When I started the Monstrous Madden Playbook one of my goals was to push the envelope in making people look at how football is and can be played in entirely new ways. On offense coming up with entirely new ideas is easy, and lots of times these new ideas actually work. Most offensive formations, no matter how silly looking, have potential for at least a few yardage gaining plays somewhere. The same cannot be said for defense because the way a defense plays is dictated more by the opposing offense than the offense's play is dictated by the defense*. Once in a while I come up with something both radical and successful, and Peregrine 3-4 is one of those times. It will show opposing offenses something they've likely never seen before, and has the potential to almost completely neutralize a large portion of an offense's attack.


The innovation in Peregrine is the outside linebackers lined up directly over the wide receivers as if they were cornerbacks. They don't play man coverage against the wideouts (and in fact this seems impossible to setup using the Madden 2005 Create-a-Playbook feature) but instead play mainly flats zone coverage. This lets them automatically jam the WRs at the line of scrimmage more effectively than most CBs are able to, disrupting timing routes and giving the pass rush time to pressure the quarterback before deeper routes can develop. Once the WRs clear the OLBs the coverage is handled more traditionally by the CBs and safeties over the top. As well as providing a unique advantage against outside pass routes, the OLBs are also effective in stringing out sweeps and wide tosses which normally require WRs to sustain blocks against a CB. Finally, these flats zones make it difficult to sneak RBs out into the flats as a late checkdown.

While Peregrine 3-4 provides some great advantages over stock formations, no defense is without its weaknesses. The great pressure on outside WRs comes at the expense of LB tackling ability directly off of the tackles, and to a lesser degree up the middle. The safeties are brought up to create a strong front and prevent gaps in the pass coverage behind the LBs, but this means that missed tackles can be disastrous. It is essential that every player is in position for every play to prevent these breakdowns. Unbalanced offensive formations such as I Form-Strong can create problems in gashing the defense at these weak spots, though shifting the D-line is usually an effective counter. In the passing game Peregrine is weakest against a good tight end attacking over the middle, and a 3 WR set is simply too effective from the slot position. Stick to using Peregrine 3-4 against basic I Form and split backs offenses and it should work out well for you.

* For those of you who don't believe me think about this: which is more likely to get burned in the open field, an offense using a power running attack against a solid run defense, or a defense running an eight man front against five wide? It's usually the defense that gets burned if it doesn't adjust to the offense, at least in terms of personnel.


Peregrine 3-4 - WR Shutout

WR Shutout

A play designed with a single purpose: eliminating the WR from the offense. It does a fair job of just that against base 2 WR sets while remaining tough in other areas as well.

Peregrine 3-4 - Swamp Bite

Swamp Bite

If you want to fire up your defense, rough up your opponent, and create sacks and turnovers, this is the play. Swamp Bite can take bites out all offensive players, but QBs and WRs especially.

Peregrine 3-4 - SS Zone Dog

SS Zone Dog

Solid coverage plus dynamic pressure compliments the LB press utilized by other Peregrine 3-4 plays. Brings the ability to defend deep and is solid against more than 2 WRs.

Peregrine 3-4 - Pincer


Finally, a Peregrine 3-4 play that crushes those pesky off tackle runs as well as outside sweeps and tosses. Combines great ability to force turnovers common to most Peregrine plays with very solid coverage deep.

Peregrine 3-4 - Vertigo


Vertigo may look a bit softer than other Peregrine plays, but this is by design, as great coverage in the short zone combine with LB stunts to confuse the protection and force the QB to hold the ball. Based on solid Cover 2 principles and versatile enough to handle almost any attack.

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