (such as Mike Martz or Bill Parcells) in order to have them coach under you. You can now also hire college coaches that will add their own style to your playbook, such as bringing the option into the NFL.
- You can sub players at any time to any position
- Make plays and export them to Madden 09 or make them mid-game to stop a spread offense or blitz
- Teams now track the future of the position in order to keep you informed as to how to upgrade a positions through showing you who is coming up in the draft as well as who will be a free agent.
- There are now no overall ratings for players, instead there is a team rating for the player based on your team's philosophy (ex: Tyler Brayton 80 overall with the Carolina Panthers, 69 overall with the Detroit Lions) This returns from the Windows version of the original game.
Other notable features include:
- Improved draft day trading, including the ability to trade draft picks as well as future picks
- Improved trade AI, including computer-computer trades
- Trade timer, forcing a trade to be completed in a limited set of time
Bundle with Madden NFL 09
Electronic Arts announced in a press release that NFL Head Coach 09 would be available in the Madden NFL 09 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition, claiming, "If we shipped Head Coach alone, it would be a full-priced SKU. But if we pack it in, we can reduce the price and make it a bonus to our fans... On the first Head Coach, we think it was a great concept, and as far as we've taken it, to be able to pack that in and pass on those savings to our consumers, if you can have one awesome pack like this -- we're really fired up." Two weeks later, EA announced a standalone version would be available three weeks after Madden's release.
- NFL Head Coach 09 Exclusive to Madden 09 CE, 1Up.com
- EA Press Release, Business Wire
- Standalone NFL Head Coach 09 Incoming, 1up.com, a large group of fans are also petitioning for a PAL (European) version of the game (As the original game was released only in America). Cite error: Invalid
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- Tony Dungy interview at EA Sports
- EA Sports: NFL Head Coach 09 feature set
- GameSpot NFL Head Coach 09 hands-on preview
- IGN NFL Head Coach 09 preview
- NFL Head Coach 09 : Release your inner Head Coach