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Ideal Player Types for LeBeau Zone Blitz Scheme

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Old 11-15-2015, 02:52 PM   #1
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Ideal Player Types for LeBeau Zone Blitz Scheme

I'm looking to tinker with my defensive scheme next season and am considering trying to build a Steeler-style zone blitz 34, like what they ran under LeBeau.

Not being a Steelers fan myself, I'm curious particularly about the scheme/player types most appropriate for the cornerback and safety positions.

Thoughts?

At CB, are press/tackling players best, zone defenders, prototype guys with the speed to blitz and cover the deep 3rd?

At S, I know there's been a hammer at FS and a versatile SS. What are the best scheme/player types there?
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Old 11-15-2015, 03:42 PM   #2
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Re: Ideal Player Types for LeBeau Zone Blitz Scheme

I'm using TEN, so I'm kind of figuring this out on the fly...

There's two sets of concerns to balance here, what the actual scheme / defense calls for and how that implementation translates to Madden...

Firstly, all thee of my down lineman (DT / LDE / RDE) are large bodies with high STR and BSH ratings to control the two gap technique as much as the game allows...

The ends are almost more like "Versatile" D tackles than 4-3 style DE's...

I look for / set the ends to "Run Support" and look for "Run Support" or "Nose Tackle" for the DT...they shed blocks better...

The OLB's are the key to the pass rush, so fast players with good pursuit and high AWR that are "3-4 Pass Rushers" are solid choices here...

The MLB's are the main tacklers in the run game, so "Run Stop" or "3-4 Tacklers" seem to work well collecting the tackles that the DL set up for them...

I play waaaaay more zone than man, so I prefer corners that are more "Zone" than anything else, but "Man" and Balanced" seem to work pretty much as well...

I steer away from "Run Support" corners, because the run coverage is just fine without having to emphasize that...

The FS and SS are always dominant players in the "Madden Universe", so they're going to be involved no matter what...

Ideally, I like "Playmakers" back there, but they're going to be dominant regardless...

Once again, "Run Support" seems to be overkill at the safety positions this year, so anything else is preferred...esp. at FS, when I'd rather have them lean more to pass coverage ("Zone") than "Run Support"...
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:18 AM   #3
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Re: Ideal Player Types for LeBeau Zone Blitz Scheme

So as a Steelers fan, I'll give this a go:

The 3 components of a LeBeau Defense are 1) Tackle the catch 2) Don't give up the big play 3) Create a pass rush with OLBs

So you have DEs and a NT that typically eat up blockers to free up your athletic linebackers to make the plays. The rush typically comes from your OLBs (your James Harrisons or Lamar Woodleys) and your elaborate blitz packages (fire blitz or a DB). Now to your question:

Defensive backs:

1) Corners - You draft bigger corners w/ length that can play zone and tackle. You don't draft them prior to round 3. Ike Taylor's the best example. Tall (6'1) and violent (at least in college) and was an absolute blanket in his hayday. In game, I look for guys w/ "A" Zone coverage for the most part and go from there.

2) Free Safety - You're looking for a center fielder that can hit, you were right on your assessment.

3) Strong Safety - Troy was a special player. You can't even recreate him in the game. His abilities and instincts were unfathomable. But for the game, you'd look for an in the box safety that has the ability to act as a 5th line backer but with more of an ability to cover. Deone Buchanon on the Cardinals is an example of a guy I'd like to see in a Steelers uniform. Az uses him more as a middle linebacker, but I think you get my point.

If I didn't hit on a concern, let me know.. but that should get you pointed in the right direction.
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:22 PM   #4
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Re: Ideal Player Types for LeBeau Zone Blitz Scheme

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmb5310
So as a Steelers fan, I'll give this a go:

The 3 components of a LeBeau Defense are 1) Tackle the catch 2) Don't give up the big play 3) Create a pass rush with OLBs

So you have DEs and a NT that typically eat up blockers to free up your athletic linebackers to make the plays. The rush typically comes from your OLBs (your James Harrisons or Lamar Woodleys) and your elaborate blitz packages (fire blitz or a DB). Now to your question:

Defensive backs:

1) Corners - You draft bigger corners w/ length that can play zone and tackle. You don't draft them prior to round 3. Ike Taylor's the best example. Tall (6'1) and violent (at least in college) and was an absolute blanket in his hayday. In game, I look for guys w/ "A" Zone coverage for the most part and go from there.

2) Free Safety - You're looking for a center fielder that can hit, you were right on your assessment.

3) Strong Safety - Troy was a special player. You can't even recreate him in the game. His abilities and instincts were unfathomable. But for the game, you'd look for an in the box safety that has the ability to act as a 5th line backer but with more of an ability to cover. Deone Buchanon on the Cardinals is an example of a guy I'd like to see in a Steelers uniform. Az uses him more as a middle linebacker, but I think you get my point.

If I didn't hit on a concern, let me know.. but that should get you pointed in the right direction.
That helps! I did a lot of reading on this the other day, and it seems like the single-high 1/3 was a core principle. Is that correct?

I have an additional question re: LBs. I'm assuming that what you want in the middle are run guys who can also bull rush if called upon, but with less emphasis on flat-out speed or coverage. Is that right?

And a final one on the scheme as it translates today: I want to say that I read that the Lebeau defense has issues defensing the modern spread offense, perhaps because it's harder to disguise who is coming as the surprise rusher in the blitz packages when the offense is so spread out.

What are your thoughts on that?
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:40 PM   #5
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Re: Ideal Player Types for LeBeau Zone Blitz Scheme

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojan Man
That helps! I did a lot of reading on this the other day, and it seems like the single-high 1/3 was a core principle. Is that correct?

I have an additional question re: LBs. I'm assuming that what you want in the middle are run guys who can also bull rush if called upon, but with less emphasis on flat-out speed or coverage. Is that right?

And a final one on the scheme as it translates today: I want to say that I read that the Lebeau defense has issues defensing the modern spread offense, perhaps because it's harder to disguise who is coming as the surprise rusher in the blitz packages when the offense is so spread out.

What are your thoughts on that?
Let's see:

The single high safety would PROBABLY be correct. I imagine that being a Centerfielder in the deep middle zone reading the QB while the CBs handle the outside thirds of the field. This leaves your SS as either a shallow defender or in run support or what have you.

As for your MLBs, they are actually 2 different players completely. They are called the Mack and the Bull (I actually get them confused, so I'll go nameless). One inside backer is more of your run stuffing player. He'll take on blockers or blast through the line to get to the RB. So a guy who is a bit bigger and is more geared towards runs support. He's the current backup, but I think Vince Williams is the ideal type of LB for this spot.

The other position is your sideline-to-sideline tackler/coverage LB. I'd put Ryan Shazier in this category. A guy who is fast enough and big enough to cover that TE or RB. If you find someone like Shazier (that can actually stay on the field!) he may be able to cover slot receivers. A slight sidebar.. Lawrence Timmons would actually flip between these two positions a few years ago. He's lost a step, but you could do worse than two LTs in the middle!

And to your last point, I'm sure that that's part of it! Typically, the defense can handle middle tier or lower tier QBs, but the guys that get the ball out quickly absolutely shredded the defense. If the QB can spread the De out and get the ball to playmakers quickly, it's difficult to get the necessary pass rush to create the desired havoc. So now you have a QB that knows where the ball should go, and a rush that can't get there, and CBs who are 7-10 yds off the ball in soft zone coverage. The Bradys and Mannings will take 4-6 yards a clip all game on that defense.
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