Note: If you are an aspiring coach/coordinator out there, this is a great resource to have along with Concept Passing: Teaching the Modern Passing Game by Dan Gonzalez
In Attack Coverages with the Passing Game, former quarterback and wide receiver coach Steve Axman describes how to use passing concepts and route combinations to attack defenses. The book is a great read and generally, when I follow the advice in the book, I do just fine in the passing game. I have not read Gonzalez's text just yet, and it should provide for some great reading as he deals not only with concepts but applications. Last year, in online franchise, I got away from this type of passing after season one and things went downhill rather quickly. I was enamored with numbers and attempted to adopt the Macaroni style offense. Those in my league will know what I'm referring to. For those not in the league, Macaroni is the nickname of one of our previous members. His passing game numbers were absolutely ridiculous. Some games he would pass for over 600 yards 7 TDs. He had no defense, though. Anyways, I tried to adopt that style and failed. This brings me to the point: establish an identity in your passing attack and stick to it.
One of the great things Madden/NCAA does playbook wise is provide users with concepts.
Levels Divide (which does have the options I mention in another post)
Stick (Multiple Versions)
The above are just a few passing concepts that are very popular amongst High School, College and NFL passing games. Granted many teams tag the backside of some of their concepts and the Levels Divide is an example of that.
Another style of pass game play calling I have seen people use over the years in Madden/NCAA is based on a route. This was also true of a great deal of players who played All-Pro Football 2K8. Some people's passing game was based on the fade. While they did not always throw to the wide receiver running that route, that route was a part of just about every play. Others based their passing game around the post. Lastly, just based on anecdotal observation, many players ran a great deal of double move routes and basic out routes when they got into trouble spots.
Finally, some guys like to run and base their entire attack around play action off the run, which is not too bad of an idea if play action did not always result in sacks vs heavy blitzing, which is what Madden/NCAA has been geared for (hopefully Madden NFL 13 will not be this way. I kinda doubt it, though).
I'm not advocating one style over the other when it comes to video games. I will just say concepts work better for me (would like to have more tags) because that's how my brain works. It's not that simple though. I do have some routes I like to look for. So mine is a bit mixed, granted 90 percent is concept based. When you think about your passing attack in Madden/NCAA, after you've evaluated personnel, how do you develop your attack? What has been beneficial for you?