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Published on June 9th, 2014 | by Shopmaster


Madden 15 Is Getting Defensive – Defensive Information

Ok, so it’s obvious by the EA Press Conference today that EA is focusing on the defensive side of the ball this year and I couldn’t be happier but with only tackling and pass rushing moves being shown at the Presser, what else will the defense be able to do.  Well EA has all the information on their website but being someone who has seen and played the game before today I may be able to give you a different perspective.  You can find the EA SPORTS Madden 15 Info here but there are a number of things they have not touched when if comes to defense.

Defensive Pass Rush in Madden 15

Let’s start with the defensive pass rush.  There are two things you need to remember through this whole point of pass rush; the system that is based on conservative and aggressive actions.  Pass rush is getting completely re-done this year, no more right stick spamming. It’s going to a button technique which uses two buttons for finesse and power. This will make pass rushing feel more responsive and more predictable because you’ll know exactly what move you want to pull off, it’s not as random as it was with the right stick.

As soon as the ball is snapped if you press the ‘RT’ you’ll get an accel burst. This is based on the stamina of your player. The timing window is bigger at the beginning of the game where as near the end it will be slower because your stamina isn’t big. This may play a big role on substituting defensive linemen like they do in real life where certain guys are in there to rush the QB and others are there for run defensive purposes.

If you get the accel burst move you’ll get a feedback that you timed it right and then you’ll be able to do a counter move. That means at the point of engagement with the pass blocker you’ll have a timing window where you can get a win and get off the block and get to the QB. If you fail that win you’ll be engaged with the blocker where you’ll have the ability to steer the blocker. If you are steering to the right and you press ‘A’ you’ll do a pass rush move in that direction. The left stick is used to jostle with the offensive lineman. If you flick the left stick to left while pass rushing to the right, you’ll spin off and do a reverse move in the opposite direction.

This seemed to work well when I played the game back in February but I also feel like this may be catering to the people who don’t have my user skills and gives them an advantage.  To that point EA told me that 40% of the people who play Madden play with a defensive linemen which could be why they put a lot of focus on this but I also think if you look at the Super Bowl and the Seahawks and how they controlled the line of scrimmage to force Peyton out of rhythm.  I think it’s a good thing but again I need to get my hands on it this week to see how effective it really is and if it’s too effective.  We’ve all seen great thing implemented but the over power of those things are bad I hope this doesn’t turn into one of those and we’ll get a better idea this week at E3.


There is also a new disengage mechanics. With the ‘A’ button you can and the left stick you can disengage in a particular direction. You can even disengage away from the blocker to go up field.  This means that if a runner runs past you, you won’t have to do a swim move in order to get away from the blocker just disengage and go after the ball carrier.  On the flip side of this I can see this being used as a way to create unbelievable pressure.  I haven’t seen this but if I can occupy a blocker and still get back into pass coverage like expected then this should open up the some creative blitzes.  Again we’ll have to see this week and I’ll b back tomorrow hopefully with a full report.

Lock steering is used with the left stick to move the guy that is blocking you and shift his weight left or right.  This is great for when you need to shed the tackle and make a play on the ball carrier coming through the line.  So again just to recap, use the right stick to steer the offensive linemen, use the left stick to jostle left or right, then disengage with ‘A/X’ to get off the block and tackle the ball carrier.  When done right this looks really good.

The ‘X’ button is the more aggressive move. If you press it you’ll try to knock the linemen out the way but you also risk you getting knocked down.


New Tackling

The cone is back, but we are not talking about the Vision Cone that people hated, we are talking the new tackling cone in Madden NFL 15.  The cone is used to determine if a player can complete a tackle.  If you press ‘A/X’ for a conservative tackle the player will engage in a “non-big hit” tackle animation.  Player ratings determine the success of the tackle.

Aggressive Tackle combines both dive and Hit Stick tackles. If a ball carrier is within three yards of the defender, pressing the Aggressive Tackle button (X on Xbox One, Square on PS4) will trigger a Hit Stick tackle. If the offensive player is outside of three yards, pressing the Aggressive Tackle button will result in a diving tackle attempt.

The success of these tackle are based on a number of factors, including player ratings and timing. If a user attempts a tackle before the ball carrier reaches them, they could whiff on the tackle entirely.

It is important to note that the cone can be turned off and will be turned off on higher level difficulties like All-Pro and All-Madden.




EA SPORTS made a big effort on making defensive coverages shut down the routes that are supposed to shut down. Meaning they are trying their best to eliminate money routes, but I think we all know that won’t happen but they are trying.  One of the things they also talked about is that you’ll see more swats than ever before.  They felt the average player threw too many interceptions.  I don’t agree with that, if a person makes a bad read they should pay for it.

Zones seem to be much tighter and although there weren’t as many interceptions, the fact that the defense can make effort catches like the offense shows that they are trying.  So you’ll see more diving swats, guys playing the ball and the player, and even guys jumping for balls above their head to try to get a finger on it.

Man coverage seems to be tighter to but there still is no defensive man assignment which is still a big request by the community.  From what I understand having specific assignments to players messes up EA’s man alignment.  I haven’t confirmed that’s why it’s not in there but I’m guessing that’s the reason it hasn’t been implemented but there has to be a better way because it’s still unfair that Calvin Johnson can go anywhere on the field he wants but I have to keep Richard Sherman on one side of the field or try to guess where Megatron is going to be.

The defense also may seem better because of the inaccuracy of QBs but that’s on the offensive side of the ball and we’ll talk about that later.


Here are some more information regarding the defense in Madden 15:

– Defensive player lock from NCAA has come over to Madden with the L3 click.

– You can also switch to a defensive camera without locking on to a specific player.

– Changes to the strip ball have been made. So now strip ball is on the Right Bumper and there are new strip ball tackle animations.

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About the Author

Shopmaster is a die-hard hardcore Madden Player. He also serves an EA SPORTS Game Changer that provides the community with help and information regarding Madden.

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