Curls emphasizes a theme of relatively traditional and easy to manage plays I wanted in the J Form-Normal formation. While this may hold the greatest appeal for beginning players, even experts can benefit from the occasional fundamentally sound, low risk, easy to execute play. It also doesn't hurt to include a few high protection pass plays, especially for when the more "high powered" stuff just is getting your quarterback pummeled due to the All Madden caliber pass rush standing across the line of scrimmage.

J Form-Normal - Curls

Like the name says, Curls is comprised entirely of curl routes, three to be exact. Instead of using the stock curl patterns all three curl routes utilized are slanted, two to the inside and one to the outside, with the intent of misleading defenders, creating more optimal passing lanes and including a built-in hot read opportunity. Both backs stay in to block, meaning that Curls gives more pass protection than many pass plays. Defenses used to forcing quick throws with the blitz may find themselves suddenly vulnerable as the extra rushers arepicked up. The direct progression of the routes, as well as their similarity, means the QB is not burdened with trying to remember lots of different reads. Just scan throughthe receivers, watch for underneath defenders, and throw.

Though Curls may seem fairly tame compared to many of my pass plays, it can provide some nice opportunities for mobile QBs. My general rule for pocket presence is to step up into the pocket to evade edge rushers and to bootleg to the outside to elude middle penetration. I prefer to scramble to the outside with a good running QB so any way I can suck the pass rushers inside can create an advantage for my team. By not dropping back very far initially the edge rushers (DEs and OLBs) are compelled to take inside angles to the QB. Once they step to the inside of the blocking backs the QB can then hop back and run to the outside. This can be a great way to pull DBs away from receivers late in the play, especially the flanker near the right sideline.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Pass Block
QB Dropback 3yd
SE N3E1 (curl right)
TE N2W1 (curl left)
Flanker N4E1 (curl right)
FB and RB Pass Block

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

Read Progression

  1. SE quick slant (hot read)
  2. TE curl
  3. SE curl
  4. Flanker curl

Curls features one of the simplest read progressions you'll see in my play book. There is only one hot read, a quick slant to the split end right off the line of scrimmage. In general this is actually a better throw against definite single man coverage rather than against a blitz because the extra blockers will ensure enough time to throw in most cases, while only three routes cannot guarantee single coverage for each receiver even when the defense does blitz. This throw is best when you're sure that the CB is off far enough that he cannot hit the SE as he makes the catch.

The rest of the reads are straightforward, in order of increasing depth. First look for the TE over the middle. Be sure to throw the pass away from the LB in coverage. Next go for the SE curl. This pass often has to fit between the CB to the outside and the FS over the top, so be sure to gun it in hard to prevent either DB from making a play on the ball. Finally look for the flanker curl. Make this pass hard and to the outside. Something else you may want to try if the CB is playing straight up man coverage, is to throw the pass just as the CB turns from his backpedal to run downfield with the WR. If timed just right the pass will hit the receiver in stride and should get an extra 5-10 yards.




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