Playing CB in Connected Careers

Hey Madden fans, Kev5890 and @WhoIsDo to give some tips on how to excel at the cornerback position in the new connected career mode in Madden NFL 13. Playing as a corner back is challenging, but extremely rewarding once the position is mastered. We both finished our rookie season and want to share some tips and statistics with the community.

Kev5890
Seattle Seahawks: High Draft Pick
Style: Prototype CB
Difficulty: All-Pro 
Quarter Length: 8 minutes
Accelerated Clock: Off

Interception Tips
The most important tip for interceptions is to play off of the receiver you are trying to cover. The computer will not throw your way if you have great coverage. The more space you give the receiver, the more likely it is to have an opportunity to jump the ball and make a play on the ball. Utilize the new practice mode to test out the concept. Remember, not everything that works in practice will transfer over to the game field. You are playing against the practice squad and not elite receivers. Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald will make you look foolish if you give them too much room to run their routes. 

Tackling Tips
The infinity engine makes tackling for a defender extremely fun. The engine allows you the ability to be involved in every play. Always run towards the action, even if the ball carrier is being tackled or on the opposite side of the field. I have made numerous tackles and fumble recoveries by running towards the ball carrier, even if I am across the field. I would advise using the “hit stick” or “strip ball” techniques if attempting a tackle on a player who is already being wrapped up. The odds of forcing a fumble go up if the player is trying to get out of a tackle. Finally, a great way of getting tackles is playing the run once the quarterback starts to hand the ball off. However, be careful of the play action. I have been burned a couple of times falling for the play action and leaving my wide receiver open. 

Intangible Tips
How do you make an impact on the field when you are not playing cornerback? Learn how to block and return kicks effectively to become a complete player and have the intangibles needed to excel at the NFL level. I have found blocking on kick returns and interception returns to be difficult this year. However, it is much easier when you are attacking. Do not wait for the opponent to come to your player, seek the opposing player and put a lead block on him to spring your teammate for more yards. Also, returning kicks is an effective way to be an all-around player. Be patient and let your blocks develop before choosing a lane. Once you choose a lane, stick with it. In my experience, you will get more yards on kick returns if you wait for blocks to develop and stay confident with the lane chosen. 

Rookie statistics as a cornerback:
Interceptions: 11
Passes Defended: 6
Tackles: 76
Tackle Assists: 2
Total Tackles: 78
Tackles For Loss: 7
Sacks: 1
Int. Return Yards: 268
Avg. Int. Return Yards: 24
Longest Int. Return: 79
Int. Touchdowns: 3
Forced Fumbles: 5
Fumble Recoveries: 2
Fumble Return Yards: 3
Blocks: 0
Safeties: 0
Touchdowns: 3

Season Goal: 11/5 Interceptions

Legacy Rank:

756 Points  

Ranked #313 

Awards:

Player of the Week (Week 3, Week 10 and Week 19)

Best DB Award 

INT League Leader

Defensive Player of the Year

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Pro Bowl

Here is a video of some of my highlights during the season. Some of my tips earlier will make more sense once you see them in action! My team ended up going 15-1 and losing to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game. If you have any questions or need more tips, send me a message on Twitter.

http://youtu.be/uv738I39fjM?hd=1

 

WhoIsDo
Pittsburgh Steelers: High Draft Pick
Style: Prototype CB
Difficulty: All-Pro 
Quarter Length: 8 minutes
Accelerated Clock: On

How to Get Interceptions
When you're playing as a defensive back in Madden NFL 13, you have to learn how to disguise your coverage.  Blanketing your receiver will only lead in the computer refusing to throw the ball your way and ultimately leave you feeling rather bored.  The trick is to shade your receiver based on the route you believe they're going to run.  I typically strafe backwards until I see the receiver commit to his route or the quarterback begins his throwing motion.  If you stay even with your receiver, but shadow yourself more towards the goal line they're working towards, you'll tend to have much more luck with receiving passes or earning tackles.  If a receiver is running a deep route, play a few yards to the inside of them to bait a quarterback into testing your ball hawk abilities. Experiment in practice with different techniques until you figure out your best plan of attack for various routes. The first few weeks may be rough as you learn the ropes, but your first interception will easily make up for it.

Tactics for Returning Kicks

Most individuals feel that when you're returning kicks you have to score.  As a kick returner, you're giving your team the opportunity to have great field position to allow for an easier score.  One of the hardest things to do is learning to kneel in the endzone when your coverage is lining up correctly.  The four kicks that I returned this season all had no more than two moves strung together.  Finding a seam to attack and explode out of will be much more important and rewarding for you than attempting your best Dante Hall impression.  Find a seam, use a spin move or a juke, and then take it to the sideline and run for your life.  You may not return a lot of kicks taking the safer approach, but you'll consistently find your offense putting up more points on the board to make your job much easier.

Importance of Intangibles & What I learned

After finishing the regular season, I found my defensive back having a legacy rating of 432 which ranked me #469 on the all-time list.  My first game of the season lead to Peyton Manning torching my player time and time again to various receivers.  I took the mistakes that I made in that game, and picked him off twice later in the season during our rematch.  You're going to get burned on defense, but it's important to look at why you were on those certain plays.  Using proper shading techniques you'll quickly find that it's an incredibly rewarding experience to bait a quarterback into throwing your way.  Finding the perfect time to explode for a blitz and blow up a running back is an art that you'll learn, but be close to mastering by week ten of your season.  All of the lessons that you'll learn will ultimately lead to you becoming a smarter Madden player.  Adapting and playing the position intelligently will add up to wins for your time and quite a few trophies on your virtual shelf.

The techniques that I've taken from playing as a defensive back in Madden NFL 13 have ultimately transferred to my game when I'm controlling the entire team.  My on-ball play is incredibly more solid than in previous years, and I've been able to take these same shading techniques and apply them to linebackers in coverage as well.  You'll learn valuable lessons on the digital tundra playing as a defensive back this year as it's one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, experiences you'll find in this year's game.


Rookie statistics as a cornerback:
Tackles: 49

TFL: 8

Sacks: 3
Interceptions: 8

Interception yards: 177

Deflections: 7

Defensive Touchdowns: 1

Kick Returns: 29

Kick Return Yards: 983
Touchdowns: 4

Longest KR: 107 yards

 

Awards:

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Best Defensive Back

Runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year