The complete breakdown of each player’s gold/silver/bronze status hasn’t been released, but it’s clear that there’s a distinct drop-off when you leave the top tier. Sure, silver-level Roger Craig was a terrific running back in his day (playing with Montana and Rice didn’t hurt, either), but he’ll never be on the same level as the Earl Campbells or Walter Paytons of the world. With just three of these silver spots, you’ll need to judiciously backfill the neediest areas. The bronzes round out the choices – and this is where things get really interesting. No one would ever confuse Bubby Brister or Jeff Hostetler with Johnny Unitas, but could they prove serviceable given the right weapons? We’re itching to see.
A player’s abilities are not limited to his tier alone. Campbell and Payton may be gold, but they were – to say the least – very different players. In order to capture each man’s essence, 2K has done away with myriad attributes and replaced them with distinct abilities to separate one man from the other. You can expect Campbell to smash face-first into some unsuspecting linebacker, knocking them silly, while Payton will likely scissor-kick and spin his way around defenders. It’s not that Sweetness couldn’t line you up and knock you out of the way, of course – but that just wasn’t his style.