One word: blitz! Here are some defensive tips from the Madden NFL 09 Prima Official Game Guide:
- There are two common blitz techniques used in Madden NFL 09. One is to overload one side of the offensive line with multiple pass rushers. The idea behind this scheme is to send more defenders in on a blitz than what the offensive line can block.
- The quickest way to bring heat on the quarterback is to create blitz schemes that bring A and B Gap heat. For those that don’t know what A and B Gaps are, let us educate you quickly. The A Gap is between the center and guards on both sides of the ball. The B Gap is between the guards and tackles on both sides of the ball. These blitzes keep the QB from stepping up in the pocket.
- If you are unable to stop the inside run with 7 defenders, the best way is to load up the box with as many defenders as you can. Some players like to load up 8, and some will even go so far as loading the box with 9 defenders.
- We know this sounds crazy, but DE Contain plays are quite effective at defending outside run plays. As you know, DE Contain plays are normally used to keep the quarterback from rolling out of the pocket. DE Contain plays can also be used to force the running back inside, or, even better, to stop the running back before he ever gets outside.
- The best way to defend against corner routes is to call some type of defense where the defenders drop back in buzz zones. Once such defense is the Nickel 3-3-5 Cover 3. The right outside linebacker and strong safety both play hook zones, while the nickel back and left outside linebacker cover the flats. The right cornerback, free safety, and left cornerback drop back in three deep coverage.
- Many players like to use a base 2 Man Under defense. They will make adjustments on the fly based on the types of plays their opponents run. Top players also like Individual Defensive Hot Routes because they can set up enhanced blitz schemes that quickly get to the quarterback.