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Running New England's Spread/Air Raid Offense

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Old 09-26-2009, 08:49 PM   #1
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Running New England's Spread/Air Raid Offense

This is simply a brief run-down of the spread offense. I don't expect to make Bill Belichick's out of people that read this, but hopefully this will give you a quick-rundown on the offense. Some simple concepts, and an overall run-down of the offense.

P.S. - I copied and pasted this from MaddenHQ. This is fully my work, and I wrote this, and posted it on MHQ. I just wanted to share it with some people here. Again, this is fully my work.

Introducing yourself to a new offense can be very difficult, but if you're at all interested in running the spread, hopefully this will help you.

To begin, lets start with the basic concept of the spread offense. The idea of the spread, is to have an efficient, yet explosive offense, which can have 1 play drives, as well as 15 play drives. The idea is to get favorable match-ups, by having quick, slot receivers, such as Wes Welker, and running-backs, like Kevin Faulk, matched up on safeties and linebackers.

To begin, lets start with the reads you should make. When you first get out on the field, you may think, "holy crap, I have 4/5 WR's, which one should I throw to, and how can I know which one is open?". Yes, this can be difficult, and there is some skill involved, but to start, lets simply state what you can't do. You CANNOT, lock on to one wide-receiver, fact of the matter is, you must read the coverage on the field, not the coverage on one particular receiver. If you lock on, you either won't have time to get the pass off, or you'll throw an INT.

Often people say to read the safeties, however, I prefer to read the LB's first. The idea behind this is you'll get an idea what part of the field you'll get immediately. If the linebackers spread out wide at the snap, then you can likely fit some tight throws in-between them, or often you'll have room, 20-25 yards over the top open. If they drop off, you can often get quick outs (unless it's a cover 2) or slants. More than likely, you won't want to go deep here. If they pinch in, again, look for quick outs, button hooks, or corner routes. Lastly, if the LB's come up tight, go over the top, 15-25 yards. After you get a read of the LB's, get a read on the safeties. If the corners are playing in the flats, you more than likely have a cover 2, if they drop off, you could be dealing with a cover 3. And lastly, the safeties, if they drop off, you have a variation of the cover 2.

Precision passing, USE IT. Fact of the matter is, if you have MtoM on the outside, and no safety help, let your receiver get inside leverage, and zip the ball to the inside, using precision passing, more than likely, your receiver will snag the ball for a great gain.

Use your TE's and half-backs. I roll with the Patriots, however, Moss is one of the least productive players on my team. Yeah, he'll be open at times, but as I said earlier, the point of this offense if to get favorable match-ups, and generally these are found with your HB's, TE's and SlotR's. Use those quick outs and slants to these guys, it's to your advantage.

Running. Obviously, you don't want to only pass the ball, you will become too predictable, and your offense will suffer. If your opponent is dropping everyone back, simply pop a SG-draw play up the middle for 8-15 yards. It will keep him honest, and it will open up your passing game, don't forget to go under-center too, this will help you greatly, and again, it will keep the defense honest.

Screens. Again, these will help you. If the defense is blitzing the hell out of you, zing a quick slot-screen, and you may end up with 6 points. This will open up things down-field, as well as slow down the blitz.

Going deep. Don't completely dis-regard going deep. Again, it may not always be on, and you have to accept it, but when it's there, take it. It will cause the defense to back off, and open up underneath throws.

Again, learning a new offense can be very difficult, but once you have it down, it can be deadly.

This is simply a brief summary of the spread offense. If you have further questions, post them here, and I'll be happy to go in-depth. Again, feel free to ask questions, and good luck!

Here are some questions from people at MHQ, and my answers.

Q: This is good stuff, Vertigho. My offense is more run heavy than pass, but I'm sure I'll get tired of that and go back to the spread, which I'm more used to.

I played the Patriots last night and found that I could disrupt things if I blitz my safeties. How do you counter blitzes with the spread?

A: In terms of handling the blitz, it really depends on what they're doing. A quick screen can kill most blitzing teams, but if you aren't a screen guy, this is what you could try.

Try to tell where the blitz is coming from. If they're rushing the edge, pop a draw up the middle, often they'll give you the middle of the field. Try quick hitches to the slot-receivers too. If they're blitzing up the middle, try quick outs, and if that's taken away, almost always, a slant will be on to any receiver. If they're blitzing the safeties, generally look to the flats, since when you blitz a safety, you must make up for the lost coverage, and that's usually done through dropping a CB into coverage.

Q: Good Stuff. Quick questions; What you you say your percentage of time in the shotgun is compared to under center? What are the main differences in running the spread in Madden compared to NCAA? I can put up points like crazy in NCAA, but I can't really get it going to much in Madden. Granted I have not put a ton of time in on Madden so that could be that I'm just not familiar enough with the playbook

A: It really depends on the game. If I'm killing the guy, then I'll be under-center more, to run the ball, if it's competitive, I'll find myself in SG more. Generally, I'll be in SG, 65-75% of the time.

As for the differences, and how to get the spread going. Obviously the spread will be more difficult, simply because you don't have the option. That adds a whole new dimension to your game in NCAA, but you don't have the luxury of that in Madden. The best way to make up for that is to get better at reading defensive coverages, simply so you know where the hole is, and yes, go under-center more. Is it called the spread, yeah, but to get it to work, often you'll have to go UC. Try having a more balanced attack, and keep them guessing, then, lay the wrath of the spread on them.

Q: Does this work better with faster receivers or with possession receivers that can hang on to the ball even after a big hit?

A: You really need a combo of both, to be honest. A speed guy that can catch a drag and take it 20 yards is nice, but you also need a guy who can go across the middle and take a big hit, and still hold on.

My only advice is to get the most of both.

Hope this helps everyone!

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