ZAN December 14, 2011 0

Hey guys.

Thanks for checking back for Forward Progress #3.

I just want to vent a little bit. I’m not going to name names, because EVERYONE has done it; something that REALLY irks me in the Madden tip community is when people think they have the knowledge, but don’t have the terminology down. Let’s get away from calling zones by color (I hate when I hear someone say “purple” or “yellow” zone!); instead, let’s start referring to our zones correctly: Hook, Buzz, Flat, Deep (either halves, thirds, or quarters).

Also, in the tips community, there’s an issue of defensive linemen being referred to based on the perspective of someone looking at their TV screen, or by the actual position name in real life, with the actual perspective being referred to by the author not being specified for the audience.

The same problem exists with linebackers; a player’s position will be referred to based off of looking at the TV screen, and it will confuse some people. Instead, linebackers should be referred to as Sam, Mike, or Will; meaning “strong side outside LB”, “middle linebacker”, or “weak side outside LB”. In a 3-4, the middle linebackers should be referred to as SMLB (for strong side MLB), or WMLB (for weak side MLB). -It’s not a hard concept.

In order to read the diagram above, it’s really pretty simple; all you need to do first is look at the particular space in which a defensive lineman lines up in. For instance, a nose tackle who lines up directly over the Center is said to be in a “0-technique”; a defensive lineman who lines up over either guard is said to be in a “2-technique”, -if that particular lineman lines up over the guard, but is shading into that particular A-gap, he’s said to be in a “1-technique”.

To apply this to real life, let’s talk about the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive end, Trent Cole. Trent Cole is said to always line up in a “Wide-9” technique; that simply means he’s lining up in a spot on the line simulating as if a tight end was really there, even if there is no tight end on his side of the line.

In the photo above, look at the defensive linemen near the bottom in a 4-point stance. In this photo, he is lined up in a 9 technique. There is actually a tight end on his side of the line, which helps show what I’m teaching here. Even if Randy McMichael (the Charger’s TE) were not there, that DE is still considered to be lined up in a Wide-9 technique if he stays in that spot.

By labeling your linemen by their technique, you limit the confusion of relativity (Right or left from the offensive or defensive perspective). -I hope this helps; this is a transition, but your understanding of the game will be better from it in the end.   If you teach a Madden player “Madden”, you’ll get a robot. If you teach a Madden player “football”, you’ll help mold a solid Madden player (once they apply football knowledge to what is effective in a given edition of the game).

The community is dying. I’m just being sincere. Why is it dying? Well that’s a complicated and loaded question; but the root of the problem is that we aren’t teaching football schematics behind play/scheme setups. We also have people shot down for thinking critically in our community. I’m guilty of it, you’re guilty of it, we’re all guilty of it; when somebody says “Hey, I’m running cover 4 and spotlighting (it’s unfortunate that Cover 4 requires a spot light to stop a 4 verts concept) a WR…but it doesn’t work”, and they are met with the rhetorical “Well the game is a chess match.”. To me, that’s not acceptable as an answer. The person is making the right play call, and not being rewarded for it, but that’s besides the point.

The bottom line is we are giving robotic setups to “counter” things in this community rather than TEACHING concepts and allowing players to think critically and apply things. Why do you think I’m (not to brag) one of the more original players in the community on one side of the ball or another EVERY year? I’m not re-creating the wheel. I’m learning concepts and trying to teach others how to take popular things and mold them into their own thing; but people that frequent the tips community are just told “throw a yellow/purple/light blue here/there” and don’t know any more to explain why other than “So and so told me to…”…and furthermore can’t tell you what the hell each color zone does in the game vs. what it’s supposed to do in real life….That’s a travesty.

I understand not everyone has the time to learn in-depth X’s and O’s of the game…but it’s not hard nor is it time consuming to start teaching in the correct manner so people are (if nothing else) forced to learn the terminology that will apply to this Madden, next Madden, and every Madden thereafter…as well as becoming well rounded when it comes to football knowledge itself. That’s what we’re here for to begin with, right? We all love football…so teach it correctly.

Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime…

So my call to action, heed these words if you’re going to give tips (especially if you are making income off of it). Even if you do it for free, you are going to make yourself more acquainted with the game of football and make your peers knowledge of the game better as well.

Thanks, and until next time,
ZAN (Zac Neal)

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