This is listed a ways below under a different name, but it is my giude to running, really.
Here's my strategies on running, this is up the gut running, I'm not talking like let's take Warrick Dunn and turn the corner, I'm talking let's take Jerome Bettis and Gary Brown and Natrone Means and blast them behind my 350 pound tackle, kapisce? Actually, I am working with a drafted HB who is 6'0" 246, OVR 76, STR 55, BTK 81, SPD 79, etc...you get the idea, a big banger. I have had him for 3 seasons, the last 2 have been 1000 yd seasons, averaging about 3.7 yds per carry for his career so far, not great, not shabby. I usually give him the ball 30X per game if I can to wear down the D. Here's the tools you need, first of all:
HB - Big guy, 220 lbs+, the more the better. Good BTK, good STR, good CAR, good AWR are probbaly the key attributes, AWR is optional really.
FB - Another big guy, 250 lbs+, more the better, 75+ STR preferred, RBK 60+ preferred. All you want this guy to do is to block, block, and then occasionally, take the ball up the gut for a few yards on a change-up play. Also great AWR is very good, it helps him choose the right guy to block on any given play.
O-line - Bigger is better. You would rather have a 6'7" 345 guy who is OVR 70 than a 6'2" 290 guy who is OVR 85. Size DOES matter, and little guys, even with like 95 STR, still get knocked flat. You want BIG guys, with higher STR, and good RBK if possible. AWR is also a key. You can get a lot of these type of guys in the later rounds of the draft at G and T.
So far, obviously, the theme is GO BIG!
Here are the different formations, the different plays that I use to pound the enemy into submission:
Anything out of singlback that goes more or less straight up the middle is good, guaranteed yards. You don't have a FB in front of you, so chances are you won't get stopped behind the line of scrimmage. Just head into your O-line and find a small seam, then speed burst or straight arm. I find that runs out of singleback are some of the best runs, and as I said, there is a small chance of losing yards. Also, the computer AI in general does not see the singleback formation as a big running threat, so you can catch them fairly off-guard with this formation.
This is my second favorite formation for smash running, cause I have Charles Way at FB, and he packs a wallop in here. Using FB leads here, I just take my HB, follow the FB until he picks up a block, then move to one side of the block. If you pass thru the line, if there is a hole, these plays usually go for 5+ yards, whereas if there is no hole, you can get plugged for zilch. It all depends on whether your FB is getting thru the line to pick up a LB to block. If he can, you're in good shaape, if not, well then, just burst into the line and look for anything.
You can get some good runs out of here, cause it is very similar to one-back in the way that your RB is very close to the line of scrimmage, w/o a FB in front of him, but with a FB to the side of him. Pro Set is good for running in longer yardage situations, cause if you break the line, you can get 10-12 yds a pop. If not, you probably won't get any, cause the FB is not there to give you any help, it's all up to your back and his ability to fly thru the hole and hit people.
Strong I is very similar to Power I, but with the FB in a slightly different position.
Weak I is different because the FB and TE are on opposite sides of the formation. The FB can still lead block for the HB, and he is also a threat to run himself, making this a good formation to get your FB some carries, to mix it up a little.
Here are some specifics on other kinds of plays I didn't cover yet:
Off-Tackle: The best type of run in Madden as far as I am concerned. Out of Power I or Strong I, even Weak I sometimes. The FB leads you outside and blocks right in front of your right tackle and TE. You have to have good reflexes and instincts and field vision to make the play work. If your blockers are pushing the D back in general, you may want to bounce it outside to pick up a few around the end. If your blockers are more like trapping the D players to the outside, then you may want to cut it straight upfield, and fly by their blitzers. The thing is, one of these 2 situations almost ALWAYS arises, and when it does, you have success either way if you can react quickly enough.
You can do this out of Weak I and Strong I preferably. You run outside with your FB, and when he picks up a block, you run right outside of the block and put out a straight arm to the inside. Importantly, do not speed burst till you are headed upfield. If there are still a lot of defenders in front of you, then just hit the burst and try to run them down. If they are to the side of you mostly, stiff-arm them till you are runt out of bounds.
These are tips designed only for running smashmouth style rushing attacks, not an entire offense. You have to pass, too, but by following these guidelines, I have been able to dictate game tempo, control the ball, and score points using a team with a fairly unskilled QB. If you've got the right ingredients, then this is the way to go. You choose when to pass, they don't dictate it to you. I usually wait for a second down and 3 or less, then I bomb it deep to try to catch them sleeping, and it can work, and it has worked. But this is going into some other stuff. I hope this was helpful to people who want to run. This is just a write-up of what I've done, and I have the ingredients to succeed with my line, my RB and FB, while I don't need a good QB, my starter is Kerry Collins (OVR 65). It can really help an otherwise unskilled team put it into high gear with only one main element going for them, SIZE. That's the key, SIZE with all of this. Aight, I'm out.