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Thinking Man's Guide to Madden
The PSX2 Pass Rush Guide

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Does this sound familiar? The CPU Qb hitting his WR for a 17 yard gain for 5 consecutive plays and you are powerless to stop it, no matter what you do? Your defensive linemen would rather dance with your opponents rather than kill the quarterback? Yesterday, I felt that it was time to go into the 'lab' again to figure out possibly the number one problem on PS2 owners heads right now: how to generate a pass rush. On the old PS1, it was relatively simple to generate a pass rush. In Madden 99, it was just a simple fact of bringing heat from your speedy OLB (the 4-3 man lock or crash right). All you had to do was to control the LB and just rack up the sacks. In Madden 99, 00 and 01, you could overload one side of the line of scrimmage which would enable one of the defensive linemen to break through quickly, confuse the offensive line with customized stunts, or with that good old 'inside-out' pass rush, (which never failed to work). But PSX2 Madden is totally different. The 4-3 Man Lock and Crash Right stopped being a defensive money play simply because the linebackers weren't as fast as in Madden 99 and the play didn't cover the receivers as well as the others. But still, the play was still worth a sack or two a game. The inside out move was also a good play to generate a pass rush. Basically you would take your defensive end, (usually, i use the weakside end) and pull him back a yard or two. When the ball was hiked, you would take a quick step inside to draw the offensive tackle in, then another step to the outside and speed rush around the tackle. Usually that first step was enough to get the offensive tackle going one direction and keep him off balance, giving you a free shot at the QB. It also works with defensive tackles, but the proximity of other linemen causes congestion at times. The only problem with that in the PSX2 version is that the offensive linemen are quick to engage in the defensive player and once they get a hold of you, good night. The play that I though revolutionized the pass rush were the stunts. There were a few non-custom (like the dime double slot) but the custom plays really stood out. The could be modified to offer maximum coverage with maximum pressure. These plays are so effective because the interior offenive linemen (the guards) are programed to block the interior defensive linemen. When the defensive linemen shoot to the outside, the guards follow, leaving a nice big juicy hole in the middle of the offensive line that the defensive ends just stunt around into. Now, you could rack up the sacks without even trying. You didn't even have to control the players, just pick the play and let the CPU do the rest. Some thought it was a revalation, others a curse. But along comes Madden PSX2 and voila, no custom plays (boo-hoo). Plus the offensive linemen block like they have some sense. Plus if you keep trying to run that double slot, eventually the CPU is going to pick up on it. Which brings me to the final option, the overshifted line. First, you must make sure that your defensive end is fast. Put your fastest ends on the weakside of the defense. He needs a clear lane to the QB. In my 2nd year of my Giants franchise, i drafted a defensive end from Florida (6-3 254 OVR 83 SPD 73). My theory for the drafting of this player was that beating the offensive tackle is basically a foot race to the outside. If my defensive end can get up field and turn the corner before the tackle can get in postion, the QB is dead meat. I tried using the circle button to speed rush past the tackle, but once again, the tackle got into enough postion to at least a clean shot at the QB. (But I was getting closer). My question was now, what do I do to take care of that tackle? Here is what I did. First, I moved my Right End to my left almost to the edge of the screen or just to the edge of the screen where you almost don't see him. I then moved my Right Defensive Tackle just to the outside of the Left Offensive Tackle and my Left Defensive End between the Left Guard and Center. Basically what I wanted to do was to occupy the 3 offensive linemen with 2 defensive players giving my defensive end a free shot at the QB's blind side. If you don't have enough time to move all your players, make sure that your DE end is all the way to the outside and try to have that DT lined up just a hair over the tackle. Once you have that lineman beat and the QB in range, the key is to dive after the quarterback. Your not going to get him by chasing him around, you have to take him out.

Check out more defensive line articles