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maximizing coverage and linebackers in pass defense

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Typically when you guess a pass and your opponent picks another pass you will get some coverage from the drones.  Most of the time 3-4 guys go in coverage.  It is normally the defensive backs.  Occasionally linebackers go in coverage.  This article will help to understand when a lb goes into coverage.  The advantage of this is the chance of having 5 drones covering 5 different wide outs.  Leaving the human free to roam.  A rare situation in tecmo.  But knowing what the linebackers might do at pre snap can help you decide who you want to be.

The question you need to ask yourself is how much do you need to fear the big pass on each play.  Against SF you have no choice but to be a top db or suffer the consequences.  Conversely a game against Pittsburg and you don’t have as much to fear.  The less of a threat the passing game the more you can chance to leaving to your drones.

Now here is a list of what the linebackers are doing on popular plays.  First of all on all plays with a rb as a blocker and most playactions the linebackers do not go into coverage.  Secondly only a few plays will the linebacker in coverage be common.   The last rule is only one linebacker will go into coverage.  Here is a list of common plays and the lb pattern.

pass play 1

r and s flare c 2nd lb often

pro t screen l none

playaction none

pass play 2

pro t flare d 2nd lb often

shotgun x curl lb 1 rarely

r and s z fly none

offset flare e lb 3 often

pass play 3

shotgun x drive lb 1 maybe around 30% of the time.

shotgun 3 wing  lb 3 often

pro t flare c none

pass play 4

redgun z slant lb 4 rarely

shotgun z s in lb 2 rarely

r and s lb 1 rarely

slot l z drive lb 4

x out and fly lb4 often but also followed by a blocker

shotgun xy bomb lb1

Feel free to verify and check this out for yourself.  Now I bet many of you are wondering how do you use this information.

1. When going up against a play that stands out from the other plays this will help you to know what player not to be.

2.  This can be used as a guide for picking out advantages in a matchup or for placing your players in an online league.  If a good int lb is going into coverage its to your advantage.

3. When playing someone who relies on a certain playbook you can use this knowledge to help you’re guessing strategy.  Even to help pick a matchup for the game.

4. By further study of who players typically cover we can learn what we need to fear from the opposing players playbook and roster.

This will of course be done by analyzing every tecmo play in this blog.  Breaking down each players typical patterns.  For now a basic guide will have to cover as I fill in play breakdowns of all tecmo plays.  Starting from best plays to worse.

For tonight lets take a look at our common playbook and form a play guessing strategy.


My advise is to guess pass 2 and pass 4 more often than any other pass plays.  Do not ever line up as lb 2 against r and s.  When you guess pass 2 be in a position to defend the hot route to wr1.

Against the shotgun try your luck with being lb2,3,4 or even the dl.  Keep in mind that sometimes the top wr breaks out wide open.  so mix in some guesses and plays where you use a top level db.  You have nothing to fear as there is no shotgun run.  Not that those are much to worry about.

Back to run and shoot.  Now when they might run you must account for that too.  But when they are in a passing situation you can take a chance of using lb 1, 3,4 or any dl.  If your successful you will find that the cpu has covered all the options or only left one open.

Now for the dangers.  The drones sometimes leave deep routes wide open.  You must be aware of it and be ready to run to those guys at the snap.  Using this plan of guessing pass 1 less helps as the top wr must complete his wiggle before he can catch a pass.  Meaning you have more time to get back to cover him.

Sometimes you will cover a guy and be more likely of a coverage catch.  When playing online tecmo this possibility is even higher.  (note this is the opinion of the author and a gray area).  knowing matchups helps.  Even the worst dl have a good chance of causing an incomplete against weaker passing games.

In conclusion like all tecmo strategies everything is risk and reward.  At times winning at this game is measuring the odds and hoping you prevail.  The value of this is having more raw information.  This article might come of confusing and to a degree I hope it is.  The best advise is to practice this and see if you can incorporate it into your game.

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Well if your confident they are not guessing the first pass.  Or if you guess the first pass.  Its more of a in general situation.  Still I would advise a person going up against run and shoot to not use the first lb.  and to guess the other two r and s plays more often.

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Awesome stuff.  Always wondered about this information.  Love this, cuz I love using dem linebackers.


As you note, a lot depends on the variables presented by your opponent and their team, but the primary questions in my mind when using LBs and facing the run and shoot plays is: How am I going to limit damage on the RUN3? and How am I going to prevent the bottom burn routes on PASS2 and PASS4? 


For RUN3, the LB1 is not "zone-read" by either pulling blockers (OL2 and 3), and is better if he's got the speed to get down there and get on that RB asap; whereas the LB2 is not read by the OL3, but IS read by the OL2 if he pulls (which is likely if I'm picking a pass play), making the choice to initiate a grapple a bit dicier.  As for play calls though, choosing PASS1 or PASS2 seems to allow a greater chance for the drone LB3 to fill the bottom lane, which helps out in my opinion.


On the other hand, LB2 can cover the burn routes of the WR2 on PASS2 and PASS4, if those guys are left open, which they often are despite picking pass plays.  LB1 would be toast.

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that's the tough part of using lbs.  guys following you.  those burn routes are open more often if you guess a run.  my advise is to learn to recognize pass or run as soon as possible.  then recognize what pass they have.  if you learn that then you can be in the area and prevent that early throw.


as for guys following you sometimes you need to run away from the play to shake them.  if you run through your own men the odds are good the guy following you might end up in a grapple with another lb.


another option is try to use a fast defensive lineman.   i do this all the time in console and get great results.  the results are not as good in online play but it is still decent enough.  also i find that a few dl have high int on the original and are better than a lot of lb's.  richard dent for example.

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another option is try to use a fast defensive lineman.   i do this all the time in console and get great results.  the results are not as good in online play but it is still decent enough.  also i find that a few dl have high int on the original and are better than a lot of lb's.  richard dent for example.


See Mort's 14-0 victory over QB Eagles and Troy H. in the Madison VI Final Four as example!

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How so?  I want to make this better but here is why I made this like this.

I admit this is mostly theory in here.  It just tells you on which plays a lb will be in coverage.  It doesn't explore the amount of times it will and won't happen.  Its just saying that if you go up against the good shootgun play in pass 3 don't be lb 1 cause there is a chance he will go in coverage on his own. 

This is just basically raw information in this one.  I can't say it will help too much or hurt too much.  I use it cause I like having as many people covered by drones as possible.  Since in live play you tend to get better results from lower int guys.

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Pass 1 r and s flare c 2nd lb often ---Covers the rb2 Slant mid. Often when def pick pass U get decent coverage from the drones. Typically either rb1 or wr2 or Te (5-2, 3-5-2, 3-5-1burn, ) in the flat are wide open. From years of experience when one run this play the hash-mark is deadly important as to where angle your qb to sync up the progressions of the route to set up natural route combinations based on knowing who the drones leave open typically. If your on the Top Hash you cannot hit quick TE flat on the run as ball will go OOb every time. So perhaps one could look at 1-2-4burn SS. The bottom wr2 "Go or 9 Route" is typically covered by the Ss. he can attacked on the screen or off it if have an faster wr vs the ss.   Option or scramble. If you bottom hash your not as limited. Also if the Db2 trails the Wr2 I think it means your opponent just picked run 3. Typically if u pick run u get a lot wr's open but if u pick run 3 the Db2 covers wr2. Never happens when pass is picked.  Also the either Db1 (Rcb) or Db3 (Fs) cover the WR1 Go Route or sometimes they double em. Sometimes either db1 or db3 pick up the RB out of backfield or double team him. Also you can time Rb route out of backfield at 8yards if have the right angle with ur qb. #Sims

Edited by red98sethuthut

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