One of the ways I like to create new formations is to come up with shapes with natural aesthetic appeal and mold them into football form. Most football forms are blocky and rigid, made primarily of straight lines. A lot of this has to do with NFL rules of course, but I like the challenge of introducing flowing curves into packages that are both functional and interesting. Scimitar is one such creation. The fact that it is composed of a fairly ordinary personnel combination (2 WRs, 2 TEs, 1 RB) means that defenses will likely be quite surprised the first time the encounter it on the field.
Scimitar emphasizes speed over power in the running game. No lead blocking fullback is available, but due to the formation's compactness a quick RB can dart out to the flanks behind the slightly outset tight ends and flankers. In addition, the RB takes a shorter than usual stance behind the offensive line so that handoffs are typically made a fraction of a second sooner than from most formations, more akin to what would normally be a quick handoff to a lead FB. This reduces the time which the defensive front has to react effectively, forcing defenses in many cases to cheat their players towards the gaps they expect a run to come through. To run from scimitar effectively offensive coordinators would do well to study the opposing defense's front seven tendencies. Mostly though, what I like Scimitar for is for passing. It's compact deployment forces man coverages into sometimes awkward positions, and many zone coverages are spread out far enough that inside defenders end up covering more than one receiver, at least for a moment.
It's easy to make a an effective Scimitar formation using the Singleback-Big formation found in many teams playbooks. Just split out the TEs, slide in the flankers, stagger the RB and you have it. There are a few interesting characteristics this causes in Madden 2005 however that you should be aware of. Sliding the left TE out will also slide the left flanker out farther (into his natural full outside position). This is actually quite nice for times when you want to spread the defense out, such as when they use man coverage to crown the inside. Motioning WRs across for blocking can be tricky, in some cases the short distance (especially on the left side near the RB) makes it difficult or impossible to snap the ball when the WR is in a position to act as an effective lead blocker. Still, Scimitar should be plenty versatile for most teams needs.
A passing play effective at short yardage conversions an deep strikes for TDs. After a few throws to the TEs underneath, bam, you hit one of the two WRs running deep fades to the outsides. A great way to shock defenses who have been dictating the throws you make in the passing game.
A quick handoff running play intended to hit defenses before they can blink. The short set of the RB combined with a quick step and burst lets the ball carrier plunge past the line before the LBs can fill the gaps.
Dual quick out routes bite and slash at the flanks of the defense. This play is an excellent choice for converting 3rd and medium, especially after pounding the ball up the middle with power runs.
Contact Arkaein with any comments or questions regarding the Monstrous Madden Playbook.