When slide protection was added to the current-generation versions of Madden 09, many people began to wonder if it could be utilized effectively on running plays. At first I was skeptical and did not believe it could, because it had actually had a negative effect on running plays in past versions of Madden on the PS2 and Xbox.
However, I decided to find out once for all what the truth was. Thus, I decided to run every type of run play in the game, from FB Dives to HB Sweeps to HB Dives -- all with and without slide protection. I ran each type of running play a total of 2,500 times. I ran each running play with each type of slide protection 500 times a piece, and then with no slide protection 500 times. After each rushing attempt, I wrote down how many yards I gained in my notebook.
At the end of this experiment, I added up my total rushing yardage for each scenario and then divided by 500 to get my yards per carry for each scenario. Finally, I simply looked at the results so I could see which type of slide protection, if any, got me the highest yards per carry for each running play.
Here is how I used the slide protections:
FB Dive: Slide protect to the side of the run (left or right)
HB Sweep/Toss: Slide protect UP (Aggressive)
HB Dive/Draw: Slide protect DOWN
HB Stretch/Blast/Slam/Off Tackle/and so on: Slide protect to the side of the run (left or right)
As you can see in the images below, I found that using slide protections on running plays made them much more effective.
All we do is follow the blocks that we setup for a big gain.
Next, as a bonus, I am going to tell you my favorite running play to use while implementing slide protection in Madden 09.
Play: Full House Weak: FB Dive
Playbooks: Run 'N' Gun and Run Heavy
Step 1: Slide protect to the right
Step 2: Motion the RB to the left
Step 3: Snap the ball once the RB passes the Center
When running this play, if you see someone use the run commit, simply bounce the run to the outside. As you run this play, just look at your blocking as I bet it will be simply outstanding. Often times you simply have to outrun only one defender to score a touchdown. This is why having a speedy back for this play is important.
If the defense does not run commit, simply pound the defense up the middle and you will be able to get at least 5 yards per carry, and often times much more.
An interesting final note is the drastic difference between my highest yards per carry versus my lowest yards per carry. I had a difference of at least 2 yards per carry for every type of run. The biggest difference was seen in HB Sweeps/Tosses, as there was a huge 4.7 yards per carry difference between my most effective form of slide protection versus my least effective. The smallest difference was seen in the HB Draws and HB Dives. However, even this amount still came out to be 2.3 yards per carry.
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