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Linebacker Play vs. The Draw: URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED!

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Old 10-02-2012, 12:22 PM   #1
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Linebacker Play vs. The Draw: URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED!

For the past few iterations of Madden, the draw play has been the bane of my existence. It was never much of a bother before Madden 11 when they implemented the "new" blocking schemes... and I put "new" in quotation marks on purpose because all they really did to make the play more effective was to make your linebackers dumber. Dumber as in they'll drop into their coverage assignments 10-12 yards downfield and not react to the back until he's past the line of scrimmage.

Now I've been tolerating this for a while, but for the past few weeks I've been watching linebackers defend the draw on real Sunday football, and I can't take it anymore.

Disclaimer: I'm not looking for any plays/schemes or tools (i.e. using "run commit) to remedy the problem. None of that should be necessary. I'm pointing out flaws in the basic football fundamentals as they are presently programmed -- that EA should address on their end.


EXHIBIT A: Draw play from last night (Cowboys vs. Bears)... 1st and 10. Cowboys are in a Twin-I Formation. Bears are in an Over Front, and the coverage call looks like Cover 3 since Nick Roach is walked out on the wide receiver to the field and the safety is walked down.

Now I want you to pay attention to Briggs and Urlacher in the middle. Look at their reaction when Romo shows pass, even the fullback does a good job of selling pass.



Do you see how Urlacher and Briggs held their water when the ball was snapped? See how they took a read step, then shuffled to their gap, then exploded down hill when they read run??? ... this is solid, fundamental football. This is what run defense should look like. No "run commit", no squeezing your d-line, no tricks, just fundamentals.



EXHIBIT B:...now take a look at what it looks like in Madden 13:



Somebody please tell me what Urlacher is doing on that first play? Please tell me why Nick Roach continues to drop into his flat coverage assignment despite having his eyes in the backfield the whole time?

Now I remember pre-release when the CD guys were asking for lists, I was begging for them to take a look at the linebacker play on draws. Well, it's just as bad as ever, so I'm asking EA one last time before I move on to address the linebacker play in the next patch -- specifically against the draw. I understand that there are no true run fits or gap assignments, which only exacerbates the problem, but this is inexcusable. There is no logical reason why Brian Urlacher should be 10+ yards away from the LOS on a draw play and not react until the back crosses the LOS when he has his eyes in the backfield the whole way.


EXHIBIT C: Madden 10. This is what I'm referring to when I say the draw play never used to be that big a deal. Look at the linebacker reaction here in Cover 3 vs. the lead draw. Now Urlacher takes some funny side movement that looks ugly to the B gap, BUT note how he and Briggs are moving downhill. Look down at the linebacker on the right, who has the flat coverage assignment, and how he tight to the LOS vs. what Roach did in the other vid. All three linebackers are looking at and closing to the LOS... they are playing run first. It's not beautiful, but it's on the right track. It's nowhere near as atrocious as Madden 13.



I don't like taking shots at EA but there's no other way to say it, this is straight garbage. They made the draw play more effective not through better blocking logic, but by making the linebackers dumber as evidenced by this comparison.

Now I manually control my Middle Linebacker, so I am able to close the distance -- (even though at the snap my player automatically drops back no matter what I do), but in any 4-3 front, my LB teammates ALWAYS drop to their coverage assignments so it's impossible to close the two other holes. I just have to guess which way the back will cut. In Nickel it's a little better because I only have one extra bubble to cover, but in a 4-3, unless the defensive linemen shed and get a piece of the back, I get ripped every time, and it's unacceptable, especially when I compare it to the way the linebackers were programmed to react in Madden 10.

Disclaimer: This was on All-Madden so excuse the horrible tackling, but the problem exists on All-Pro too vs. the CPU but it may not be as glaring because Urlacher will close and make the tackle more reliably... albeit, 5 yards downfield. But that's not really the issue. The issue is the linebacker reaction. LINEBACKERS ARE RUN DEFENDERS FIRST and they should act that way in the game.

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Last edited by Senator Palmer; 10-02-2012 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:08 PM   #2
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Re: Linebacker Play vs. The Draw: URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED!

AMEN BROTHER! I like the comparison videos. Good job!
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:39 PM   #3
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Re: Linebacker Play vs. The Draw: URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED!

I think it's been established that if EA would create an NFL game instead of shoving Madden Ball down our throats, this wouldn't be an issue.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:55 PM   #4
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Re: Linebacker Play vs. The Draw: URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED!

Good to see you posting again Senator, you and KBLover seemed to go MIA, lol. Good thread too.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:02 PM   #5
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Re: Linebacker Play vs. The Draw: URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED!

Yup i hate this. LB dont read or have keys for the users team. If that was the cpu on defense the play would have been blown up like on MNF last night.

LBs play run first no matter what the play call is in real life but not in madden.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:11 PM   #6
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Re: Linebacker Play vs. The Draw: URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED!

Try messing with the User Run Reaction slider and see how things change.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:10 PM   #7
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Re: Linebacker Play vs. The Draw: URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED!

This is almost as bad as curl routes, which are unspeakable.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:13 PM   #8
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Re: Linebacker Play vs. The Draw: URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big FN Deal
Good to see you posting again Senator, you and KBLover seemed to go MIA, lol. Good thread too.
What's up, Big. Good to see you too.

And yeah, I've was underwhelmed by the finished product. So, I thought it was a good idea to go into exile.

I keep trying to give the game a chance, though, so I had to come out of lurk mode over this, because it's driving me up the wall and I think/hope it's something that's fixable.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:20 PM   #9
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Re: Linebacker Play vs. The Draw: URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator Palmer
What's up, Big. Good to see you too.

And yeah, I've was underwhelmed by the finished product. So, I thought it was a good idea to go into exile.

I keep trying to give the game a chance, though, so I had to come out of lurk mode over this, because it's driving me up the wall and I think/hope it's something that's fixable.
Very nice to see The Senator back and hitting on all cylinders.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:39 PM   #10
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I think draw plays should be set up much like playaction as they're essentially the same play. I can understand if the linebackers drop back on a 3rd or 4th and long or if the run game has been nonexistent the whole game, but linebackers usually read for the run first no matter their assignment and to drop back immediately screams rookie mistake. Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher shouldn't be making those mistakes.
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