How I Build My Offensive Line

Guides on achieving realism in franchise play.
deerstalkerx
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How I Build My Offensive Line

Postby deerstalkerx » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:57 pm

This might be a big "Well, duh." for a lot of you, but for some, like me, it may be helpful in building a solid o line.

I like to run the ball a considerable amount of time, and Madden 08 really bugs me with the way it implements the offensive line.

If you look through the playbooks in Madden, on almost every play that has an offensive lineman pulling from their position, it's a guard. The only time I can think of a tackle pulling is on a few toss plays and on screens. There may be a play or two where the center pulls, but I can't remember any right now.

So the way I like to build my line, is by moving the fastest, most agile players to my guards. Since they will be the ones pulling most of the time, I want my guards to be able to get into position as soon as possible.

The center will almost always engage with a defensive tackle, except when they drop into zone, so I put my strongest linemen at center. I also like to make sure that they have a high acceleration. If they need to engage with a linebacker, I want them to be there immediately, and I also like to think it'll help them get into position with a DT quicker.

Then depending on who I have left I will just fill out my Tackles with the best players available and even them out. As the seasons progress, I like to pick up more guys with speed and agility to move into my tackle positions, but keeping the quickest players at guard.

Even if, by doing this, I have 1 center with an ovr of 90 and another center with an 88, and my highest guard ovr is 79, I would keep it like that if it meant have a slower guard by moving my 88 center over. The overall gap can usually be made up with awareness gains throughout the season, which come easily.

Of course, if you are the type of player that loves to call a lot of screen plays, then this may not be the best way to go about building your o line, but maybe some new ideas for others.

I have a lot more success with counters and off tackle runs now, and there hasn't been a noticeable change in pass protection.

How I Build My Offensive Line

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JPK
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Re: How I Build My Offensive Line

Postby JPK » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:13 am

Maybe it is "well, duh" for some people, but it is eye opening for me. I'll have to think of this when I build my o-line in the future.

Do you have a blueprint for how you acquire those linemen? I usually use high draft picks for tackles, since they are crucial to pass protection. Guards can be lower-rated (low draft pick or free agency) and progress. Centers, it depends, as long as they have high awareness. I'll have to add strength to my criteria, maybe it will help my center have more pancakes.

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KO'BBF
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Re: How I Build My Offensive Line

Postby KO'BBF » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:50 am

I like the pulling guards. I run behind them a lot. I dont think pulling the center will do much for you anyway, unless you can really use the pash rushers speed to his disadvantage. Same with a pulling tackle, i feel it takes to long for the play to develop.

Traps and counters are just good to run behind. I get a lot of my first down rushing yards on the counter, especially if i know my opponent likes to blitz a lot.

But that is good football logic. A great example was "The Pipeline" in Nebraska football during the Tom Osborne years. All of those guards that were drafted into the NFL were quick and powerful and were constantly pulling and leading the rushing attack. Nebraska wasn't famous for their tackles because they were usually too slow and couldnt pivot fast enough. They didn't recruit for pass protection much.

I totally agree on your center being the quickest. Like you say, you want him to engage immediately.

Anyway, its not so much a "well, duh" as it is good football logic.
"There are Coaches who spend eighteen hours a day coaching the perfect game, and they lose because the ball is oval and they can't control the bounce." - Bud Grant

henshao
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Re: How I Build My Offensive Line

Postby henshao » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:25 pm

Another thing to consider is QB handedness and your best pass blocker. In the real world, you put your best pass blocker on the blind side of the QB, but in Madden there is no blind side. You and the AI see the whole field at all times, however a righty QB can only roll and throw easily to his right. This is why left ends get so many sacks in madden even when the right end is Mr Unblockable: the QB can easily take a few gliding steps away from the right end and another blocker picks him up, giving the QB another second to throw. But the QB can't escape from an unblocked left end. Therefore, contrary to reality, you should put your best pass blocker on the right for a right-handed QB.

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madden07eurocat
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Re: How I Build My Offensive Line

Postby madden07eurocat » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:45 pm

KO'BBF wrote:I like the pulling guards. I run behind them a lot. I dont think pulling the center will do much for you anyway, unless you can really use the pash rushers speed to his disadvantage. Same with a pulling tackle, i feel it takes to long for the play to develop.

Traps and counters are just good to run behind. I get a lot of my first down rushing yards on the counter, especially if i know my opponent likes to blitz a lot.

But that is good football logic. A great example was "The Pipeline" in Nebraska football during the Tom Osborne years. All of those guards that were drafted into the NFL were quick and powerful and were constantly pulling and leading the rushing attack. Nebraska wasn't famous for their tackles because they were usually too slow and couldnt pivot fast enough. They didn't recruit for pass protection much.

I totally agree on your center being the quickest. Like you say, you want him to engage immediately. Anyway, its not so much a "well, duh" as it is good football logic.

Bleeding Nebraska Red during the Tom Osborne years, I have to agree with this thought. The rushing attack of the Huskers was as former players put it, "just as complex as any passing attack." The guards had to think fast and react fast. And as far as the center is concerned the center is all that deerstalkerx is referring to. The anchor of the offense and has to be fast enough to engage the DT. It isn't called the Dave Rimington award for nothing.

henshao wrote:Another thing to consider is QB handedness and your best pass blocker. In the real world, you put your best pass blocker on the blind side of the QB, but in Madden there is no blind side. You and the AI see the whole field at all times, however a righty QB can only roll and throw easily to his right. This is why left ends get so many sacks in madden even when the right end is Mr Unblockable: the QB can easily take a few gliding steps away from the right end and another blocker picks him up, giving the QB another second to throw. But the QB can't escape from an unblocked left end. Therefore, contrary to reality, you should put your best pass blocker on the right for a right-handed QB.

I never really thought of it that way, but this seems logical. Best tackle goes where the QB is most likely to be. That may be why Brian Bulaga in my SF franchise has the most sacks charged to him. I will definitely have to take a look at this going forward.
Don't sweat the petty things, and yet don't pet the sweaty things! ;)

jose21crisis
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Re: How I Build My Offensive Line

Postby jose21crisis » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:56 pm

You know, we should post in here about realistic ways to build a team. This one about O-Lines is pretty damn good.

Usually I keep my strongest guys at Guard, and they tend to be my best run blockers. And decently fast too, so that they can go out there and pancake linemen, linebackers or DBs that sniff out the run. My tackles are all about pass blocking. My LT is usually my best pass blocker (as it usually is IRL, but reading this makes me consider moving my LT), and my RT is very good at pass blocking, but is also good at run blocking. Not as good as my Guards, but good enough. My Center is usually a jack of all trades. Usually my most experienced linemen go to center, so that they have higher awareness. Older Guards make great centers. They are supposed to make the calls on who each linemen is blocking, so Awareness is important. And he must be good at run blocking as well, not so much pass blocking. I run a lot of inside zone runs, as well as dives. I either have a Center capable of pushing the D. Tackle backwards, or I have to use a fullback (I love fullbacks though. I have TWO of them.)

henshao
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Re: How I Build My Offensive Line

Postby henshao » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:41 pm

Definitely consider taking the advice on putting your ManBeastliest lineman at center: contrary to real life, there is no real double-teaming in Madden. Therefore your center is often left 1v1 in run or pass blocking against the strongest most-godzilla-esque defensive lineman on the opposing team: the nose tackle. When you combine this with the fact that centers in real life tend to be your smallest lineman, inside running can really suffer when the defense decides to put their nose tackle right over your honest-to-reality center. You can often watch every other blocker on your line blow their man backwards but the one guy in the middle (the NT) mashes the center into the ballcarrier, gets off his block and throws you for a loss.

Your best lead-blockers at guard also is a great idea. Agility and acceleration are key here as they need to get out and block defenders in the open field on outside runs.

I haven't yet tested the effects of height and weight on blocking/break blocking, but in reality a taller player has a longer reach and should be better on pass plays. That is to say, a long-armed pass blocker can punch pass-rushers from further away and prevent them from getting into his chest, and long-armed pass rushers can win the hand battle against those long-armed blockers. On the contrary, you want tree-stumps in the middle of your line, guys who can get lower than their man, get under him and move him back. A weaker lineman with great leverage (harkening back to honest-to-reality centers) is often preferable to a superhumanly strong guy 7 feet tall.

Theov
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Re: How I Build My Offensive Line

Postby Theov » Thu May 03, 2018 1:30 am

Totally agree with the OP.
The right guard does most of the pulling in my franchise so he should be the most agile and fastest one. Then the left guard. The tackles just should be the best overall with the right side being the most important one for a tight handed qb. With Vick or another left handed qb the left tackle should be the strongest and best pass protector. Tbh the center I don't care for so much because I run outside on most plays.

The fullback though should also have a crazy combination of strength, run blocking and speed. In that order.
I have a sub packages where the TEs come in at WR and the backup tackles come in at TE. It will increase your yardage like crazy. Once you break the first line there's a good chance of going longer because of the TEs taking out multiple defenders on a play.

Sub in the backup QB to rest your starter and calling runs becomes like a whole new team on the field.


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