Strike Nickel - Ghost Robber

Other than a few successes, most of what I've tried with Strike Nickel in personal playbook way back when I first created it seemed like a bit of a flop. As I started cataloging my plays in anticipation of Madden NFL 2005 I realized that part of the reason for this was that I never really put a lot of time into developing the formation. I had created a few plays, let it sit, and moved on to my very successful Edge Nickel formation a while later, which took away a lot of the incentive to work on Strike Nickel. Recently I decided that the formation deserved another look. Bringing some of my now tried and true defensive techniques to Strike Nickel yielded Ghost Robber, which might be one of my best situational pass defenses yet.

The main technique established elsewhere in my playbook which I've brought to Ghost Robber is the moving zone coverages. By sliding defenders to zones farther than expected from their natural positions in the formation the offense may be confused and the quarterback might make poor decisions on throws. The defenders do take a while longer than usual to get into their coverages, creating openings early, but by moving players in crossing or cycling paths no areas are left undefended for long. Unlike most of my other moving zone plays Ghost Robber does not use coverages which spin or rotate, but rather cross and move in apparently haphazard fashion (especially on the defense's left side). The zone coverages in Madden are naturally dense along the sidelines and Ghost Robber follows suit, making it an excellent defense to employ when your opponent is trying to get out of bounds to conserve the clock in a hurry up situation.

While Ghost Robber was designed mainly as a pass defense it is also adequate against the run. The zone linebackers flow well from side to side, and the D-Line's tight deployment is solid up the middle. This is bolstered by the blitzing LB, who also gives the play decent pass rush and QB containment. The play does have one fairly serious weakness due mainly to limitations in Madden zone defense assignments. The ROLB's hook zone puts him just outside the hashes, leaving the middle of the field pretty much wide open. I recommend taking manual control of this position and sliding a bit more towards the middle of the field in zone coverage. This weakness is diminished in deep red zone situations where the deep zone defenders do not drop as far back as they normally might, meaning that Ghost Robber is rapidly becoming one of my favorite end zone passing defenses.

Player Assignments

Position Action
D-Line Base
ROLB Hook Zone
MLB Curl Zone Left
LOLB Blitz Middle
Right Outside CB (CB #2) Man WR1
Slot CB (CB #3) Curl Zone Right
Left CB (CB #1) Deep Zone
SS Flats Zone Left
FS Deep Zone

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




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