It is that time of the year again.  The Madden 15 season is winding down and Madden 16 is just on the horizon.  Footage is beginning to be released and ratings releases should be coming in the next several weeks.  Change is on the horizon.  No Madden game plays exactly like its predecessor did.  Each new iteration has somewhat of a learning curve.  So with all of the change, how can you put yourself in the best place to succeed with Madden 16 at launch?

Play with a non-mobile QB

Everyone knows that mobile QBs are king in Madden.  And yet, when all you do is play with mobile QBs you begin to develop bad habits and use them as a crutch.  Instead of rolling out to avoid pressure, you roll out or fade back 10-15 yards every play.  You lose your pocket presence, and miss a lot of open WRs because you are constantly looking to run.

So spend some time playing online head to head with non-mobile QBs.  Pick a guy that can’t move, so you force yourself to step into the pocket and throw.  It will be hard for a couple games, but eventually you will realize that rolling out with Peyton Manning or Tom Brady isn’t a good idea.  Once you break that habit you will be in a much better place should you not be lucky enough to have a mobile QB in Madden 16.

Use an unfamiliar playbook

Every year Madden players spend time building their custom playbooks, setting audibles, and generally loading up on as many money plays as they can.  Eventually you get so used to running the same 20 plays per game that you don’t even remember how to do anything else.  And while those plays work great in Madden 15, how do you know that O1 Trap or PA Scissors will work that well in Madden 16?

Pick a new playbook.  Go pick a random teams playbook and learn how to use it.  Stretch yourself.  Learn some new plays and develop a new scheme.  The more things you can run effectively in Madden 15 the better chance you have that some of it will work in Madden 16.

Play the opposite of your game

Use the tail end of the Madden 15 season to work on your weaknesses.  For example, I am a run first guy, who sits back and plays a lot of zone coverage on defense.  I am most comfortable running the ball 30 times and passing 15 times in a game.  So when I go online and play head to head I make a rule for myself that I can only run the ball on 3rd & 2 or less.  Otherwise I have to pass the ball.  I lose a lot of games like that, but it helps me work on my passing game.  Likewise on defense I try to play a lot of man to man and blitz a lot to work on defenses I am not as comfortable with.

Learn to read defenses

This is probably the most important tip in this article.  Learn to read defenses both pre and post snap.  A really good player can disguise his defense pre snap, but most can’t.  Identifying cover 2 vs cover 3 pre snap can be the difference in a 5 yard completion or a 45 yard TD.

Knowing a man blitz is coming can be the difference between taking a sack, or hitting a big play.  Now you aren’t always going to guess right, that is why it is important to make quick, accurate post snap reads, but reading the defense pre snap is key to running a good offense.

Take a break

Finally, take a break.  Put down the control and walk away for a few weeks.  Madden fatigue begins to set in at this stage of the year.  Sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away for a few weeks, get excited again, and come back fresh.

How are you planning to get ready for Madden 16?  Sound off in the comments below.