Most of the time a good power running game is the best chance of success in converting short yardage situations, whether it's a third down at midfield or inside your opponent's one yard line, going for a touchdown. If your team's not that great at running for short yardage (which also hampers the play action pass, normally another useful tool in such situations), and your team has a couple of good pass catching tight ends, a quick pass like TE Choice may be just what the doctor ordered.

Wishbone-Big - TE Choice

TE Choice is modeled after the success Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers have had for years scoring with the pass when other teams are more likely to run. While they've done a better job scoring touchdowns on the ground in recent years, they still like to line up in a Jumbo package, get the defense thinking power run right up the gut, and let the tight ends release into the end zone, often uncovered. While they seem to like the three tight end packages, Wishbone-Big does a pretty good job with two, adding swing passes to the outside by both halfbacks in case the defense really crowds the middle.

Though you'll be lucky to gain more than about 5 yards any time you run TE Choice, most times you won't care as long as you get that much. It won't work every time, especially because passes right over the middle are prone to being tipped, but if you're having trouble scoring those short TDs it can play a big part in curing the red zone blues.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Pass Block
QB Dropback 2yd
Left TE N2 (curl left)
Right TE 4yd Curl
FB Pass Block
Left HB Swing Left
Right HB Swing Right

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

Read Progression

  1. Right TE curl
  2. Left TE curl
  3. Right HB Swing
  4. Left HB Swing

TE Choice has four quick reads that should be executed in machine gun-like fashion. In the situations where you're most likely to want to use this play, such as 3rd and short or right on the goal line, the defensive pressure will be intense. The fullback stays in to block, but with no tight ends blocking and a strong rush up the middle likely he won't be able to hold out for long. Plus, his position lined up directly behind the QB is not exactly ideal for quick blitz pickups.

Start with the slightly short right curl, then look to the left curl. Because curl routes in Madden 2004 tend to be dropped if thrown even a fraction of a second early, you have to remember to hold onto the ball for just that half second longer than you may want to. However, if the pressure gets through really quickly try the short pass anyway because an incompletion is much better than a sack, especially if you're on the goal line (though maybe not so much on a third down). The TEs are really the best options, but if they're not open look quickly right and then left to the HB swings. Make sure to get rid of the ball fairly quickly wherever you decide to go with it.




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