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Players eager to pick up, pick apart 'Madden 10'

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano runs such a demanding training camp that running back Ronnie Brown insisted there's little time for extracurricular activities at the team hotel.

Brown claimed everybody essentially heads straight for the mattress after a day of practices and meetings.

That might change Friday. "Madden NFL 10" will hit the shelves.

"There are guys that play the video games a lot," Brown said. "It's exciting to see the game and all the new stuff that they do to it."

Notable this year will be Wildcat plays. ESPN.com video game writer Jon Robinson interviewed Brown about the fad formation in May, and the story was one of the more insightful I've seen about the intricacies of the Wildcat.

Some readers have filed complaints when I write about "Madden 10," but the actual players take this stuff seriously.

New York Jets safety Kerry Rhodes and center Nick Mangold staged a passing competition to determine who the "Madden 10" evaluators snubbed more on throwing power.

Seattle Seahawks receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh has boycotted the game because of his poor rating. Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha has been jubilant over his 99 overall rating.

Player ratings have been out for a while. But Brown, despite his enthusiasm, was oblivious to their availability.

He did, however, know exactly when the game would go on sale.

"After Friday," Brown said, "guys will get in the game and be 'My ratings are too low! My speed needs to be faster!'

"They'll be talking about it."