PLAYBOOK ANALYSIS DEFENSIVE PLAYBOOK

PRIMA OFFICIAL GAME GUIDE

DEFENSIVE PLAYBOOK
It’s now time to look at the playbooks on the other side of the ball: the defense. In some sense, defensive play calls are even more critical than offensive play calls. If you blow an offensive play call on first down, you still have two or three more downs to recover from your mistake. On the other hand, if you blow a defensive play call on first down, it might mean a touchdown for the other team—and there are no second chances after that. With that said, the rules for defensive play calling are pretty simple: Instead of playing to your strengths, hide your weaknesses: For instance, if you have a poor secondary but a strong defensive line (perhaps with an impact player), call plays in which the linebackers support the secondary in pass coverage. The goal is to force the offense to win by beating the strongest part of your defense—not your weakest. Against the computer, play the percentages: If the computer favors the run (as evidenced by the default coaching strategies found in the team profiles elsewhere in this guide), adjust your defense play calling to attack the run. If the computer is behind in a game, expect the offense to be more aggressive in the passing game—and react accordingly. The key is to predict what the computer is likely to do based on what the scoreboard says. Against the computer, experiment with the unorthodox: The term “cheese” is often used to describe cheap tactics that a player tries to use to gain an unfair playing advantage. Against a human opponent, the use of “cheese” is frowned upon—and thankfully, the NCAA Football franchise has gone a long way to becoming as cheese-free as possible. With that said, the computer never complains about extremely unorthodox tactics— so the sky’s the limit when it comes to beating the computer. Experiment by: • Controlling a defender and having him blitz—even through your play call demanded that he be in zone coverage. • Manually shifting a lineman into a different spot than where he normally lines up. • Controlling a linebacker and having him double-cover an impact receiver on a crucial third and long play. • Going crazy and calling a special teams defense—All Out (Punt) Block—on an anticipated third and short run play. The goal is to create situations so different from what the computer expects that it reacts badly as a result.

NOTE (CONTINUED)
across from the center. That lineman must NOT be an impact player; if you have a defensive lineman as an impact player, make sure the computer retains control.

NOTE
One of my favorite “unorthodox” tactics against the computer (at the default “Varsity” difficulty level) is when the computer faces third and long (which I generally try to accomplish by blitzing on first and second downs—playing the percentages that the computer will call at least one interior run play at some point). When it’s third and long, I may call a one-man (linebacker) blitz, but most often I call a 4-3 Cover 3 or Cover 4 zone defense.

The moment the ball is snapped (and not before), immediately pull back the defensive lineman so that he doesn’t lock up with the offensive blockers. Drop the defensive lineman as an extra zone defender and look for receivers cutting underneath—however, the player is usually so big and slow, he just winds up wandering about in short pass coverage. (Hold the Sprint button down to make him move as fast as possible).

The “cheese” comes by controlling a defensive lineman close or lined up
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This “extra” zone defender often confounds the computer quarterback’s ability to read the zone defense properly, while the missing defensive lineman

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NOTE (CONTINUED)
throws a monkey wrench into the offensive line’s usual blocking assignments. The result is often a coverage sack, forcing a fourth down. This unorthodox tactic doesn’t always work (the computer can beat it by passing over the top of the deep zone coverage), but it works surprisingly well— especially in cases when the computer is losing late in the game and is forced into passing plays.

When in doubt and losing, play it safe: There may be a time when you’re completely at a loss as to what to call (hopefully, that won’t be the case after reading this section—but you never know). If that happens, call a defensive play that gives you maximum protection deep. In general, it’s better to get burned underneath than to get burned behind the safeties. You should have this “911” play as an audible.

NOTE
Remember that just as on offense, every defensive play can be flipped— keep that in mind if you want to send a blitz or zone coverage to a specific side of the field.

Rushing or Blitzing: This score represents the number of defensive players (out of 11 total) rushing and/or blitzing the offense—basically everyone trying to get into the offensive backfield. In general, scores of 5 or higher reflect more aggressive defensive calls aimed at either shutting down the running game or pressuring the quarterback. However, the flip side of a higher score here is that it puts more pressure on your secondary to play mistake-free coverage if the defensive rush/blitz fizzles. In Man Pass Coverage: This score represents the number of defensive players (out of 11 total) playing man-to-man coverage on receivers. In general, higher scores reflect more defenders available to play man-to-man pass coverage. When this number reaches 6 or 7, it usually indicates that one or more offensive receivers are being double-teamed. When this number is 0, it means you are playing a pure zone defense (more on that shortly). If you have a good, competent secondary corps, you won’t have to worry too much about this score. However, if your secondary corps is suspect, a score of just 5 may be cause for concern if the next two scores are both 0. Short/Medium Zone Protectors (within 10 yards): This score represents the number of defensive players (out of 11 total) playing zone coverage within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. “Zone coverage” means that a defensive player patrols a specific area of the field and is responsible for any offensive player who wanders within that area. In general, higher scores reflect a somewhat less aggressive defense designed to prevent the offense from getting a first down. If your secondary corps is suspect, you might want to stick with defenses that score 3 or higher in this category. The only drawback is that the bigger the zone coverage, the fewer defenders there’ll be at the line to stop short runs.

GETTING STARTED PLAYBOOK ANALYSIS PLAYBOOK ANALYSIS

Against a human opponent, look for tells: Unlike playing the computer, playing another human opponent throws all the percentages out the window. There’s no way to predict what another player will do, so you have to pick up on “tells” he or she might not notice. For instance, does the opponent always pass or play-action pass on second and short? Does the opponent always flip plays so that he or she can run to the far side of the field? Does the opponent always run in one formation but pass in another? It’s really difficult to find such tells—especially against veteran players who know how to mix it up—but if you pick up on some “trend” in an opponent’s play-calling pattern, adjust to it. When in doubt and winning, be aggressive: There are football video gamers out there who strongly believe that the only way to win is to be aggressive. The prevailing wisdom is to force the opponent (whether human or computer) to beat you rather than to sit in a “prevent” defense and watch them beat you (the cynical view being that “prevent” defenses only prevent you from winning). While that school of thought might be a bit too extreme (and possibly the kiss of death against experienced players), it is true that the more pressure you put on an opponent, the more likely he or she may be rushed into a mistake. With that said, if you’re unsure of what to call, being aggressive with a blitz might be the ticket—just control a safety to make sure you don’t get burned too badly in case things turn ugly.

LEARNING ABOUT DEFENSIVE PLAYS
Whether you’re new to the game or a grizzled veteran, it’s inherently harder to learn how to call defensive plays than offensive plays. If you’re stuck on an offensive play, you can go into practice mode and just run that play over and over again until you see how all the pieces work. In theory, you can practice defensive plays in the same manner, but that kind of practice will never teach you what play you should call in a given situation. Complicating matters are all the real-life football jargon used to describe these plays: Terms such as “Fire,” “Dogs,” and “Monster” don’t make it easy for beginners to get a grasp on what these plays (and their defensive diagrams) really mean. Because of that, this year’s strategy guide breaks down all the available defensive plays in a more streamlined manner than in previous guides. Instead of getting into the nitty-gritty about specific defensive assignments and blitz packages, we’ve devised a more understandable “scorecard” of each defensive play, broken down into four categories:

DIVISION I-A TEAMS DIVISION I-AA TEAMS ADVANCED STRATEGIES

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PLAYBOOK ANALYSIS DEFENSIVE PLAYBOOK
PRIMA OFFICIAL GAME GUIDE

NOTE
In some of the defensive play charts below, you’ll see a notation for a “spy” or “spies.” After the ball is snapped, spies shadow the movements of a specific player in the backfield (usually the quarterback) until that player emerges out of the backfield and crosses the line of scrimmage toward the defender’s area of responsibility. At that point, the spying defender locks on to that offensive player and attempts to make a tackle if that player happens to have the ball. The difference between plain old zone coverage and “spy” coverage is that spies have more freedom to roam around the field to keep up with players coming out of the backfield.
Deep Zone Protectors (outside 10 yards): This score represents the number of defensive players playing zone coverage 10 yards or more past the line of scrimmage. In general, higher scores reflect a very conservative defense designed to prevent the offense from making a big play—this is essential when you’re trying to protect against the long pass. If your secondary corps is suspect and/or you’re trying to defend on third and long, you might want to stick with defenses that score 3 or higher in this category. If both “zone” scores are 0, it means that the defense is playing a pure man-to-man defense (and is most likely blitzing as well). If both “zone” scores are high and the “in man pass coverage” score is 0, it indicates a very conservative defense. The table to the upper right summarizes these scores and provides a quick cheatsheet so you can easily understand the strengths of each defensive play. Remember that these scores act as guidelines only—you really need to learn how to read the defensive play diagrams to truly understand exactly what’s happening within a given play. But until then, there’s no better way to cut through the defensive

SCORE CATEGORY
WHAT THE SCORE MEANS

RUSHING OR BLITZING
Scores of 5 or higher reflect more aggressive (and more risky) defensive play calls.

IN MAN PASS COVERAGE

SHORT/MEDIUM DEEP ZONE ZONE PROTEC- PROTECTORS TORS
The higher both these numbers are (when added together), the more conservative (and “safer”) your defense will be. If both numbers are zero, your defense is in pure man-to-man coverage (and most likely blitzing as a result). Call a defensive play with a score of 3 or higher in this category to best protect against any pass within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. • You expect a short pass play • On third and short situations—especially if you have a subpar secondary and expect a pass Call a defensive play with a score of 3 or higher in this category to best protect against any pass longer than 10 yards. • You expect a long pass play • On third and long situations—especially if you have a subpar secondary and expect a pass • If it’s late in a game and you’re trying to protect a lead • If you’re unsure what defense to call and want to play it safe

Scores of 6 or higher reflect more defensive play calls. A score of zero means your defense is in pure zone coverage. WHAT TO CALL Call a defensive play Call a defensive play ON DEFENSE with a score of 5 or with a score of 5 in higher in this category this category only if to stop the run or to your secondary is put extra pressure on decent at sticking with the quarterback. receivers—otherwise, stick to zone coverage. BEST TIME TO • You’re sure the • You have a decent CALL A DEFENopponent will call a secondary who can SIVE PLAY WITH run play (especially stay with receivers A HIGH SCORE IN on third and short or on long routes THIS CATEGORY goal line situations) • You’re not afraid of • You have a decent giving up the occasecondary sional big pass play (that is, you have a • You already have the big lead in the lead and are trying game) to build/keep momentum • If you want to be aggressive on third and long (assuming you have an outstanding secondary)

jargon and make a smart defensive play call than by using this simple four-score comparison method.

NOTE (CONTINUED)
Some keywords that signal that at least one receiver is being double teamed: Double X, Double Y, Double Z, Double Outs, Double Slots Some keywords that refer to a specific player: MLB (middle linebacker), OLB (outside linebacker), DE (defensive end), CB (cornerback), SS (strong safety)

NOTE
Speaking of defensive jargon, we don’t want to leave you totally clueless. Here are a few guidelines about defensive play names. Some keywords that signal a blitz of some sort: Blitz, Fire, Storm, Wham, Robber, Monster, Thunder, Crash, Cross, Smoke Some keywords that signal a very conservative defensive call: Max Zone, Cover 3, Cover 4

DEFENSIVE FORMATIONS
There are five different defensive playbooks to choose from: The 3-3-5, the 3-4, the 4-25, the 4-3, and the Multiple D. All five share a number of common formation sets, which are described in detail later.

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NOTE
Here’s how to read the arrows and other symbols in the defensive playbook. The color scheme described below only applies when examining generic playbooks. During a game in which impact players are in the defensive line-up, their assignments are always highlighted in white in play diagrams.
Yellow Circles/Ovals: The circles indicate defensive players playing zone defense; the ovals (which may vary in size) show the areas of the field being covered Red Circle: Indicates a player playing man-to-man defense Gray Arrow: Indicates a rushing or blitzing defender Blue Circle: Indicates a defender acting as a “spy”

3-3-5 BEAR PLAYS (12)

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 3 4 8 4 6 6 6 6 3 3 6 5 1 0 0 5 0 5 2 4 5 5 0 0

2 Zone Man X 3 Deep Roll All Out Blitz Cover 2 Man Fire 2 Fire Green Middle Blitz 3 Middle Plug 1 OLB Double Spy SS Double Spy Storm Red Zone Blitz

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 5 4 0 0 3 0 0 0

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 2 3 3 2 2 0 3 1

3-3-5 SPLIT RUSHING IN MAN PLAYS (21) OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 3 Deep Switch All Out Blitz Banjo Strike Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 3 Cover 4 Dogs Zone Blitz Double DE Spy Double LB Spy Inside Switch Mad Robber Max Zone Middle Slant 3 Monster 2 Monster 3 Buck Monster Green OLB Double Spy Ray Smoke Thunder Green Thunder Green Spy 4 8 5 5 4 4 4 5 2 4 6 8 2 5 5 5 6 3 6 6 4 0 0 2 5 0 0 0 0 5 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 0 5 4

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 4 0 3 0 4 4 3 3

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 3 3 1 1 3 3 4 3

GETTING STARTED PLAYBOOK ANALYSIS PLAYBOOK ANALYSIS

3 (Spies) 1 2 (Spies) 0 0 0 7 3 4 3 0 2 3 2 3 2 3 0

2 (Spies) 1 2 (Spies) 1 2 3 3 3

3-3-5 The numbers represent three defensive linemen, three linebackers, and five secondary players. The linebackers have the flexibility to line up in various configurations behind the linemen, while two of the secondary players can line up close to the line of scrimmage—essentially representing an eight-man front. The five secondary players provide healthy zone coverage when needed. The 3-3-5 is a rather flexible formation, but it relies on talented linebackers: If you aren’t strong at that position, you may be vulnerable to inside run plays. Note that this playbook also has access to a limited set of plays from the 3-4 Under category to mix up the look of your defense. New for 2007 in this playbook are the Bear, Cougar, and Split formations. 3-3-5 FORMATION SETS
3-3-5 BEAR 3-3-5 COUGAR

3-3-5 COUGAR PLAYS (21)

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 8 6 5 4 4 4 4 3 5 5 2 5 3 3 6 6 6 5 5 5 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 5 5 7 7 5 5 5 5 0 5 0

3-3-5 SPLIT

3-3-5 STACK

All Out Blitz Bronco Wham CB Blitz Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Zone Cover 4 Crash 2 Cross Fire 3 DE Double Spy Dog Gold Double Outs Double Slots FS Wham Middle Blitz Monster Green OLB Fire Spy 2 Blitz SS Dogs SS Zone Blitz

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 0 0 3 1 (Spy) 5 0 4 4 3 3 3 (Spies) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2+1 (Spy) 0 3

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 3 0 3 1 2 2 3 4 3 3 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 3 1 3

DIVISION I-A TEAMS

2 (Spies) 1 2 0 3 0

2 (Spies) 1

DIVISION I-AA TEAMS

3-3-5 STACK RUSHING IN MAN PLAYS (33) OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 3 Deep Switch All Out Blitz CB Blitz CB Heat Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 2 MLB Spy Cover 3 Zone Crash 3 Cross Fire 3 DE Double Spy Dog Gold 3 8 5 5 4 3 4 3 3 5 5 2 5 0 0 0 0 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 5 5

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 5 0 3 4 1 (Spy) 5 0 3+1 (Spy) 5

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 3 3 3 2 1 3 2 4 3

ADVANCED STRATEGIES

3-4 UNDER

2 4 3 3 3 (Spies) 1 0 1 Continued

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PRIMA OFFICIAL GAME GUIDE

Continued 3-4 UNDER RUSHING IN MAN PLAYS (12)* OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE Double Outs Double Slots Double X Double Z Fire Green Middle Blitz MLB Zone Blitz Monster 2 Monster Green OLB Double Spy OLB Fire Pinch Blitz Prevent 4 Quarters Spy 2 Blitz SS Dogs SS Double Spy SS Zone Blitz Storm Red Zone Blitz 3-3-5 COUGAR PLAYS (21) 3 3 3 3 6 6 5 5 6 3 5 5 3 3 5 5 3 5 6 5 7 7 6 6 5 5 0 0 5 5 5 5 0 0 0 5 5 0 0 0

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 4 0

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 1 1 1 1 0 0 4 2 0

3-4 The numbers represent three linemen and four linebackers; teams with exceptional talent/size on the defensive line can handle this defensive scheme. With only three linemen, this formation is susceptible to the inside run—especially against formations that feature two tight ends. On the plus side, the four linebackers are better equipped to handle short pass routes and runs to the sidelines such as sweeps. In addition, this playbook provides access to the 4-4 defensive play list, which provides a more aggressive look against the run.

3-4 NORMAL RUSHING IN MAN PLAYS OR PASS (CONTINUED) BLITZING COVERAGE Hulk 3 Monster Green Spy 2 Man Spy 3 Spy Gold Thunder 2 Thunder Green 3-4 OVER PLAYS (21) 5 6 3 4 4 6 6 0 5 5 0 5 0 5

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 3 0 1 (Spy) 3+1 (Spy) 1 (Spy) 3 0

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 3 0 2 3 1 2 0

2 (Spies) 1 0 0 4 2+1 (Spy) 2+1 (Spy) 0 2 (Spies) 2 1 3 SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 1 6 1 4 4 4 0 0 0 3 3 0 1 1 4 5 3 1 1 4 4 3 DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 1 2 2 3 4 2 1 1 0 3 3 0

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 4 3 3 4 4 5 6 6 5 2 3 3 6 6 5 4 5 6 4 6 6 5 0 5 0 0 5 4 0 0 5 5 0 0 5 6 6 0 5 0 0 5

3-4 FORMATION SETS
3-4 NORMAL 3-4 OVER Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 3 Switch Crash Gold Cross Fire Cross Fire 2 Cross Fire 3 Double DE Spy Double MLB Spy Double OLB Spy Fire 2 Fire Green Gold Double Y Gold Double Z Hulk 3 Switch Monster Green Spy 3 Thunder 2 Thunder Green 3-4 SOLID PLAYS (18)

3-4 SOLID

3-4 UNDER

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 1 6 1 4 4 0 0 3 3 3 (Spies)

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 1 2 2 3 3 1 1 2 3 1

4-4

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 4 3 3 4 3 5 5 5 4 5 5 7 5 0 5 0 0 0 5 5 7 0 0 4

3-4 NORMAL RUSHING IN MAN PLAYS (27) OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 2 Max Cover 3 Cover 3 Max Cover 4 Crash 2 Crash Gold Dbl Safety Spy Dog Gold Double DE Spy Double MLB Spy Double OLB Spy Double Outs Fire 2 Fire Green Gold Double X Gold Double Y Gold Double Z 4 3 3 3 4 3 3 5 5 3 5 2 3 3 4 6 6 5 5 4 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 5 5 5 0 7 0 5 6 6 6

Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 4 Crash 2 Crash Gold Dog Gold Double Outs Inside Zone Blitz Middle Cross 3 Thunder Green

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 1 6 1 6 4 5 4 4 0 1 (Spy)

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS

2 (Spies) 1 4+2 (Spies) 3 0 0 1 3 0 2 2 0 0 0 3 0

1 2 2 2 3 3 4 2 1 1+1 (Spy) 0 1 3 (Spies) 1 2 (Spies) 1 4+2 (Spies) 0 3 0 0 0 1 2 0 2 0 0 0 0

3+1 (Spy) 3 3 2 0 0

*Note: The 3-4 Under in the 3-3-5 playbook has fewer plays available compared with the 3-4 Under in the 3-4 playbook.

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 0 5 0

Cover 2 3 Cover 2 Man 3 Cover 3 4 Cloud

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 6 1 4

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 2 2 3

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3-4 SOLID RUSHING IN MAN PLAYS OR PASS (CONTINUED) BLITZING COVERAGE Cover 4 Crash Gold Double MLB Spy Double OLB Spy Double Outs FS Zone Blitz Gap Press Gap Press 2 MLB Cross 3 MLB Cross Blitz Monster Green Spy 3 Spy Gold Thunder 2 Thunder Green 3-4 UNDER PLAYS (21) 3 5 3 3 4 5 6 6 5 7 6 4 4 6 6 0 5 5 0 7 0 5 0 0 4 5 0 5 0 5

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 4 0 2 (Spies) 4+2 (Spies) 0 3 0 3 3 0 0 3+1 (Spy) 1 (Spy) 3 0

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 4 1 1 2 0 3 0 2 3 0 0 3 1 2 0

4-4 PLAYS (21)

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 8 6 5 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 2 3 6 5 8 6 6 4 4 5 6 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 5 5 0 5 5 5 5 5 5

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 4 3 3 4 4 4 3 5 5 5 5 2 3 3 4 6 6 5 7 5 7 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 5 5 0 7 0 5 0 4 0 4

Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 3 Cloud Cover 3 Switch Cover 4 Crash 2 Crash 3 Crash Gold Dog Gold Double DE Spy Double MLB Spy Double OLB Spy Double Outs Fire 2 Fire Green Inside Zone Blitz Middle Cross Middle Cross 3 Thunder Green

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 1 6 1 4 4 4 4 4 3 0 0 3 (Spies)

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 2 3 1 1 1

All Out Blitz CB Heat Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 4 Crash Gold Dog 3 Dogs Zone Blitz Double DE Spy Double OLB Spy Fire Green Lightning Gold Mad Robber Monster Green Pinch Blitz Safety Spy Spy Gold Spy Green Thunder Green

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 0 4 0 4 5 4 3 0 3 3 3+3 (Spies) 3+2 (Spies) 0 0 0 0 0 1 (Spy) 1 (Spy) 1 (Spy) 0

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 3 1 1 3 2 3 4 1 3 3 3 3 0 1 3 0 0 1 1 0 0

4-2-5 FORMATION SETS

GETTING STARTED

4-2-5 BEAR

4-2-5 NORMAL

4-2-5 OVER

4-2-5 UNDER

4-4

4-2-5 BEAR PLAYS (12)

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 8 5 5 4 4 6 5 2 6 4 6 4 0 5 5 5 0 5 5 0 5 5 5 0

All Out Blitz CB Fire 1 Cover 1 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Fire Green FS Spy Max Zone Middle Blitz SS Double Spy SS Fire Zone Dog 3 4-2-5 NORMAL PLAYS (33)

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 5 0 2 (Spy) 0 4 SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 0 2 4 1 0 0 2+2 (Spies) 4 0 3

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 3 1 1 2 3 0 1 (Spy) 4 0 0 0 3 DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 3 3 2 1 3 2 3 3 0 3

PLAYBOOK ANALYSIS PLAYBOOK ANALYSIS DIVISION I-A TEAMS

4-2-5 The numbers represent four linemen, two linebackers, and five secondary players. This is essentially a compromise between the 4-3 and the 3-3-5—you get the coverage flexibility from the five in the secondary while adding strength against the run/pass rush with four down linemen. As with the 3-3-5, it’s essential that linebackers play with talent and discipline to avoid getting caught out of position. This playbook also has access to the 4-4 defensive play list, which provides a more aggressive look against the run. The Bear, Over, and Under formations are new to 2007.

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 8 6 5 4 4 4 4 4 6 5 2 4 4 4 4 6 4 4 2 0 0 0 5 4 5 0 0 5 0 5 7 7 6 6 5 5 5 0

2 (Spies) 1 4+2 (Spies) 0 3 0 3 0 3 0 2 0 2 0 3 0 3 0

All Out Blitz CB Blitz CB Heat Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 2 MLB Spy Cover 3 Crash Gold Dogs Zone Blitz Double DE Spy Double Outs Double Slots Double X Double Z FS Blitz FS Spy LB Double Spy Max Zone

DIVISION I-AA TEAMS ADVANCED STRATEGIES

3 (Spies) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 (Spies) 6 0 0 1 1 0 1+1 (Spy) 0 3 Continued

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Continued 4-2-5 NOR- RUSHING IN MAN MAL PLAYS OR PASS (CONTINUED) BLITZING COVERAGE Middle Blitz MLB Spy Monster 2 OLB Fire Pinch Blitz Prevent 4 Quarters Spy 2 Robber Spy 3 Blitz SS Blitz SS Dogs SS Double Spy Storm Red Zone Blitz 6 4 5 5 6 4 3 4 5 6 6 4 7 5 5 5 0 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 0 0

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 0 1 (Spy) 4 0 0 2 3 4+1 (Spy) 2+1 (Spy) 2 0 2 (Spies) 3 3

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 0 1 2 1 0 5 5 2 3 3 0 0 1 3

4-2-5 UNDER PLAYS (27)

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 4 8 6 5 4 4 4 4 4 5 6 5 2 4 4 4 4 2 6 4 6 4 4 6 4 7 5 0 0 0 0 5 0 5 0 0 0 5 0 5 7 6 5 5 0 5 5 5 0 0 5 5 0 0

4-2-5 OVER PLAYS (27)

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 4 8 6 5 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 6 5 4 4 6 4 4 2 5 6 4 4 6 6 4 5 0 0 0 0 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 5 0 7 6 5 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 0

3 Deep Roll All Out Blitz CB Blitz CB Heat Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 4 Crash 2 Crash 3 Crash Gold Dogs Zone Blitz Double Outs Double X Fire Green FS Spy LB Double Spy Max Zone Monster 2 Monster Green Prevent 4 Spy 2 Robber SS Blitz SS Dogs SS Double Spy Zone Blitz

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 3 0 2 4 1 4 0 4 3 4 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 2 (Spies) 6 3 2 2 4+1 (Spy) 2 0 2 (Spies) 3

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 4 3 3 2 1 3 2 3 4 2 3 0 3 0 1 0 1+1 (Spy) 0 3 3 3 5 2 3 0 0 3

3 Deep Roll All Out Blitz CB Blitz CB Heat Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 4 Crash 2 Crash Gold Dogs Zone Blitz Double DE Spy Double Outs Double X FS Spy LB Double Spy Max Zone Middle Blitz MLB Spy Pinch Blitz Prevent 4 Spy 2 Robber SS Dogs SS Double Spy Storm Red Zone Blitz

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 4 0 2 4 1 4 0 4 2 4 0 3

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 3 3 3 2 1 3 2 3 5 2 0 3

The 4-3 playbook has been updated for 2007 with the addition of the 46-Bear, which is derived from pro football and allows defenses to pressure the passer by making the corners more aggressive through bumpand-run and blitzing tactics. However, because of the aggressiveness of the 46Bear, it relies on superior talent across the entire defense. It is also vulnerable to short passing routes. 4-3 FORMATION SETS
4-3 OVER 4-3 STACK

3 (Spies) 1 0 0 0 2 (Spies) 6 0 1 (Spy) 0 2 4+1 (Spy) 0 2 (Spies) 3 3 0 1 1+1 (Spy) 0 3 0 1 0 5 2 0 0 1 3

4-3 UNDER

4-4

46-BEAR

4-3 OVER PLAYS (24)

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 4 5 5 2 6 5 5 5 5 6 5 6 4 4 6 4 6 5 0 5 0 0 0 5 5 0 0 5 0 6 0 0 5 5 0 5 0 0 5 0 5

4-4 Plays: Refer to the 4-4 plays in the 3-4 playbook (the list is the same). 4-3 The 4-3 (representing four linemen and three linebackers) has historically been the standard defense for the majority of teams in college football. It arguably provides the best balance between defending the inside run (with success relying on the talent of the defensive linemen), the outside run, and the pass (with success of the latter two relying on the speed of the linebackers). However, more teams have been using the spread offense—which uses extra receivers to force linebackers to line up outside the box—and the 4-3 can be vulnerable to such schemes.

Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 4 Crash 2 Crash Gold Dbl Safety Spy Dog 2 Dog 3 Double DE Spy Fire 2 Gold Double X Hulk 3 Lightning 2 Lightning Gold Monster Green Raider 2 Sack Red Spy 2 Spy 3 Storm Red Tampa 2 Thunder Green

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 1 5 0 4 3 4 0 0 4 3 1+2 (Spies) 3 0 3 4 0 0 4 0 4+1 (Spy) 3+1 (Spy) 0 5 0

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 1 2 2 3 4 2 1 2 (Spies) 2 3 1 2 0 3 2 1 0 2 0 2 3 0 2 0

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4-3 STACK PLAYS (24)

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 6 4 5 6 4 4 6 6 5 5 0 5 0 0 0 5 0 0 6 6 6 0 0 0 5 0 0 5 0 0 0 5 0

Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 4 Crash 2 Crash Gold Dog 3 Fire 2 Gold Double X Gold Double Y Gold Double Z Hulk 3 Lightning 2 Monster 3 Monster Green OLB Double Spy Raider 2 Sack Red Spy 2 Tampa 2 Thunder 2 Thunder Green Zone Blitz

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 1 5 0 4 3 4 0 3 3 0 0 0 3 4 3 0 3+2 (Spies) 4 0 4+1 (Spy) 5 3 0 2

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 1 2 2 3 4 2 1 3 2 0 0 0 3 2 3 0 2 2 0 2 2 2 0 4

4-3 UNDER RUSHING IN MAN PLAYS OR PASS (CONTINUED) BLITZING COVERAGE OLB Double Spy Raider 2 Storm Red Tampa 2 Thunder 2 Thunder Green 4 5 6 4 6 6 0 0 5 0 0 5

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 3+2 (Spies) 4 0 5 3 0

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 2 2 0 2 2 0

3-4 Solid Plays: Refer to the 3-4 Solid plays in the 3-4 playbook (the list is the same). 3-4 Under Plays: Refer to the 3-4 Under plays in the 3-4 playbook (the list is the same). 4-3 Over Plays: Refer to the 4-3 Over plays in the 4-3 playbook (the list is the same). 4-3 Stack Plays: Refer to the 4-3 Stack plays in the 4-3 playbook (the list is the same). 46-Bear Plays: Refer to the 46-Bear plays in the 4-3 playbook (the list is the same). UNIVERSAL DEFENSIVE FORMATIONS All of the defensive playbooks have a common set of additional formation sets available to choose from—including new sets and plays for 2007. All the plays are available in all playbooks except where noted in the nickel and dime charts below (a few plays are accessible only by certain playbooks). 5-2 Normal: The 5-2 defense (five lineman and two linebackers) is designed to put stress on the offensive line and get greater penetration into the backfield against the run. In pass blitz situations, the 5-2 puts extreme pressure on the secondary to provide solid coverage—but with so much blitzing power aimed at the quarterback, he may not have time to make a good read on the coverage. Dime (3-2-6 and Normal): If five defensive backs are worth a “nickel,” then six must be worth twice as much—that’s the philosophy behind the Dime formation. Six defensive backs provide even more support against the pass—especially on long-yardage situations. The drawback of the Dime (relative to the Nickel) is that it’s more susceptible to the run; the assumption you make when calling a Dime defense is that you’d rather give up some run yards than give up a big pass for a first down. There are two Dime variants to

GETTING STARTED PLAYBOOK ANALYSIS PLAYBOOK ANALYSIS

4-4 Plays: Refer to the 4-4 plays in the 3-4 playbook (the list is the same).
46-BEAR PLAYS (12) RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 5 4 4 4 4 5 6 6 5 5 6 5 5 5 5 0 0 5 5 0 5 5 5 0 SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 0 1 0 4 3 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 1 1 2 3 4 1 0 3 1 (Spy) 1 0 3

CB Fire 1 Cover 1 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 4 Crash Gold Fire Green Fire Overload FS Spy SS Fire Thunder Green Zone Dogs 3

DIVISION I-A TEAMS DIVISION I-AA TEAMS

4-3 UNDER PLAYS (21)

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 4 5 2 5 5 5 5 6 5 0 5 0 0 0 5 5 0 5 6 0 0 5 5

Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 4 Crash 2 Crash Gold Dbl Safety Spy Dog 3 Double DE Spy Gold Double X Hulk 3 Lightning 2 Lightning Gold Monster Green

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 1 5 0 3 3 4 0 0

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 1 2 2 4 4 2 1 2 (Spies)

MULTIPLE D Because this defense is a composite of the 3-4 and 4-3 defenses, you can look back at the previous charts to see what’s available in this playbook. The Multiple D gives you the greatest opportunity to throw different defensive looks at an opponent. MULTIPLE D FORMATION SETS
3-4 SOLID 3-4 UNDER

ADVANCED STRATEGIES

3 3 3 (Spies) 1 0 3 4 0 0 0 3 2 1 0

4-3 OVER

4-3 STACK

46-BEAR

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PLAYBOOK ANALYSIS DEFENSIVE PLAYBOOK
PRIMA OFFICIAL GAME GUIDE

choose from: The Normal features four linemen and one linebacker, while the 3-2-6 features three linemen and two linebackers. The latter variation provides you with more speed at linebacker against any potential run. Goal Line Normal: The Goal Line playbook features an aggressive set of defensive play calls (mostly all featuring six-man fronts) designed to neutralize the offense within five or so yards of the end zone. You may be tempted to call a goal line defense in other short-yardage situations elsewhere on the field, but beware—a knowledgeable opponent can recognize it, audible to a pass, and go over the top because there is absolutely no deep zone support. Nickel Normal: The name refers to the five defensive backs found in this formation. They provide additional protection against the pass; the nickel and its variants are often seen in second or third and long pass situations. The remaining six defenders (two linebackers and four linemen) are free to blitz or support the secondary depending on how aggressive the defense wants to get. However, it is not a good defense against the run. Quarter 3 Deep: The Quarter 3 Deep is new for 2007, and it represents the cost of inflation in football defense: If six defensive backs are worth a “dime,” then seven must be worth a “quarter.” As you can guess, this formation features seven defensive backs, three of which play deep to prevent long passes. Rounding out the package are three linemen and a linebacker. As you can see from the list of plays below, the Quarter 3 Deep formation set comprises the most conservative pass defenses available in the game—defenses in which you essentially give up short yardage to prevent a big-play touchdown pass. However, if you look closely, you’ll see a few blitz schemes mixed in—but use them at your own risk if you have a porous secondary. Special Teams: You’ll use special teams on defense to return a punt or block a field goal. Note the variety of options for both situations—for instance, on punt return you can

call for a reverse (or fake reverse) as well as dictate how many players you want to commit to try to block a kick. Now that there are more fake punt/field goal options for the offense, consider calling conservatively from this playbook set on fourth down (especially against human opponents) to protect yourself from a trick play. Finally, because Special Teams defenses aren’t exactly “true” defensive play calls, no chart breakdown is provided.

5-2 NORMAL RUSHING IN MAN PLAYS (12) OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 4 Crash Gold Double DE Spy Double LB Spy Fire Green Monster 3 Safety Spy Spy Green 5 5 4 5 5 5 3 3 6 6 5 5 5 0 5 0 0 5 5 0 5 0 5 5

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 0 4 0 3 2 0 2 (Spies) 3+2 (Spies) 0 2 0 1 (Spy)

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 1 2 2 3 4 1 1 3 0 3 1 (Spy) 0

NOTE
One of the new features in 2007 is the ability to switch to a behind-the-shoulder view on punt and field goal blocks when playing against the computer. Use this view if you want to be aggressive, but be wary of hitting the kicker late (which results in a major penalty) or getting caught out of position if it’s a fake.
UNIVERSAL FORMATION SETS
5-2 NORMAL DIME 3-2-6

DIME 3-2-6 PLAYS (12)

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 3 4 4 3 5 3 4 6 6 5 5 5 0 5 0 0 5 5 7 0 5 0 0 0

DIME NORMAL

GOAL LINE NORMAL

NICKEL NORMAL

QUARTER 3 DEEP

SPECIAL TEAMS

Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 4 Dog Gold Double LB Spy Double Outs Fire 2 Fire Green FS Fire Zone Plug Robber 1 Zone Blitz

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 6 0 3 3 0 2 (Spies) 0 3 0 3 4 3

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 2 2 4 5 1 1 0 2 0 3 2 3

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DIME NORMAL PLAYS (24*)

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 6 4 5 5 5 5 4 2 4 4 6 6 5 5 6 2 5 4 4 5 4 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 5 0 5 0 0 5 0 5 5 7 7 0 5 6 6 0 0 0 0 5 0 0

Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 3 Cloud** Cover 3 Switch** Cover 4 Crash Gold Dbl Safety Go Dbl Safety Spy*** Dog 2 Dog 3** Dog Gold Dogs Zone Blitz Double DB Spy*** Double DE Spy** Double Outs Double Slots Fire 2** Fire Green Gold Double X Gold Double Z*** Hulk 2 Max Zone Monster 3 Prevent*** Spy Gold*** SS Zone Blitz Tampa 2

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 1 5 0 3 4 3 3 0 3 0 4 2 0 4

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 1 2 2 4 3 4 4 1 2 2 (Spies) 2 4 1 2

NICKEL RUSHING IN MAN NORMAL OR PASS PLAYS (27*) BLITZING COVERAGE All Out Blitz** Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 4 Crash 2 Crash 3 Crash Gold Dbl Safety Spy*** Dog Gold Dogs Zone Blitz** Double DE Spy Double LB Spy Double Outs Double Slots*** Double X*** Double Z Fire Green Hulk 3*** Max Zone Middle Blitz** Monster 2 Monster 3** Monster Green Pinch Blitz Prevent 4 Spy 2 Robber Spy Gold*** Storm Red Thunder Green 8 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 6 4 5 5 2 4 4 4 4 4 6 4 2 6 6 6 6 6 4 4 4 6 6 0 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 5 5 5 0 5 5 7 7 6 6 5 0 0 5 0 0 5 5 0 0 5 5 5

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 0 1 5 0 3 3 4 3 0 0 0 3

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 3 1 2 2 4 4 2 3 0 2 (Spies) 1 3

QUARTER 3 RUSHING IN MAN DEEP PLAYS OR PASS (12) BLITZING COVERAGE Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 2 Man Cover 3 Cover 3 Man Crash 3 Double Outs Double Z Fire 3 Middle Blitz Middle Blitz Strike Prevent GOAL LINE NORMAL PLAYS (12) 4 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 5 6 6 3 5 0 5 0 5 0 7 6 0 5 0 0

SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 0 5 0 2 0 4 0 0 0 0 2 3 SHORT/ MEDIUM ZONE PROTECTORS 3 3 0 3 0 1 5+1 (Spy) 0 0 4 0 5

DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 2 3 3 6 3 3 1 2 6 0 3 5 DEEP ZONE PROTECTORS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

GETTING STARTED PLAYBOOK ANALYSIS PLAYBOOK ANALYSIS

3 (Spies) 1 2 (Spies) 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 7 0 3 2 0 0 3 3+1 (Spy) 1 (Spy) 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 3 2 0 2 3 0 0 4 3 1 0 0

RUSHING IN MAN OR PASS BLITZING COVERAGE 8 8 7 8 6 5 5 9 9 7 11 6 0 0 4 0 5 5 0 2 2 0 0 0

2 (Spies) 0 3 (Spies) 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 7 2 3 1 (Spy) 3 5 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 2 4 4 1 3 2

Take Slide Slant Blitz OLB Fire Man Lock Man Free GL Zone Spy Fire Gaps Dogs Blitz CB Blitz Blitz All 5-Under

DIVISION I-A TEAMS DIVISION I-AA TEAMS

* There are actually 29 total plays, but only 24 are available depending on the playbook chosen ** Only available in 3-3-5, 3-4, and 4-2-5 playbooks *** Only available in 4-3 and Multiple D playbooks

* There are actually 31 total plays, but only 27 are available depending on the playbook chosen ** Only available in 3-3-5 and 3-4 playbooks *** Only available in 4-2-5, 4-3, and Multiple D playbooks

ADVANCED STRATEGIES

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