Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 22
  2. Negative: 4 out of 22
  1. When Head Coach hits, it slams it out of the ballpark. Excellent structure and balance in the practice periods before game day ensure that you take your time and prepare extensively, while tasks at the front office put you in control of every aspect of the franchise.
  2. EA Sports is best known for its other monster football game, "Madden NFL." But where "Madden" lets you control real-life players and plays on the field, "Head Coach" takes you behind the action, putting you in the Gatorade-scented shoes of a coach you create from scratch.
  3. It’s not perfect, it’s not available on next-gen systems, but for control freaks, it may be the most exhaustively complete sports SIM ever released on a console.
  4. NFL head Coach is obviously targeted toward a very niche group of extreme football enthusiasts, but the game, such as it is, has been made into such a laborious, oftentimes arduous affair that even the target audience is likely to be turned away.
  5. 40
    There’s something decidedly satisfying seeing your hard work and meticulous planning pay off with a trip to the Super Bowl. But that trip is fraught with so many pitfalls – the most annoying being the rigid scheduling issues – that you’ll need superhuman patience to see it through to the end.
  6. Even though you are the coach in this game, you're still little more than a bystander. [Aug 2006, p.84]
  7. 70
    Overall, the unique approach of NFL Head Coach makes this game a smart pick for football freaks and sports gamers looking to add some analytical and intellectual flavor to their library.
  8. It takes a hell of a long time to complete one season in this game, and it takes a lot longer with the PS2’s load times.
  9. So I was interested to find out if my enjoyment for football overcame my disinterest in strategic games. Well in my case the micromanagement aspect was just too much for me to overcome.
  10. Still, while Head Coach is ultimately an imperfect football-management simulation, it is also, almost in spite of itself, a frequently fun one. Those with a penchant for serious football management are most certainly going to find things to like about it.
  11. 60
    Playing NFL Head Coach and having a good time while doing so is a daunting task, one far more challenging than taking the Browns to the Super Bowl.
  12. Chances are that NFL Head Coach won’t cure your football jones unless heavy-duty statistical simulators are up your alley.
  13. An excellent first attempt. There are a number of tweaks that will improve the gameplay if it’s turned into a series and it has plenty of potential.
  14. If I had to give advice to the development team, it would be to allow players more freedom in the off-season. Only allowing them two things to do between idiotic load screens is awful.
  15. It is nice to see EA Sports use their license for something a bit different.
  16. 72
    As it stands, NFL Head Coach will appeal to die-hard fantasy football fanatics and Madden franchise mode junkies, and to little else. Still, that's all EA ever wanted.
  17. It falters in more aspects than it flies, with horrible AI, and an in game system that makes the game feel like more of a chore than a fun experience.
  18. The depth to which NFL Head Coach goes to simulate its world is impressive. Pigskin fanatics will love it, but if I want stress and boredom, I think I'll stick with my day job. [Aug 2006, p.79]
  19. Basically, all of the micromanagement parts of the game will make fans gush with excitement.
  20. If football action is more your thing stick to "Madden". [Sep 2006, p.88]
  21. The load times between each task are inexcusable, but worse yet are the games themselves, which you barely have to orchestrate.
  22. 60
    NFL head coach takes a bold leap and attempts to start something well needed in the sports simulation field, change. Unfortunately, it falters in more aspects than it flies, with horrible AI, and an in game system that makes the game feel like more of a chore than a fun experience.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 3 out of 7
  1. TonyC.
    Aug 17, 2008
    A revolutionary game of its time...a game that could help coaches reinforce how they want their players to be coached in specific ways, with flexible draft ratings, and board room meetings with other coaches. A game that also allowed innovation of created plays, personality type, and other things. A bit slow, but really ahead of its time. It just needed to clean up a few things, like speed, but other than that, it was a great game. Full Review »
  2. JoshC.
    Aug 30, 2006
    This game doesnt even get a "1",.... Do not make the same mistake I made by purchasing this boring game, thats all i have to say about that.
  3. BigD.
    Aug 10, 2006
    This is a very addicting game if you like these types of games. There is no action for you in the game at all, but if you are buying this, and know an ounce about football, you should expect that. You are the head coach in this game, not a player. I love this game, and love the idea. I only gave it an 8 because they could have done better with what you are allowed to do. The schedule is so limited in you being able to arrange your scehdule, it's almost pointless to have it there, and motivation factor is quite random, why would a running back or quarterback get upset when you tell him he did a good job after running a touchdown? There are a few other quirks, but I'm sure if EA chooses to make this game every year like their other franchise games we will see the options improve drastically. If you like the offseason stuff in Madden, you'll love NFL Head Coach Full Review »