When Madden 19 launched this summer, a handful of new equipment was added to the game like facemasks, gloves, cleats and new eye black. A patch was later introduced that added the Schutt and Xenith helmets, as well as turf tape specifically for Saints running back Alvin Kamara. This was a step in the right direction for all my equipment heads out there but there’s a ton of equipment still missing in the game.
With that said, let’s take a look at Part 1 of our detailed list of equipment we hope to see in Madden 20.
First up on the list, the Xenith Shadow, the company’s latest helmet, is set to drop this upcoming NFL season, and should get a bit of attention in the NFL with its smaller shell. Xenith isn’t overly popular in the league right now, but with the aggressive new, lightweight and slimmed down shell, it may get a bit more use, especially with the NFL working so hard to remove outdated helmets.
Schutt Air XP Q10
While the Schutt Air XP VTD II is already present in the game, the NFL has banned a number of helmets including the original model of the Air XP. Because of this, the use of the Q10 has increased heavily. The most notable difference between the standard Air XP and the Q10 is Schutt’s HSS system is equipped with updated jaw pads and an external jaw piece, both of which are represented nicely in-game on the Vengeance Z10 and F7.
SpeedFlex 808 Facemask
Marcus Mariota’s SpeedFlex 808 was a heavily requested item throughout Madden 19’s run. The Revo Speed’s version of the 808 facemask was added this season, but Mariota made a switch to a new SpeedFlex version before the season began. The new version never made it into Madden 19, but should be a high on the list to make it into Madden 20 for Mariota, and possibly for West Virginia University QB Will Grier if he continues to use it in the NFL.
Nose Guard Mask
A true modern throwback look, the old school nose bar facemask made an appearance on the SpeedFlex this season with 49ers top pick Mike McGlinchey wearing it throughout the 2018 campaign. This style mask was once a standard in the NFL, but it has since almost completely died out. McGlinchey used a similar style mask on the Revo Speed while at Notre Dame, upgrading it onto the SpeedFlex this season.
Phillip Rivers Facemask
Shortly after Philip Rivers made the switch to a SpeedFlex partway through the 2018 season, Rivers also used a new 3-Bar facemask. A similar “3-bar single” facemask was added to Madden 19 for Andrew Luck and Tom Brady. An extra bar along to top of the mask is the only difference, so this should be a simple addition for the team.
New kicker facemasks began popping up for the SpeedFlex, Schutt F7 and Xenith helmets during the 2018 season. While kicker gear has proven not to be a priority for the Madden franchise, these would be nice additions.
As a tribute to Sean Taylor, a few defensive players have been putting strips of tape on their facemasks for years. DJ Swearinger is the most notable player that regularly uses tape in–game. While it is a popular look, this is a violation of the NFL’s uniforms rules, and likely won’t be present in future titles. I would still like to see some items that aren’t NFL approved for Sunday’s make it into the game at least in practice mode.
Light Smoke Visor
Madden currently utilizes a “smoke” visor. However, it appears to represent Oakley’s 45% visor. The more common smoke version is a 60% tint, and adding this extra visor tent into the game would be legit.
Chinstrap Options (Soft Cup, Adams, SportStar, Riddell, 2-Point Cloth and SportStar)
The second most defining aspect for a player’s lid (aside from the helmet itself) is their chinstrap. Guys like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady would look completely different if they made a simple chinstrap change. The ability to freely add any chinstrap on any helmet would be a very welcome change over the current setup where each helmet automatically comes with a specific chinstrap.
The soft cup chinstrap is made of a thin leather material, mostly worn by quarterbacks and kickers due to their flexibility. The softcup chinstrap was added strictly for the Riddell VSR4 as a one-off for Tom Brady, so the option is available to developers.
Adams chinstraps are currently present on the Schutt Air Advantage and the Schutt Air XP. Their popularity has been waning is recent years, but is still plenty popular enough to be expanded in the series.
SportStar chinstraps are currently available in-game on the Schutt Vengeance, Vengeance Z10, F7 and VICIS ZERO1. SportStar is one of the most popular chinstrap options in the NFL, worn by some of the player’s biggest names like Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield.
Riddell’s chinstraps are present on the Riddell Revo Speed and SpeedFlex. These chinstraps are also very popular in the NFL. Big names like Cam Newton, DeShaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, Adrian Peterson and Jared Goff use this model.
Easily the most requested item since the Madden series made the jump from the PS2/Xbox days is mouthguards. The lip guard is a popular look in the NFL, used by some of the league’s biggest name like Odell Beckham Jr., Mark Ingram II, Marshawn Lynch and many more. Adding basic color options would likely make fans happy to begin with, but eventually expanding to stylized ones like the custom ones used by Damon Harrison and Mark Ingram would be ideal.
Perhaps not as big of a priority as the lip guard, the standard mouthpiece is significantly more common, but not nearly as noticeable. Many players use clear mouthpieces without many people noticing, while a few guys like Russell Wilson use colored versions that are very easy to see. It is worth noting that EA’s NHL series has had these style mouthguards for a few years. I think Madden 20 may be the year that we finally get mouthpieces and mouthguards.
Hoods don’t really make much of an appearance until late in the season, however they become very prominent throughout the playoffs especially for more northern teams. Hoods made an appearance years ago for some of the early NCAA Football games, but haven’t really been introduced in the Madden series.
Colored HSS Jaw Pieces
Schutt’s Vengeance Z10, F7 and Air XP Q10 helmets feature an external jaw piece, which usually are made to match. The Redskins and Saints jaw pieces do not match the helmets, with the ‘Skins using yellow, gray or camo (depending on throwbacks or NFL events), while the Saints strictly use black pieces.
Back Plate/Flak Jacket combo
The back plate/flak jacket combo has shown some prominence with QB’s who use the padded undershirts, rather than a full flak jacket (which is usually an extension of the shoulder pads). The back plate is typically more prominent than the rib pads.
The neck roll is a tough look for power backs. Peyton Hillis used it for a while with the Browns, but is currently most prominent on Patriots’ FB James Develin. Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch uses a neck collar that isn’t quite as big, but perhaps more noticeable since it is exposed from his jersey.
An exposed undershirt is a look that has caught on a bit in the past few years with guys like DeShaun Watson, LeSean McCoy, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. A baggy undershirt usually carries well past the bottom of the players jersey. Unfortunately, this is against the NFL’s uniform policy and likely won’t be seen in-game any time soon.
Understandably, handwarmers are a very important piece of equipment in the NFL as the season progresses. Handwarmers are currently present in the Madden series, but are only available on the front of the player. A placement option along the player’s back would be a solid and seemingly simple addition for the team.
Like handwarmers, towels are already in the game but an option for placement would be nice. The current version is only present on the player’s right hip, however players in real life use them in numerous different spots, such as along the hips back, and in front of the player.
In addition to towel placement, an option for the towels would be nice. Rather than the standard Wilson towels used in-game, some players have begun using much longer, thinner towels. Technically, NFL rules don’t allow this towel, however it does not appear they’re enforcing it very strictly. They may be able to make their way into the game.
That’s part one of our Madden 20 equipment wishlist. Part two will focus on gear for the arms, legs and feet.
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