Meet Patrick “Coach” Esume. American Football expert, TV host, commentator, “The Face of American Football” in Europe and currently Head Coach of the French national team. In this quick-fire Q&A session, Patrick talks career milestones and how the Madden Franchise has helped drive excitement for the sport in countries like Germany.
1. How did you become involved in American football?
A friend of mine who played American football took me to a training session of the Hamburg Silver Eagles in the early ’90s. That was it, I was hooked immediately!
2. During your career as a player, what was your favorite moment?
That’s a tough question. Whenever you win a title with a team, the memory always stays with you. It’s always great being part of a successful team, and on a personal level, a very special memory for me will always be winning the Euro-Bowl for the first time in 1996 with the Hamburg Blue Devils in Stuttgart.
3. And your favorite moment as a coach?
During the many stages of my career as a coach, each has had a very positive influence on me and I have many great and cherished memories. Becoming coach of Frankfurt Galaxy in the NFL Europe, winning the World Bowl with the Hamburg SeaDevils, making it as Head Coach in Paris and winning the national championship title, taking part in the first ever German Bowl as the Head Coach of the Hurricanes, and finally, winning the European Cup with the French National Team.
Photo Credit: Lionel Friederich
4. How does American Football differ in the US and Europe?
Football in the US is quicker and more physical, which isn’t surprising given that it’s one of their national sports and is played at both school and university.
5. Are there any particular professional experiences from your time as an assistant coach in the NFL, that may have helped you to become a successful coach in Europe?
Pretty much every single experience I had. From conceptual ideas to the way of coaching young players.
6. You are currently coaching the French national team. France is a country where Rugby is a hugely popular sport. Did winning the World Games and the European Cup have a positive impact on the perception of American football in France?
It definitely had an impact. American Football’s popularity is increasing slowly and steadily in France. Nonetheless, Rugby is still far more popular than American football.
7. As an NFL host on German TV, have you noticed the hype for the sport in general or the Super Bowl growing?
The hype is incredible! It’s noticeable because more and more Germans travel to the United States during the Super Bowl week - even if they don’t have tickets, just to soak in the atmosphere.
8. Looking at the current NFL standings, which teams do you think will compete in this year’s Super Bowl?
In the American Football Conference (AFC) I think it will either be the Kansas City Chiefs or the New England Patriots. In the National Football Conference (NFC) it will be the New Orleans Saints or the Los Angeles Rams.
9. Prediction time. Who do you think will win the Super Bowl this season?
That’s a tough question, but if I have to answer right now, I would say the Saints.
10. Which NFL team is your current favorite NFL team?
Not just currently…..but always, Silver and Black (Oakland Raiders)!!
11. When did you start playing Madden NFL?
I’m a real Madden veteran. I started playing it way back in the 1990’s.
12. How would you describe your Madden skills? Beginner or Pro?
13. Have you ever competed in tournaments like the Madden 19 Championships Series?
Not yet, but never say never.
14. Do you feel Madden NFL helps promote American Football throughout Europe?
The game is a really important factor. It allows the fans to experience the NFL and the game strategically, on a personal level and on a management level.
15. Do you have any advice for players new to Madden?
Simply compete with players from all over the world, as often as possible!
16. When playing Madden, does your experience as a coach help you to outsmart opponents?
It absolutely does, but the problem I have is lack of finger skills at the controller.
17. It’s 4th and 2 at the opponent’s 40-yard line and you need a touchdown with 1 minute remaining in the game. Do you: a) Send your Running Back up the middle, b) screen pass to the Tight End, c) Play action fake and pass it long, or d)…?
Haha, that’s a good question and it really depends on my opponent. But I would probably send in a Run up the middle unless their defense gives me a Goalline Gap look, then I’d alert to an OSF Play Action Pass and read it low to high…sounds easy right!?
18. When it’s crunch time, who in Madden is your go-to player?
Antonio Brown without a question.
19. We think we may already know the answer to this, but what’s your favorite MUT Squad role? Offensive Captain, Defensive Captain, or Head Coach?
You’ll be surprised to know that it’s Defensive Captain since that’s the position I used to play in the sport.
20. What would be your number one Madden NFL gameplay tip?
If you are a beginner, take the plays that the game offers you and for all the experts out there, I’d say make sure you match your defensive personnel with the offensive personnel.
Article header image taken from Coach Esume’s book Believe the Hype. Photo credit: Hans Ripa
Stay in the conversation of all things EA: Read our blog, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and Like us on Facebook.