3-4 Assault - ILB Blitz

Though it's unusual arrangement could prove an advantage at times, 4-3 Stagger could be difficult to have consistent success with against savvy opponents. The gaps in the defensive line were vulnerable to unspectacular but effective running plays, and constantly shifting defenders to compensate for these holes often put players out of position for their intended roles. Jam Middle was more recently introduced to help stop these run defense woes, but is only a partial solution, still leaving small but exploitable gaps. In some cases the best thing to do is just simplify your approach. ILB Blitz does just this, bringing a simple solution to stopping the run in the new 3-4 Assault formation.

This ILB Blitz play is very similar to the inside blitz plays in the standard 3-4 formation. The defensive line and inside linebackers push straight up the field, using enough bodies to take on every offensive lineman. The outside linebackers play man coverage on backs and tight ends and are able to flow to the ball carrier or defend against short throws in the passing game. The cornerbacks play man on the wide receivers and the safeties hang back in deep zone coverage, able to double team against deep routes or prevent missed tackles on runs up the middle from having disastrous consequences.

Besides being a great call against runs up the middle, ILB Blitz does a pretty decent job against toss and sweep plays due to the wide spread of the linebackers. It's also not too bad against the pass as long as you don't ask it to cover three and four wide receivers on a regular basis. The outside linebackers are in good position to cover tight ends, while the inside blitzers do just as well pressuring quarterbacks as they do tackling runners. The main things to watch out for are passes right over the middle, the area the blitzing linebackers vacate, and RBs wide open in the flats. Because there are only four players in man coverage someone has to go uncovered, usually a running back. Also, if a covered running back runs a pattern to the opposite side of the formation from his coverage the LB responsible can have a hard time catching up to defend a pass. With safeties in deep zone only the flats are often wide open. Manually covering the halfback with a linebacker might be a good way to deal with this issue, though if your opponent is good at utilizing his fullback as well as his halfback in the passing game it won't be a complete solution.

Player Assignments

Position Action
D-Line Base
MLBs Blitz Middle
Right CB (CB #2) Man WR2
Left CB (CB #1) Man WR1
SS and FS Deep Zone

See the Madden Playbook Guide for a description of these symbols.




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