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Utilizing the Air Raid in Madden

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    Default Utilizing the Air Raid in Madden

    This is long overdue I know that but I just haven't had the time to sit down and put this all together lately. I can't guarantee that this will be completely finished in any timely manner but I can at least get the most important parts of this down which is the main concepts that will be ran from whatever book you want to run this from.

    Drive
    2_Madden_Packers00070.jpg

    This is a staple of the West Coast offense while its normally run less often in an Air Raid offense but since we are dealing with pro style offenses its best to use this just as much if not more than the traditional staple of the air raid, Shallow Cross. The reason for this is because its hard to run a pure air raid from the pro style books so you need something to let you transition seamlessly into a more traditional west coast offense.

    The concept itself is fairly simple, you are two crossing routes (the drag and the dig route) on the same side of the field at different depths in order to put strain on the LB core. Its a fairly simple high low read where your main concern is the mike backer, if he steps up and takes the drag route then use a touch pass (hold passing button long enough so that it isn't a lob but release it before the throw is made) to place it over and around him. A lot of times however this will result in the middle of the field being wide open and as long as you have the time to wait it out you'll be able to hit the dig route over the middle for a really big gain. Be wary of robber coverage because if you don't notice it you'll likely read the dig as the open route and throw right at a safety or LB. The shallow cross is what you aim to hit if you see the mike backer drop back into a more loose coverage scheme (think cover 2 sink) or if you feel there is going to be pressure. You might not always get a huge gain out of the shallow cross but its a safe play and if you manage to catch it in some space then it can turn into a big gain.

    The reason this concept is the base concept in my air raid is because of how versatile it is. It is a good play to run against just about any sort of coverage as long as you make the right reads. The best however are cover 3 and cover 4 since they are the most likely to open up the deep cross however against man coverage and any variety of zone coverage you can normally run this high low read and find something to go with.

    Shallow Cross
    yshall.png

    This is basically the same concept as drive except its more popular to run the shallow and deep cross routes on opposite sides for most college air raid attacks. It aims to create the same stress that drive creates on the middle of the field and has the same high low read. Its basically making the same read except your eyes are usually going to be more focused on the middle of the field right after the snap since it uses routes ran on both sides of the field instead of two routes ran on the same side of the field.

    Again in this play's simplicity comes a concept that is effective against pretty much every type of coverage if you make your reads correctly. If you see the middle open up then give it to the deep crosser while if they play more conservative look to dump it off to the shallow crosser. Again the shallow cross is a great hot read if they blitz.

    Spacing
    3_Madden_Packers00073.jpg

    Spacing isn't really a concrete concept in terms of a set of routes but instead it aims to be the ultimate horizontal stretch play. Litter up to five WRs all over the field using a varity of routes ranging from a backside slant to a massive amount of hitch routes and you put as much strain as possible on the underneath coverage of the defense. My personal favorite is the variants ran most commonly out of a bunch formation or a trips formation where they throw the 3 WRs into a litany of shallow routes to flood the shallow part of the field on the trips side while the isolated WR on the backside runs a slant. This means if they happen to have your guys manned up you aren't punished if you don't immediately see one of the short hitch routes open since you have the slant route on the backside. Against pretty much any zone coverage one of the shallow routes will be open. This concept is a great blitz beater and a great play to roll out there if you are unsure on exactly what the defense is doing to you in terms of coverage.

    Smash
    Smash 7.jpg

    Smash is another vertical stretch that uses a high low read to determine who you go to. The variants we are using for this offense are all going to use divide routes (or seams since Madden books have very few true divide routes). The goal is to run this concept against a 2 high look and since you are sending 2 guys deep on one side while having the smash route force the shallow zones to respect it you should get a good matchup against cover 4 while you should have a wide open corner corner route against cover 2. If they play very conservatively out of their two deep shell then the smash route should be open which is where the low portion of your high low read comes into play.

    Four Verticals
    3_Madden_Packers00100.jpg

    Four Verticals is about as simple as you can get. You run 4 guys on vertical routes in the aims of flooding the deep coverage of the defense. Against a 1 deep look this is always good play to run as it tests the deep safety and his coverage technique. If he commits too early then you have a wide open guy deep. Against Cover 4 which is the most common way to slow down four verticals you have the option to scramble utilizing the space created by the deep routes pulling players out of position or to dump it off to a possible fifth if you didn't run a 6 man protection.


    I'll pick this up as soon as my power comes back on. I'm down to about 10% battery life.

    Packaging 3 and 5 step drop concepts into the same play

    Read that article its important to running this offense in the same manner that I run it.
    Last edited by baller7345; 06-29-2012 at 06:56 PM.

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    Ok lets pick this up while I have a small window of opportunity. I may go back and flesh some of these ones out more since they are kind of short and to the point since I wrote these up while my computer was dying last Saturday and would have posted them then but you can only have 5 attachments per post so I lost what little time I had breaking the one long word document up into two separates meaning I only got one up.

    Mesh
    mesh.gif

    Mesh is another take on how to use a shallow cross, it's main aim is to create a rub between the two crossing WRs thus making it extremely effective against man coverage. With that said depending on the routes around the main concept it can be used as a horizontal stretch (using wheel routes) or even using a high low read to allow you to take the top off the defense.

    Y Cross
    Cross.jpg

    Y Cross is nothing more than a weakside flood using many of the same principles you'd get from Sail or Strong Flood. Its got all your basics covered for a vertical stretch flood play. There are 3 WRs running at one side of the field at 3 different depths (intermediate, short, and deep). What makes this different is that it brings its main target from across the field rather than loading up 3 WRs all on one side. This lets you run Y Cross out of a variety of formations from 3X1 with the flood happening on the 1 side or something as constricted as I Form Tight Doubles where you flood using the TE and the FB along with the lone WR. This along with Strong Flood (or Sail as the Air Raiders tend to call it) were the main calls against zone defenses in the early days of the Air Raid.

    Shakes/3 Verticals
    shakes.jpg

    Shakes is a simple 3 vertical concept that uses deep corner routes with a deep seam. It aims to do exactly what 4 verticals does while giving you a more complete protection scheme since you can now block 7. It attacks the outside deep defenders on the sidelines while attacking the middle with the seam route. You can run this with a traditional 9 routes if you have too but its best to run it out of a corner strike play if you can. When running it with regular 9 routes is important to use the next concept to play off of it.

    Comebacks
    1_Madden_Packers00040.jpg

    This will look like your standard 3 vertical concept (with 9 routes) except instead the two outside guys will stem their vetical routes off 15 yards downfield and cut back towards the sideline. Its a timing heavy concept that looks to attack loosing man coverage and loose zone coverage. Its best used in conjunction with Shakes since they are technically two sides of the same coin and in a real NFL book you'd see them drawn up as part of the same concept where the WR has the option to comeback if he sees the right coverage.

    Slot Outs
    1_Madden_Packers00097.jpg

    Simple way to attack the shallow sidelines. your flankers run 9 routes while your slots run shallow speed outs putting strain on the CB to pick between covering the 9 route or the speed out. Its a great way to beat zone blitzes as well as man coverage. It will have a small window to hit the out routes against cover 4 but cover 3 and cover 2 will cause it all sorts of problems so look to the check-down route if you get stuck against those coverages.
    Last edited by baller7345; 07-16-2012 at 05:12 AM.

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    Snag/Z-Spot
    snag.jpg

    The Snag concept is probably the most well known triangle stretch in the game (Stick is the only thing that would come close) and as such it attempts to use one side of the field and three routes to stretch the defense both horizontal (the snag/spot route and the arrow route) and vertically (the arrow route and the corner route) in order to create a multifaceted concept that can beat multiple coverages. Against a two deep look your reads should go corner, arrow, snag while against a 1 safety high look your reads should go snag, arrow, corner.

    Curl Flats
    2_Madden_Packers00031.jpg

    Probably one of if not the most basic flood plays in existence. Its a simple vertical stretch aiming to flood cover 3 and cover 2 along the sidelines by forcing the flat defender to make a choice between the flat or the curl. A popular saying that rises up from this concept is that 4 defenders can't defend 5 barrels if they are properly spaced. This is based on your traditional 4 shallow 3 deep cover 3 defense.

    Flood
    singlebacktightflexbench_thumb2.jpg

    A common west coast flood play that is also very common in the air raid system. It throws the TE on an arrow route along with the flanker on a streak allowing the slot to find the space in the zone coverage on his deep out route. Its another concept that doesn't really need any major breakdowns since its well known in Maddden as Strong Flood.

    Slants
    1_Madden_Packers00031.jpg

    Slants is as it sounds just slants with arrow routes in some cases. Its is all about match ups with this concept and while the variants that use arrow routes can attack zone coverage its mainly a man beater and a nice blitz beater. Its very simple and is basically a half field read where you pick your best mathup and read his half of the field. If he loses dump it off and go to the next down.
    Last edited by baller7345; 07-12-2012 at 04:12 PM.

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    wait so this is a dumb question, but there is different passes then holding the pass button (gunning pass) and lobbing it? (tapping the button)?

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    THE TRUTH!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaysfinest1 View Post
    wait so this is a dumb question, but there is different passes then holding the pass button (gunning pass) and lobbing it? (tapping the button)?
    Yeah there is one more. Its sort of in between a bullet and a lob though its still not perfect which is why they added so many passing trajectories to M13. You have to hold the button long enough for it to not be a lob but release it before the QB releases the ball.
    Last edited by baller7345; 07-05-2012 at 06:18 PM.

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    niiiicccceee

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    Quote Originally Posted by TChamberLn View Post
    Could you give a specific example play that you use where you package different coverage beaters on each side?
    Look at the slot drive play that I have to show the Drive concept. If you put the WR who is running a post on a curl route then you have a curl flats concept on the left and a drive concept on the right with one alert route on the far side of the field. With this you look for the Drive concept unless you are given a 1 high safety then you use the curl flats. Its allowing you to pick your best matchup and go with that letting you focus on only one side of the field giving you easier reads.

    You can do similar things out of Gun Flex Trey rather easily. Look at Hitch Corners and you'll see Smash on both sides of the field which can easily be turned into Smash with a divide route on the right and a dive concept on the left with hot-routes by hot routing the slot WR on the left to a smart routed in route and putting the flanker on the left on a drag along with the WR running the post on the right being hot routed to a streak.

    For those wondering I still have a lot to do with this thread but since I still don't have power (6 days and counting) I can't get anything posted yet. I'm currently sitting at my grand parents charging my computer off their generator enjoying a few minutes of internet connection until the phones die again. I have at least 5 more concepts to post and if I get the time I will post how I run pretty much every concept out of at least 11 formations but that will have to wait till the power comes back on.

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    Update

    I added the snag concepts (Z-Spot in the Madden books).

    Its not the most air raid of air raid concepts but since running an air raid in Madden means using more West Coast concepts than usual this is great to have since it can double with many of the Flanker Drive plays to give another look from that motion.

    I've been running this offense exclusively for the last few days even if it has been against the cpu and I couldn't leave the concept out since I found myself going to it in some form or another.

    I also had to delete a few posts so that I could have all the concepts in consecutive posts, so if anyone wonders why their post is gone then that is why. If the conversation that went on before this update was in some way pertinent to the thread then I simply remade my response and deleted the previous post so that it would simply appear later in the thread.

    There very well may be more updates to come as I'm debating throwing in Y Cross, WR Screen, and WR Tunnel Screen. It isn't because they aren't air raid enough, on the contrary they are some of the most air raidy plays ever made but its just hard to find the concepts out of multiple formations which makes it hard to link everything together.
    Last edited by baller7345; 07-12-2012 at 04:33 PM.

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    Update:

    Added Y Cross to the concept list.

    Finally got my head out of the sand and realized that all my PA Waggles and Boots that I ran as part of my West Coast side of my offense were more or less Y Cross in some form or the other. So while it may be difficult to stick Y Cross into each and every one of your gun formations its almost second nature to be able to run it out of I Form and Single back in Madden in some form or the other. As I've stated before structure is key and without the ability to keep everything structured I won't add a concept but since this can be used out of many different formations its going into this offense as it should have been all along.

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    Baller i really enjoyed this thread. Very interesting read. I read alot of smart footballs stuff, very insightfull information on there. I was dissapointed when i got to the end of this thread, hopefully you pick this back up where you left off cause i will def read it. Thanks for the information man, good post

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