Best Zone Coverage Linebackers In Madden 21

Paul Gonzalez
• Sunday, 01 November, 2020
• 7 min read

Outside linebacker is always a tough position to fill in Madden. If you want a pass rusher for a 3-4 defense, Khalil Mack is your guy.

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QB KILLER: Mack is a monster that is impossible to contain With 86 speed, 89 acceleration, and 89 strength Mack is a physical beast.

His 93 power moves and 90 finesse moves make him nearly impossible to block consistently, while his 93 block shed and 94 tackle means he can play the run too. Matching Mack every step of the way is On Miller.

He's arguably a better run defender than Mack thanks to 94 blocks shed, 98 pursuit, and 93 tackle. Rounding out the trio of high OR 3-4 pass rushers is Chandler Jones.

HERE COMES THE PAIN: QBs will struggle to stay away from Chandler Jones Jones is not as athletic as the other two, with 79 speed and 86 acceleration, but he makes up for that with elite technique.

DeMarco Davis is a terrific off-ball linebacker if you prefer to play with a 4-3 base defense. Davis has 86 speed and 89 acceleration to get around the field well, and 90 play recognition to get a jump-start on the ball.

Something of a do-it-all player, Kyle Van Not is best suited to a 4-3 defense. He has 72 zones to drop off and cover, but also 79 power moves to be an impactful blitzer.

He's got terrific 98 play recognition and 95 pursuit to locate and chase down ball carriers. Our final member is another 3-4 pass rusher, TJ Watt.

STEEL CURTAIN: TJ Watt is the latest in a long line of elite Steelers Lbs In preparation of the impending launch of Madden21, this guide will provide a refresher on how recognize and beat various zone coverage schemes.

Try and get the CB's to play outside and audible your inside receiver to a drag/slant to draw the LB towards them to open up the underneath throw across the middle against the safety. If you can also audible your inside receiver to play across the deep middle/vert it can help draw the safeties to that player, and open up the Post/C routes.

Watch if the CB drops back to cover the post or pulls forward to play the underneath and adjust accordingly. Hitting those seam receivers can work really well in these situations depending on how the Lbs are playing their zones.

Watch the deep seam receiver unless its press hit the outside WR before they get to the safety. The CB covers the flat route and lets the wheel WR open up over the top.

Primary way to recognize is spotting the one safety over the deep middle of the play and the two CB's on the outside about 7 to 8 yards off the line of scrimmage). With four other defenders playing on the inside ready to drop into the underneath coverages.

Look for the seam receiver that isn’t being covered by the deep middle safety. Hitting the curl/comebacks, you need to have that underneath route to draw that flat defender from the inside and keep him down and outside to open up that curl/comeback.

The deep CB will always being playing behind the curl or comeback, so you should have plenty of time to get the ball to your receiver. Waiting long enough that your dig/in route receiver breaks across the middle of the play and out runs his defender or to hit your pivot route for a solid 5-10 yard gain.

Using a stick concept will force the outside underneath zone defender to make a decision on which receiver to cover. Running Hi-low plays across the middle to take advantage of the inside linebackers.

Waiting until the playfully develops and hitting your deep receiver when he’s right between the safeties. We aren’t interested in age, contract status, or scheme fit here.

This is all about the highest OR players that have middle linebacker as their position in Franchise Mode. With the retirement of Luke Muchly, Bobby Wagner is the unquestioned king at middle linebacker with a 98 OR.

ELITE: Don’t challenge Wagner, because he’ll beat you! There is a big second tier behind Wagner, led by Tampa Bay’s Lavonne David.

David boasts 86 speed with a massive 90 acceleration to get him to the ball quickly. Similar to David, Kendrick's has a strong base of coverage, with 80 zones and 73 man.

With 92 tackle and 90 hit power he can hammer ball carriers. Warner brings 84 speed and 89 acceleration to get around the field, and 83 zone coverage to create chaos on passing plays.

He doesn’t have elite tackling (82) but it’s good enough, and he has 94 play recognition too. Mosley’s power does impact his coverage skills though, with just 74 zone coverage.

PositionAssignment LE Rush StraightNTRush StraighRERush Slant Righteous Blitz RightLILB3Rec HookRILBBlitz A-GapROLBBlitz LeftLCBDeep 1/2 RightSSHook Curl RightFSHook Curl LeftRCBDeep 1/2 Left Note: assignments are from the offensive side view of the ball. Once the ball is snapped, slant him towards the C. Once the outside linebackers get past the line of scrimmage, release or drop the LIMB into pass coverage.

They say defense wins championships, so if that's the case you will want to know how to play lights out? When your opponent picks a play it tells you their personnel.

There are some situations where it can work, especially if you are adamant it will be a running play, but a good opponent will audible at the line to take advantage of your defense. As a general rule, if there are 3 or more Was then select a Nickel, Dime or Dollar defense.

Man defense has most of your defenders accountable for a particular player on the opposition. The downside is that if a player loses the battle, it can often give up bigger gains.

As the WR crosses zones there are gaps where they will be free, this is what the opposition is aiming to do. Most players in Madden like to stick to zone for the majority as it's much more effective, especially Cover 3.

There were some question marks over whether the new pass rush system would change the recommended approach to ushering in Madden21. This allows the AI to handle the pass rush, but they will be more effective when you are controlling the coverage and playing tighter.

If you shade down using on RS, the defenders will come down to meet them and force a contested catch on a drag. Be aware this will leave holes in your defense, but if an opponent is spamming someone this makes it difficult for them.

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