Speed Quarter - Spin Zone

Spin Zone is probably my favorite defense to run against three or four wide receiver sets in almost certain passing situations. It's name as it is because the zone coverage and pass rush looks like it rotates in a clockwise circle around a point about 5 yards in front of the center. The rotation of the zone coverage means that the QB may throw to a receiver who looks like he has run right by the nearest coverage only to have the ball swatted or intercepted by a defensive back moving across the field from a nearby area. This movement makes it much more difficult to make accurate reads and is able to force a lot of interceptions. Rather than a normal zone defense, where receivers try to find soft spots to sit in and the QB throws towards these spots, passing against Spin Zone is like shooting through sliding doors. The openings may be there but the timing is much more difficult.

The motion zone principle of Spin Zone of course isn't perfect. There are soft spots, particularly underneath and in the right flats, as Spin Zone's primary duty is to stop deep and medium pass plays. Quick throws deep along the right sideline may find open receivers because the rover and strong safety, playing deep and curl zones, have not had enough time to get into position. And while many receivers that look open may actually be about to be covered by a defender running in their direction, the reverse may also be true. Defenders who look to be in good position against a receiver may actually be moving to another area, leaving them open.

Still, Spin Zone has at least partial answers to these issues. First of all, there are usually two defenders in most areas due to five DBs playing zone. Second, the man coverage on the right side makes it more difficult to get away with simple quick throws along the right side, at least without using some kind of decoy route to run off coverage. Third, the free safety is basically able to squat right where he lines up in formation and let the play come to him on the left side (from the offense's point of view). I usually take control of the FS so I can better cover throws deeper down the left side than his zone places him.

Player Assignments

Position Action
RE, LE and LOLB Base
ROLB Blitz Right
Right Outside CB (CB #2) Deep Zone
Right Slot CB (CB #3) Curl Zone Right
Left Slot CB (CB #4) Blitz Right
Left Outside CB (CB #1) Man WR1
Rover (SS #2) Deep Zone
SS Curl Zone Left
FS Hook Zone

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




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