Though Max Spread is designed primarily for medium to deep passing attacks, I believe every formation needs a few plays designed to reliably gain short yardage. This is important both to keep the defense honest as well as to protect the quarterback from sitting in a vulnerable pocket for extended periods of time. Zoomer fills such a quick attack role quite nicely.

Max Spread - Zoomer

Both split ends in the play run slant routes, though the usage is quite different. The #1 receiver on the right side runs a traditional slant but is not intended as a quick hitter, largely because the flanker to that side draws coverage into the passing lane. Instead this slant route is bet used as a medium to deep target, attacking soft zones or blitzes that clear out the middle of the defense. The #2 wideout on the left runs a much more shallow and more reliable slant route intended to attack man coverage. The flankers, as they often do in the Max Spread formation, run routes whichplay off of the SEs lined up in front of them. Both start to the left, then break back to the right, cutting under their respective teammates but at different times in the routes. The left flanker gets screened almost immediately and breaks an occasional big run up the sideline, while the right flanker can be used to gain a few tough yards over the middle.

Though these pairs of routes seem very similar in style (and even the flanker routes and SE routes are fairly similar in that they all start out slanting one way or the other), the small differences angles, distances and timing are what make Zoomer effective against most types of coverages. Crosses are used to shake off man, inside slants to defeat press, and enough depth in the deep slant and pseudo-post route to challenge unaggressive defenses deep.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Pass Block
QB Dropback 2yd
Left SE N2-E6 (open)
Left Flanker N4W2-N4E2 (open)
RB Pass Block
Right Flanker N3W3-N3E3 (open)
Right SE N8W6 (open)

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

Read Progression

  1. Left SE quick slant
  2. Left Flanker quick out
  3. Right Flanker quick slant in
  4. Right SE quick slant
  5. Right Flanker corner
  6. Left Flanker post

Although Zoomer provides opportunities for deep strikes downfield, it is best utilized as a quick strike play that can cross up defenses and give receivers a chance to run after the catch. The first three of the six total reads should be considered quick reads that can all be fired the instant the defensive coverage is recognized. The left SE cuts across the middle in a very shallow slant, easily evading man coverage. Hit this quick against straight man or a bit later if the linebacker(s) are blitzing or out of position. This route provides a nice screen for the left flanker slanting outwards. This pass must be throw quickly, while the cornerbacks are crossed up to prevent any chance of interception. Next, the right flanker starts slanting inwards. This pass will lead right into the heart of the defense and is usually good for only about 5 yards, but is a great read against press coverage on the outside.

The more developed reads start with the right SE on a long slant route. This is a difficult completion immediately after the snap due to the pass going over the flanker and his defender, but can give a good chance for medium to deep yardage. The right flanker corner route cuts under this slant and provides a nice, safe pass away from the defense, provided the QB has enough time to let the route develop. The post section of the left flanker's route rounds out the reads. You normally won't want to wait this long, especially because there's not much to fall back on if the flanker doesn't get separation, but this may be the best route for a big play.




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