Making zone coverage adjustments in Madden 17 is one of the keys to running a successful defense. There were some pretty significant changes to the way zones are set-up in the defensive playbooks this year. One of the most common defenses, the cover 3, almost always comes with the purple “Curl flat” zones. In past Maddens, the default was the light blue flat zones. Understanding the differences in how your defenders play these zones is very important so let’s take a look at how these zones work as well as how to make those zone coverage adjustments.
Understanding the Difference Between Zones
There are three main zones you will see covering the flats and the sidelines. They are
- Curl Flat (purple)
- Cloud Flat (light blue)
- Hard Flat (lighter blue)
So what exactly are the differences?
Let’s begin with the curl zone.
Curl flats are the purple zones and are meant to cover the deep sidelines. Routes that should be covered by these zones include deep out routes and corner routes.
The play art below shows a cover 3 play with the curl flat zones as the default. The cornerback across from Lockett should play the deep sideline and follow Lockett’s corner route.
After I run the play you can see that the CB does indeed fall back and guard Lockett rather well.
Hard flats means the corner back or linebackers will stay very short and play the underneath routes. This zone defends against the flats, short in or out routes, screens, and RB swing plays.
The hard flat zones are a lighter shade of blue.
After adjusting the coverage to hard flat, you can see the CB stays closer to the line of scrimmage to cover the flats.
Cloud flats is the last of the zones we will cover. The cloud is a cross between the flats and the curl. I have seen a player in a cloud zone cover the deep sideline and I have also seen them cover the flats. They tend to cover much more similar to a curl zone so if you want to cover the shallow flats you will want to use the hard flats adjustment.
How to Make Zone Coverage Adjustments
In past Maddens, you had to manually select the player you want to adjust and then make a coverage audible for each player. This year you can make “overtop” and “underneath” coverage adjustments.
Making the underneath cover adjustment will change curl zones (purple) to hard flat zones (lighter blue). To do this on Xbox One, you simply press “Y” pre-snap, then down on the right stick.
By making the overtop adjustment, the hard flat zones will be changed to cloud flat zones. Press “Y” and then up on the right stick to make the overtop adjustment.
To change the hard flat zones back to curl zones you will have to manually make a coverage audible.
This video shows you how it works in the game. Do me a favor and subscribe to the channel so I can at least feel like I am helping people!