Monday, March 30, 2009

QB's Can Use Madden to Improve Knowledge

Years ago I was in an off-season quarterback meeting learning the offense of the new coaching staff, when a second year QB (from the ACC) was asked to draw a defense (X's and O's) on the board. He couldn't do it without a little help. That was lightyears away from what is expected of college QB's making the jump to the NFL in today's world.
Matthew Stafford just had a private workout with the Detroit Lions brass to gauge his mental knowledge of the game, since the arm-strength part has been satisfied.
A good way for young quarterbacks to improve their knowledge of reading defenses is to spend time watching the movements on "Madden". You can't just play it for fun and hope that reading defenses becomes second nature, but check the movements of the safeties on blitzes. If linebackers blitz, the safeties will have to cover the tight ends and backs. If there is no blitz, watch the safety movement and expect to throw away from their slide. If the safeties stay put (cover 2), stay on two receiver side (Rule 1: Don't throw to single receiver side in cover 2).
Madden 09 has too much garbage all over the field (e.g. shields, hand-grenades) for me to concentrate, but the older versions are great learning tools.

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