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Evidence of Improved Zone Coverage Over the Middle in M12

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Old 06-27-2011, 05:37 PM   #1
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Evidence of Improved Zone Coverage Over the Middle in M12

The E3 videos have showcased lots of the innovations and improvements that the development team has touted for M12. I'm especially interested in improvements to zone coverage, as last year's game more or less rendered zone defense impotent as a base strategy.

I can tell from some of the videos that flats have received more attention (though there are still quick snap passes to the flats that will be exploitable). What I haven't seen is much evidence that the middle of the field has been toughened up in zone defenses. It's so easy to throw all slants, or TE posts, or slot posts against zone coverage in Madden, and I think this hurts the game a lot. It's one of the reasons 3rd and 15 or the 2 minute offense vs. zone are not intimidating situations for the offense.

Is there good evidence from the videos you've seen that those routes are tougher to complete now? Is there evidence to the contrary?
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:46 PM   #2
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Re: Evidence of Improved Zone Coverage Over the Middle in M12

I haven't seen much, but I won't get my hopes up before I can see it myself. The problem is that zone coverage is all about anticipation and teamwork, which is very hard to simulate in a game, compared to man coverage, which works on some very simple principles.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:00 PM   #3
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Re: Evidence of Improved Zone Coverage Over the Middle in M12

well the ncaa demo comes out tomorrow so u can see first hand how the zones react...should react the same in M12
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:06 PM   #4
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Re: Evidence of Improved Zone Coverage Over the Middle in M12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojan Man
The E3 videos have showcased lots of the innovations and improvements that the development team has touted for M12. I'm especially interested in improvements to zone coverage, as last year's game more or less rendered zone defense impotent as a base strategy.

I can tell from some of the videos that flats have received more attention (though there are still quick snap passes to the flats that will be exploitable). What I haven't seen is much evidence that the middle of the field has been toughened up in zone defenses. It's so easy to throw all slants, or TE posts, or slot posts against zone coverage in Madden, and I think this hurts the game a lot. It's one of the reasons 3rd and 15 or the 2 minute offense vs. zone are not intimidating situations for the offense.

Is there good evidence from the videos you've seen that those routes are tougher to complete now? Is there evidence to the contrary?
while it may not be zone defense...watch the green bay vs. tampa bay video
of nick collins closing in on an easy pass over the middle and hitting the receiver so he can't catch it. I thought it showed how pass defense would be a lot better this year.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:10 PM   #5
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Re: Evidence of Improved Zone Coverage Over the Middle in M12

Well you have to take into account what zones are being ran though. Ball trajectory IMO is still going to be an issue. They have not said much about it at all and from what I could see from the E3 videos even when a WR is behind a linebacker about 6-10 yards the ball does not move on a trajectory over the defender. It still goes directly at the defender.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:21 PM   #6
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Re: Evidence of Improved Zone Coverage Over the Middle in M12

The play of Nick Collins did stand out to me when I watched that video. It looks like having a S on the roster with aggressive tendencies will have a noticeable impact on passes over the middle.

Specific zone calls and ball trajectory are definitely relevant. Seeing those linebackers jump to knock down passes they have no business getting to isn't the answer. But it's also really hard to find coverage calls that take those 3rd and long and 2 minute passes straight down the middle of the field away. I don't think the robber assignments cover the proper area of the field, and I don't think the LBs get proper depth on their drops either, which is a contributing factor. It's like they have the spacing between the backers and the secondary all wrong and this is what kills zone defense.

Perhaps there are other clips I've missed that showcase better responses to passes over the middle? I'm just really hoping this area is encompassed within the general improvements to zone D.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:33 PM   #7
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Re: Evidence of Improved Zone Coverage Over the Middle in M12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojan Man
The play of Nick Collins did stand out to me when I watched that video. It looks like having a S on the roster with aggressive tendencies will have a noticeable impact on passes over the middle.

Specific zone calls and ball trajectory are definitely relevant. Seeing those linebackers jump to knock down passes they have no business getting to isn't the answer. But it's also really hard to find coverage calls that take those 3rd and long and 2 minute passes straight down the middle of the field away. I don't think the robber assignments cover the proper area of the field, and I don't think the LBs get proper depth on their drops either, which is a contributing factor. It's like they have the spacing between the backers and the secondary all wrong and this is what kills zone defense.

Perhaps there are other clips I've missed that showcase better responses to passes over the middle? I'm just really hoping this area is encompassed within the general improvements to zone D.
Those are good points and I think your concern is valid. I haven't watched all of the videos posted, but it does still seem the deep middle is open more often than not. I've always controlled a safety to try to combat this but I still get burned from time to time. Unfortunately, it's likely that we'll all have to wait until NCAA 12 is released before we know for sure
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:00 AM   #8
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Re: Evidence of Improved Zone Coverage Over the Middle in M12

This is something I am very interested in seeing. It gets tiring to see some of the ridiculous 3rd and 20 plays that get converted. I remember in my madden league I was in a rut where I was giving up 3rd down conversions at 55%. However, I was also converting them at 67%. I remember how easy it was to get a first down on 3rd and 20. I should be able to convert that maybe once out of 50 times. The middle of the field is ridiculously easy to kill against zones. Let's hope they fixed it.
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