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Mixing it up for the sake of mixing it up is never a good idea.

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    Default Mixing it up for the sake of mixing it up is never a good idea.

    This is the first article of a series I intend to write that will hopefully close the gap between “sim” and “freestyle” players on both ends. My intention is to make sim players more open-minded and to help freestyle players understand that realism does not inherently hurt your chances to win.

    I dislike the terminology that divides us into “sim” and “freestyle” Madden players, but that’s what people are familiar with, so I’ll go with it.

    ---

    It’s easy to assume that Peyton Manning’s offense with the Indianapolis Colts was the most complex in the NFL because of all his orchestration at the line of scrimmage. As it turns out, just the opposite was true. The reason Peyton was able to make so many pre-snap adjustments was that he had the simplest playbook in the NFL.

    To gain a better understanding of the X’s and O’s of Peyton’s offense, I encourage you all to read this article. But by taking our analysis of Peyton’s offense down to the fundamentals, we can apply their success to this discussion in a way that leads us to a key point of my argument: having ten different ways to do the same thing does not confuse the defense or “keep them off balance”; it simply means you need to be able to perfectly execute nine unnecessary things. Let’s look at these diagrams from Smart Football for an explanation. (I excluded several because the forum allows a maximum of four images in a post. Check out the first link I gave for the complete set of concepts Brown wrote about.)

    Three Verticals


    Levels


    Smash


    Four Verticals



    What do these images above have in common? Two things:

    1) “Doubles” formation
    2) All receivers have vertical route stems on every play, excluding the running back

    This is a valid approach. Everything looks the same pre-snap, and it looks the same shortly after the snap as well. The similar route stems make it difficult to jump a certain route. The defense knows what you’re doing, but they can’t stop it without showing too much of their hand. Peyton identified these tells better than anyone, and that’s where his orchestration started. If he was in Levels, and saw the SS roll down to create a single high look, he knew to look for a curl-flat combination with his running back and Z receiver (Marvin Harrison and later Pierre Garcon). There are countless other examples, but the point is that Peyton had an answer for everything, and that he was able to execute all of his concepts almost perfectly because that’s all he did.

    I want to leave “freestyle” Madden players with this message: if you think that “sim” Madden players suck at the game because they scroll through the playbook with no direction or focus, falling back on the cliché of “mixing it up”, consider that such a player is not even playing “sim” contrary to what they might think. There is a different kind of sim out there that is competitive and fun.

    And I want to leave “sim” Madden players with this message: don’t “mix it up” just to “mix it up”, because that doesn’t work. Diversity is great, but all diversity in an offense needs to be fueled by a purpose, or else it becomes a diversion. I should be quick to say that the Colts’ approach is not the only good one out there (it’s actually unique to take it to this extreme), but even a team like Green Bay that has a wide array of formations relies on a list of concepts short enough to shock the average football fan who has been brainwashed by broadcasters. They will run the same passing concept from I-form that they run from Empty (ex: Shallow Cross). It’s all about the concepts. And perhaps a sim rule stating that an individual can't run the same 5-6 plays over and over needs revised. Sim leagues should be concerned with the plays themselves, such as motion hike throws and man assignment switches, and not the number of plays.

    ---

    I’d love to hear your opinions, agree or disagree, but let’s keep things on topic. Depending on the response to this thread, I might continue the series with articles about no huddling and 4th and short. Maybe it’ll eventually turn into a blog with some offensive and defensive strategy discussion…we’ll see.

    cgm

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    What exactly are you planning for future articles?

    I know you've mentioned 4th down rulings but I know from experience many sim players don't budge to well on that issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baller7345 View Post
    What exactly are you planning for future articles?

    I know you've mentioned 4th down rulings but I know from experience many sim players don't budge to well on that issue.
    "Huddling every down is an anachronism."
    "Going for it on 4th and short is the right call."
    "Madden is a good game unless you try to make it a bad one."

    Those are a few I'm particularly excited about. Regarding 4th and short, check this out. Admittedly I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it looks really interesting.

    And shoutout to baller! This guy really knows what he's doing and taught me a lot!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cgm15 View Post
    "Huddling every down is an anachronism."
    "Going for it on 4th and short is the right call."
    "Madden is a good game unless you try to make it a bad one."

    Those are a few I'm particularly excited about. Regarding 4th and short, check this out. Admittedly I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it looks really interesting.

    And shoutout to baller! This guy really knows what he's doing and taught me a lot!
    Is that the paper done by the Berkley mathematician about how its statistically advantageous to go for it on 4th down if its like 4th and 3 and below or something like that?

    If so then I've already saw it a few years ago and while I love the math put into it I don't like boiling it down to an equation. If it is something different then I'll see it when my dial up actually finishes loading.

    I do agree that 4th and short should be completely up to the player as long as there isn't something like the M09 FB Dive for them to fall back on. I would include the QB sneak for this year but that was so obviously a glitch its not even worth mentioning.

    Oh, off topic but I have tried out the Colts Deuce Slot Levels divide (its so wonderful to see Madden have a true divide route) and you can hit the deep dig pretty consistently with the touch pass and lead up. At least I was able to against the Steelers LB's running random defenses.
    Last edited by baller7345; 06-16-2012 at 03:41 AM.

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    Yeah i read an article stating (not sure if its the same article you linked cgm since i didnt read it lol) that mathematically coaches are too conservative on 4th and close and are basically playing scared if it doesnt work to what will be said about them in the media
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    btw are you allowed to hike in the nfl with a player in motion?
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    Quote Originally Posted by baller7345 View Post
    Is that the paper done by the Berkley mathematician about how its statistically adventurous to go for it on 4th down if its like 4th and 3 and below or something like that?

    If so then I've already saw it a few years ago and while I love the math put into it I don't like boiling it down to an equation. If it is something different then I'll see it when my dial up actually finishes loading.

    I do agree that 4th and short should be completely up to the player as long as there isn't something like the M09 FB Dive for them to fall back on. I would include the QB sneak for this year but that was so obviously a glitch its not even worth mentioning.

    Oh, off topic but I have tried out the Colts Deuce Slot Levels divide (its so wonderful to see Madden have a true divide route) and you can hit the deep dig pretty consistently with the touch pass and lead up. At least I was able to against the Steelers LB's running random defenses.
    Yeah, it's a Berkeley math thing, but I haven't read far enough to fully grasp his results. I can understand not wanting to boil it down to an equation.

    My main point about 4th down doesn't have anything to do with that though. The short version is that the rules of football present a built-in risk versus reward decision. There are way too many confounding variables to every 4th down to make a rule that covers all the bases. It should be up to the player imo. I don't see how sportsmanship has anything to do with it (assuming the score is reasonably close.) I guess the title I had planned doesn't fit very well haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick View Post
    btw are you allowed to hike in the nfl with a player in motion?
    Yes you can hike with a player in motion as long as that player isn't on the line of scrimmage. If they are on the line of scrimmage even if they are a WR and are in motion at the snap its an illegal man in motion or illegal shift or something like that can't remember off the top of my head.

    Just look at plays like Flanker Drive, Jet Sweep, etc. in the Madden play books. The automotion WR is behind the line of scrimmage when he goes in motion allowing him to get a running start at the snap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick View Post
    btw are you allowed to hike in the nfl with a player in motion?
    Yes, as long as he is off the line of scrimmage and not moving towards the line of scrimmage. When I said "motion hike throws" I was referring to a route that gets ridiculous separation against man coverage that would probably get picked in real life.

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    Ah ok, I'm just a casual football fan, i didnt realize i was breaking the rules when i motion like that.
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