In this article we will be breaking down a Cover 2 concept recently written about by a friend of the TurfTeam, Coach Byrd. Coach Byrd is a Defensive Coordinator and Linebacker Coach for Harding University HS and recently started writing his very own football strategy blog called Chalk Talk. More importantly than all of that however, he happens to just be a damn fine human being. We would like to send a special thanks to him for allowing us to use his article to write one of our own showing how this concept can be related to Madden 16.

Coach Byrd’s cover 2 trap defense is ran from a standard cover 2 shell with both outside corners having flat responsibility, the two deep safeties responsible for the deep halves, and the two interior defenders playing seam/wall assignments over the middle. He then has his three defensive lineman taking inside angles on their pass rush in hopes of collapsing a tackle for one of the outside pass rushers to have free run at the QB.

The word “Trap” in his play call signifies to the cornerbacks that they need to play shallow and gamble on a quick throw to the flat rather than taking a deeper drop on their zone assignment and just closing on the shallow route. This defense is intended to create a panic throw from the QB that could very easily result in 6 points going the other way. Here is a diagram of what this looks like;

c2-trap-blitz-2x2

In a real world environment this setup would achieve the desired result and get a free rusher at the QB at a fairly high rate. Unfortunately in Madden 16 following the most recent patch something that looks like this would almost never create the desired effect except against play action. So please take a few minutes to watch the video below to see the different variations we would use to make this defense work in Madden 16 CFM. We will then go on to explain the different variations.

Dollar DB Fire 2 Press: Base Setup

  • Base Align, Press
  • Pinch DL
  • Crash DL Down
  • Reblitz DT
  • Spy Right of Screen DE
  • Man Up Right of Screen LB on Vertical Threat
  • QB Contain
  • User Left of screen LB to Carry Vertical and Then Converge on Shallow Routes

This particular setup will not offer anything in the way of pressure really. You are basically waiting on blocksheds to occur. The spy over the short middle does a great job of taking away drags for an extra second to allow the blocksheds to take place however.

Dollar DB Fire 2 Press: Passive Pressure Setup

  • Base Align, Press
  • Pinch DL
  • Crash DL Down
  • Reblitz DT
  • Man Up Right of Screen LB on Vertical Threat
  • QB Contain
  • User Left of Screen LB to Carry Vertical and Then Converge on Shallow Routes

The passive pressure setup for this play sends five rushers at the QB. Again we will not see much in the way of untouched pressure with this setup against regular passing plays, however with five rushers the blocksheds take place much faster and the contains do a great job of limiting the QB’s ability to escape. You will get a free edge rusher against most play action plays with this setup however.

Dollar DB Fire 2 Press: Aggressive Pressure Setup

  • Base Align, Press
  • Pinch DL
  • Crash DL Down
  • Reblitz DT
  • Hot Blitz One of Your Linebackers
  • QB Contain
  • User the Other Linebacker Over the Middle of the Field

This setup is high risk/high reward in the truest sense. Sending six rushers from this shell obviously leaves a huge hole over the middle of the field so you will have to be highly aggressive with your user player and jump routes based on tendencies. In a perfect world we would love to have time to place our corners in yellows and shade our coverage to the inside so the corners would help slightly on quick inside breaking routes, but getting both corners in hook zones before the snap would be difficult.

Dollar DB Fire 2 Press: Max Coverage Setup

  • Base Align, Press
  • Pinch DL
  • Crash DL Down
  • Spy Either DE
  • Man Up or Zone Both Slot DB’s
  • Pick a LB to User and Place Him on a Blitz Assignment to Avoid Pancakes

With our max coverage setup we are only rushing two defenders, but placing our user defender on a blitz assignment so the game recognizes three rushers. This stops the ridiculous pancake animations from happening should our opponent run the ball. The key to making this defense work is having two very strong pass rushers and making sure to send the QB spy should your opponent begin to roll out by clicking in the right analog stick.

LET’S TALK SHADING!!!

One of the keys to keeping your opponent off balance in this defense will be how effective you are using coverage shades. The three main ones that we will discuss are underneath, over the top, and protect the sticks. You will want to vary your coverage shades regularly to keep your opponent off balance regarding what they can do to attack your cover 2 shell.

Underneath Coverage Shade

  • This shade will result in your flat zones playing very shallow, they still won’t play a lockdown flat on Madden 16, but they will be there very promptly to meet any offensive player catching the ball in the flat. You may see some interceptions in the event that your opponent is late on their throw to the flats. This is a shade that we would recommend using in crucial situations against an opponent that has been abusing the flats. Don’t use it right away and scare them away from the flats, wait until it’s 4th and short or 3rd and short in a league that mandates punts on fourth down.

Over the Top Coverage Shade

  • Over the top shading will force your zone defenders to carry their zone much deeper downfield before peeling off to close on shallow routes. This shade will make it much harder to defend someone flooding routes underneath, but can incredibly useful on third and long situations to force a fourth down. Use this coverage shade on third and longs to force an underneath throw or against opponents that have an uncontrollable compulsion to throw corner routes.

Protect the Sticks Shade

  • Protecting the sticks can be the most rewarding shade, however it can also be the most risky as it really protects the area between the line of scrimmage and the first down marker. That means whether there are 10 yards to go or just a couple yards to go. If you think that your opponent is going to try and attack the area near the first down marker this is a great shade to call, and it can be exceptionally useful near the endzone.

Well guys that about it wraps it up. We hope that you enjoyed the article and that you can use the content in your Sim Style league. While it may not be very effective in the wild wild west of online head to head, it certainly can be fun to build a team to play a certain style of football in your league. If you enjoy reading articles regarding actual football concepts please make sure to follow Coach Byrd @CoachByrd_ and check out his article on ChalkTalk for his Cover 2 Trap concept by clicking the link below.

CLICK HERE TO READ COACH BYRD’S BREAKDOWN!!!!