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What's the difference between the free safety vs. strong safety?

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Old 10-21-2009, 05:11 PM   #1
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What's the difference between the free safety vs. strong safety?

* Why is one called "free" and one called "strong"?

* Which one is supposed to be the "heavy hitter"?

* If I were to control one of these guys, which would do less damage to my defense from me being in the wrong position?

* Is one of these normally for run defense, while the other is supposed to be more pass coverage defense?

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Old 10-21-2009, 05:18 PM   #2
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Re: What's the difference between the free safety vs. strong safety?

your free safety plays the left side of the field if you're looking at the game from the default madden camera angle. your strong safety sits on the right.

primarily your FS guys are more coverage while the SS is more of a heavy hitter, which translates directly to your FS playing the pass more and your SS helping on the run...

as far as doing less damage for your team, not entirely sure... really depends on how good of a player you are. i usually play either DE, a LB spot or the FS spot and don't torch myself too bad... on the last gen i dominated at the FS spot. i've never really tried playing SS, but as a FS it's pretty easy because more often than not you're dropping back into pass coverage.
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Old 10-21-2009, 05:44 PM   #3
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Re: What's the difference between the free safety vs. strong safety?

Personally, I like to play the higher rated player on either side. I usually play Safety exclusively on D, and I find that you can get torched on either side. Your probably slightly less likely to get burned if your playing on the same side as the best corner on your squad, but it won't matter if your not where your supposed to be. And also, if you play safety, the PA camera-shift can destroy you. I don't even move until I'm positive that I know who has the ball. The 1-2 extra yards given up on the actual runs is definitely worth the big pass plays that you won't give up by doing this. I'm also one to not blitz safeties too often, unless I'm playing as an elite safety in pass coverage, then I sometimes like to send the other one. But I don't trust the CPU secondary usually if I plan on user-blitzing with any DB
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Old 10-21-2009, 05:51 PM   #4
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Re: What's the difference between the free safety vs. strong safety?

SS are often assigned to the strong side of the offensive formation (hence the name), i.e. which ever side the TE lines up. He's generally responsible for the TE in man coverage and will usually take him on in run support.

The FS has no man assignment as he's on the weak side of the offensive formation. That allows him to go where he thinks he's needed (he's "free", hence the name) and flow to the receiver after the completion or to come up in run support (or a blitz). The only time he's not "free" to do as he thinks is in zone, especially cover X zones (where X is a number that refers to how many deep zones there are - the safeties almost always occupy at least one of those).

FS are more "ball skills" type players. They play "center field" (roam the deep secondary looking for balls to pick off) and can be more alert to the QB/ball instead to a man they are guarding or what's happening in their zone. While they are given a lot of freedom, they also have to be able read the play and the QB extremely well to be most effective. A bad decision can burn the defense.

SS are usually good hitters and tacklers because they have a primary responsibility more often than not, so they have to be more physical and less ballhawks. Though the special ones (Reed, Polomalu) can clearly do both, which is why they are so valuable to their respective defenses.

Last edited by KBLover; 10-21-2009 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:22 PM   #5
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Re: What's the difference between the free safety vs. strong safety?

Pertaining to madden, if youre going to have one of your safeties play coverage man up, it is typically your free safety. In madden, free safeties will typically be players with higher speed, man coverage, and zone coverage ratings. There are few players in the game that are better at free safety than strong safety.

As stated by a few people here, a strong safety helps in the running game. This is why if you put a guy like patrick willis at the strong safety position, he is a 99 overall. I would not put many strong safeties in the game on elite receivers. I often like to take a guy like laron landry and put him at strong safety. great in the run game and can also cover somebody.
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:40 PM   #6
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Re: What's the difference between the free safety vs. strong safety?

Outside of Madden, in many modern defenses, safety's are interchangable.
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:52 PM   #7
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Re: What's the difference between the free safety vs. strong safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoovie
Outside of Madden, in many modern defenses, safety's are interchangable.
That isn't true at all. SS's play a lot closer to the LOS, and are moved around a lot more. A guy like Bob Sanders is an awesome SS, but would not be as effective as a FS. Polamalu is effective because they let him move around a lot, and force the defense to account for him. This wouldn't be possible at FS. Ed Reed has amazing ball skills, and would not be as useful as a SS where he wouldn't be able to play as much centerfield.

They are very different positions in real life. In Madden, not so much. Really, until they have a true SS and FS, they should just rename it Left Saftey and Right Saftey.
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:57 PM   #8
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Re: What's the difference between the free safety vs. strong safety?

In Madden the safeties are basically interchangable when it comes to responsibilities since the strong safety doesn't line up on the strong side. Both safeties just set up on the same side and do the same things.

In real life they usually have different responsibilities.
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:27 PM   #9
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Re: What's the difference between the free safety vs. strong safety?

Simplest answer.

Strong safeties have a lot of responsibilty to come up and stop the run. They're the 8th man in the box (when you use one).

Free Safeties responsibility is to deal with the pass, and act as a last line of Defence.

One thing Madden needs to do.
Switch from this ROLB/LOLB garbage.
And switch to Strongside/Weakside.

It's really silly when the Offense flips formation and the TE is on the left, and the LOLB (who are the stronger players, even in Madden, even in new drafts) stay on the opposite side.

It's all about the Sam and Will.
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:29 PM   #10
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Re: What's the difference between the free safety vs. strong safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bearlacher1
Simplest answer.

Strong safeties have a lot of responsibilty to come up and stop the run. They're the 8th man in the box (when you use one).

Free Safeties responsibility is to deal with the pass, and act as a last line of Defence.

One thing Madden needs to do.
Switch from this ROLB/LOLB garbage.
And switch to Strongside/Weakside.

It's really silly when the Offense flips formation and the TE is on the left, and the LOLB (who are the stronger players, even in Madden, even in new drafts) stay on the opposite side.

It's all about the Sam and Will.
You got it, Madden really needs to implement this. A lot of teams switch their DEs to the strong and weak side too.
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