Check out the latest Madden NFL 17 blog going over the improvements on zone coverage with the addition of a new technology called "Behavior Coordinator". Read it and post your thoughts!
Moving to a new AI architecture meant our underneath zone coverage logic had to be completely rewritten from scratch. We consulted with NFL coaches and players to get a thorough understanding of the various coverage concepts, rules for each player’s assignment, and techniques players use in order to carry out their assignments. This resulted in the creation of ten new zone coverage assignments that can be used to create a variety of coverage concepts (Cover 3 Match, Cover 2 Carry, etc.)
Each new zone coverage assignment has rules and logic in place with the idea that they’ll be used in specific coverages. So in essence, each player in a given coverage concept has knowledge of a global scheme and how everyone’s assignment fits into the scheme. Each player having a global knowledge of the scheme gives them the ability to make “Progression Reads” aka “Pattern Reading/Pattern Matching”. Before we get into the nuts and bolts of Progression Reads for the zone defenders, here’s a high level overview of the new zone coverage assignments.
As mentioned earlier, prior to Madden NFL 17, we had three underneath zone coverage assignments. That number has jumped to ten. In addition to the new zones, the on field Coach Cam art has been updated as well. Each underneath zone has the name in text inside the zone art. This is to give users a clear understanding as to which new zone assignment is being used in each play. The following is a list of the new zone assignments as well as a high level overview of what they are and where they’re used.