Wouldn’t it be sweet to get behind the center and know exactly what defense you are up against? Although accelerated clock has depleted most of the time to do so, it is still possible if you know what you are looking for. I will take you through obvious reads you can quickly make before hiking the ball.

First off, determine whether the defense is in man coverage . It is usually obvious when you see defenders lined up directly across from you from sideline to sideline. But to make sure, motion an offensive player to see if he is being tailed. If you are facing man coverage, your next step is to see how tight you are being played. Against press man coverage the defender will be up close to your recievers. Cover 1 can be spotted by watching the safeties. If a safety is manned up on a tight end and the other safety is playing deep, you are usually facing a cover 1 defense. I say “usually” because Cover 1 is easily hidden.

Next we will go over zone coverage. If they are not in man, it must be zone. You have to be able to read Cover 2,3 and 4. Cover 2 has no movement by the defensive backs and is very easy to spot because of this. Cover 3 gets a little more tricky and is much harder to exploit. Cover 3 is all about the safety movement once again. If one safety moves down into the box and the other floats over to deep middle, you are facing Cover 3. Cover 4 is another easy one. This time you will need to watch the corners. The corners will slide up and to the outside if in cover 4.

As you can see, I didn’t go into reading the blitz. Most blitzes are blatantly obvious. Be aware of zone blitzes. Look for linebackers being moved closer to the line of scrimmage and overloading linebackers in certain gaps. This is a very basic evaluation of reading defenses but helpful none the less. Look out for more articles from myself in the future, diving deeper into the game of Madden.

Written by Madden-School Staff Writer LayinWood