4 Left was my idea to take a fairly common trips style formation to a new level. I moved the lone wideout over with his buddies and replaced the standard single running back with a tight end to give just a bit of a threat to the weak side. The goal of the formation is to force the defense either to bring almost all of its defensive backs to the left side, leaving huge openings for any player who slips over to the right side, or to defend the whole field but be over-matched on the left side. The four wide receivers work together, using screens, crossing routes and decoys to free up their teammates.


Due to the almost total lack of blocking help (in a few plays the tight end stays in to block) this formation is best suited towards very mobile quarterbacks, such as Michael Vick or Kordell Stewart. This type of QB can take advantage when the defense stacks the left side by scrambling to the right with little opposition. This is aided by the tight end, who in most plays runs straight routes slightly up and towards the sideline. Against man defenses, most DBs are on the other side of the field, allowing the TE to occupy the only defender in space on the right, opening up half of the field for scrambles and drag routes.

The plays in the 4 Left formation require some of the most practice of any of my plays. The four receivers and their defenders create a lot of traffic, just throwing the ball into the crowd will make for a lot of turnovers. The lack of blocking means you have to make near instant blitz reads. The lopsided shape of the formation means that the QB may have to scramble and be able to throw on the run.

Unless you count possible QB scrambles, 4 Left is a passing only formation. Nearly complete emphasis is on the set of four wide receivers. The assignments I use are somewhat the opposite of the somewhat similar Tsunami formation, with its similar trips receivers, but are aimed at the same goals. I put the #1 receiver in the closest slot, which often drags across the line for short but reliable gains. This position does not need great speed but should have great hands. #2 is the SE on the outside, mainly for balance and to allow a bit of isolation. The #3 and #4 receivers are left in the middle, I put #3 second from the right because the second from the left position is maybe the hardest to get the ball to, because it makes for relatively long throws and is in the middle of a lot of traffic. This position tends to run streak, post and corner routes.


4 Left - Jailbreak Option

Jailbreak Option

This play was designed specifically for great abilities of Michael Vick (though it would work quite well for any left handed QB with great speed). Three receivers draw the defense deep, a fourth runs a delay behind them, and the Qb rolls out to the left. The defender in the near zone has to decide whether to defend the receiver in open space or take on the QB before he can scramble downfield.

4 Left - Cross Levels

Cross Levels

Cross Levels is a fairly easy to learn and execute play that works well against both blitzes and prevent defenses. It features multiple crossing patterns, quick reads and easy throws, making it very quarterback friendly.

4 Left - Outside Trailer

Outside Trailer

Outside Trailer makes use of my tried and true undercut technique to get the inside flanker open in the left flats. The QB has an easy throw, and then it's up to the receiver to make some moves in the open field.

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