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Advanced Football Questions (NFL QB Play)

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Star Wideout View Post
    I don't know where to put this but I'll post it here. I have a few advanced questions regarding Quarterback play on the NFL level. I don't expect the average football fan to know the answers but maybe there are a few people with advanced football knowledge.

    1.) What does a Quarterback look for in Defenses pre-snap? I think one of the things he looks for is the depth of the Safeties, how deep they are and how far apart from each other they are. Do they also need to look at the Cornerback's alignment? For instance if they are in a squat stance to play press, or bail coverage. Or if they are in a 2 point stand up stance to play slide technique or off coverage?

    Do they have to mix up their snap cadences to try and see which Defenders are blitzing and from where, and expose disguised coverages? and then adjust his pass protection calls accordingly. What else does a QB need to look for before the snap?

    2.) What determines how a QB goes through his progressions? What does he look for when he goes through his reads? Is he looking for certain types of coverages, weak points in zones? Is he looking for a certain degree of separation from Defenders?

    What makes him pull the trigger on his read? and what determines if he needs to move onto the next progression?

    Thanks for any help.


    This is a mouthful, I'll see how much I can get into. Theres SO much to discuss.

    Ok, first and foremost, it depends on the scheme. Let's consider the 4-3 scheme for simplicity sake, because the 3-4 can get very complicated.


    First you look at the dline. The dline is a good indication of what you expect as far as pass rush. If everyone is one gapping, chances are youre only getting front 4 pressure. If someone is 2 gapping, depending on when and where, there could be a blitz.

    Theres 2 ways of deciphering this. First, you use motions to see if its man coverage or zone. 2nd, you mix up your count to see who jumps early out of the LB position. That let's you know where the blitz is coming from, and what kind of blitz it is. Also, the stance of the LBs is an indication. If theyre in a rushing stance, chances are theyre blitzing. If theyre in a 2 point stance, theyre more likely in coverage.

    Now, the secondary. You need to see how far the safeties are playing. Observe the coverage by the CBs, if its bump and run, etc. Again, use motion to see if its man or zone.

    After the hike, the first thing you do is read the defense. You should know your routes, and by reading the defense, you'll know instantly which route to hit because each defensive scheme is vulnerable to something, so by reading the defense properly you can make your hot read quickly and get the ball to that person. Its not about hitting the open man, its about hitting the right wndow. No one is open in the NFL for more than 1 second, you gotta hit them at the right time. And you usually do that by reading the defense.

    Now, also, remember, you can't just read the defense and hit the target. Defenses are too fast and will pick you off. You have to trick defenders in coverage. So you have to look off defenders and sell the play one way while going the other way.

    Thats a basic overview. Of course it can get much more complex, but thats the basics of it. Its not an easy position to play.

    Of course, its not as simple as Ive said. Zone defense can be very complex, and defenses do a very good job disguising their coverage. Alot of times they line up in man and drop into zones etc. So motioning isn't always an accurate indication.

    I can get real detailed but its far too complex of a topic. So much changes during the play, its nothing like Madden.
    Last edited by bigbluedefense; 04-02-2007, 05:36 PM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by njx9
      in real life i can't count on the cb's AI to suck completely.
      Real life AI?

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      • #18
        Heh, believe me, playing Madden is A LOT easier in reading coverages and the blitz. Mainly due to the fact it's not first person and you're not limited in your vision. Trying to read the defense with five 6 foot something linemen infront of you (along with the Defensive line and any blitzers) and with your face mask and helmet blocking some of your vision can be extremely difficult.

        It can give you a very BASIC knowledge of what a Cover 2, Cover 3 and so on looks like and is used for. Other than that, relying on Madden to teach you how to effectively make your reads, adjust protection, know who your hot route receiver, is about as smart as flying a commercial jet based off playing Microsoft Flight Simulator.

        I can unforunately assure you of this having played quarterback for four years in high school. Was the worst posistion by far I'd ever had a chance to play at. Had only played receiver and free safety before it though. Now those two posistions were fun..
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        • #19
          My post about being a "stud in the NFL" was a joke...Playing Madden won't make you a better QB if you aready been coached, but like it or not it does give you a simple idea of how a QB reads... All these so called expert who posted what a NFL QB goes through reading a covage bisically wrote a simple strategy guide for Madden... Try playing Madden on the hardest setting and you'll see that the AI isn't so stupid and you'll end up useing everything you know about reading covage to be successful at the game...

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Forenci View Post
            Heh, believe me, playing Madden is A LOT easier in reading coverages and the blitz. Mainly due to the fact it's not first person and you're not limited in your vision. Trying to read the defense with five 6 foot something linemen infront of you (along with the Defensive line and any blitzers) and with your face mask and helmet blocking some of your vision can be extremely difficult.

            It can give you a very BASIC knowledge of what a Cover 2, Cover 3 and so on looks like and is used for. Other than that, relying on Madden to teach you how to effectively make your reads, adjust protection, know who your hot route receiver, is about as smart as flying a commercial jet based off playing Microsoft Flight Simulator.

            I can unforunately assure you of this having played quarterback for four years in high school. Was the worst posistion by far I'd ever had a chance to play at. Had only played receiver and free safety before it though. Now those two posistions were fun..
            It doesn't get any better than playing QB!!!! :)


            Follow me on Twitter! http://twitter.com/#!/aMo_Captain

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            • #21
              Originally posted by DJM187 View Post
              My post about being a "stud in the NFL" was a joke...Playing Madden won't make you a better QB if you aready been coached, but like it or not it does give you a simple idea of how a QB reads... All these so called expert who posted what a NFL QB goes through reading a covage bisically wrote a simple strategy guide for Madden... Try playing Madden on the hardest setting and you'll see that the AI isn't so stupid and you'll end up useing everything you know about reading covage to be successful at the game...
              No, not really. I've gotten to the point where I blow out my opponents both the computer on All-Madden and the best opponents on XBOX Live. I realized a long time ago that I did not need to read the defense. The most I might do is shift my running play to the other side, but that's about it. I don't care what kind of defense the opposition is playing, because I know I don't have to to be successful. Madden requires very little football knowledge, just some common sense.

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              • #22

                1.) What does a Quarterback look for in Defenses pre-snap? I think one of the things he looks for is the depth of the Safeties, how deep they are and how far apart from each other they are. Do they also need to look at the Cornerback's alignment? For instance if they are in a squat stance to play press, or bail coverage. Or if they are in a 2 point stand up stance to play slide technique or off coverage?

                Do they have to mix up their snap cadences to try and see which Defenders are blitzing and from where, and expose disguised coverages? and then adjust his pass protection calls accordingly. What else does a QB need to look for before the snap?


                A lot of it with the corners has to do with the route the receiver is running. For example, with Steve Smith Carolina will often give him an option of a smoke route, or a deep post. If the corner is up, its the deeper option and Jake is to check down to his second or third read, if the corners off in bail coverage he'll get the smoke route and try to bust it for a better gain. If the safeties are both right back and the corners are off on a manageable down and distance they'll want to use a shorter route, or even audible to a run play.

                QBs look for players possibly blitzing, dropping into zone coverage or man where a route is going to be and where, based on positioning of defenders on the field he might have to adjust a play, or complete cancel a route and change his progressions.

                Before the snap he'll also look at the body language of the defenders, if a linebacker is leaning forward on his toes hands on knees its clear they're going to blitz. If they're back on their heels and they're heads a little higher, they're going to drop into zone. There's little things to, like whether a corner is watching the QB, or his receiver. If a corner is trying to cheat inside a little bit. If a safety is starting to walk in a little, trying to jump a route.

                They mix up a snap count to get the defenders off balance. If every third down throw the QB goes on two, then the defenders will be coming all day. If they go on first noise, on three and then on one or even a silent count the defense loses a split second which can be the difference between a sack and a completion.

                2.) What determines how a QB goes through his progressions? What does he look for when he goes through his reads? Is he looking for certain types of coverages, weak points in zones? Is he looking for a certain degree of separation from Defenders?

                What makes him pull the trigger on his read? and what determines if he needs to move onto the next progression?


                The progressions are determined by the play. Some plays your primary receiver might be the tight end, in the slot or the split end. Therefore they become the first read. When they're covered, i.e. Their defender is on their hip and has body position on the route, they're covered in zone with a man underneath and above then he looks elsewhere.

                The ideal target is a receiver who has about 1-2 feet distance between them and the defender, size and is in a good position to catch the ball away from their body, keep in bounds and be able to secure it. That's a bonafide reception. Other times, QBs will go to a player with the best chance of coming down with the ball. In Carolina Jake Delhomme looked to Keyshawn a lot under pressure, he's big, sure handed and experienced. In Atlanta Vick looks to crumpler, manning has harrison. That's their go to guy.

                Qbs can choose not to throw to a guy because they're covered, but covered isn't always having someone on your hip. There might be a safety streaking in to close off the throwing lane, a linebacker who's dropped underneath or the route is drawing them toward free defenders.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by BlindSite View Post
                  [B]
                  If the corner is up, its the deeper option and Jake is to check down to his second or third read
                  Jake Delhomme has a 2nd and third option? I thought Steve Smith was his only choice...
                  I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
                  Hunter S. Thompson

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                  • #24
                    Make sure you dont throw out of your vision cone. Youre accuracy will be terrible.

                    "He's the leader of the next great class of NFL players." - John Elway on Matt Ryan

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by njx9
                      also: i hate anyone who thinks madden actually teaches you much of anything about actually playing a position or the theory behind it.
                      Ehm... I owe to madden: my interest in Football, the understanding of most rules, the difference between different defensive schemes and a whole lot more. I learned HEAPS of stuff from madden. Stuff you, as an american, would consider basic, but to me (european, which means I'd kick your butt in anything related to soccer, but we don't get any American Football around here, weed is legal though), a 'fumble' was just a weird word until I started playing madden.
                      Honestly, I understand your point, but I learned a lot from that stupid game.

                      Sig by Fenikz

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                      don't tell anyone, but Charlie Casserly is a dope fiend

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by someone447 View Post
                        Jake Delhomme has a 2nd and third option? I thought Steve Smith was his only choice...
                        It felt a bit that way at times but johnson still had 800+ yards.

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