This is the first of many articles by Kameron Kirkpatrick that will be appearing on OS. As a little heads up, Kameron operates a few Madden-related sites, including themaddenlab.com and maddengods.org. Kameron is also a "sim" gamer and will be providing tips to help people play smart football, not glitch football -- it just wouldn't be OS if we started to talk about exploits more than sound strategy.
Obviously once Madden 10 rolls around he will be providing strategy articles for the new game, but for now, here is a little taste of what to expect in the coming months.
Here’s an interesting tip to get your backs to block a specific place or "gap." The strategy here is to take away the defense's ability to overload a specific gap by bringing more pass rushers than we have blockers. First, let’s take a look at what I mean by gap blitzing.
You’ll hear the term A-gap or B-gap blitz quite bit while watching the NFL or playing Madden. This terminology refers to what two offensive linemen the blitzing defender will attempt to shoot through. You’ll notice in the above image that either side of the center is referred to as the "A" gap, the "B" gap is between the tackle and guard, and the "C" gap is an outside rush around the tackle. Here is how to defend each of those gaps.
Note: This tip works with sets where you can motion a RB or FB to the mirrored spot on the field where either player was originally located.
Example used: Strong Pro Twins - Deep Comeback (flipped)
Playbook: Kansas City
Step 1: Motion the running back that is going to block to the opposite side of the field.
Step 2: When the back is directly behind the center, block him to whatever side you choose.
Three different blocking assignments are shown off in the diagram
In the image above, you will see the FB who I motioned from left to right. Notice the three different blocking assignments. Now typically if you motion the back and then use him to block, you will get the blocking assignment on the far left. That is the standard blocking assignment. You can set this up in any formation by simply hitting Y + LB and then either the LT or RT on the Xbox 360 or Triangle + L1 and then either L2 or R2 on the Playstation 3.
Since the FB is on the right of the QB pre-snap, you will see him take this blocking position after the snap:
Notice the FB settling in for a standard blocking position. Also take note that this would be good positioning when trying to take away the right B-gap heat.
However, let’s say we want to position our FB for an A-gap pickup assignment. When motioning the FB to the right, I want to block him to the left (Y + LB + LT on the Xbox or Triangle + L1 + L2 on the Playstation) while he is directly behind the center. This will set him up for the left blocking assignment.
The left block assignment the FB will take
After the snap, the fullback will check both A-gaps for the shooting pass rusher. If no one is blitzing, he will settle in and help out a lineman if necessary. Please remember that it is imperative to block the FB while he is in the process of being motioned and is almost directly behind the center.
Our last option is to block the back to the outside. The setup is the same -- you want to motion the back and hot route him while he is behind the center. This time we want to hit Y + LB + RT on the Xbox or Triangle + L1 + R2 on the Playstation.
Right block assignment
After the snap, the FB will take an outside pass block position. This is a great position to be in if you want to stop an outside rush or something via the C-gap.
By flipping the formation, you can see how we can literally take away all six rushing gaps.
This is a great defense against the nano-type blitzes that you will often run into online. However, the timing is critical when setting up this blocking scheme. In other words, head to practice mode and get your button combos down pat before taking this strategy online. For more tips like this, including an exclusive premium content area, please check out http://www.madden-tips.com