3-4 Assault - Spin Attack

As I mentioned in one or two other plays, while I mainly try to make each play as original as possible, when I come up with an idea that's really effective I have to try out at least a few variations. Spin Zone in the Speed Quarter formation is one of my favorite pass defenses, and so while trying out ideas for this 3-4 Assault formation I decided to try out a more blitz-oriented version. While I don't like it quite as much as Spin Zone, I think that you'll find that in certain situations Spin Attack is a solid play for hurrying and confusing the quarterback, creating pressure and possibly sacks and interceptions.

There's no one in man coverage in this play, going full zone with six blitzers. This leaves a few more openings than you will want in a base pass defense, but this is made up for by the fact that time in the pocket will be short, especially with 4 or 5 receiving routes. From the offense's point of view the blitz comes from the right side, taking away the opportunity to bootleg or scramble that way, as well as neutralizing most wide running plays to that side. The coverage on the other hand rolls from left to right. These motion zones leave vulnerabilities but are difficult for a QB to read. If you think you can bait your opponent by applying quick pressure this may be the play to call. The soft spots to watch out for are about 10 yards up the left sideline (underneath the cornerback dropping deep), in the right flats (under the SS), and the deep middle (between the deep CB and FS, and over the inside linebacker). If this play is called too often the offense may catch onto these vulnerabilities and exploit them, so be sure to mix this play up with more basic 3-4 Assault plays.

As mentioned above Spin Attack basically shuts down any runs outside of the right guard, due to the blitzing LB and CB to that side. The defense is not as effective against runs in other directions, though still does okay. The slanting D-linemen can get penetration but may also fail to fill every gap, allowing quick runs to the left side to occasionally break wide open. The right DE does not line up very wide, so the two rightside linebackers may be isolated in running down runs to the offense's left side, although the ROLB usually gets in pretty good position due to his flats zone coverage. And while the scramble shutdown on the blitz side makes the play pretty good at containing running QBs overall, the same gaps that open for RBs to the left can also make way for QBs. Watch out for left handed QBs who roll to this side naturally (such as Madden 2004 coverboy Mike Vick).

Player Assignments

Position Action
RE Blitz Middle
DT and LE Blitz Right
ROLB Flats Zone Right
RILB Hook Zone
LILB Blitz Middle
LOLB Blitz Right
Right CB (CB #2) and FS Deep Zone
Left CB (CB #1) Blitz Right
SS Curl Zone Left

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




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