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Q&A: Better QB play

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Feel free to send me any questions you have about game play before or after Madison.  I will try to answer asap and as best as I can.

Mitch Dohm in Madison wants to know how to improve his QB play.  Here is my answer:


I was asked about improving Qb play today and I wanted to get a little more in depth on the subject. This goes all the way back to my first post. Run the ball with the QB.



Now I think it’s time to expand on where you run and why.


First of all, your goal in pass play is to create as much separation as possible between the manned defender and the QB and as much separation as possible between your target WR and the manned defender. 


The first step on any pass play is to identify which receivers are open and which ones are not open. This needs to be done quickly because you need to scramble based on who is open and what route they are running. If everyone is covered by drones, you can drop back and JJ or quickly scramble away from the defender.
These are rare moments. Most plays only one receiver is open and in those situations the human defender will cover that receiver. This brings up two scenarios:


-The deep wr is open

- One of the short button hooks is open

If the deep wr is open, scramble to his side of the field.

If a short button hook is open, scramble away from the receiver.


Now you need to move towards the line of scrimmage and try to go as long as possible without crossing the line. Doing this will exploit an opening. Either a running lane will open, or a pass attempt. Most likely an opportunity to run. The lower your QB PC or the higher the defenders INT will determine what risks you can take.


Next consider when there are multiple receivers open:


-If both are going deep, scramble to the side of the better receiver.

-If both are open short scramble away from the easier wr.

-If one is short and one is deep,scramble away from the short route. The longer you can keep your QB by the line of scrimmage the greater your chance to exploit that deep wr. These situations with one short and one deep can often be big plays if you are patient.


Another thing that can help you pass is your playbook selection for your passes. There are certain plays the computer is really bad at defending. Example: R AND S pass 2, the normal shotgun in pass 3 and the red gun shotgun in pass 4. If you are good with these plays, you will help your passing game a lot. Even when your opponent guesses pass the cpu will often leave a short and deep route open.


The final lesson for learning to to pass better is to recognize burn routes. The cpu isn’t good at covering receivers. Burn routes are possible on almost every route and play, yet the human has limited time to recognize them. The first thing to look for is mismatches on the field:


-phi has slow safeties

-det has a terrible top CB  

-den has a terrible top CB 


Yet even good and above average defenders will give up burn routes at time. I get most of my burn routes on the top CB. I study the movement of the CB and notice that the CB is moving up or standing still.


Finally, if you get a mismatch but the CPU covers right at the line of scrimmage, that superior receiver might burn the DB later on in the route.




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