For Madden 2004 I introduced my defensive playbook, and with it 4-3 Stagger as my base defensive formation. While 4-3 Stagger is servicable it's unusual deplotment exposes some vulnerabilities. Shifting linemen and `backers close these gaps but can mess up stunts and assignments, espcially in blitz plays. Later in the season I created 3-4 Assault as an alternative base defense. This was better thought out but did not live up to the high standard I normally set for my own forms and plays, in my opinion. Well here's hoping that with 4-3 Barricade, the third time's the charm.


4-3 Barricade is a base defense that uses a more traditional deployment. It compliments my speed based formations by being extra tough up the middle, with the linebackers in tight by design and the cornerbacks in a step to fight around wide receiver blocks and cut off slant routes. The safeties are also a bit closer to the line of scrimamge for enhanced run support, and spread a little wider to help out on pass plays deep and to the outside. Other than these details the formation is not too unusual, the difference from my earlier formations is that soon after its conception 4-3 Barricade already boasted plays which I found mor effective than those in my older 4-3 and 3-4 defenses.

The symmetry of the formation allows the safeties to be flip-flopped if desired, but the plays I've developed occasionally expect the free safety on the (defense's) left side. Often both safeties play the same zone coverages though, so experimentation should not prove harmful. In one or two well disguised plays improved speed at the SS position may actually be beneficial.


4-3 Barricade - Big Man

Big Man

An all-purpose play designed for a wide variety of situations. Every eligible receiver is covered by a man defender, the safeties play deep zone over the top and the front four apply even pressure. Not spectacular, but steady and reliable.

4-3 Barricade - Zone Roller

Zone Roller

My favored rotating zone technique brought to its biggest and toughest defense yet. Defenders move in every direction possible to confound opposing offenses and invite interceptions.

4-3 Barricade - Plugger


This play goes with the strength of 4-3 Barricade, stuffing runs up the middle. It's also pretty solid against passes up the middle with the OLBs in short zone coverage and pressure from the MLB blitz.

4-3 Barricade - Zone Stunt

Zone Stunt

Feeling aggressive? Zone Stunt might fit the bill. Six blitzers bring the heat while the safeties attack the short zones to pick off hurried passes and neutralize the most likely hot routes.

Contact Arkaein with any comments or questions regarding the Monstrous Madden Playbook.