Man defense in Madden 24 is really good. But what if I told you, you can make it even better?
Shading the Secondary
In this guide, we’re going to talk about shading your secondary. So, what does shading do and how do you use it?
If you shade defenders in a specific way, it can make it more difficult for the receivers to run effective routes and get open, especially if you shade to the side that they’re going to run a route to.
For example, if you shade your corners inside and the receivers try to run in in breaking route, the chances are that they’ll get stuffed at the line if you are pressing or the defenders will just lock it down completely.
How do you shade? It’s very easy. To shade your whole team, you press Y and then you use the right stick in the direction that you want to shade. And there are four options: inside, outside, underneath and over the top. If you shade your defense to the inside, they will line up to the inside of the person that they are guarding and they will have better reactions to in breaking routes.
But it’s important to note that if the receiver runs an out breaking route, when you shade inside, the defenders will not do a great job and the receiver will probably be able to create a lot of separation because they’re expecting an in breaking route and not an out breaking route.
And the same thing goes for every way you shade. So, when you shade to the outside, the defense will line up to the outside of the person that they are guarding.
But what about underneath? And over the top? Now, when you use underneath, you want to make sure that you are pressing the receiver, because shading underneath will press the offense on the line of scrimmage. And when you shade over the top, they will do the opposite. So, instead of pressing, they’ll run straight back in case there’s any type of vertical or deep route. And you can also shade individual players as opposed to shade your whole team.
Now, you may be asking, when should I shade my defense? You should be pretty much doing it every single play, whether you’re in zone or man.
But here, we’re going to be talking about Man Coverage, whether it’s an outside shade, over the top, or underneath, you should always adjust your secondary and adapt to what you think the offense may be doing. If you have enough Madden 24 Coins, I also suggest you to buy some excellent players, so that your team will be stronger.
And the way to do that is to pay attention to your opponent’s play call selection and tendencies.
Let me show you an example.
So, in this play, my opponent constantly looked for Mark Andrews in the passing game, especially from the inside position in this formation quads and from the inside position like he is now. I knew that the chances are he was either going to run an in breaking routes or an out breaking route and I was not afraid of him beating me over the top.
So, I wanted to make sure I had a way to defend any in cutting route and out cutting route. So I shaded my defense to the inside and then put my safety on a curl flat to defend any out a breaking route by Mark Andrews. That way I have a guy who’s ready for any in breaking route and then I have a zone to help in case he runs an outbreak route.
So, when he snaps the ball, you will see that Mark Andrews gained a lot of separation because I shaded inside and he was running a route to the outside, but because I adjusted my defense to have help on the outside with the curl flat zone by the safety, he threw right into my curl flat defender for a pick six.
Also, notice that every in breaking route was locked up underneath due to the inside shaded secondary. So when it comes down to it, technically you can pick any Man Coverage and shade randomly.
But if you want to enhance your madden skills to beat very good players working on analyzing your opponent and finding tendencies that you can expose by shading and making coverage adjustments based on certain tendencies, that can help you become very good on defense and even offense.
How to Be a Good User?
Now in this guide, we’ve been over shading and having help to the opposite side that you shade to. But there are also other ways to have help, and that is you, the user.
Because shading doesn’t always work. At the end of the day it is a football video game and nothing works 100%. So, for me, I always user a linebacker or a safety substituted in the linebacker position. And my main goal is to always take away my opponent’s first read based off what formation they’re in and what I think the offense is looking for.
In this game specifically, my opponent was struggling with the blitz. So, he was trying to hit quick routes and a lot of people’s main go to route when doing this are slants.
So, because slants are an inside breaking route, I shaded my secondary inside and when he snapped the ball my secondary guarded all the in breaking routes to perfection and I the user read the slot receiver on a slant and was able to back out into coverage to user lurk the slant for a big turnover.
And something to notice here is that even if I did not pick this because I shaded inside Derwin James was coming downhill for a big hit or to knock out the ball.
And this is another prime example of analyzing your opponent’s tendencies and trying to predict what they’re going to do next.
How to Stop Fast Players?
So, let’s take this to the next step.
Let’s talk about when you’re playing someone with the elite speed like Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle or even Metcalf, it’s always important when you’re playing these guys to have over the top help, whether it be a safety or some other adjustment.
What I like to do is play Cover 2 man and shade all of my corners inside and then put the outside corner on a deep third than the safety on a curl flat.
This will take away corner routes by the inside wide receiver, and vertical routes by the outside wide receiver. Then, I will use the linebacker and my job is to take away or help with anything that comes to the middle, and I will usually favor the side with the best receivers.
So in this case, it’s the left side and when you snap the ball, you will see that the slot receiver is able to create a lot of separation.
But because I’m the help defense in the middle of the field, I’m able to stay with him across the field. While everything else is completely locked up with over-the-top help and inside Shading.
Now, let’s get into individual shading.
So, you can individually shade players opposed to shading the whole team, which could come in handy, especially if you know exactly what the opponent is running.
The way you do that is by pressing Y, A, and then picking the receiver you want to shade.
Here’s an example of how dominant it can be. So, I will be in Cover 2 man playing verse PA Deep Outs. And for the sake of the guide, I’m going to shade every player in the direction of their route so you can see how good it can be if you get used to individually shading your receivers.
Now this is very hard to do because sometimes you can’t individually adjust every single player in the secondary because you have other adjustments that you have to do, but it’s still important to know.
So, I shaded every single player in the direction that the receiver is going to go on their route. And when I snap the ball, you will see that literally every route is bagged, the out routes, the in routes, have zero separation.
And that is how powerful shading can be when you’re in man defense and you utilize it correctly.