December 23, 2008 by PhillyRon
One of the best ways to wake up in Madden is to be taken to the woodshed and taught a lesson. Well, after a few weeks off of league play and no real competitive play, I stepped back into the league play scene and played an opponent that strafed caught on me in every single fashion he could. I know I was rusty, but good Lord, I felt like Forest Gump listening to Bubba about how many different ways you can use shrimp. Right after the game I hit the practice field with my crew from S-N-S and they quickly helped me get back to game speed. Here is a defense that I have found to help you attack the Outside Strafe Catch as well as prevent the offense from attacking with drags or crossing routes.
The defensive play that we are focusing on in this article is the 46 Normal CB Zone Blitz, using the speed package. This is an aggressive defense that can be enhanced with a few minor adjustments. On offense I have the team coming to the field running the Singleback Trey Open Drive. Many times you will see your opponent come out in a 3:1 formation or a 2 receiver 2 backs formation and then audible up to 3:1. (3:1 = Trips to one side with 1 receiver solo)
Right away the offensive player sends the solo receiver on a fade or streak route. For this article Iím using the fade route.
The set up for this defense is simple. First we pinch the D line.
Take control of the MLB, playmaker him to blitz straight down and stack him on the outside shoulder of the SDT. (This is optional, but I like to set this up the same way all the time so the offense canít get a read on what Iím doing. The other option is to leave the backer in a curl zone [yellow] and control him yourself)
Next we put the LDE (on the right of the screen) in a curl zone (yellow).
The last step is to put the corner over top of the solo receiver in man-to-man coverage.
This is how your front should look prior to the snap. I would control the DE in the curl zone or the OLB in the hook zone (purple). If you control the DE never run him across the QB, meaning, if you drop him back in coverage he should never cross the QB. This will keep you in position to pursue the QB if your opponent tries to take off and run with the QB.
The reason I set the MLB to blitz and stacked him on the SDTís outside shoulder is to get the SDT to loop around while our MLB charges in and takes on the Center and Right-Guard. This is a small aspect to this play that makes it tough for the offense to have success. This also helps defend the drags and crossing routes because it adds pressure on the QB and forces a quick throw.
The Quarterback sees a match up he likes, and we see coverage that we like.
When the quarterback releases the ball we have our corner in perfect trail technique and our outside linebacker in great position as he drops into his hook zone.
We know how the receiver has to undercut the DB when strafe catching, but thatís not going to happen here. Even if the receiver could get inside, our outside linebacker would be right there to break up the play because of his hook zone.
Being in position is just the coaching aspect of the play, our cornerback takes care of his part of the play by intercepting the ball and heading up field for more yards.
There are a few ways to attack the Strafe catch but the best way in my opinion is to have coverage and pressure. This defense and the way that it is set up will give you a chance to pressure the QB as well as be in perfect position to click on and intercept the ball or swat it down.
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