WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - Former NFL lineman Clint Oldenburg is doing his part to protect the image of the Washington Redskins, his former team, in the video game world.
Oldenburg, 29, a former fifth-round pick by the Jets, sort of bounced from team to team before settling in Washington, but never caught onto the 53-man roster, and ultimately concluded things just weren’t working out for him in the NFL.
After interning for the Nationals in 2011, and just four months after leaving the Redskins, Oldenburg spotted his next career move as a game designer at EA Sports, where he suggests he’s opened the door to preferential treatment for the Burgundy & Gold on his latest project, Madden 25.
“I flirted with the UFL and the CFL after my NFL days appeared to be numbered, but eventually this came and I took the job here,” Oldenburg told 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny on Tuesday.
“I think this year is gonna be a little different than most years,” Oldenburg said. “I think the Redskins may be one of the top three or four rated teams on our game and they may be one of the top-three used teams overall for our fan base and our user base, right up there with the 49ers and Seahawks.”
Now about that preferential treatment he alluded to.
“Obviously RGIII plays a part in that because people want to use his athletic skills in the game and run around. But just off the top of my head, Will Montgomery is a 90-rated center,” Oldenburg said. “That puts him right in the upper-echelon of centers. Good friend of mine, and I had something to do with that. I think he’s a good player, but he definitely deserves that 90-rating.”
Oldenburg added that Trent Williams, London Fletcher, Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan all fall within the top ten to fifteen percent at their respective positions, adding that “Redskins fans are gonna like what they see this year.”
Being the 25th year of the Madden franchise, designers at EA decided to do something special to commemorate the game’s anniversary, so they incorporated an All-25 team, consisting of the 25 best players in Madden history.
The important distinction to note here is, these are the best ‘Madden players’ of all-time, not necessarily the best players in NFL history.
As part of selecting the team, “Coach Madden,” as Oldenburg referred to the game’s namesake John Madden, had to give final approval of each player, which took a little convincing, as he explained in the interview.
“So a guy like Brian Finneran, he was world-renowned for his Madden skills, just a pretty solid receiver in the NFL, but not really an All-Pro,” Oldenburg explained. “And once we got [John Madden] going with that, he was on-board. But Sean Taylor, he was in a league of his own, both on the field and in our game.”
It was announced in August that Taylor would be the Redskins representative on the All-25 team, which went over just as you would expect with fans of the organization.
“I remember when I was a kid – I shouldn’t say kid, probably Junior High or High School age – Sean Taylor would be my second or third pick in my franchise on Madden because the guy was just so fast and he hit so hard, you know, he’s a ball hawk,” Oldenburg said. “He did so many things well and Coach Madden reflected all those thoughts as well when we told him Sean Taylor was going to be on the team.”
Among Oldenburg-inspired additions to the game, he said he also went out of his way to upgrade the run-blocking in Madden 25.