HB Blast is my basic power running play out of the Axe formation. It utilizes the trio of strong side receivers in their intended fashion: forming a wall to seal defenders to the inside. This allows a running back with a good burst of speed to take a long handoff and sprint to the outside.

Axe - HB Blast

The strong side receivers cannot provide direct lead blocking for the running back, so HB Blast is recommended most in the open field where defenders are fairly spread out, because the strong side receivers sometimes have a difficult time moving sideways fast enough to block a strong initial rush off tackle. If this situation looks likely before the snap, putting either the tight end or flanker in motion over this gap can provide a quick fix. Just be sure to use this technique judiciously or with other Axe plays so opponents are not tipped off to the upcoming run by it.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Run Block
QB Handoff to RB
Left SE Run Block
RB Hop Step - Outside Right
TE Run Block
Right Flanker Lead Left
Right SE Lead Wide Left

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

Blocking Assessment

The way HB Blast is drawn up, the TE and wide receivers on the strong side form a tight wall, sealing the defensive rush to the inside while the RB takes the handoff and sprints to the outside. Then it's up to him to put moves on the remaining defenders. Of course, plays rarely go just as they're drawn up, and this is where HB Blast gets interesting. Obviously a cornerback playing close to the line of scrimmage can cause immediate difficulties for the play, but if he's all that's present it's still usually best to just try to juke him or just run him over, taking what yards you can get.

When the defensive line or linebackers shift over to the strong side, then it's a different story. The blocking receivers are usually not strong enough to hold up to this kind of rush, so you need to cut back to the inside. This is okay, because you still have the power of eight blockers in front of you, you just don't have the angle of attack you were hoping for. Make one move back to the left and head upfield. Learning to use your juke moves in the middle of traffic is a good idea here. If you're lucky, after getting by the D-line you may be able to turn back to the outside and head for the corner. The most important thing to remember though, is that whatever you do, keep moving forward.




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