Maddenbible Presents : Simple Steps for Success
Todayâ€™s article might be something that you already do and it may be something that you have never thought of. Madden is not that different then football on Sundays. There are a few basics that we ALL must follow in order to be successful. Unfortunately I think that most of us are overseeing the effectiveness of understanding what we are actually doing. Predominantly the number one thought on all our minds is, â€œWhat works, how do I do it, and tell me how to do it!â€ It seems no one wants to know WHY certain plays/formations work or even when to use certain plays/formation. Well no more! Today at Madden Bible we are going to resurrect your understanding of the game!
Each year when Zfarls and myself set forth to find a new offensive scheme we always look for five basic needs: a base set, a power running set, a spread set, a compressed set, and a bunched set. We scan through playbooks and search for ones that fit those needs. In Madden 2009Â we came across two playbooks that fit this mold: Run Nâ€™ Gun and the Indianapolis playbook. Right away these were the two that we focused on. Zfarls took grasp of the Run Nâ€™ Gun while I worked the Indy playbook. Most playbooks can fit 3-4 of our expectations however these two specifically have all that we are looking for. There are specific reasons for each of the sets we have mentioned, letâ€™s take a Madden Bible look!
Each one of the sets brings a certain aspect to our offense that the defense has to take particular steps in order to defend against properly. Keep in mind that we will be speaking in regards to these formations on a generic basis, we will discuss playbook specific later on. Letâ€™s first take a look at our base set.
A base set is typically known for its ability to be able to both run and pass effectively out of. Base sets are also very balanced, which means we can attack all areas of the defense with the same success. However the effectiveness of this doesnâ€™t 100% correlate over to Madden. The reason being is that there are specific plays and gimmicks that work more effectively then others and we have to knowingly take account of these. With this in mind we need to understand what works, we then need to dictate these basic plays into our â€œbaseâ€ set. Curl route RC, FB dives, WR screens, and HB draws from shotgun are all overly effective in Madden 2009. Curl routes can we done in any formation and FB dives will be discussed in our running set, this leaves us with the WR screen and HB draw to focus on. What this means is that our base set should contain the ability to run a WR screen and also a HB draw. In theory this gives us the ability to â€œrunâ€ and â€œpassâ€ to the point where the defense needs to make drastic changes to make a stop. Our base also should contain the ability to hit the defense with a â€œone and doneâ€ play. I also want to note that I typically like to come out in the FL screen as I can quickly hit the defense before they can make there adjustments. Each year the success in throwing deep drastically changes from the year prior. Whether it is a simple streak or a deep post route, we want to have the ability to attack the defense deep. Combine these basic steps into your base set for success in any version of Madden. Look for specifics of what works and then implement it into your offensive base set scheme. Onward to our running set!
Our running set is going to be what we audible to when we are in short yard situations/goaline situations/ball control situations. We also want to have our running set to be more compressed, (i.e. I-form Twin TE, full-house, and I-form TE Wing ) Once again we need to recognize what is effective in Madden and implement it into our running set. FB dives are the clear front runner all run plays. Running sets also need to be versatile in that they need to be able to attack but the inside A and B gaps and the outside C gaps. Our FB dive will take care of the A and B gaps while a HB toss (hb tosses work only to the left of the field, when we run them to the right our HB will take a stutter step not allowing the ball carrier to get upfield quick enough) and HB power O will allow us to attack the C gaps. It is important to understand that we want to use this formation for the above reasons. We shouldnâ€™t be using it to complete big chunks of yards in the passing game. There is no reason we canâ€™t sprinkle in a few plays here and there but we want to stick to a basic understanding of what we will use certain formations for and thatâ€™s to pound the rock!
***One of the reasons I love the Indy playbook so much is that there power running set ( I-form TE Wing) has a default quick audible that is the HB power O. What this means is that we can implement the FB dive from this same formation as one of our audibles and kill two birds with one stone. Using just one audible we gain the ability to attack all defensive gaps. This is HUGE in terms of scheme versatility.***
The spread offense might be the best way for a beginner to have success. The reason for this is that all the reads we make are quick and easy. If we read there are five or less in the box (area between the line of scrimmage and linebacker depth) we will run a HB dive. If there are six or more in the box we will pass. These are basic in nature and we will need to pick up certain tendencies from our opponent. Using the spread in hurry up is usually the best way to attack the defense. The spread will also cause major tells in the defense as far as pressure is concerned. In Madden when the defensive player is blitzing they move closer to the LOS when the offense is in a spread set. If we were in a compressed or balanced set the defense would look similar between a coverage defense and blitzing defense.
I like to have the ability to run the spread at any time on offense in case I am having a hard time distinguishing what the defense is exactly running. It is much easier to analyze the defense from the spread point of view. Even if our drive stalls, we will have a better understanding of how the defense is attacking us. In Madden we have the ability of running many different styles of the spread. Either in a five wide set, four wide shotgun set, or a four wide under center. Iâ€™m personally a fan of the four wide under center as we have the ability to pick up major yards on the ground when we read how many defenders are in the box. I use the spread more for an additional threat in the running game. I then work my other passing options off of the run. See the Doubles Close Singleback formation in the Indy playbook.
** Another reason I love the Indy playbook is because of the four wide doubles close formation under center set. It is both a spread and compressed set. It also has a WR screen as one of its quick audibles. We also have the ability to â€œflipâ€ our play without the defense ever knowing With the ability to run effectively by reading the defenders in the box, WR screen, and the ability to attack the defense from a compressed set make this a top formation in Madden 2009.**
Compressed offensive sets are used generally to take advantage of offensive speed and lesser quality WRâ€™s. Letâ€™s face it not all teams have a Randy Moss, Terrell Owens etc. There big frames and speed are great in one on one matchups but not all WR can compete this way. That is where the compressed set comes into play. Compressed sets allow for the offense to use â€œnaturalâ€ picks to get free into space and to allow confusion and mishaps by the defense. Lots of crossing routes are used in this formation to allow WR to get open. In Madden the compressed set works just as it does in real life, however it also has an added bonus! When we use compressed sets in Madden we have the ability to tell what the defense is playing. If the defense starts wide and slides in we know they are in zone. If they start in with no slide, we know they are in man. The next added bonus is that we have the ability to motion any player to create new match ups and different offensive sets by doing so. (i.e Shotgun four wide tight, motion one of the outside WR to the opposite side, we will now have a bunched tight set ). The possibilities are endless with tight sets with all the different motioning we can use.
I like to use my compressed offensive sets in big situations as I have the ability to give the defense different looks almost on every single play with different motions. Motion is also a great way to pick up on what type of coverage the defense is. This is great for our more advanced player who may pick up on your use of the compressed set to expose his defense. They may come out in zone and then audible to man, this way it gives you that initial read that they are in zone when they are really NOW playing man. However using motion is the ultimate tell. Compressed sets are a must have for any offense!
Bunched sets will be our last set we will discuss for today. On a personal level bunched sets are my favorite to run. The reason being is that itâ€™s a pain in the neck for defenses to stop! Having three offensive threats to one side of the field bunched together creates the natural picks of a compressed set and also the ability to force the defense to cover all areas on that side of the field. All bunched sets in Madden have some combination of a flat route, curl/streak route, and corner route. We want to hit our opponent early and often in the flat as this is how we will work our other plays in this formation. This will force the defense to play some type of cover two which in return will open up our other reads. What is so great about the bunched set is that we always dictate to the defense what to play. We then move on knowingly to attack other areas.
This is type of set is almost always my bread and butter. I go to this in times of need when I have to pick up a first down. I tend to save this set for later in the game so that the offense hasnâ€™t grown accustomed to my tendencies. This is why we want to have the ability to give the defense different looks throughout the game. We should always save our â€œmoneyâ€ formation for important times. For me this is my money formation.
**Yet another reason why I love the Indy playbook. It has the Gun Bunch TE formation. This is a bunched formation with a TE on the LOS. This means that we have a compressed set as well as a bunch. What we gain from this is everything we have from compressed sets as well as bunch. Make sure to make this your bread and butter!**
Run Nâ€™ Gun Formations
Below are the formations Zfarls uses as described in todayâ€™s article. In parentheses are some plays from each that Zfarls likes to run.
Base Set- Shotgun Normal (FL Screen, HB Draw, HB Option)
Run Set- Full house (FB dive, HB screen) *use this formation as your running set if your more pass oriented. Use FB as one of your five preset audibles*
Run Set- I-form Twin TE (FB dive, HB toss, HB off tackle) *use this formation as your running set if youâ€™re more run oriented. Use FB dive and HB toss as two of your five audibles*
Spread Set- Shotgun 5 wide (parallel slants, WR screen) *no running threat, defense may implement a 10 man coverage*
Spread Set- Shotgun 4 Wide (HB option, HB draw, Slot outside)
Compressed Set- Shotgun 4 Wide Tight ( X option, HB draw)
Bunched Set- Trips Te ( HB Swing, Trips Attack, HB draw)
Below are the formations I (Sgibs) use as described in the todayâ€™s article. In parentheses are some plays from each that I like to run.
Base Set- Dice Slot ( FL screen, HB Draw, WR Drag, HB Angle)
Run Set- I Form TE Wing ( FB dive, HB power O)
Spread Set- Shotgun Deuce ( FL Cross, Curl Flats, HB sweep)
Spread Set- Singleback Doubles Close ( WR Screen, Corner Cross, HB dive) *this is both a spread and compressed set*
Compressed Set- Singleback Doubles Close ( WR Screen, Corner Cross, HB dive) *this is both a spread and compressed set*
Compressed Set- Gun Bunch TE ( Inside Cross, PA Boot Over, Curl Flat Corner, Stick, HB draw) *this is a both a compressed and bunched set*
Bunched Set- Gun Bunch TE ( Inside Cross, PA Boot Over, Curl Flat Corner, Stick, HB draw) *this is a both a compressed and bunched set*
So there you have it, whether you are experienced or just starting out, these 5 sets will no doubt help your game. If you need help establishing a solid offensive gameplan, email us here or check out our daily tips on twitter.
About the Author: ZFarls is a 23 Year Old Madden Baller from Boston, MA. Along with Sgibs, he owns Madden Bible and looks to give players advanced strategies and tactics to win more madden games. He preaches confidence in what you are running and knowing the situation you are in. Everything else will come naturally!