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Madden 15 Defense Changes Revealed at E3

Madden NFL 15 is making quite a lot of changes to defense, so we put it all in one place.
Madden NFL 15 is making quite a lot of changes to defense, so we put it all in one place.

There will be plenty of game impressions to come of Madden 15 as we head into E3 today, but what we learned yesterday is plenty to dig through in the meantime. The defense in Madden 15 has been completely revamped and intended to give players more control than ever, and they’ve broken down what gameplay features we can expect to see in the new game.

Because there is quite a lot of information going around right now, I’ve decided to consolidate all of the key points that have so-far been revealed for the Madden 15 defense changes and will update it as more information comes out. Whether it’s the new pass rushing system, to the tackling mechanics, player sense and more, we’ll cover it all right here the best we can.

Madden 15 Defense: Pass Rushing


Pass rushing is something that has badly need an overhaul in Madden for years, and this year it appears EA is committed to taking the first steps to do something about it. A year ago, we wrote a pretty extensive article discussing potential D-Line control changes that Madden could implement to create a deeper, more rich experience, and while it doesn’t appear they implemented everything, it does sound as though they added many of the core concepts. I do know this article made its rounds around the development team, so I’m a bit excited to see how they executed and iterated on those ideas I put forth last year.

What We Know So Far
• Pass rush moves have been moved from the joystick to the face plate buttons.
• Power moves can be activated by pressing X/Square while engaged with a blocker.
• Finesse moves can be activated by pressing A/X buttons while engaged with a blocker.
• Pass rush success seems to be partially based on windows of opportunity to press the buttons.
• You can “steer” blockers you are engaged with, with the right joystick, possibly to set up pass moves.
• You can jostle for position with the left movement joystick
• You can do speed rush moves with quick players by timing the snap with RT.
• New QB Contain pass rush logic and animations added to help control mobile QBs.
• You can now assign containment to players or globally (need clarification on which).
• You can now disengage from blockers at any time by pressing A/X and moving away.
• “Hundreds” of new pass-rush animations were added: Rips, swims, push pulls, bull rushes, speed rushes, counter moves, clubs and more (per OperationSports).

EA GameChanger Shopmaster has a pretty good round-up of what pass rushing is like this season, among other things.

Madden 15 Defense: Tackling


Tackling was a big problem in Madden 25. It wasn’t uncommon to completely whiff a running back with a safety or a linebacker due in part to the new ball-carrier moves, but perhaps more to do with the difficulties in understanding your controlled defender’s depth and position on the field while coming in to make a play. New tackling mechanics are expected to help fix some of these woes.

What We Know So Far
Tackle Cones were added, and will aid players (if they want) in tracking down the ball-carrier.
• There are two types of tackles: aggressive and conservative.
• Aggressive tackles combine both dive and hit stick tackles.
      – If a defender is within 3 yards, aggressive will hit stick.
      – If a defender is outside 3 yards, they will dive tackle.
      – Dive tackles are particularly effective against players that truck and stiff arm up close.
      – Dives are less effective against spins and jukes.
• Conservative tackles are safer to attempt.
      – Base tackle rating improves during conservative tackles.
      – Strong choice against spins and jukes.
      – Not as effective against trucks or stiff arms.
• Hit stick is still available separately from aggressive/conservative tackles.
• Strip ball has moved to right bumper and there are new animations.

Madden 15 Defense: Pass Coverage


It seems as if every season there are adjustments made here and there by the Madden development team on pass coverage, and this year it’s as true as ever. Madden 25 suffered greatly from poor defensive play by both the AI, and control from players, and some of the new coverage adjustments are hoped to improve both.

What We Know So Far
• Zone Coverage has been enhanced.
      – ZCV rating now has a greater impact on how quickly defenders break on passes.
      – Higher ZCV means faster breaks on throws, among other things.
      – Flat coverage has been further improved.
• Man Coverage has been enhanced, which bodes well for Madden 15’s highest rated player.
      – MCV now has a greater impact on how much separation receivers can get on their successful cuts.
      – Man assignments are still not back in the game, or at least not yet revealed.
• Disguised Defenses have been added.
• New Pre-Play Adjustments
      – Players can now collapse underneath zones to the first down marker.
      – Users can dictate pass coverage technique (shade left, right, over, under).
      – More not yet revealed.
• Defenders will swat more than intercept in general.

Madden 15 Defensive Camera

There’s a new defensive camera in Madden 15, which is something a lot of fans have been clamoring about for quite a while. Now, you can choose to use a camera mode that shows the game from the defensive side of the ball while you are on defense.

In my experience from previous NCAA games and modes, this is a much more enjoyable way to play, although it might be a less desirable option for the super-competitive players that prefer to keep deep routes as visible as possible. There will also be a “Player Lock” feature in Madden 15 that will force your defensive camera to lock in on your player if you want, giving you a much more immersive feel. I expect Player Lock will be a favorite for players that prefer to play on the defensive line.

What do YOU think about the changes on defense? Comment below!

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  • GoMadden

    Pass rushing seems like it could be a bit over powered, but I like the increased control!