Like most of you I watched the Super Bowl between the Steelers and Cardinals. As I watched the game, I paid attention to the passing concepts and defensive schemes that each team was running during the game. One of the passing concepts I saw was the one that put the Cardinals ahead of the Steelers late in the 4th quarter when future Hall of Famer Kurt Warner threw a dart to the best receiver in the game, Larry Fitzgerald. This pass concept has Fitzgerald running a seam route down the middle of the field to expose the Steelers Cover 2 scheme. For this breakdown, I want to show this passing concept from a Gun Empty Formation that exposes the Cover 2 scheme.
In the screen shot above, Fitzgerald (LB) is lined up in the middle on the trips side. Notice at this point he is running a wheel route. Keep that in mind as you read this write up. The play used is the Gun Trips Open WR In out of the Patriots playbook.
The defensive coverage is Cover 2 out of the Dollar Normal.
To get Fitzgerald open down the seam, the Cards has the outside receivers running deep out routes. In the screen shot above, I hot route the SE (X) and FL (B) on out routes. I also extend them.
I add these next two routes to give me two receivers underneath if nothing opens up deep down the middle. I hot route the SL (Y) on a drag. The SL (Y) and inside receiver (A) on the right, now both run drags routes.
To give me the deep seam route, I take control of Fitzgerald and Ö
Ö motion him to the left. Notice he now runs a seam route down the middle of the field. We now have create the deep outs seam passing concept that the Cardinals used for the go-ahead touchdown. Granted itís from a different formation, but the same passing concept applies.
Once the ball is snapped, the linebackers playing hook zones move to cover the receivers running drag routes. This forces them both up closer to line of scrimmage.
The two safeties split out wide to cover the deep outs ran by the SE and FL.
The LB on the right is drops back to cover the seam route, but only can go so far back because of the drag routes ran underneath.
This allows Fitzgerald to get open deep down the middle of the field.
We spot him open and throw a high bullet pass.
The safeties try to get in position, but are too late.
Fitzgerald makes the catch in the end zone for 6 points.
Granted the way I broke this play down is not exactly how the play worked, but the passing concept is similar. I know that Fitzgerald made the catch on the run and went in for the score. I just wanted to show you how the passing concept worked and how it can be applied in Madden 09. Be sure to watch the video breakdown for a more indepth look at how the passing concept works against Cover 2 and Cover 3, plus a Cover 2 blitz scheme.
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