How good you become on defense in Madden 25 is in large part decided by how good you are with stick skills. The progression of a typical Madden player goes from user controlling a guy rushing the quarterback (usually a defensive lineman) to controlling a linebacker and rooming the shallow middle of the field, to controlling a safety and letting nothing get behind you.
So the common question (which we get all the time here at Madden-School), “Which player should I user control on defense?” can only be answered by first honestly identifying how comfortable you are with your stick skills in Madden 25.
If you are newer to the game, and have never played past Madden NFL games, you will naturally gravitate toward rushing the quarterback. If you happen to not be very good at it, you will usually have at least 3 or 4 other guys also rushing the quarterback so you won’t screw anything up.
As you get better, you will want to start usering a linebacker. Most people go with their middle linebacker, but that isn’t necessarily a requirement. When you control a linebacker, you generally patrol the middle of the field and jump any routes you able to. When you control a linebacker, you also have the ability to plug holes in the running game. If you make a bad decision, you will have other linebackers covering for you and nothing will be able to get 15-20 yards down field past the secondary.
Once you are completely comfortable with your user control in Madden 25, it is time to move on to a safety. Most pro Madden gamers user control their free safety. Don’t kid yourself though. If you aren’t playing at a high level or aren’t very good with your stick skills, a good player will burn you deep over and over again. When you play with a safety, you are the absolute last line of defense. If something gets past you, it is an automatic 7 points. However, there are huge benefits to user controlling a safety too. The offensive line generally only worries about the front 7. You will always be able to fly in and stuff a run play. More importantly, you can cover more ground with a safety against the pass. The safety will usually have a much higher speed rating than a linebacker or defensive lineman and if there is no one in your zone, you are free to vacate it and make a play where you anticipate the quarterback will be throwing.
If you are serious about wanting to be an elite player in Madden 25, user controlling a safety is the way to go. The only exception to this rule is if you have an insanely fast nano blitz that only works when you user control a specific player. If that is the case, it may be beneficial to user control someone else.
Who do you plan on user controlling in Madden 25? Let us know in the comments section.