For the 2005 version of Madden I had a vision of creating great passing plays in a great passing formation, plays with incredible versatility and dominating ability. I haven't released many big passing plays yet for 2005 because developing such plays doesn't happen by accident. I do think though that I've hit on something pretty special with the Wiz Gun and this play, worthy of the name Destiny. In it's natural form Destiny is an effective shotgun pass play that will move the chains against man coverages and do a fair job against most other defenses as well. It is in the hands of a master tactician though, who understands how to read a defense and use motion to it's fullest capabilities that Destiny really shines. In the hands of a practiced expert this play can be truly dazzling.

Wiz Gun - Destiny

The core of Destiny is the set of twin drag routes run by the left pair of wideouts. Differing slightly in shape, the inside split end's route starts more vertically and gets greater depth while the outside flanker's route cuts in shallower and finishes its break sooner. The deeper route serves as a screen for the shorter underneath route, making the underneath throw more often available, but press coverage tends to stall this route while letting the inside route go free. Practicing throwing to this pair of receivers against many types of coverage is the most important aspect of learning this play.

The right side routes are definitely the secondary reads, but give the play depth. The RB works the flats, getting under zone coverages and pulling defenders away from the drag routes running across the middle of the field. If the coverage is tight but the pass protection good, the back might have a chance to run up the sideline and turn a short route into a potentially big gainer. The inside wheel route is pretty limited by itself and tends to head straight into heavy coverage, but does give the play a legit deep threat, distracts DBs from the more critical routes underneath, and most importantly makes for some very dynamic combination routes when any of the four eligible receivers is motioned. Move the right flanker to the left side and a gnarly, twisting trips combo is created, move either left side WR or the RB to the right slot and the route will undercut the wheel or against man coverage or fly over the top of tight press.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Pass Block
QB Dropback 2yd
RB N1E1-N1E2-E3 (open)
Left Flanker N1-N2E3-E3 (open)
Left SE N1-N2E1-N1E2-E3 (open)
TE Pass Block
Right Flanker N1W1-N2W1-N6W1 (open)

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

Read Progression

  1. SE drag
  2. Left flanker drag
  3. RB in flats
  4. Right flanker wheel in

In the basic form of the play things are actually pretty simple, despite having to follow four possible routes. The progression moves naturally from left to right and then deep, and the tandem drag routes can essentially be read together in a single look. We start with the outside drag route which is the shallower of the two, and therefore can get open a little bit more easily as the deeper drag route acts as a natural screen. The deeper drag is next and provides a bit more opportunity for a run after the catch but is a bit more dangerous as the defense will be following the inside route which has already cut underneath.

Next look to the RB in the right flats. This route has limited potential in the base set, mainly working as a checkdown if the defense backs off deep, but is an excellent option when motioned to flanker position against tight press coverage. Depending on the initial formation used to create the Wiz Gun, one of the other receivers might move when the RB is motioned so that there is always a drag right route run from a right flanker position (as there as essentially three receivers, the two on the left side plus the RB who run right drag routes), so there are actually lots of different ways to create similar but not identical effects with this play. This multi-motion effect occurs when moving players other than the RB around as well. Finally, we come to the inside wheel route. As usual the deep route is the riskiest and should be used sparingly, but this one gets good inside position versus man coverage and can run right up some nice seams in zone, so some early strikes might prove very effective.




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