We covered the Madden offense crash course on the last post, let’s share some defensive tips this time shall we?
Disregard the Fullbacks (well not always)
Fullbacks are mainly blockers and are seldom used nowadays. Most of the time they block for the Halfback or protect the QB from pass rushers. If the opposing team has a FB in the formation and you’re in Man-to-Man defense, a good strategy is to control the player covering the FB. Cover the HB instead of the FB so you have an extra guy that will tackle the HB should they run the ball. In case they pass, use that player to rush the QB or use him in coverage to protect from Slants and Drags.
To Press or not to Press
Press coverage is when you instruct your Cornerbacks to jam the receiver near the line of scrimmage. The idea is to disrupt the Wide Receiver’s route and make the QB hold on to the ball longer. Press the WRs every time you’re in Cover 2 or 2 Man Cover, this way you’re CBs have top cover help from the Safeties in case the CBs get beaten. You will definitely rack up sacks if your opponent relies on Streaks or if he doesn’t adjust.
Utilize the whole Defensive playbook
I always used Cover 3 Zone way back when I was still learning. I thought it’s the best defensive scheme since it covers the whole field. I learned the hard way that using the same coverage all game won’t win you a game. The opposing offense will anticipate it and abuse your weakness.
You don’t necessarily have to memorize all the defensive plays, all you have to do is try to read what the offense is planning and use the corresponding formation to counter it. If the offense is going to run, field more LBs instead of CBs. If they will pass the ball, place CBs and Safeties.
Alignment is key
Opposing offense sometimes call plays heavily weighted to one side or keep running the ball on the same side. When this happens, you can use “base align” or shift your defensive personnel to any side you want to adjust your defensive balance.
Avoid the Defensive Linemen
Don’t give in to your urge to only control defensive linemen. I know it feels safe and it’s great to see sacks but mastering only DEs and DTs won’t make you a better player. Controlling Linebackers in a zone protecting the middle is a good way to practice preventing the run and breaking up passes midfield. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, mistakes are only bad if you don’t learn from it.
So this concludes the crash course but before you play actual games, hit the Practice mode first to sharpen your skills and memorize plays.