One of EA Sports’ big priorities for Madden 20 was to cut out some of the unnecessary dead time between plays. We are all familiar the random cut scenes, the camera going over to the sideline just to see your coach excitedly clapping his hands, or waiting 12 seconds for your 330 pound offensive lineman to run 40 yards downfield during a hurry up offense.

We first broke the news on that change last month but we now have more exact details. All of these added nothing of value to the game and resulted in a lot of dead time. The developers have minimized those things in Madden NFL 20 but there might be some unintended consequences.

In every Madden game in the last decade, it took the offense at least 8 seconds between when they broke the huddle and when they got up to the line of scrimmage ready to snap the ball. When your opponent called a no huddle offense, you’d still have those 8 seconds minimum and usually a little more than that.

Those 8 seconds gave the defense valuable time to make adjustments and set up their play. No matter how quickly your opponent tried to go, you’d have those 8 seconds. Not anymore.

In Madden 20, the defense will now have only 3 seconds to make adjustments if the offense calls a no huddle or hurry up offense and snaps the ball right away. That is almost 2/3rds less time than what you’ve had in the past to make any sort of defensive adjustments so you better brush up quick on your stick skills.

In a standard play call out of a huddle, the defense will have a minimum of 5 seconds to make their adjustments. That is still significantly less than the 8 second minimum in previous games but at least gives the defense some time.

If this development worries you, there is some good news. Pre-play is now both standardized and able to be tuned. That means that things can change and you will have the ability to tweak it to your liking in modes like franchise or offline.

The updated information came via a tweet from Madden 20 gameplay designer Clint Oldenburg.

Just to put this in perspective a little, lets look at how fast 3 seconds goes by in Madden. The video below shows the end of a completed pass in Madden 19 and then the offense running a hurry up.

That’s all the time you have before the offense is already running their next play. 3 seconds. Watch the video a few times to really let it sink in. Think of what defensive adjustments you can make in that time frame. Sure the top .1% of Madden players will be able to find something that works but the other 99.9% of gamers are in a whole world of trouble on defense.

This will likely lead to a significant increase in the skill gap and an even greater increase in the amount of people quick hiking and running no huddle offenses.

A beginning player will only be able to make maybe 1 adjustment to their defense in 3-5 seconds. An intermediate player will be able to make 2 or 3 adjustments in 3-5 seconds but a top tier pro player will be able to make around 5 adjustments in those same 3-5 seconds.

That may not seem like a big difference to those not all that familiar to higher levels of Madden but being able to make those extra 2 to 3 adjustments can turn an average defensive play into something devastatingly effective.

It is a great idea to try to cut out some of the down time in Madden, it will just make defense a whole lot harder.

What are your thoughts on these new changes to Madden 20? Are you excited to have less downtime? Are you worried how it will effect defense? Sound off in the comments!

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