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Madden NFL 13 gets players talking, but mostly complaining

Brian Urlacher (54) is tied for second-best rating among Bears — with kicker Robbie Gould. | From Madden NFL 13

Brian Urlacher (54) is tied for the second-best rating among Bears — with kicker Robbie Gould. | From Madden NFL 13

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QB Jay Cutler: 87 overall

RB Matt Forte: 93 overall

WR Brandon Marshall: 91 overall, 88 speed

WR Alshon Jeffery: 70 overall, 88 speed

WR Devin Hester: 78 overall, 98 speed, 74 catching

LT J’Marcus Webb: 69 overall

LT Chris Williams: 72 overall

RT Gabe Carimi: 79 overall

DE Shea McClellin: 76 overall, 83 speed

DE Julius Peppers: 97 overall, 85 speed

MLB Brian Urlacher: 95 overall, 84 speed

OLB Lance Briggs: 92 overall

CB Charles Tillman: 89 overall, 87 speed

CB Tim Jennings: 81 overall, 94 speed

S Chris Conte: 72 overall, 89 speed

K Robbie Gould: 95 overall

Bears as a team 83 overall

Updated: September 29, 2012 6:17AM

“Every player wants to see his Madden rating, and those that say they don’t care are lying.’’ — Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin


It took only a few minutes for Tim Jennings to vent on Twitter.

“94 speed?!?!... They robbed me!!” Jennings fired off after seeing his 94 speed rating on EA Sports’ Madden NFL 13 video game.

Minutes earlier, Jennings was pleading his case vocally.

“I ran a 4.36 40 [yard dash] at the combine, and [Devin] Hester ran a 4.41,” Jennings said. “Look it up. So how is Devin a 98 and I’m a 94?”

Hester had his own issues.

In the 2008 edition of the game, the Bears returner was the first player given a 100 speed rating. Now he’s at 98. Forget the slap-in-the-face 78 rating as a receiver. It’s the 98 speed rating that has Hester disappointed.

“Man, they keep taking one away every year,” Hester said.

It’s Madden Week, and very few players across the league are happy.

“It means a lot that guys are just talking about it,” said Anthony Stevenson, EA Sports’ Director of Marketing. “We pride ourselves on the fact that this is the game that [the NFL players] play. You see these guys at the Madden Super Bowl party each year, see how excited they are, how they compete at it against each other. This game brings that out of them.

“If you think about it historically, if you would have asked guys that came up in the league during the ’70s and ’80s, ‘When did you know you made it?’ they would say, ‘When I saw myself on a football card.’ The guys in the league now, they say, ‘When I saw myself on Madden.’ It’s embedded in the culture.”

So are the players’ complaints.

Stevenson is from Chicago, and he’s a lifelong Bears fan, so he listened closely to the players’ criticism.

Stevenson on Jennings: “You don’t wear pads when you run the 40.”

Stevenson on Hester: “I’ve yet to see an instance in the NFL where the older you get the faster you get.’’

The biggest complaint Bears players had was the 87 overall rating for Jay Cutler. It kept him out of the top 10 at quarterback.

“Selfishly, I would like to make Jay a 99,” Stevenson said. “It’s a collection of factors. We’ve only seen that Pro Bowl caliber from Jay in two seasons, and both times it was with Denver. We haven’t seen it in Chicago because of some injuries.

“All I have to say to Jay is, show me.”

Not everyone had a message for the complaint box, though.

Kicker Robbie Gould had a 95 rating, tied with Brain Urlacher for the second-highest on the team behind the 97 for Julius Peppers.

“I’m not a video-game guy, but 95 is nice,” Gould said.

Then there was Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall.

“They never get me right,” Marshall said before hearing his rating. “What do they have my speed at?”

He was told 88.

“Damn,” he said laughing. “I can’t complain. That’s about right.”

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