NFL Head Coach 09

Download NFL Head Coach 09 and take charge of your very own NFL team! Make strategic decisions, draft new talent, and lead your team to the Super Bowl in this immersive football management sim. Become a coaching legend and play now!
a game by EA Tiburon
Platforms: XBox 360, Playstation 3 (2008)
Editor Rating: 8.3/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 7.0/10 - 29 votes
Rate this game:
See also: Sport Games, Hockey Games, NHL Games
NFL Head Coach 09
NFL Head Coach 09
NFL Head Coach 09

I really think that EA was onto something with NFL Head Coach 09. This game was initially thrown in as a bonus for the special edition of Madden 09, before being sold as a stand-alone release. EA made some very welcomed improvements from the last NFL Head Coach game that they tried and it is a shame that this never spawned a new franchise for them. It is a game that is tailored to a very hardcore football audience so perhaps that is why it never caught on the same way that Madden did?

Your Team, Your Way

The real point of this game is to make your team as successful as possible. You have complete control of the franchise and nothing happens on this team on the field or of it without your input. With all this control comes a great deal of pressure though. You are always being judged on your approval rating and if it gets too low, the team owner will fire your ass!

The Gang Is All Here

All 32 teams and all 32 stadiums are in the game. There is even the Aloha Stadium too. It is very authentic in its presentation. The frame rate when you are watching the action of the field can sometimes suffer, but apart from that. What is on offer here in NFL Head Coach 09 is your typical EA Sports level of high-polish. The way the game is presented is pretty cool. The coaches clipboard is where most of your options are and the menus are very easy to get through and figure out. I would say that after five to ten minutes, you will be a pro at navigating all of the menus.

Every Decision Counts

If you ask me this is the kind of game that is aimed that those who are very nerdy about their football. Everything that happens is in your control. This is not just about picking a team and then a few plays and watching it unfold. Hiring staff, using draft picks, signing free agents, making trades, organizing training camps and more are all here. I would say that the majority of what you do in this game takes place not on the field, but off it. NFL Head Coach 09 has a fun way of trying to sign players in that you have to offer them a package. You want your team to be competitive, but you only have so much money to play with. You do not want to rush in and sign a prospect as they could turn out to be a dud, but if you are too slow someone else may snap them up.

There are a million things to keep an eye on and that is what I liked about the game. On the flip side, I can see this being a massive turn-off for some players.


I really do wish that EA kept up with this series as I think it could have been great. I had a lot of fun with NFL Head Coach 09, but it just lacked that bit of “flash” to keep me fully invested. To be fair, the way that running a team in Madden has gone over the years they have in some ways melded some of the management stuff they had here with that game so perhaps that is why this series never took off?


  • The game gives you complete control over your team
  • I liked how the game was so in-depth with the stats
  • It is a lot of fun to run an NFL team
  • Dealing with trades and free agents felt great


  • The game is not for those that do not like a slow pace
  • The frame rate during games can be all over the place

Download NFL Head Coach 09

XBox 360

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Playstation 3

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

NFL Head Coach 09 is such a great football management game! I really do wish that EA never gave up on this! They only made two of these football coaching games. I guess that you could argue many of the management features that they had in this game and its predecessor would work their way into their annual football game, but, I got hooked on this big time. I recently went back and played it again for the first time in many years and feel that it holds up and that EA could have had a new franchise if they stuck with this.

It Is Your Team!

The goal of NFL Head Coach 09 is to pick your favorite NFL team and then make it as successful as you possibly can. We have complete control of our franchise and we make not just decisions on the field, but we have to make just as many important decisions about the stuff that surrounds the team off the field. If you are a football nerd, you will just eat this all up. As I said in the intro, many of these management features are now in the Madden series, but I still think this stands on its own as a solid release.

On The Field!

The first thing we have to talk about in NFL Head Coach 09 is getting your tactics right for what is happening on the field. You have to select your team by looking at the players you have, who is in form, who needs to have minutes, and who is out of form. It is not just as simple as picking those who have the highest number, there is more that goes into it than that. You have a ton of plays that you can utilize and again, using the right plays for the players you have is key. You can even come up with your own plays which is super fun and great if you really want to make this team your own.

Handling Your Business

The stuff that you have to do off the field in NFL Head Coach 09 is just as if not more important than your planning for the games! The draft system really requires you to think before you act, the trading and contract system has a lot of depth to it and you need to make sure you hire the right backroom staff. There is a skill point system at play here where you have to decide what you want to invest in so your team can grow. For something that was made to be thrown in with Madden 09, it is very impressive just how far they go with the team management aspect of the game.

A Smoother Running, Running Back!

The one area that I feel NFL Head Coach 09 does struggle with is the presentation. Now, to be fair, the UI with the clipboard and the general look of the game very much have an NFL feel and the game does have a very authentic look to it. The problem is that when the games are going down, the framerate can be flat out horrible with some real jerky stuff happening here. Not sure what the reason for this was, but it is noticeable. To be fair, it did not alter my enjoyment of the game, but it would have certainly been something I would have wanted to see improved if they made another one of these games.


I am so glad I went back and played this after all these years! NFL Head Coach 09 is actually even better than I remember it being! I had so much fun with this and I ended up playing it for the best part of a week, putting pretty much all the other “current” games I was playing on the back burner. Clearly, you need to be really into your football to appreciate this, but if you are, I am sure you will find this a very addictive experience.


  • Trying to make your team the best is so addictive!
  • I loved trying to get my backroom/ off the field staff just right
  • Dealing with players be it in the draft or trades is fun
  • This is such an addictive game if you are a big football fan


  • The frame rate is pretty damn bad
  • It really sucks that EA has never tried to make another stand alone manager style game

Snapshots and Media

XBox 360 Screenshots

Playstation 3 Screenshots

See Also

Viewing games 1 to 8