The tight end has become a potent weapon in the modern NFL’s passing game. Oftentimes they are a quarterback’s first read, but also serve as a security blanket for a quick dump pass. If you are Tired of being abused for big plays here few techniques that will work in shutting down the oppositions tight end.
The first way that I try and disrupt the tight end’s route and release is to line up over the TE and manually jam him with a defender (R1/RB). It’s usually an LB but a corner or safety works as well. Sometimes I will run with him but other time I will let him go after 10 yards or so and play the underneath routes. I have gotten a fair amount of interceptions jumping underneath routes as user will think I will always look to cover the TE.
2. Man/Zone Combo
Using the 3-4 you can put your blitzing LB (on the tight ends side) into man coverage on the tight end. To place a defender in man coverage hit down on the D Pad once to bring up the menu then Up on the Right Stick + select receiver. When using a 4-3 you can use a linebacker subbed as one of the defensive ends and do the same. This will put two men in coverage on the tight end if you’re in man coverage or he will have a man trailing him if you’re in zone coverage. Adding a purple route and shading inside man coverage will greatly limit the Tight End’s route options.
Spotlighting the tight end will tell your defense to focus on him. To spotlight Press Triangle (Y on Box) then X (A on Xbox) then the Tight End’s Icon you want to spotlight then X again. If you are in man and drop a yellow short zone (D Pad Down) to cover the middle or purple zone (D Pad Right) to guard against the corner route. This will keep a man on him and the zone defender will do a better job focusing on him as well. In general I’d rather just manually control either. In all zone coverages I don’t suggest this though as it can cause coverage breakdowns leaving another WR wide open.
4. Nickel Defender
If up against a fast tight end that’s more of a receiver, put in an extra cornerback on the field to cover him. When you utilize a cornerback in coverage on a tight end he will be more agile and have a quicker reaction time to a pass to the tight end versus a linebacker or safety in coverage. If the tight end is still open and making plays, don’t hesitate to move your best cover corner into the nickel position to guard him. It also helps if the cornerback in coverage on the tight end is a bigger cornerback at least six feet tall.
Any combination of these tips will help you defend even the best Tight Ends in the game! Stay tuned to Sports Gamers Online for more Madden Defensive Tips, and be sure to let us know in the comments or on our social media if these tips helped you out.