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    FAQ Part 2/3 by leifpowers

    Version: 6.2 | Updated: 12/16/16 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    A Tecmo Super Bowl For NES FAQ
    Part 2 of 3: Plays/Techniques/Mechanics/Fun Stuff Guide
    Version 6.2
    20 November 2016
    By Leif Powers
    Stock e-mail address: LEPmf@yahoo.com
    This document is in the public domain (or CC0 if your country
    does not allow). I encourage the community to update it as 
    necessary instead of waiting 13 years. ^_^
    Table of Contents 
    0.  Updates, Credits, Links, How To Get, How To Use, And Things Not Done
    1.  Introduction
    2.  The Roster
            Player And Roster Comments
            The Ratings Explained
    3.  Special Teams
            1. Kickoffs
            2. Punts
            3. Field Goals/Extra Points
    4.  On The Field: Offense And Defense By Play
            (look there for play indexes)
    5.  Passing
    6.  Pounding The Rock
    7.  Pass Defense
            Coverage Tips
            Rushing The Passer
    8.  Run Defense
            Gang Tackling
    9.  Playbooks/Playcalling
            Formation Combos
            Slot Recommendations
            Good Playbooks And How To Shut Them Down
            Vs. MAN Playcalling
            CPU Playcalling
    10. Tweaking The Tecmo
            (see there for tips index)
    11. The Pro Bowl
            Pro Bowl Game And Roster Data
            Gaffney's Pro Bowl Even Teams
            Training Exercises (Best & Worst Teams)
    12. The Season Game
            Tecmo QB Rating
            Stat Limits
            The Computer Adjusts Itself To Your Record
            Controllers (1P vs. 2P)
    13. Bugs And Weird Stuff
            (see there for index)
    14. Mechanics
            Contact Mechanics
            On The Field
            Possession Of The Ball
            Menu Screens
            Music And Sound
    15. Play Keys/Counters
    16. Tactics List By Player (empty)
    17. What Your Opponents Will Do (and what you can do to them)
    18. Basic Instructions
            Sound Test
            Preseason/Pro Bowl
            Team Data
            Season Mode
            Playing the Game
    19. Press Conference
            How do I make Tecmo harder/teach others how to play?
            Do you run or pass?
            Do you defend the run or the pass?
            How do you measure your performance?
            What do you think about tactics?
    20. Rumors And Myths
    21. Taunts
    0. Updates, Credits, Links, Things Not Done, How To Get, How To Use, and Codes
    Version 6.2:
    Formatting cleanups. Minor corrections. A few new notes on certain plays
    like Shotgun X Drive, Shotgun X Curl, and Onesetback Dive.
    More fixed attributes. Some deduplication.
    Version 6.1:
    Added new material and combined old material into a new file,
    focusing on tournament-relevant issues and the strategy interplay
    (whereas in a Season game, you just have to go out with what you have
    and deliver).
    Added significant amounts of AI behavior information on common plays
    seen in tournaments. Also added notes on how to run those plays.
    In some sections, added notes on typical defensive behavior by MAN
    Added training regimen.
    Here and there, put in some quantitative notes about things like what
    QB-WR combos are fundamentally strong strategies.
    Created lots of formatting issues.
    Version 6.0:
    Cleaned up a bunch of terminology.
    Add notes on aspects of play without nose tackle dive.
    Add some pointers on various plays.
    Add some running tips.
    Add some links and references.
    Add a section about coaching/development/counterplay (vaguely inspired by
    Some reorganization. 
    TSB Message Boards - Tons of support and guidance
    and ideas.
    Paul Schulzetenberg - For putting a fire in my belly
    to make this FAQ as good as it is and to improve it,
    and for making a great documentation (still improving)
    of the original Tecmo rosters. (edgarffvi@yahoo.com)
    He also has given a great tip on T Cross Run L, and
    a bunch of other things which are credited 
    where they are placed. He writes an excellent 1991
    Tecmo FAQ which you MUST read if you are interested
    in the original rosters. He's also helped me edit and
    correct my FAQ. My FAQ (I hope) is more useful than
    his FAQ, but his is purely objective and has some
    very interesting ratings measures so give it a 
    Steven Maltby - For giving me his cart of TSB,
    helping me become proficient, and being a good sport
    even when I'm not.
    Michael Christen <- elite competition. Great sport.
    Jason Tcheng - See Version 4 Updates above.
    Jeff Gaffney - See Version 4 and Version 5 Updates above,
    let me use his Pro Bowl rosters.
    XRayMind - See Version 4 Updates above.
    Matt Knobbe - See Version 5 Updates above. Many
    nice tactics and inspiration.
    j<13 a's>y - See Version 5 Updates above.
    Mort's Guides on TecmoBowl.org - have some good pointers
    in general, but in particular for tournament rules you
    normally see. I would perhaps go so far as to say that
    he represents the orthodox tournament player point of
    bruddog/jstout/those who have reverse engineered the
    ROM - for several refutations of myths about ratings
    and returners, amongst other knowledge
    EdibleAntiPerspirant - his Attribute Guide on GameFAQs
    is good, you should read it.
    Tournament Organizers/Streamers - if you watch streams,
    not only will you see what players do in games, but
    you will get ideas about what you could do in games
    that even they don't do. 
    Some Longer-Lasting Links
    This is Matt Knobbe's site, great message board.
    Also some downloads and some very interesting 
    things on other Tecmo games.
    You should read as much as you can on this site.
    Gamefaqs.com - TSB message board
    Still alive after all these years.
    Things Not Done
    specialized playbooks against certain lacking defenses
    (in roster section, with references to that in this part?)
    Elijah's ST stuff?
     Putting down play numbers everywhere, other compilations.
     Doing total tactics testing for plays that are
     fundamentally weak (i.e. no-holds-barred players can
     destroy them without using linemen dives).
     Position profile for tactics and strategy.
     Synch section 4 with Play Keys/Counters tactics lists.
     Put in more detailed tactics for good playbooks -
          have "call plays" "form tactics"
          "good/bad player tips".
     More diagrams esp. for killing plays?
     Stats on effective plays and playbooks, i.e. how many
          you should learn, how many effective ones there are
          singly, how many in multiple.
    Studies Not Done or need incorporated from posts on 
    Tecmo message boards:
     Expand Tecmo Passing Study?
     Dirty Play Study.
     Head Turn/Defense Altering Study. (this may be true)
     Jump Ball Study.
     Diving Pass Study.
     Test out "just-in-time" INT theory.
     Find out whether being in front or in back of a receiver
          makes you more or less likely to pick off the ball.
     Full stat limits.
     Fumble Study.
    How To Get
    Gamestop may be back in the business of retro consoles, but
    depends on the area. 
    eBay has always been a place where you can get used games but beware,
    sometimes people will rip you off, so look for good feedback.
    There are usually good independent outlets in your local metro area.
    Have to search the Interweb a bit, but this is a good route.
    No matter how you acquire, clean the cartridge. There are dedicated
    electronics cleaning solutions that are probably best; high proportion
    isopropyl alcohol can be used in a pinch (but note the water will help 
    corrode contacts, so look for stuff with low water concentration).
    As for NES systems themselves, both the original and toploader versions
    are both sensitive to impacts/console resets. There are a number of 
    online tutorials to help you clean your console that will do far better
    than this text document. 
    How To Use
    See Basic Instructions. Insert it in the NES and go.
    Codes, Cheats, And Carrots
    This section contains some useful codes that I have
    dredged up from the depths.
    Some good Game Genie codes -
    SXNXPZVG - Stop time (you have to reset the game to
    stop playing)
    From XRayMind's list:
    APUXLZIA - 10 minutes per quarter instead of 5
    PUXLZIA - 15 minutes per quarter
    AZUXLZIA - 20 minutes per quarter
    ZAUXLZIA - 2 minutes per quarter
    Something else weird (from Paul's FAQ) - You can play
    as the Bills (or AFC Team #1) all throughout the 
    playoffs - in every game. If you have a team that does
    not get a division champion title until after all of
    Week 17 is over, then you hit Reset as they clinch the
    title (during the cinema sequence), the Bills will be 
    in every slot in the playoffs. Have fun!!
    1.  Introduction
    Tecmo Super Bowl is still being played 25 years from its initial
    release because other sports football games have not delivered
    the goods. This guide should help you get good enough that you 
    can hang with the good players. 
    2. The Roster
    This thing now has three parts:
    General Player And Roster Comments
    The Ratings Explained
    General Player And Roster Comments
    The most important thing about your roster in Tecmo 
    is to always put in the best people for any given 
    position. Sounds fair enough. However, not only do 
    you have to watch your players' conditions in a 
    season mode, you must also put in backups
    automatically in some cases. For instance, Lorenzo 
    White of the Oilers, "Butterfingers", is useless as a 
    running back even though he can run and catch 
    and especially for that Oilers team, block well. 
    A good idea is to switch in Gerald McNeil or Allen 
    Pinkett, both of whom have far better Ball Control. 
    For some teams, you can also switch around your
    players for a given play, or even just to eliminate a
    bad  player, as above, like a slow fullback (an almost 
    useless oddity in Tecmo). The position a person 
    originally plays has no effect on their ability to
    play others, although a receiver would have a hard
    time being a fullback because of low Hitting Power,
    for example. So you can, for instance, put in
    faster receivers for a bad fullback (but make sure 
    that they have good Ball Control).
    There are some substitutions that you usually end
    up wanting to make. These include: slow fullbacks
    switched with backups or the tight end; low
    Ball Control running backs put at tight end or 
    benched altogether; and running backs or tight
    ends with high Receptions switched into the WR
    slots. Also, you may switch quarterbacks if you
    think you can get a speed advantage on the run,
    even if the passing stats are slightly worse.
    If your returners' Ball Control dips below 50,
    you should probably bench them too, especially
    for the punt returner, as you tend to give up a
    TD every time he loses the ball.
    Your returner's Maximum Speed doesn't matter
    because it is actually taken either from the
    right tackle (kick return) or the strong safety
    (punt return). So choose a returner with either
    good Ball Control or Hitting Power. 
    I made a priority list of what I look for in any 
    particular position (or would look for, but some of 
    these Tecmo league people who trade non-
    changeable players might care). Here it is. Note 
    that these rankings reflect the general tendencies
    of players. For instance, if I actually found a
    lineman with great Interceptions, I would take him
    almost irrespective of his other statistics, but
    because that doesn't usually happen, I rank the 
    stats according to, in part, the variances that
    such statistics usually have. Rushing Power is
    another one because that usually tends to be
    quite high or quite low. Sometimes you have players
    like Lonnie Young or Bob Nelson with bizzare ratings
    like high RP or Running Speed; evaluate them 
    individually for your playing style. Sometimes they
    are better and sometimes not.
    1. Pass Speed (this helps so much against a human 
    player controlling a fast defender)
    2. Pass Control (this is by far the most dominant
    stat - take a look at QB Browns)
    3. Maximum Speed (mobility is a dynamite weapon 
    against the other team's short yardage game)
    4. Running Speed (this and MS are great for using
    cheap QB sneaks that get tons of yardage, but
    only if you have enough of them to make your
    QB a good runner, like QB Eagles. Otherwise,
    they make you mobile, but not a large force on
    the run)
    5. Avoid Pass Block
    6. Hitting Power
    7. Rushing Power
    8. Pass Accuracy - irrelevant
    Running Backs:
    1. Maximum Speed
    2. Ball Control
    3. Hitting Power 
    4. Receptions
    5. Running Speed
    6. Rushing Power
    Wide Receivers:
    1. Receptions
    2. Maximum Speed
    3. Hitting Power (so he can't get blown up on
    running downs and you have to avoid him)
    4. Running Speed
    5. Ball Control
    6. Rushing Power
    Tight Ends:
    1. Hitting Power
    2. Receptions
    3. Maximum Speed
    4. Ball Control
    5. Running Speed
    6. Rushing Power
    Note that for TEs, it really depends on your system
    what you want. I noted down here a stereotypical
    ranking for a TE, but if you send him deep a lot and
    throw to him you definitely want more MS out of him.
    Use your judgement.
    Offensive Linemen:
    1. Hitting Power
    2. Maximum Speed
    3. Running Speed
    4. Rushing Power
    Defensive Linemen:
    1. Hitting Power
    2. Maximum Speed
    3. Rushing Power (see Bob Nelson)
    4. Running Speed
    5. Interceptions
    6. Quickness - irrelevant
    1. Hitting Power
    2. Maximum Speed
    3. Interceptions (this is a big factor for the ILBs
    who don't typically rush the passer - if you have
    guys like this you can go out with a 5th DB many
    times for free)
    4. Rushing Power
    5. Running Speed
    6. Quickness - irrelevant
    Defensive Backs (Cornerbacks/Safeties):
    1. Interceptions (this is what they do after all...)
    2. Maximum Speed
    3. Hitting Power
    4. Rushing Power
    5. Running Speed
    6. Quickness - irrelevant
    1. Kicking Ability
    2. Maximum Speed
    3. Running Speed
    4. Hitting Power
    5. Rushing Power
    6. Avoid Kick Block - irrelevant due to glitch per bruddog
    Same As Kickers
    Kick Returners:
    1. Ball Control
    2. Hitting Power
    3. Running Speed
    4. Rushing Power
    5. Receptions (I have yet to see a returner drop the 
    ball - even if people don't even get to the "X" on
    the field they will still catch the ball - this has
    happened with a punt return (bouncing punt phenomenon).
    6. Maximum Speed - irrelevant
    Punt Returners:
    Same As Kick Returners
    The Ratings Explained
    This is adapted from a post by bruddog. I tried to capture the sum
    total wisdom of the community. However, I'm responsible for all errors.
    Running Speed - How fast the player initially starts at. To give a frame
    of reference, a 56RS player starting speed would the same as a 6MS
    player's top speed.
    Rushing Power - How fast the player accelerates. This isn't very
    important for offensive players until you drop the value below 25 or
    so. The difference between a 69 and 81RP offensive player is worthless.
    However on defense this is probably the most important "SPEED attribute"
    because defensive players have meaningful acceleration to their top
    Maximum Speed - The top speed of the player. Defensive players have a
    higher top speed than offensive players. Example a defensive player
    with a MS of 6 has the same top speed of an offensive player with 106MS.
    Obviously 106MS is impossible on the original ROM since no players are
    rated even close to 100. Having defensive players faster than offensive
    players is what allows them to catch up to offensive players fairly
    easily when the offense gets past them.
    Hitting Power - There are two different roles this variable plays:
    - It takes a 50HP differential for a man to popcorn drones. That is, if
    you are David Fulcher (75 HP in AVERAGE) and you want to blow up WR #2,
    WR #2 has to have 25 HP or less.
    - For COM vs COM line play it takes a 25HP difference for the lineman
    to bust in often. e.g. 75HP Bruce Smith would bust in against a 50HP OL.
    A 69HP DL would bust in on a 44HP OL. The probabilities are on a
    sliding scale based on the relative HPs.
    In MAN vs. MAN or MAN vs. COM grapples, it is not actually used. In MAN
    vs. COM grapples, you have to press the button 3 times within a second
    or so to defeat the CPU. In MAN vs. MAN grapples, the player with the
    most taps in the second wins; if there's a tie, the defensive player
    ---> In regards to bumping defensive players into offensive players to
    free up your boys, it is not clear what the role of HP is. People
    reading the code indicate that the probability of the bump succeeding
    is about 75% regardless of HP. However, in testing it seems that
    - the probability may be off e.g. the RNG may be skewed to favor higher
    - slower and weaker players seem to have less success with this tactic
    - animations would seem to line up with HP being factored in e.g.
    popcorn vs. fall-down, although this might only be applied after the
    resolution of the bump.
    Ball Control - The default value of 50 gives you about a 4.8% chance of
    fumbling any time you get tackled. Each notch of ball control increases
    or decreases your chances by about 0.5%.
    Pass Control / Receptions / Interceptions
    These all work together pretty much equally. However even good QBs
    overthrow the ball a lot on deep balls, and these stats don't really
    matter for wide open open passes. Pass Control on non hacked roms
    determines if the ball is on target and also works with the other 3 in
    determining if the ball is complete, intercepted, or defensed. bruddog
    also came up with a chart that details how often a QB will overthrow
    the ball. It ranges something like 40% of the time for an 81PC QB to
    about 80% of the time for 19PC QB. Remember lots of overthrows are caught
    though, and tend to be harder to defend. Per bruddog, here is a case
    where the ball goes directly to a single covered WR:
    50PC 50 REC 50 INT
    Deflection 69%
    Catch 12%
    INT 19%
    Each notch of PC or REC will reduces the deflection by about 2%, increase
    the catch by about 4% and reduce the int% by about 2%. INT works the
    same way in reverse.
    It takes a 3 notch difference to have a 50% chance of JJ inting a QB. It
    takes a 4 notch difference to consistently be able to JJ int a QB.
    Double coverage reduces the chance of catch dramatically. However it
    doesn't necessarily increase the chance of interception. In double coverage
    the game checks starting from the RE down to the SS; if the pass is
    incomplete or intercepted, then the second player is never checked. So
    having your best INT DB at CB 1 is favorable since if there are two or
    more DB's it will check him first for an INT.
    ---> Is this really accurate? I see it being explained both ways.
    Here is an excellent text chart:
    Passing Speed - How fast the QB's pass gets to its receiver. Also, the arc
    of the ball is determined by the pass speed. Lower PS QBs tend to be
    better for JJ passing.
    Passing Accuracy - Does nothing in non hacked roms.
    Avoid Pass Block - bruddog is not sure if every time a player rushes in
    the game it checks for a block. However, based on a code read, if there
    is a check, a 06 APB QB would have a 31% chance of getting their pass
    blocked and a 100 APB QB would have a 9% chance of getting their pass
    Kicking Ability - Controls how fast the arrow moves and how far the
    kicker can kick on a field goal. The best kickers can kick beyond the
    50 yard line, but note that the length of the kick is also partially
    determined by a random variable.
    Avoid Kick Block - Based on bruddog's code read, it seems like this
    has a range of 20% for a 06 kicker and 8.5% for a 100AKB kicker.
    However, it seems there is a bug where the animation trigger causes
    the probability to be set to 20%.
    Quickness - Does nothing on non-hacked rom. 
    There are certain conditions that players go through
    during the course of a season: Bad, Average, Good,
    and Excellent. A player's default statistics are at
    Average. Each condition has a particular decrement
    or increment (of 6 or 7) for each stat; Bad has
    one increment lower for each attribute from Average,
    Good has one increment higher, and Excellent has
    two increments higher. These improve or diminish a
    player's abilities. Numbers on the slider:
    6 - 13 - 19 - 25 - 31 - 38 - 44 - 50 - 56 - 63 - 69 -
    75 - 81 - 94 - 100
    Conditions shift during games, even Preseason ones
    (and Pro Bowl games, but the actual Condition will not
    change, even though the stats go up or down a notch).
    They change every time a new quarter begins, so that's
    when you want to go inquire. This is something you have
    to watch out for and take into account (see the "scratch"
    tip in Tweaking The Tecmo). You want to adjust your
    rosters accordingly. For defensive players, you want to
    not take chances early in a quarter if you are borderline
    on throwing a player.
    PLUS, the conditions change even BEFORE the game begins,
    both on offense and defense (as per the quarter changes).
    Beware. However, it's not known whether or not this
    affects how the player plays, as far as their actual
    performance is concerned.
    There is also "phantom health".
    As 2P, your players will display the reverse
    ratings that their conditions (e.g. GOOD, EXCELLENT)
    would indicate as the 1P. That is, the condition is
    accurate but the ratings are not.
    3. Special Teams
    "Tecmo has been ruled by special teams so long that 
    people have forgotten what's special about that."
    This section is divided into three parts:
    1. Kickoffs
    2. Punts
    3. Field Goals/Extra Points
    1. Kickoffs
         ROLB                       TE
          RILB            RB#2
          LILB        RB#1        C
      K             QB                  LT Returner
          LOLB        WR#1        LG
          RCB             WR#2
         LCB                        RG
    Amazingly enough, if you set one of the RBs, WRs,
    or TEs to the returner slot, they will also
    appear in their normal place in the lineup,
    meaning that you have two of the same player on
    the field. This would be one argument for setting
    Okoye to the return, except that Christian would
    get injured during a season game too much
    considering he is a cog on the offense. 
    Kicking The Ball
    The best thing for a kick is obviously practice,
    because it makes it much easier to kick full-power
    without a ton of onsides. If you're playing against a
    good opponent, you may not even want to try for full.
    Also, if you have a comparatively fast defensive
    special teams unit and a great defense in general,
    and the opponent has a bad kicker, you may want to
    onside kick and get the periodic turnover. A good way 
    to get the best onside kick is to go for a full-power 
    kick and then halt for a split second before pressing 
    the button.
    Most of the time, you will always want to boot it, but
    occasionally getting it to the ten or twenty-yard
    line is better for stopping long returns. However,
    never kick it with less power than that, because
    some of your kicking team players will just sit
    there and do nothing if you kick it too lightly
    (but onside kicks will always make every player
    go for the ball). Some people like to go for full
    every time and it can work for you, but against
    fast offenses, that won't go over so well because
    you won't have much of a chance to recover the
    onside kick every now and then that results from
    going for full and missing. Again, practice is the
    Usually you kick it low because your DBs are faster,
    but on some teams you go high.
    As for player positioning, you can either take on
    a blocker if you are playing very conservatively,
    or (my preferred) you off-line yourself so you get
    into the area, and draw as many CPU drones as
    possible, since your own drones are much faster than
    On LCD TVs and anything that introduces display lag,
    doing initial calibration by doing shorter kicks than
    usual is the best way to adjust. I've personally
    played on setups that brought in 1/10th of a bar
    worth of lag. If you see those kinds of numbers, you
    should also remember that the defense will be
    similarly affected, just like in online Tecmo. 
    Returning The Kickoff
    To return the kick with a computer opponent, try to 
    move into the middle of the field to avoid getting cut 
    off. If the kick was only at moderate power, some of 
    the defenders will simply stay put and not even move 
    until you pass them up. Simply use the usual dodging 
    tactics to move upfield. With a human opponent, just 
    attempt to put blockers between yourselves, since the 
    human can not only tackle you, but slow you down 
    enough to let the dumb computer players slide tackle
    you. You can also engage and attempt to shove his 
    man off, but with a kick where everyone is fast this is
    rather risky. Try to run past guys who aren't engaged
    in a struggle so that they pick up some of the guys
    trying to tackle you.
    You should balance your attempts at gaining yardage
    on the return against the odds that your returner will
    fumble. Pittsburgh Steelers kickoff, no problem. 
    Most teams' punt return, problem. A lot of that is
    just feel and how the game is going; the way I think
    about it is, if I would run a power dive or other
    run normally, are the yards I'm going to get by making
    the decision to continue the return by cutting inside
    justified by equivalent or worse yardage if I ran that
    play from scrimmage?
    Of course, always bring the ball to the sideline on
    kicks late in the half/game, and on any punt return
    that doesn't have 10+ yards associated with it.
    2. Punts
              WR#1 RCB
          RB#2      ROLB
              LT  RE      FS
              LG     RILB
    P           C NT
        RB#1  RG     LILB
              RT  LE      Returner
          TE       LOLB
              WR#2 LCB
    Kicking The Punt
    A punt is a more difficult kickoff. Practice such 
    that you can kick the ball on the first charge of the 
    meter - usually a count of two will yield a decently
    powerful kick. Try to synch your count with the 
    power bar.
    The longest a normal punt can go is about 80 yards,
    a little more sometimes, but 85/86 is about
    the best you can get in Tecmo, but your limit
    would be 90ish if you had a punter that could
    reach 100 Kicking Ability.
    The shortest a punt can go is about 20 yards
    with a 6 Kicking Ability punter, possibly a 
    little less if you get lucky. 
    Note that when you punt, you know for sure that you
    can't be blocked. Sometimes by waiting, you can get
    your guys to beat down some of their guys, and that
    will let them run the instant you kick the ball.
    Therefore, sometimes you want to wait. Other times,
    they are better than you are at coming through, so
    you want to kick it the normal way so that you get
    less free punt return guys.
    In either case, after you kick it, dodge anybody
    that may be hurtling for you, then free up at least
    the boys that are right next to you. This way, you
    will create a mob of punt coverage men that will
    mangle the punt returner and recover the ball easily
    if he fumbles. Then follow them downfield.
    If you have a very fast RB such as Bo Jackson, he
    will get downfield much more quickly than the other
    cover men, and can even hit the PR right after he
    catches the ball.
    Returning The Punt
    On the return, you only have one blocker usually, so 
    try at first to maneuver behind him to stall some of 
    the faster defenders, then take off in one direction 
    and stick to it, unless you can get out into the open 
    and start using the usual dodges and evasions. Three 
    general situations can be used to determine what you 
    should do next:
    1. No One Out There
    When you get the ball and nearly no one is after you,
    simply run straight ahead and wait until people come
    on screen. When they appear, then go into normal 
    dodging tactics, attempting to put everyone behind
    2. A Few Pursuers
    If there are a few men coming after you, first move
    down to the side you don't want to advance
    to (i.e. if you're going to go up and then run, move
    down, and vice versa). Then, reverse 
    direction and move past the people that have moved
    down to try and catch you. Begin the normal dodging
    Whether it is wiser to move to the sidelines is a
    situational decision.
    3. A Mob Thinks You've Stolen Their Football
    If a slew of people at lightning speed are coming
    after you, being perhaps less than 15 yards from
    you when you catch the ball, simply take what you
    can get and move straight ahead into the legion of
    oncoming trains (some call them football players). 
    Ideally you would get to the sidelines, but depending
    on how close they are, you may not be able to do that
    without giving up a lot of yards.
    Other methods of escaping, more hazardous, exist. One
    way of evading the attack is to move backwards and
    attempt to dodge the defenders, then go around them 
    once they have dispersed and lost a good deal of their 
    unity. However, one of the drawbacks of this method is 
    its requirement for a faster returner, and if you are 
    lacking in that department, don't even think about 
    pulling a stunt like that. Another method of dealing
    with a crowd is to move into them and run through a 
    hole in their advance. This tactic is dangerous because 
    you can get caught in a struggle (although a 
    returner with high hitting power can lessen this risk),
    and also because the defenders have a good opportunity
    to slide tackle you. The benefit of this method lies 
    in the possibility that all slide at you at once and
    take themselves out in one fell swoop, or even that a
    few of them do, and lessen the difficulty of running.
    Make sure to use the blocker in front of you if you
    can. You won't always get the most yardage that way,
    but sometimes it is worth delaying a little in order
    to maneuver a guy into him. Make sure you know how
    strong your guy is, though, before trying this.
    If your blocker is weak, there won't be any point to
    doing this because he'll just get bowled over. The
    blocker is the FS, so he's the guy you want to
    check on.
    Defending Against The Punt
    Tackling a returner is no problem against a computer and 
    usually easy against a human if you have enough hitting 
    power and teammates to take the man down. If the 
    returner doesn't have a lot of people moving in on him, 
    simply be patient and let your fellow teammates catch 
    up before you take him down. 
    3. Field Goals/Extra Points
            RB#1       RE
                 WR#1  NT   LCB
                 WR#2  LE
                 TE    ROLB
    K   QB         C 
                 LG    RILB      SS
                 RG    LILB
                 LT    LOLB FS
            RT         RCB
    Kicking The Field Goal
    A field goal is a piece of cake if you simply aim once 
    and aim correctly.
    Position: To align yourself properly for a 
    field goal, get tackled in the middle of the field, if
    at all possible, because that will make your life 
    easier if you are close to the uprights. If not, don't
    worry about it or spend a trash down just moving into
    the middle of the field that could be better spent on
    trying to get a first down or a touchdown. 
    Aiming: You always want to get the tip of the kicking
    arrow straight in a line with the fingers of the 
    ballholder that are shown before the snap. One good way
    of keeping track of them is to make a line about three
    to five yards away from them and keeping your eyes on
    a point on that line as your kicking arrow shows up.
    Once that arrow comes into line with those fingers,
    kick. Assuming no high-display lag, the lag on the kick 
    is pretty negligible, so work on getting it in the 
    right place rather than trying to lead the arrow. 
    If you are far from the goal posts, you should also 
    slightly err on the side to which the ball will
    have to go, i.e. if you're shifted to the top, err
    to the bottom, and if you're shifted to the bottom,
    err to the top. But don't do that too much, because
    you can still very well miss.
    Timing: When you kick, don't just sit there like a 
    doofus and dawdle your time away. The arrow should not
    rebound more than twice from the extremes of the kick.
    What you need for most situations is one-rebound aim. 
    You need to locate the arrow as it comes down from
    the snap and keep track of it as it comes back up into
    your aiming line that you made with the fingers of the
    holder. If you're trying to be a Tecmo master, then
    you need to get a count kick, where you count off a
    fraction of a second and then kick right there without
    even looking at the cursor. Your timing will take care
    of the aiming by itself. That takes some practice,
    though. Most of the time, the rush will not be able to
    stop you on one-rebound kicks. However, there are
    exceptions to this, such as a MAN controlled Lawrence
    Taylor. If you can pick up the skill to kick it if
    it's straight on before it rebounds, that is very
    useful against great teams.
    Here are some kicking ranges for you:
    0-10 yard line: Basically impossible to miss.
    10-15 yard line: Begins to be possible to miss, but you
    need pressure and a wide kick.
    15-20 yard line: You can miss with pressure and a sloppy
    kick or with a wide kick.
    20-45 yard line: You need to aim on these for sure.
    45-or-more yard line: You really need to think about
    whether or not you should kick from here. If your kicker
    has a high Kicking Ability, you can boot it from the 50
    yard line, but if he doesn't, then he will start to miss
    kicks from here due to the kick not being powerful enough
    to reach the uprights (Al del Greco, for instance, will 
    start missing at the 35). Whether a player will not be 
    able to make the range is a combination of ability and 
    luck, just as with normal kicks.
    The best kickers can kick field goals with the offensive
    line of scrimmage on the kicking team's 40 yard line.
    However, not all kickers can kick from this distance.
    Practice in advance to know your kicker's range and 
    know that your kicker's condition may change during the
    game, so don't push it too much.
    A side note: if your field goal is blocked, it won't
    show up as either a made kick or a miss, it will just be
    as if you never kicked it.
    Defending Against The Field Goal
    To defend against a field goal, simply tap the A 
    button three times to find the fourth man on the line
    from the top, who happens to be the top linebacker. This 
    is about the only person who can consistently get inside 
    in a reasonable time frame to block a kick. Simply run 
    straight ahead until you are almost at the ballholder,
    then move down and into the ball holder to tackle him.
    If you get held up, attempt to wrestle off the 
    blocker, though that is rarely possible before the kick 
    comes off. You can still block the kick in a struggle if 
    you're close enough to the ball. If you manage to tackle
    the ballholder, you will get possession of the football,
    even if it's not fourth down (thanks for the heads-up,
    Tommy Agee).
    Another way to do it is to use the LILB. There is a
    crease in the line when the play starts and you can 
    punch yourself up in there if you have a fast LILB. The
    best way to do it is to watch a few kicks and see the
    line move, then try it out, the timing is very tricky
    and it's not close to 100%, but it certainly can be done.
    I've even seen some people try using the RCB down low.
    If he's in EXCELLENT and he's a great player he can
    rush the kicker - Deion Sanders once blocked one of my
    field goals.
    Also, if the guy you play against takes a long time to
    kick, and you have a guy close to you who is fast, you
    can try and free him up and let him attack the ball.
    Everyone - LISTEN UP!!!
    One thing that is worth mentioning is that you can 
    pick up a blocked field goal ball, unlike most 
    situations where a player cannot pick up a fumble. So 
    get the bloody ball after you knock it out of the air 
    and make sure that your opponent doesn't have an 
    unimpeded path to the end zone, because little else 
    hurts like a field goal recovered by the kicking team 
    for a touchdown.  One way that you can tell if there's
    been a block early is that the cursor will appear over
    the kicker's head before the kick if the field goal
    will be blocked. You can pick up a first down from
    this distance, and will also retain possession of the
    football (unless it is fourth down, in which case it
    is a turnover on downs).
    Also, the better your kicker is (in terms of accuracy),
    the slower the arrow will move back and forth. In
    addition, it may not move as far to one side or the
    other. Take this into consideration when you kick.
    Extra Points
    When you kick an extra point, simply hit A as fast as
    you can to kick. (Use this time to practice field goals
    if you know the other team can't mount a serious rush.)
    You almost never miss (I've only seen someone miss five 
    times out of thousands of kicks). You can get the ball 
    blocked if you let the person close in, and the ball can 
    swerve and miss more easily if you let someone in too 
    close. The tactics for defending an extra point are the
    same as for a field goal.
    4. On The Field: Offense And Defense By Play
    "In Tecmo, the best defense is a good offense."
    This section is organized by formation. Each part will 
    be prefaced by an ASCII diagram of a particular 
    formation, following by a general discussion of the 
    plays and defenses from that formation, and 
    concluding with a list of plays in the formation and 
    their characteristics. Before this, there is a list of
    useful information in understanding the information 
    after the useful information in understanding it, 
    which makes the information after the useful 
    information more useful. To be more concise, this is
    the way this section is organized:
    Exposition (Useful Information)
    T Formation (Plays)
    Onesetback Formation
    Run And Shoot Formation
    Shifting Onesetback Formation
    Shotgun Formation
    Strong-I Formation
    One Man Shift Formation
    Shotgun 3-Wing Formation
    Slot Formation
    WTE Formation
    Formation/Play Oneback Z Cross
    Formation/Play No Back X Deep
    Formation/Play Run And Shoot 3-Wing
    Formation/Play Redgun Z Slant
    I have also devised some indices for you to use 
    in finding and comparing plays.
    A notation used in the indices is called the 
    Play Number <no. 1 & no. 2>: This refers 
    specifically to the way the plays are organized in 
    the Tecmo playbook selection screen. The first number 
    is the slot in which the play is found in the playbook 
    screen, left to right, then top to bottom. For instance, 
    the second run slot (with FB Offtackle L) is 2, and 
    the third pass slot (with Pro T Flare C) is 7. The 
    second number is how many times you have to hit right 
    to get to the play once you've selected the slot. For 
    instance, in slot 1 (the first run slot), WTE Offtackle 
    R is 0, and Run And Shoot Sweep L is 2. Put the number 
    of the slot and the number of the play in the slot 
    together and you get the play number. For example, WTE 
    Offtackle R is 10 and Run And Shoot Sweep L is 12,
    while Shotgun X Curl is 60. 
    Formation Index:
    <Formation, Plays In Formation>
    	<Play, Play Number>
    Exposition (0 plays)
    	<no play> <nonexistent play number>
    T Formation (16 plays)
     Pass Set 1: Straight Back Plays
         Pro T Flare C - 74
         Pro T Flare D - 62
         Pro T Screen L - 54
     Pass Set 2: Waggles    
         Pro T Waggle R - 50
         Pro T Waggle L - 56
     Pass Set 3: Other Plays
         T Play Action D - 53
         T Flea Flicker - 76
     Run Set 1: Power Plays
         Cross Offtackle - 32 
         T Offtackle R - 24
         T Sweep Strong - 25
         T Power Sweep R - 17
     Run Set 2: Technical Plays
         Pro T Dive - 42
         T Power Dive - 26
         Reverse Pitch R - 45
         T Cross Run L - 30
         T Fake Sweep R - 16
    Onesetback Formation (10 plays)
     Set 1: Top Handoff Plays
         Reverse-Fake Z Post - 81
         WR Reverse R - 43
         Pitch L Fake - 21
     Set 2: Handoff After The Snap Plays
         Power Fake Z Post - 66
         Power Fake X Fly - 77
         Onesetback L - 11
         FB Offtackle L - 27
     Set 3: All Other Plays
         X Out And Fly - 80
         Oneback Flare A - 65
         Pitch L Open - 33
    Run And Shoot Formation (8 plays)
         Run And Shoot Y Up - 87
         Run And Shoot Z Fly - 61
         Run And Shoot Flare C - 57
         Run And Shoot QB Sneak - 40
         Run And Shoot QB Run - 46
         Run And Shoot Draw - 20
         Run And Shoot Left - 12
         Run And Shoot Right - 37
    Shifting Onesetback Formation (6 plays)
         Playaction Z In - 72
         Roll Out R - 51
         Onesetback Dive - 41
         WR Reverse L - 35
         Oneback Sweep R - 22
         FB Open L - 14
    Shotgun Formation (6 plays)
     Formation 1     
         Shotgun X Curl - 60
         Shotgun Draw - 36
     Formation 2
         Shotgun Z S-In - 84
         Shotgun X Drive - 70
     Formation 3
         Shotgun XY Bomb - 86
         Shotgun C Draw - 44
    Strong-I Formation (4 plays)
         Offset Flare E - 63
         Play Action - 55
         Toss Sweep R - 15
         FB Power Dive - 43
    One Man Shift Formation (4 plays)
         FB Offtackle R - 13
         Weakside Open - 23
         Roll Out L - 52
         Flea Flicker - 73
    Shotgun 3-Wing Formation (2 plays)
         Shotgun 3-Wing - 75
         Shotgun Sweep L - 47
    Slot Formation (2 plays)
         Slot L Z Drive - 82
         Slot Offtackle - 31
    WTE Formation (2 plays)
         WTE Offtackle R - 10
         WTE Flea Flicker - 67
    Formation/Play Oneback Z Cross - 64
    Formation/Play No Back X Deep - 83
    Formation/Play Run And Shoot 3-Wing - 71
    Formation/Play Redgun Z Slant - 85
    Play Number Index:
    64 total plays in 8 slots
    Plays and Formations by Slot:
    10: WTE Offtackle R - WTE Formation
    11: Onesetback L - Onesetback Formation
    12: Run And Shoot Sweep L - Run And Shoot Formation
    13: FB Offtackle R - One Man Shift Formation
    14: FB Open L - Shifting Onesetback Formation
    15: Toss Sweep R - Strong-I Formation 
    16: T Fake Sweep R - T Formation
    17: T Power Sweep R - T Formation
    20: Run And Shoot Draw - Run And Shoot Formation
    21: Pitch L Fake - Onesetback Formation
    22: Oneback Sweep R - Shifting Onesetback Formation
    23: Weakside Open - One Man Shift Formation
    24: T Offtackle R - T Formation
    25: T Sweep Strong - T Formation
    26: T Power Dive - T Formation 
    27: FB Offtackle L - Onesetback Formation
    30: T Cross Run L - T Formation 
    31: Slot Offtackle - Slot Formation
    32: Cross Offtackle - T Formation 
    33: Pitch L Open - Onesetback Formation
    34: WR Reverse R - Onesetback Formation
    35: WR Reverse L - Shifting Onesetback Formation
    36: Shotgun Draw - Shotgun Formation
    37: Run And Shoot Sweep R - Run And Shoot Formation
    40: Run And Shoot QB Sneak - Run And Shoot Formation
    41: Onesetback Dive - Shifting Onesetback Formation
    42: Pro T Dive - T Formation 
    43: FB Power Dive - Strong-I Formation
    44: Shotgun C Draw - Shotgun Formation
    45: Reverse Pitch R - T Formation 
    46: Run And Shoot QB Run - Run And Shoot Formation
    47: Shotgun Sweep L - Shotgun 3-Wing Formation
    50: Pro T Waggle R - T Formation 
    51: Roll Out R - Shifting Onesetback Formation 
    52: Roll Out L - One Man Shift Formation
    53: T Play Action D - T Formation 
    54: Pro T Screen L - T Formation 
    55: Play Action - Strong-I Formation
    56: Pro T Waggle L - T Formation 
    57: Run And Shoot Flare C - Run And Shoot Formation
    60: Shotgun X Curl - Shotgun Formation
    61: Run And Shoot Z Fly - Run And Shoot Formation
    62: Pro T Flare D - T Formation 
    63: Offset Flare E - Strong-I Formation
    64: Formation/Play Oneback Z Cross
    65: Oneback Flare A - Onesetback Formation
    66: Power Fake Z Post - Onesetback Formation
    67: WTE Flea Flicker - WTE Formation
    70: Shotgun X Drive - Shotgun Formation
    71: Formation/Play Run And Shoot 3-Wing
    72: Playaction Z In - Shifting Onesetback Formation 
    73: Flea Flicker - One Man Shift Formation
    74: Pro T Flare C - T Formation 
    75: Shotgun 3-Wing - Shotgun 3-Wing Formation
    76: T Flea Flicker - T Formation 
    77: Power Fake X Fly - Onesetback Formation
    80: X Out And Fly - Onesetback Formation
    81: Reverse-Fake Z Post - Onesetback Formation
    82: Slot L Z Drive - Slot Formation
    83: Formation/Play No Back X Deep
    84: Shotgun Z S-In - Shotgun Formation
    85: Formation/Play Redgun Z Slant
    86: Shotgun XY Bomb - Shotgun Formation
    87: Run And Shoot Y Up - Run And Shoot Formation
    First, some general definitions and explanations are 
    For some receivers, I have listed the number of times
    you need to hit A from the beginning of the play
    to get to them. Here are some examples:
    RB#1 (A 0x) - Don't hit A at all: you already have
    the cursor on RB#1.
    WR#2 (A 3x) - Hit A three times to get to WR#2.
    Remember that you can switch pass with A~B (A then
    immediately B) or dupe pass with B~A (B then 
    immediately A) so you can switch up how you get
    to the receiver in question.
    Reversible Play - This is a play that can be changed
    by simply making the running back move in a different 
    direction, useful against human opponents. 
    Call-Safe (AKA Picked Play - Safe or Pick-Safe):
         Player: A call-safe player is someone who can 
    generally be thrown to by most offenses and can 
    catch the ball whenever a play is called.
         Play: A call-safe play is one with some ways
    to get yardage if it is called.  
    Nose Tackle Dive (AKA center trick, lurch, NTD, 
    ***** move, low blow, center slide, or simply slide): 
    Using the nose tackle, move in one or two yards 
    down-diagonally inside and one or two more straight 
    inside, and sliding into the QB/running backs by 
    hitting the B button repeatedly
    (and in some cases this means mashing the button, as 
    the game does not always appreciate your efforts to
    defy physics). In some cases, it is necessary to move
    a bit farther in to catch some faster QBs, like Vinny 
    Testaverde and QB Eagles, or a little less to hit
    slower QBs before they do anything. The NTD is a 
    nearly invincible move as is the normal slide, moving
    through multiple people with the greatest of ease. 
    However you can't rely on it in all situations. 
    Typically you can't execute it against a QB dropback
    if the QB has 19 MS or more. Watch out for changing 
    conditions in each quarter.
    Passing Order: This is the order of your passing 
    targets (receivers). For instance, the first receiver 
    is the one the cursor starts on, the second is the one 
    that you target after pressing A once, the third twice, 
    etc. You loop back to the first receiver after going
    through all the receivers.
    Race Defect: When I use this term, I mean that a 
    play can be discerned from others in its formation
    if the races of the people are switched around. When
    you look at the lineup of these plays, you will notice
    that certain plays have lineups different from some
    or all of the others in the formation. This allows you
    to discern when a particular play or group of plays
    has been called. Note
    however that I am not a racist. 
    The plays with a race defect are:
    Pitch L Open (Onesetback Formation)
    T Power Dive (T Formation)
    Shotgun Plays
    The Shotguns are a mess; look in that section for
    more about their lineups and resulting race 
    Curl-Pass: On some passes a player will curl and
    this gives you an opportunity for a throw which
    goes to the player, but goes past him, allowing 
    for a jump-ball opportunity if you get the streak
    target, the receiver's curl target, and the QB's
    pass all in a straight line. Also can be used to
    get the receiver to go straight on a play where
    he usually doesn't, by throwing the ball much
    earlier than normal in the play. Does not always 
    work and can be stopped if you place your defender 
    in the line of the pass. A fairly low-risk maneuver
    in general but the pass can definitely be tipped.
    Defensive Shift: This is when a certain defender
    (usually the RCB) will move along with a moving 
    player on the offense when the whole team
    is in the lineup before the snap. This allows you
    to tell when a certain play has been called so 
    that you may act accordingly. However, defensive 
    shifts only happen every so often. For most of 
    these, though, the shift really doesn't matter
    too much, except for Flea Flicker, where it is
    terribly important. I only tested rigorously the
    shifts for Redgun Z Slant and Oneback Z Cross,
    so No Back X Deep and Flea Flicker might be
    erroneous, but I doubt it. Here's a list 
    of defensive shifts:
    Offensive Play - Defensive Play
    No Back X Deep - Any Play in Slots 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7
    Flea Flicker - Any Play in Slots 1, 4, 5, 6, and 8
    Oneback Z Cross - Any (Pass) Play in Slots 5, 7, and 8
    Redgun Z Slant - Any Play in Slots 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7
    Unless otherwise specified, all of the run plays are
    not call-safe, but not necessarily the kiss of 
    death. Almost any play in this book, though, can
    be call-safe or call-nil in special situations, 
    (such as a fast running back or QB and bad defense) 
    so for passes, you might want to tap B if you think 
    you can get a pass off and for runs you just want to
    get as many yards as possible.
    Also, not every tactic may work under certain conditions.
    For instance, T Offtackle R's LOLB tactic may not work
    in the season mode, and neither may Pitch L Open's left
    end attack. However, they should be effective in one
    way or another most of the time. Sometimes, you will just
    get nailed by the CPU, no matter what you do.
    When I say that a play has lots of blockers, I mean
    that it has free blockers in front of the runner
    (I call them "roving blockers"). These are the guys
    that take out unnecessary defenders, shield the
    runner for a few yards, and pull stuff like blocking
    safeties in the back (you should have heard Steven's
    indignant protest, "That's ILLEGAL!" when my roving
    blockers on a Pitch L Open hit his free safety in the
    back - the guy rolled over, too). These guys are
    absolute nightmares for a human opponent because they
    get in the way of direct confrontations with runners
    and receivers.
    When there is motion in a play, and you take the snap
    before the people stop moving, the receivers will
    still go to the same spots, but the path that they
    take will be altered according to their position at
    the snap. Paul gives a good tip on using this to your
    advantage: if your opponent is using a lineman or
    linebacker, you can "send" a player after him by
    hiking the ball when the person's running path
    coincides with that of your opponent. I'm laughing
    just thinking about it.
    In here there are references to freeing up your boys,
    those are not guaranteed, especially in Season Mode.
    RB#1 (also RB #1 - in other parts of the FAQ, the
    space is sometimes used for better readability) is
    the first running back in the lineup and likewise with
    WR#1 (also WR #1 for example).
    I left RB #2 as RB #2 instead of calling him the
    fullback because it's more compatible with the list
    below. Moreover, some teams don't have fullbacks so...
    One thing that is not really an explanation of this
    per se, but that is quite useful, is who is who in
    alternate team lineups, such as four WR/one RB or
    three WR/one RB/one TE. The order is the same; it's
    just that the names are different. In other words:
    Normal Lineup
    Three Receivers
    QB = QB
    RB = RB#1
    WR#1 = RB#2
    WR#2 = WR#1
    WR#3 = WR#2
    TE = TE
    Four Receivers
    QB = QB
    RB = RB#1
    WR#1 = RB#2
    WR#2 = WR#1
    WR#3 = WR#2
    WR#4 = TE
    Does that make sense? I hope so. 
    T Formation Plays
    RB#1       LT
              QB C
    RB#2       RT             
    or, for T Power Dive:
    RB#2       LT
              QB C
    RB#1       RT             
    General Comments: For this formation and the next 
    one, I have no general overreaching comments for the 
    whole set. I have arranged them according to  
    peculiar characteristics that each of them have. You'll 
    see what I mean when you read them, and the general 
    comments for each set are given with that set. There
    are five groups for this formation:
    Pass Set 1: Straight Back Plays
    Pass Set 2: Waggles
    Pass Set 3: Other Plays
    Run Set 1: Power Plays
    Run Set 2: Technical Plays
    Note for your usual T Power Dive/Pro T Clare C combo:
    LOLB, LE, or ROLB and RILB are the strong players for
    run stop: strategy is to call pass and defend run,
    forcing them bail immediately to deep coverage, then
    either checking down or QB run to follow.
    DBs: called run and now bailing out to cover pass. (If you
    see this type of play, start heavy ballthrowing) 
    Pass Set 1: Straight Back Plays
    General Comments: All of these plays are good, but 
    susceptible to the nose tackle dive and most other 
    blitz techniques. Make sure you're prepared to dodge 
    any defenders. 
    Pro T Flare C:
    O          LT--RB#1          \
     \---------LG                ->TE
          QB---O C     RB#2
               RG       /
    O          RT      /       
     \                /  
      ----------------       WR#2    
    Offense: All people go past the line in this one. Move 
    closer to the top to increase your chances of a 
    reception to the middle receiver, because as he moves
    down he tends to cause quarterbacks trouble in 
    passing to him. If you pass to him, make sure you're 
    not moving or under significant pressure. You can try
    passing to the TE if you roll to the bottom but that
    doesn't work as well because you have to basically
    give up on WR #1 since you would have to cross-field
    pass to him.
    Also note that the TE will stop on this play about
    25-30 yards out; don't use him in a bomb situation.
    The WR #2 is deadly in this play with a good QB and WR, or even an iffy QB and
    a good WR. The defense has to be prepared to bail out on that read. 
    Call-safe receiver is RB #2 (A 2x). You do see guys try to go to the TE, but
    that only rarely works. It's most effective with a good TE, an iffy QB,
    and shifted to the bottom. Don't bother attempting it on the top unless
    you really like your matchup and are willing to throw a double-coverage
    - You can try for the RB #2 on quick hit. Basically you are looking for the LCB
    to not pull up. If he does, the quick hit isn't there...in that case you have
    to wait longer for RB #2, if he's open at all. 
    - You want to set your fastest WR on bottom if you have a decent quarterback
      and a bad matchup. The throw to pull the WR #2 out of his curl is pretty
    reliable for 20+ yards in those situations and is a good "shot" play even with
    iffy combos. The best is when the safety comes down and the LCB pulls up, the
    safety can almost never catch the WR. This still works with a busted LCB<=>WR
    matchup, but the speed/Receptions of the WR and the Pass Speed/Control of the
    QB are much more important. You can't really force it in against the double
    coverage look, but either the single coverage LCB or the pass-off to the SS is
    a throwing situation. You more or less have to treat it like a called play,
    where you hit A 3x and throw it right as the WR passes the SS' shoulder.
    - If you see the defender bail out on WR #2 with a high INT defender, run
    your QB to the top or throw it to RB #2 for an easy 5+ yards.
    - You can gamble on the WR #2 curl-pass if you like that matchup and the MAN
    is sitting on something else, but it's not a high-percentage play because the
    spacing and timing of the curl isn't that predictable. 
    No LBs come out so you are looking at a stock level-type read otherwise. 
    If you see the TE open and have a decent QB, you can throw the TE route from
    the bottom of the screen, not just the top slant. Remember the TE stops as
    well. However, you should usually be running at the top of the screen in order
    to pressure on the WR #2 coverage, and to set up a bomb if you get trapped. 
    In terms of vs. MAN strategy, if you see WR #2 is not strongly covered, you
    go for him right off the snap.
    If the MAN uses a R-player, you probably have the quick hitter if it's there.
    If he really sells out on the quick-hitter with the FS, you should remember
    the quick TE throw is an option. 
    Otherwise you roll to the top, as this gives you most accurate throw on WR #1,
    TE, and has lanes to the other two targets.
    Call-Safe Receiver:
    RB#2 (A 2x)
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats: 
    Defense: The one that really has to be watched is the 
    tight end that slopes downward. He often shakes 
    computer defenders, so oftentimes it's a good idea to 
    take someone out and cover him for sure. However if
    the QB is trying to run, go after the QB, the TE can't
    be hit consistently on the run except by a great QB.
    Doing a TE<=>RB #2 hover or coverage switch is a pretty
    safe gamble type play, and can buy you a lot of time
    for your pass rush to get going. Iffy QBs have a hard
    time completing either of those throws out of position
    or before RB #2 stops. 
    If you see the motion that indicates WR #2 is going to be open, you have to
    pull your guy into a position that allows you to make a play on the passing
    lane. You don't have to completely abandon RB #2, but you have to move far
    enough out that the MAN is going to be able to run the ball if he wants. You
    just have to give that to him. 
    Pro T Flare D:
     --RB#1   O-------------------
    /                             \->WR#1
    |          TE---------  
    O          LT         \
               LG          \
          QB---O C         TE
    O          RT
    \                ------------
     --RB#2    O----/            \-->WR#2
    Note that RB #1 and RB #2 will sometimes run out
    of their places and move straight out into the 
    Offense: This is a great play in the second 
    pass slot. You can almost always find someone open 
    with this. If you want short yards, simply pass to the 
    running backs on either side of you as quickly as 
    possible after the snap for an almost guaranteed 
    reception. The tight end moves into the middle about 
    two seconds in, so keep him in mind and throw to 
    him quickly, because your opponent can see him very
    well if he's open. Call-safe receivers are the tight end 
    (A 1x), RB #1 (A 3x), and RB #2 (A 4x, if you can do 
    that before getting nailed). 
    Abuse this play, call it 16 times a drive if you want,
    as long as you can match up well with your RBs against
    whatever defender your opponent is using.
    There is almost no wrong that you can do with this
    one, either for ball control offense, quick yards,
    or crunch time. Just make sure that your opponent isn't
    going to NTD you every time.
    Call-Safe Receivers:
    TE (A 1x)
    RB#1 (A 3x)
    RB#2 (A 4x)
    Passing Order:
    Defense: The wild card here is the two running backs 
    on either side of the QB. If you move in to directly 
    cover one of them, a pass to the other side is 
    impossible to stop. Moreover, it leaves you 
    susceptible to passes long or in the middle that get 
    caught, because you have to run all the way back out 
    to stop the receivers. What you should probably do is 
    stay right in the middle where the tight end is and
    move for whoever catches the ball once the pass is 
    thrown. If you think this play will be used next, 
    consider not calling it. The reason for that is the high
    number of call-safe receivers and the utility of
    those receivers to even a mediocre QB. Only call it
    if you can cover the TE, and even so, if your 
    opponent can tag the running backs before getting
    sacked, it's usually not worth it. Calling it against
    a general pass defense, though, is often useful. 
    Pro T Screen L:
     ---RB#1  O---------------------->WR#1
    |          O-------
    O          LT      \
               LG       \
          QB---O C      TE
         -RB#2 RG
    O---/      RT             
    RB#1 will sometimes continue on straight ahead.
    Offense: This is a well balanced play, with two
    decent short opportunities. Move to the top to make 
    your passes more accurate. You'll usually get sacked 
    on this one if it's called - just hit B to pass in the rare 
    event that you stay up long enough to make it. Paul
    told me to mention the weird movement of the QB - 
    he stops moving back for a second if the play is picked,
    making it much harder to get a pass off. You
    have a very easy "flash" opportunity with RB #1, if
    the defense has been stopping your running game. 
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: If you pursue the long men, make sure to 
    watch the shorter ones. 
    Pass Set 2: Waggles
    General Comments: Both these plays severely hurt 
    linemen, though Pro T Waggle L can be dodged by a 
    good nose tackle or even stopped by a
    nose tackle dive. They should only be used for 
    diversity and never abused, because each can be 
    attacked either by a call, which results in a nine or ten 
    yard loss, or by a defensive back or linebacker who moves 
    in after the QB - same loss. Their difference lies in 
    how far the receivers go out. 
    Pro T Waggle R:
      RB#2     TE
    O---|--    LT
        |  |   LG
        /--|---O C
      -/   |   RG
    O/ |   |   RT             
       |    \               WR#2
       QB    \               /
    Offense: Of the three short receivers, the best is RB 
    #1 at the very bottom, because many times he's not 
    covered and RB #1 is usually decently fast. This play 
    can be confused with T Cross Run L. If everyone is 
    covered on this play, you've got a great scrambling
    opportunity. THIS PLAY REEKS - too easy for the MAN
    to catch you for a short gain if you try to run.
    Passing Order:
    Defense: As with other plays with the quarterback on 
    a track, take a secondary guy or linebacker and move in 
    after the QB. Failing that, just make sure everyone is 
    covered. A tactic that you can use if your opponent 
    has T Cross Run L in his/her playbook is to use the
    RILB linebacker and move in as you would for the run,
    but watch in the middle or nearer RB #2 and see over 
    whom the cursor reappears. When you deduce who it is, 
    smash them. If it is this play though, you will have 
    to deal with a blocker, so slide tackle the QB when 
    you go after him. 
    Pro T Waggle L:
     QB       -------RB#2          
      |      /      
      |     /  TE
    O |    |   LT
     \\    |  -O            WR#2
      \\---|--|O C           /
       \   |  -O            /  
    O---\--   |RT          / 
         \    ---LG & RG (block)
        RB#1             /
    Offense: This one is better than Pro T Waggle R 
    because your people go longer. Watch for the top 
    receiver, because he's not often covered well or even 
    at all. The shorter men are decent as well in that 
    respect. This pass can be confused with T Power 
    Sweep R, amongst others. Use a QB sneak if your
    men are covered.
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: Move in on the QB as in Pro T Waggle R, 
    but look out for the long man if you stay out in 
    coverage. Alternatively, if you don't know what
    play will be called, you can stop this play if 
    you use an altered nose tackle dive: if you hold
    down-diagonal toward the bottom as you normally
    would, and hit B quickly (it may require you to
    mash the button) as soon as the center snaps the
    ball, you can slide through a few opposing 
    men, hitting the QB as he comes up from the fake
    handoff. This allows you to stay close for a
    normal nose tackle dive to stop other plays. 
    Make sure, if you use this tactic, that you do
    it quickly. You can also slip through the hole
    in the middle with linebackers and attack from
    behind. The RCB is also a pretty good one for
    this play.
    Pass Set 3: Other Plays
    General Comments: None. 
    T Play Action D:
                TE                \
     O          LT               WR#1
    /           LG       
    |   QB------O-C----RB#2
    |      /    RG 
    |O-----     RT
    Offense: Move yourself to the bottom a little bit to 
    take advantage of the bias in the receivers. If this
    is called, consider a trip to the hospital when the
    seven defenders hit you all at once. WR #1 slants,
    so keep your QB in one place and without pressure
    if you pass to him in that motion - that is an 
    effective man for eluding coverage as well. 
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats: 
    Defense: This dies with a nose tackle dive. 
    Otherwise, just go out into coverage, and watch the 
    top receiver just a little; he's quite pesky. 
    RB #1 can also give you problems if the opposing 
    QB waits for him to come out. 
    T Flea Flicker:
          -----------RB#2          \->WR#1
          |    TE
    O     |    LT
     \QB  |   -O
      \\--|---|O C
       \  |   -O
    O---\-    |RT             
         \    ---LG & RG   WR#2
        RB#1               /
    The left and right guards are roving blockers,
    I believe. 
    Offense: This can be confused with T Power Sweep 
    R, so use that to confuse your opponent. It can also
    be confused with Pro T Waggle R and T Sweep Strong,
    but to a lesser extent than with T Power Sweep R. 
    You can't call this one very often, because this play 
    can yield automatic fumbles if called by your opponent,
    or if your opponent hits your quarterback. You 
    may not even want to call it at all, but rather leave 
    your opponent waiting for it and exploit the 
    weaknesses of the defense. It's not call-safe, but
    occasionally you will be missed and become able to 
    pass the ball.
    Passing Order:
    Defense: One way that you can deal with this play
    is to use the ROLB and move in as you would for T 
    Sweep Strong, then attack the QB. If that's not 
    permitted, just tag whichever ones aren't covered. 
    Try to call this play and then recover the 
    frequent fumble that results if you don't have 
    anything more urgent (such as a running play you 
    can't stop). 
    Run Set 1: Power Plays
    General Comments: These plays all have either a lot 
    of blockers or the ability to stuff linemen or 
    linebackers with the push of the offensive line after 
    the snap. Thus, these are generally more useful than 
    the plays in Set 2. 
    Cross Offtackle:
         /     TE      (blocks)
    O---/---   LT
       /   |   LG
    QB/----|---O C   (whole line moves out to block)
     /     |   RG
    O      |   RT             
    Offense: This play is very good and decently fast, but 
    watch yourself as you come out, because you rarely 
    have roving blockers and anyone who approaches
    you will take you down if you're not careful. 
    Defense: Take the RCB or a safety and move in on 
    the hole, slide tackling if useful. You can try an RILB 
    attack through the middle, but you tend to attract 
    blockers and your opponent can usually reverse before 
    you can slide tackle. Be cautious if you try this. 
    The LOLB can also make a pretty good play on this too,
    if you have a great one. Just swing him up into the 
    T Offtackle R:
              WR#1 (blocks)
    O          LT
     \         LG
     QB--------O C (this line moves out to block)
       \       RG
    RB#2\      RT             
       \ ----------------->RB#1            
    Offense: This is a hard play on the defense because 
    tons of people get hit. However, you need to avoid
    making unnecessary moves since some linebackers 
    can move down fairly quickly and make life hard for 
    you. You have one roving blocker, but he usually 
    goes for the strong safety. You're basically on your 
    own with this one.
    Defense: Use a defensive back to wrestle down the man, 
    or, take a lower linebacker and slide tackle the runner 
    down. One key to note here is that the guy who goes 
    for the SS can often start cut blocking, and he will
    then throw anyone who comes near him. One thing you can
    do to stop that is if you can blow up the guy who
    comes after you, just ram through him and and beat down
    the RB. 
    T Sweep Strong: 
      |        TE
    O |        LT
     \|       -O
      |-------|O C (these fellas block)
      |       -O
    O-|       |RT             
     \ \      ---LG & RG (block)      
      -------------RB#2 (blocks)----------->RB#1
    Offense: This is a good run play, but the blockers are 
    somewhat spread out, so watch for insurgent 
    defenders. This play can be reversed somewhat. It can
    be confused with Pro T Waggle L and occasionally
    Flea Flicker, but this is actually a unique play
    because RB #2 comes down to block.
    Defense: Take someone on the top, either defensive back, 
    linebacker, or lineman, and move through the gap in
    the middle for the tackle. You can also move around 
    the line and attack from behind. You may be able to cut
    through hard inside against the sweep blocker action
    but don't count on those guys not picking you up.
    T Power Sweep R:
     QB   ---------RB#2              
      |   | 
      |   |    TE
    O |   |    LT
     \|   |   -O
      |--/----|O C (most block; see note)
      | /     -O
    O-|-      |RT             
       \      --LG & RG (block)
    Offense: This is one of the better run plays because 
    the blockers are many and tight. This play can be 
    reversed with a decent running back. This can be
    confused with Pro T Waggle L and T Flea Flicker.
    Defense: With this play, move through the hole in
    the middle of the offensive line and come from
    behind using one of the linebackers.
    You can also move around the sweep 
    with whatever defender you've chosen. You can 
    move through the sweep, but it's a bit tougher than 
    with T Sweep Strong (in my opinion, at least - the 
    numbers would not suggest that). 
    Run Set 2: Technical Plays
    General Comments: These runs are nice, but require 
    more care and skill to pull off than the power runs. 
    Pro T Dive:
                TE         \
     O          LT         |
    /           LG       (blocks)
    |   QB------O-C--------------->RB#2
    |      /    RG (blocks)
    |O-----     RT /            
     \            /   
      ------RB#1  |   
    Offense: This play is not great, considering you have 
    no blockers through the middle. This play can be 
    easily reversed, though, which is almost necessary.
    This can be put in with T Fake Sweep R for confusion,
    since the movements are the same, but the possession
    of the ball differs between the two.
    Defense: A nose tackle dive kills this. You can also 
    just take someone in and struggle them down with 
    few complications. Watch for a reverse to whatever
    side is most open (if you're shifted to the bottom,
    watch for the top). Also note similar defensive moves
    as with T Power Dive, but with the additional benefit
    of being able to take on the RB directly in the hole
    instead of contending with the lead blocker.
    T Power Dive: 
                TE         \
     RB#2---    LT         |
            \   LG       (blocks)
           /    RG (blocks)
     RB#1--     RT /            
    Offense: This play is like Pro T Dive, but with a 
    blocker in front, making it much more useful. You 
    can decently run in the middle, or you can go to 
    either side on a reversal. However, this is the
    one play in this formation that is afflicted with 
    the cursed race problem - the two backs are 
    switched on this play. Thus, you have to be 
    careful about this play if you have different color 
    Some players don't read this properly or just misplay
    this. Unless you are doing a stall for clock and 
    really trying to avoid fumbles at any cost, you need 
    to follow your lead blocker through the middle hole
    if you have your opponent in a situation where he will
    have to take you on. You can bail on it if you think
    your opponent will try and dive tackle into the hole,
    or if you think he is going to lose his speed, you have
    a fast running back, and the CPU has collapsed on the
    Note that if the secondary defenders have frozen
    (e.g. because the opponent called a pass play), you
    won't trigger them after you until you cross the line
    of scrimmage. This also applies to other plays, but is
    particularly important for this one when bouncing the
    play outside. 
    Make sure to watch in the hole to see if your line
    matchup is good. A mismatch there will seal the hole
    and make this play useless without a fast RB. Consider 
    checking conditions prior to installing this play if 
    you think this will be a problem.
    Typical reads:
    If your guys blow up anyone on the line of scrimmage,
    press onto that hole and make the MAN commit
    If they engage at the hole, then diagonal downward
    (if shifted to bottom you can go upward if you have
    the speed advantage)
    If they go LOLB or LILB, hold up at the snap
    If they float outside the hole (but not right up on
    the hole opening) then press the hole
    If they stick themselves right outside the hole,
    counter opposite side
    Defense: This is frequently misplayed, even by elite 
    players; that's because it's probably the play most 
    affected by conditions and personnel matchups in all of 
    Tecmo. In rough order, here are the shutdown moves to 
    - Nose tackle dive (if available): almost 100% effective
    - LOLB (LB #4) dive: more specifically, run up into the
    LE with your LOLB, typically pressing B button (odd but
    works). Once you get penetration, finish off the RB with
    a normal slide tackle. Against < 50 MS RBs, this is 
    highly effective as long as the line matchup is OK.
    Against 50+ MS RBs, this is a very risky move and is
    often modified to be a LOLB grapple or harass. With speedy
    RBs, your opponent can easily bounce to the top and will
    gain significant yardage. The community indicates it is reliable
    with 44 MS LOLBs, but it's not guaranteed even then. One
    thing you can try is changing it to the LOLB-LE combo rush,
    which can be safer against a fast RB.  
    - Freeing up your boys: very good play if you can get 
    the right matchups. Situational though. For example, you
    can free up the C with the LE, but the C tends to dive
    tackle and miss against a MAN. 
    - Lead blocker throw: if you have a high HP defender
    working against a low HP lead blocker, you can take on
    the lead blocker and blow him out of the hole. Then the
    play reduces to the Pro T Dive and is far more easily
    - LE-LILB combo block: move the LE up at the snap and
    hover him on top of the RG, so that you are right on
    him when he and the LILB engage. If you hit A enough,
    you should be able to blow up the RG. Then, you want to
    go attack at the RB or lead blocker before the RT can
    recover. If this is legal, it can be very effective 
    against mid-speed RBs. There are variations of this move
    with strong REs, C, etc. 
    - LILB vs. RG engage: At the snap, take on the RG and
    throw him. Then move on to the RB - sometimes you can
    straight dive tackle him after the throw. Against relatively
    slow RBs and with a good LILB, this works decently as
    an option that preserves your ability to defend the pass.
    It's not that weak against the bounce outside as long as
    your LILB is really good. 
    - Hole lurk and dive tackle: with ROLB, RCB, or other fast
    players, you can wait at the hole and then dive tackle as
    the RB #1 comes out, but before RB #2 can block you. Works
    OK if the MAN reacts strongly to people at the hole, but
    doesn't work if they follow my advice to PRESS THE HOLE,
    and then they stall in the hole for a split second. The
    other problem you have to deal with is the blocker you left
    - Outside blocker throw: if you find yourself needing
    to use a safety or cornerback, you can try to work 
    against the WR blocking in the middle to free up
    additional defenders to engage the lead blocker. 
    - Safety engage: biggest issue here is you have to 
    distract the lead blocker. There isn't an algorithm for
    this, you just have to practice and watch his field of
    vision, making sure he doesn't get you.
    - Line engage: if you have a fast DL and can't NTD,
    then you can try taking on your opposite defender and
    then trying to make an adjustment. Does not work well
    when the opposing line is combo blocking effectively.
    - General harass: try to bait a tapper into pursuing
    you north and south (not getting forward yardage), or
    threatening the dive tackle, or threatening an engage.
    If you can get behind the lead blocker with a fast
    defender, sometimes you can make your opponent do
    something stupid. (This is why I always say to follow
    your lead blocker in on the offensive side of this
    play: if you ignore your lead blocker you open yourself
    up to all sorts of fakes.)
    Don't overpursue this play. Most players will try to
    bounce it outside if they see the hole is going to be
    attacked. Hang back and wait; the longer you can wait,
    the more that the lead blocker and WRs will be 
    Remember that this play has a race defect and pre-snap
    read accordingly. 
    Reverse Pitch R:
          --/----->RB#2 (blocks)
          ||   TE
    RB#1--||-  LT
          |||  LG
         /-||--O C (this group blocks)
        /  ||  RG
    O--/   ||  RT (blocks)(blocks)  
      /    \\     /        /
    QB      --RB#1---------/--->WR#1
    Offense: This is a nice surprise play, but not much 
    else, so go in whichever direction seems most useful 
    and free of defenders. 
    Defense: Simply find the runner and take him down. 
    This play can be detected by looking at WR #1 and 
    seeing whether he remains stationary, and, if so,
    this is the play in progress. 
    T Cross Run L:
          -------->RB#2  (blocks)
          |    TE
    O-----|--  LT
          | |  LG
         /--|--O C (this group blocks)
        /   |  RG
    O--/    |  RT         (blocks)  
      /     \              /
    QB       RB#1         /
    (see below for the guard pulls)
    Offense: This is a decent run play, but you don't have 
    too many blockers (and the slower fullbacks tend to run 
    this) so be careful about where you go if you want to 
    get more than a few yards. This is only a little 
    reversible. This play can be confused with Pro T
    Waggle R.
    Defense: Simply take a linebacker or secondary guy and 
    just move in after the running back. Paul gave a good
    tip which I had used before, but always had forgotten
    and likely would not have made it in here; take the
    RILB and simply move straight in. As long as you don't 
    contact any blockers, you have a straight shot at the 
    runner. You can either slide tackle or struggle him
    down from there. Plus, Paul also found out (and told 
    me) that if you pick a run, then only one guard will 
    pull and lead block for the running back, as opposed 
    to two. This provides an easy way for you to 
    distinguish between this play and Pro T Waggle R. 
    Thanks again Paul!
    T Fake Sweep R:
                TE         \
     O          LT         |
    /           LG       (blocks)
    |   QB------O-C--RB#2
    |      /    RG (blocks)
    |O-----     RT /            
     \            /   
    Offense: You can run this play and it works 
    somewhat, but it's kind of weak due to the paucity of 
    blockers. This play becomes useful with one other 
    run play through the middle like Pro T Dive 
    (especially Pro T Dive, because the motions of the
    players are all similar) if your
    opponent can't use the nose tackle dive. Simply run 
    straight ahead and don't think about reversing it.
    This play is call-safe if you have a really fast 
    running back.
    Defense: This play can be stopped with a nose tackle 
    dive or simply by moving your man to the bottom 
    and taking out the runner when he gets the ball (or
    before, if you want to get a fumble). If you want
    to ensure that you will recover the fumble, then
    call this play, and then your berserk players will
    swarm the ball and pick it up for you. Thanks Paul,
    for that tip.
    Onesetback Formation:
    RB#1        QB C
    or, for Pitch L Open:
    RB#2        QB C
    There are three groups for this formation:
    Set 1: Top Handoff Plays
    Set 2: Handoff After The Snap Plays
    Set 3: All Other Plays
    On all of these plays, the LOLB is a pretty safe bet. Pitch L Open will still
    give trouble, but the LOLB isn't worse off than any other player. You can also
    make it work with a fast LILB, especially if you like to rush QB, because on
    the HATS plays he can still get in. This can throw guys off that try to use
    these plays to target players like Wayne Haddix. 
    Set 1: Top Handoff Plays
    General Comments: For these plays, the essential
    thing to look out for is where the ball goes after the 
    handoff. You can kill the play before then as well by 
    attacking the two men involved in ball switching with 
    a linebacker slide tackle or struggle. Moreover, you
    can hit the quarterback as he pitches the ball and 
    cause an automatic fumble (a nose tackle dive is the
    best way to do this little trick). All of these 
    plays are inferior because they can be tracked down 
    and destroyed fairly easily. None of these are call-
    Reverse-Fake Z Post:
          /     RB#2
        WR#1     LT
        /        LG
    QB-O---------O C 
    Offense: This play requires that you know who you're 
    going to pass to before you get the ball, since there's 
    a lot of time between the snap and the QB getting the
    ball. Once you get the ball, pass quickly. If the long
    man isn't open, then you can wait a little bit for the
    short one to open up, but if there are blockers near
    him he probably won't, because one or more will 
    pursue him. In that case, simply QB sneak, or, more
    likely for a person in the position that you end up
    in, move as far back as you can get, and throw a
    cross-field bomb in an attempt to get rid of the ball
    without the risk of interception. 
    Passing Order:
    Defense: You can initially murder this play by 
    attacking the QB. If you can knock the QB down
    either by slide tackling him at the start of the play or 
    hitting him with a nose tackle or other defender in the 
    middle of the ballplay, you cause WR #1, who gets 
    the ball, to throw it wherever the QB is, even if he's 
    down, which yields you a automatic fumble. What's 
    more, you can hit either the running back who goes 
    up to handoff or WR #1 who takes the ball to 
    stop or fumble the play. And more - you can cover 
    the men who go out (since there are only two). You 
    have no excuse if your opponent gets yards on this 
    WR Reverse R:
          /     RB#2
         /       LT
        /        LG
    QB-O---------O C (all but QB & WR#1 block)
        \        RG
         \       RT
          \      TE
    Offense: As soon as you get the ball on this play, 
    move forward, because chances are that your
    opponent is watching you very closely and wants to 
    take you out at the first opportunity, unless more
    defenders are on the top, in which case going down
    might be more advisable. 
    Defense: This can be distinguished from Reverse 
    Fake Z Post because the runner usually hooks toward 
    the line instead of moving in a straight diagonal 
    towards the QB. Simply take this guy out by making 
    sure your man doesn't get caught up with the fake or 
    a blocker. There's nothing more to it than that. 
    Pitch L Fake:
          /     RB#2
         /       LT
        /        LG
    QB-O---------O C (all but QB & RB#1 block)
       /         RG
      WR#1       RT
    Offense: Move straight out as soon as you get control 
    of the runner. Watch the defense as the computer is
    moving the people around so that you know where to
    run later. 
    Defense: If the cursor on top of the man who runs up 
    reappears, take him out. 
    Set 2: Handoff After The Snap Plays
    General Comments: On all the HATS Plays, you
    can take the left end (hit A twice) and simply
    move up-left diagonally at the snap and then
    slide tackle to kill any one of these plays. The
    right end can also work in this way, but in the
    down-left direction, if he is fast enough, like
    Bruce Smith or Greg Townsend. Anyway, if
    this tactic is not allowed, you can take the RILB 
    and move diagonally down-left into the formation, 
    then slide tackle. With the passes, sometimes you can 
    catch the QB with a slide from the line (sometimes
    even the nose tackle can get in there), but most of 
    the time you have to pursue him and then take him down.
    You can also just work these with the LCB or SS, any
    defender away from the point of attack, and will often
    find success. 
    These are their fundamental weaknesses, but if you 
    alternate these with something devastating like Pitch 
    L Open or something tricky to recover from and defend 
    against with those players like X Out And Fly, you can 
    make this formation work somewhat. None of these are 
    call-safe. Here are some diagrams for these:
    Left End Dive (the best, but not always doable):
    RB#1        QB C
     (slide here)-\
                 RG LE
    Right End Dive (for good right ends):
                 LG RE
     (slide here)-/
    RB#1        QB C
    Linebacker Attack:
        (get him)LG     
    RB#1        QB C
    Power Fake Z Post:
                         |   ----RB#1
           /     LT      |
          /      LG      |
    O----QB------O C     |
                 RG      |
                 RT      |
                 TE     WR#1
    RB #2 is a roving blocker. 
    Offense: This is a good play to use when you want to 
    lead receivers instead of having straight out situations 
    where people get covered and blocked fairly easily. 
    You want to watch for RB #1 who comes out and is 
    often uncovered. There's a roving blocker on this play 
    as well - always a good thing on a pass.
    Passing Order:
    Defense: If you want to stop the pass and go out into
    coverage on this play, watch the shorter range 
    men because those are the least frequently covered. If 
    it's near the end of a half or fourth down, you may 
    want to help cover the long receiver, because 
    coverage for all people is usually single on this play.
    The NTD can work on this play but it's not reliable
    necessarily. Watch out for the blocker.
    Power Fake X Fly:
           /     LT       
          /      LG       
    O----QB------O C      
                 RG      TE 
                 RT     /   
    Offense: This is a good handoff play with four 
    receivers that go out. It has good medium and long 
    pass opportunities. Pass soon to avoid getting stuffed 
    by coverage that moves in front of your receiver. 
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: See General Comments. Also, coverage for 
    this play is longer, so take out a man and put him in 
    the middle of all the receivers to make it easier for 
    you to cover multiple men. You can try a nose tackle
    dive on this almost straight after the snap. 
    Onesetback L:
                O/ LT
           /     LG
    O----QB------O C (all block)
    FB Offtackle L:
                O/ LT
           /     LG
    O----QB------O C (all block)
    Offense: These two plays are nearly indistinguishable, 
    so I'll treat them as one. Don't do anything funny, 
    just go through the hole and start dodging people as 
    soon as you gain control. One thing to look out for 
    is the RCB. Sometimes he gets blocked and 
    sometimes he doesn't so take him into consideration 
    as you run. You get a good thrust that blocks
    multiple positions. If your opponent is blocking the
    hole, reverse the play. Note that in Onesetback L,
    the right guard comes back as if he were pass blocking,
    whereas in FB Offtackle L, everyone goes out. Props
    to Jason Tcheng for noticing this. He also noticed that
    when the right guard comes back, no one blocks the
    left end. If your opponent chooses the left end, he
    will be unblocked. One way to disable these is to take
    the LILB and run in through the left end and get inside.
    FB Offtackle L is tougher to nail because of the 
    right guard moving up. You may not be able to always
    handle this one with the left end dive.
    Defense: See General Comments. If those tactics are
    not allowed, just use a safety or a lower linebacker to 
    finish off the runner. The left end is also a good one
    to choose for Onesetback L, because he does not get 
    blocked by the right guard. Even in FB Offtackle L the
    left end can still work well. Just watch out for the
    MAN reversing the play.
    Set 3: All Other Plays
    General Comments: I just threw the rest in here.
    X Out And Fly:
                 O--------\       /-->WR#1
                     RB#2  -------
    O       QB---O C   RB#1
     \           RG     /      TE
      \          RT    /       /
       \         O----/--------
        --------------           --->WR#2
    Offense: This is a great five-receiver play. You have 
    to wait for a little while for a couple of the short-
    range opportunities to develop in the middle, but you
    have a nice spread over the field. Make sure you pass 
    quickly if you're going to the group of three in the 
    center of the field to avoid increased coverage in that 
    area as the play matures (I didn't want to use develop 
    again). Call-safe receivers are RB #2 (A 2x) and RB #1 
    (A 4x). This is one play that you can effectively QB 
    run with in this formation, so keep that in mind as well.
    Make sure that if you throw to WR #1 in particular,
    that you throw it to him outside of his breaks; otherwise
    you can easily lead him out of bounds. 
    Call-Safe Receivers:
    RB#2 (A 2x)
    RB#1 (A 4x)
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: You can nose tackle dive this play. Also, 
    the three-receiver nest is easily handled if you stand 
    in the middle of it, closer to the short men than the
    long, so you can come back and cover them. The key here 
    is not to miss an open man in the mess of people. 
    Early pressure works well with this play because it's
    slower to develop than most passing plays.
    Oneback Flare A:
                 LT    \
          -RB#1  LG     \
    O----/  QB---O C    RB#2
    Offense: This play is kind of weak. You should pass 
    as soon as you find a man, because with only three 
    receivers, coverage will come soon to all of them.
    Call-safe receiver is RB #2 (hit A twice). You can
    also run the QB with this one, but it's not so easy.
    One trick you can pull with WR #1 is to pass to
    him when he's 5-9 yards out, before he curls, and
    he will run straight for the pass, which often 
    makes him run straight out, or sometimes you can
    curl-pass with this play.
    Call-Safe Receiver:
    RB#2 (A 2x)
    Passing Order:
    Defense: Just go out into coverage, or nose tackle 
    dive the QB. You should watch the short range 
    receivers, because those are not often both covered. 
    Stick with the WR as he begins his curl then move
    back away towards the TE if you have to cover both.
    Pitch L Open:
       /        RB#1
      /          LT  (this whole side blocks up and out)
     /           LG
    O           QB C 
                 RG  (sits there)
                 RT  (sits there)
                 TE (moves out and blocks)
                WR#2 (moves out, up and blocks)
    Offense: This is one of the best run plays in the
    whole game. You often get three blockers who just roam 
    around (they even block safeties in the back) and you 
    gain control of your back quickly. Move as quickly 
    as you can out into the field, since the blockers often
    end up doing their own thing. This is a play to abuse.
    The only drawback to this play is a problem mentioned
    earlier, the bloody race problem (race defect).
    This is (if I did this part properly) the only
    onesetback formation play where the fullback (or RB#2)
    is in back, making it easy for a good human opponent to
    literally discriminate when you run this if you have
    backs of different color. Watch yourself.
    You can cut back inside the pulling blockers with a
    fast RB.
    Defense: There's a nice tactic you can use on this
    play that will take you straight to your opponent.
    You should first choose the left end.
    When the QB takes the snap, move straight up (you
    can hold the up button before the snap as well) and
    you will find yourself on a totally clear route to
    the runner, right behind him. The guard assigned to
    block your player will just sit there like a doofus,
    so you don't have to worry about getting blocked in
    the back. The LILB can do this pretty well too, and
    the LOLB is OK at it, but those guys, especially the
    LOLB, can get caught up in traffic.
    Another great tactic to use is with the ROLB. Directly
    after the snap, just move straight past the guy across
    for from you (don't hit him), moving to the outside, so
    you will be between the WR and the RB #1, on the side of
    the RB #1. If you do this the blockers will never even
    see you and you will end up right in the backfield all
    alone with the RB. This is what it looks like:
       O        RB#1  \ROLB
      /          LT
     /           LG
    O           QB C
    The SS can also move up at the snap and
    find himself with a pretty clean shot at the back,
    although if he is slow he will give up some yards thus.
    If even this tactic is not allowed, when this
    play starts, don't move in too quickly. Instead, wait
    until the blockers have dissipated and then move in to
    attack. The best people to control are the SS and the
    lower linebackers, if you want to be conservative then,
    but a lot of times with a great RCB you can destroy
    this play by moving inside the gut of the line and
    screwing up the RB's motion in the backfield.
    You can see if this play has been called if the backs
    have different colors from other plays in this
    formation, if your opponent's backs have different
    Run And Shoot Formation:
    RB#1          QB C
    Comments: Some of the best pass plays in the game
    are from this position. The runs are also very 
    balanced, though one of them is impotent (Run And 
    Shoot Draw). Don't force big plays with this, 
    because most of the best opportunities are short but 
    definite gains. Look for the nose tackle on this one. 
    He can get inside on all the pass plays and cause 
    havoc with some of the runs.
    LILB is best defender on average. "Reasons":
    RILB and LILB are useless in R&S Z Fly.
    RILB covers on R&S Flare C. (Note: also a good player to cover runs to top
    by passing off your blocker, you just give up that open man on R&S Flare C)
    LILB is best player to defend R&S Sweep L.
    Doesn't use any safeties or corners.
    However, you should use RILB if he's significantly better, or if the opponent
    is being disciplined and using a lot of R&S Sweep R. Even though RILB draws a
    blocker, you can shed him on the RCB. 
    Typical complements in R&S:
    - Run sellout with R&S Sweep L
    - Pass emphasis
    - Complements any playcall (but is typically weak for any playcall)
    - Run sellout with R&S Sweep R
    - Pass emphasis
    - Run sellout with R&S Sweep L
    - Pass emphasis 
    - Balanced defense, but weaker against pass
    - Against very good players, bait play
    - Balanced defense, but weaker against run
    - Run sellout with R&S Sweep R
    - Run sellout with R&S Sweep R
    - Pass emphasis
    - Can go any direction (particularly if the RCB is fast) but is often a run
    - Run sellout with R&S Sweep R
    - Run sellout with R&S Sweep R
    - Pass defense and allow R&S Sweep R (since is so strong against R&S Sweep L)
    - Run sellout with R&S Sweep R
    - Pass defense (FS is stronger for this so typically this is a choice to use a
    very good SS) and allow R&S Sweep R
    More explanation on R&S defensive complement tipping:
    FS: very strong R&S Sweep R tendency, probably selling out run
    - If you see this e.g. Erik McMillan, you have to pass your way out.
    SS, LCB, LOLB: very strong R&S Sweep R tendency, probably selling out run
    RCB: can be any tendency. Have to review opponent's calls to understand if
    trying to protect (R&S Sweep L) or selling out run (R&S Sweep R + grapple),
    or even trying to hard pass defense, but the lattermost shouldn't be an issue
    because all your pass plays should target him. Can also R&S QBSneak into him.
    LILB: shows slight R&S Sweep R tendency, but is really intended to target
    R&S Sweep L without playcalls, and therefore is really aimed at the passing 
    game. You have to pound this guy with R&S Sweep R and R&S QBSneak to get the 
    MAN off him. One option is to start R&S QBSneak to keep picking up yards and
    then get the MAN to start calling that play.
    RILB: shows slight R&S Sweep L tendency, but not really. Because he can shed his
    blocker in R&S Sweep L, he can be an all-purpose defender in addition to using
    him just because he's good e.g. Keith Millard. What you really want to do is
    pound R&S Flare C; you should be aware that a very good oppponent knows that
    RILB at the snap means R&S Flare C is a money play, and so you might see the
    MAN even more likely to sit on R&S Flare C to defend his guy (a situation where
    you call pass to cover up your run defense strategy). So the best strategy if
    you see this, particularly if you call R&S Sweep L and you see good run defense
    technique, is to use your Pass 2,3,4 plays more, particularly 3 and 4 since the
    MAN is likely to toggle between the two R&S passes. Also don't give up on the
    run, keep using it to get yards. 
    ROLB: This is a power play against R&S Sweep R without a run call, which means
    the MAN is probably going pass. However, ROLB is killed by R&S Sweep L, so the
    MAN is far more likely than usual to call R&S Sweep L. The best bet is to throw
    R&S Sweep Ls in enough that you put it in the MAN's rotation. If you never see
    him calling R&S Sweep R, just stick on that. The ideal situation for you is to
    get the MAN to sell out on run and then you can burn him cross-field over the
    top, e.g. on R&S Z Fly WR #2. The other thing you can do is to use R&S Flare C
    and make him cover RB #1 while you roll out opposite side or look for the TE,
    which is on the opposite side of the field. 
    LE: Very strong R&S Sweep R tendency. You can see this in passing downs as well,
    in which case you can kill him with a fast RB. This is very likely a sellout
    play,and probably won't be repeated, but again points to the need to keep
    passing even when you see this. Sometimes guys will use Reggie White or others
    and try to cover R&S Sweep R without a playcall against it, but if you see
    that, you just want to ram it down their throats. Also, if you see the MAN
    doing desperate things like that, you also want to use Pro T Flare C and Redgun
    Z Slant in order to see if you can make the MAN switch to the wrong personnel
    matchup. Typically if somebody is trying to sell out with the LE, that means
    that they don't believe in their other defenders vs. the pass, which, for most
    teams with the LE, is not a true statement. So punish them for their ignorance.
    NT: You can see a lot of different tendencies with this one. Any number of plays
    can work against this one (again assuming no NTD).
    RE: This is a similar concept to the ROLB, except that he won't get destroyed
    by the R&S Sweep L and can hand off his assigned blocker. In this case the
    R&S Sweep L tendency is not as strong, so you want to be much closer to
    balanced; he's probably going pass most of the time and so you want to make him
    show you he can stop your run.
    As the offense, your best runs are typically:
    NT: equal for those two
    R&S QBSneak: any LB but particularly LILB, DLs
    Run And Shoot Y Up 
        /         O--------
       /                   \
      /            LT       \
     /             LG      RB#2
    O       QB-----O C
    Offense: This is somewhat the Run And Shoot 
    analogue of Shotgun Z S-In. You have three men that 
    go long, one that curls into the middle (RB #2 from 
    the top) and one that stays by the side of the
    quarterback (RB #1). Simply use this one as you 
    would the shotgun, but pass a bit more quickly as the 
    defense can sack you more easily on this play, and you
    don't have many short options. Call-safe men are RB #1 
    (A 2x) and RB #2 (A 3x).
    Call-Safe Receivers:
    RB#1 (A 2x)
    RB#2 (A 3x)
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: Go after the QB or watch the long receivers, 
    especially the bottom ones. If they are taken care of,
    move in closer to stop a short pass. If there is just
    one man covering the WR #2 and the TE, then you should
    often gamble and just leave them alone out there, trying
    to stop the short pass. If the QB rolls up top, then
    definitely break away from that single coverage. That
    can't be a consistent throw from that position with most
    Run And Shoot Z Fly
    RB#1    QB-----O C
    RB #1 moves up and blocks after the snap. 
    Offense: This play is the best in the game for one 
    simple reason: one or more receivers will almost
    always be open.
    But that's not all: if this play is called, with some
    combinations of QB and WR #1, the QB can throw a 
    curl-pass to the WR, right before the WR breaks into
    the curl, and there will be no coverage
    anywhere close to the WR. Furthermore, if this play
    is called, the defense pulls back away from WR #1 and
    the TE, so you can throw to them short if you can
    stay upright long enough. Just don't abuse
    it, you can be picked off trying this, especially
    when you don't have a great QB.
    - LBs always stay tight on LOS so the coverage almost always winds up being on
      levels. That is, if you see corners move down or safeties move up after the
      snap, you know the receiver they are going to match up against. If a defender
      goes in, you know at least one player on that side of the LOS will be open.
      If it's a deep receiver, move to that side, and if it's a short receiver, move
      to the opposite side. 
    - If you don't see anyone open right away, the play will be to the TE, as his
      man will abandon him. You just have to stay alive for the 5 seconds required
    for him to get far enough away for you to complete that pass. 
    - You have to move through the C gap or outside the pocket to run, since LBs
      are close up.
    - Most reliable play for iffy QBs is the WR #1 and run down low if he's open.
      The TE also enables the reverse side, but CPU defenders will trail on him, so
      the play takes longer to develop and you need to watch out for the pass rush
      while you delay.
    - WR speed doesn't seem to actually matter for matchup selection. The speed
    differences are not good enough for you to get extra throws, more than you
    would for any other play. 
    QB Positioning:
    If they pick a DB you know that one receiver on that side is open. If you have a
    good QB, you want to roll opposite to maximize the number of QB rushing
    yards. If not, you want to roll same side.
    If they pick a LB or DL, you want to level read and react - typically that
    means finding the open man and running opposite side, or defaulting to the top
    (because the TE comes open late in plays)
    Call-Safe Receivers (later in the play):
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: Either pursue the QB or go out and cover 
    whichever man happens to be open. If you call this
    play, then WR #1 may be able to get a
    call-safe curl-pass. If the opposing QB is fast, 
    both the TE and WR #1 will be open later in the 
    play. Don't go cover long - here's what to do:
    Take your guy. Move him into the line between the
    QB, and the receiver's curl target. Then, when the
    pass comes, move yourself into position, close to
    the WR, so that you can go up for the jump ball.
    This way, you will not have to worry about the WR
    catching it too much, you can tip the ball, and if
    neither one catches it, your DBs can get a chance
    for an easy pick. The CPU may take control of you,
    be warned. Stay close to the WR but always on that
    After the WR curls, then cover short, closer to the
    target on the side of the QB. 
    This is not foolproof but it's pretty close, 
    especially compared to other tactics like throwing
    it into coverage or trying for a deep bomb jump ball.
    Any front seven is OK to cover.
    You should also be looking to bait more than usual
    with this play. As all of the receivers are at 10
    yards or more out, if the MAN is trying to play games
    and get you out deep so he can check down, you can 
    just wait on it if your pass rush is going to confine
    the MAN behind the line of scrimmage.
    Run And Shoot Flare C
                     /      \
                   LT       RB#2
    O-------- QB---O C
                  O--------   /-------->WR#2
                           \ /
    Offense: The nice thing about this play is the wide 
    variety of receiving options. You have the standard
    two long receivers and you have two short 
    opportunities that develop a couple seconds into the 
    play, plus an often-open longer shot to the bottom 
    that stops some yards out. As long as you vary your 
    receivers, you can make this play work for you. This 
    play has no consistently available call-safe receivers, 
    but RB #2 (A 2x) is usually still standing. Sometimes
    RB #1 (A 1x) is available. A lot of times, you can throw
    a pass to WR #2 on the called play and get the catch,
    but this is unreliable.
    However, there is a risk of getting picked off if you
    throw and RB #2 is knocked down near the line.
    - Read the RILB. If he stays put, he's going to cover RB #2, and it's
      almost certainly a pass defense. If not, it's a run defense and RB #2 will
      be open, leading to the two-man game of either WR #1->RB #2 or RB #2->WR #2.
      You can also jam it into RB #2 if you have a good QB and the MAN is not
      tight on that area.
    - If RILB stays put, read deep receivers quickly; if you don't see them open
      then shove it into RB #1 on goal line. Good QBs can use TE, bad ones can use
      him to throw away while TE is still moving towards his spot. You can use
      level read on this, but it's hard to do if you are keying on the RILB. Plus
      WR #1 can't get thrown to until relatively late in the play anyway. The
      WR #1 is not 100% reliable on level read, sometimes the RCB ignores him.
      Neither is WR #2, especially on called plays.
    - If you aren't right up on the goal line and aren't going against a safety
      defender (where you might want to use the RB #1 guaranteed with iffy QBs,
      decent RBs, and relatively short yardage), you are likely going to run bottom
      and target on RB #1, forcing the MAN to pick. Sometimes RB #1 will pick up RCB
      or even FS, which both you and the MAN can anticipate. In this case you want
      to go to the TE if he's open, probably still running on bottom as the TE is
      out about 12->15 yards. You can throw it to him cross-field with a good QB,
      but make sure to wait for him to stop in that case, as he will lead the QB to
      throw it deeper. Usually the SS picks up the TE and you can see that motion
      early in the play if you are doing a full-field read. If you see the two
      defenders on the WR #2, then you know the TE is going to be open. 
    - With a bad QB, usually it's better to throw from the bottom side towards the
      TE, the cross field throw is notoriously inaccurate and is easily tipped or
    - If you want to hit TE or any of the short receivers, make sure to be
      patient. Bad QBs love to overthrow the TE on this play and will throw the
      ball out of bounds or away from the RBs. 
    On Called Play:
    You want to hold the D-Pad diagonal down and then directly down. The reason
    is because the LOLB takes a roundabout to the pass rush, and you will have
    a window where you move to right before the LOLB upends you. Your second read
    after seeing the LBs collapse is to the SS. With a superior QB-WR combo, you
    would like to throw it to WR #2 no matter what, but with the iffier ones, if
    the SS pulls up, you know you are going to get single coverage on the WR #2,
    and if shifted to the top, he's probably wide open. At that point you are
    reading the offensive line and seeing how many CPU drones bust through. If
    you get major heat, you are going to throw it to RB #1 and hope. If you see
    the MAN is not over the middle, you can hit A again and throw it to RB #2
    for a possible gain or at least a safe throw-away most of the time. If you
    have the time and you like the matchup, you then proceed to WR #2. If you
    make a mistake, you can throw it to the TE and out of bounds. 
    QB Positioning:
    If they go RILB you know you have RB #2 open, rush to the top.
    If they go DB then you know you have an open receiver on that side. Roll to
    bottom no matter what b/c if the CB or FS follows on the deep receiver,
    you're trapped.
    If they go LB or DL, just play fundamental and find the open man. Run with
    QB if necessary.
    Call-Safe Receivers:
    RB#2 (A 2x)
    RB#1 (A 1x) - draw the defense at you if you can, the longer you wait the
    WR#2 (A 3x) - late in play
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: The deep routes are slow to develop, so just circle in the middle and
    make the MAN deal with the pass rush. He is going to wait a while to throw
    most of the time, so you can set up a bait or a marker timing (i.e. leave a
    man to jump the current receiver) play if you watch the backfield action. If
    the play is called, there are a lot of receivers who can get thrown to
    (including WR #2) so keep eyes open across the field.
    On the goal line you have to watch out for RB #1 and RB #2, but the other
    receivers you can probably just let go free. 
    Avoid using RILB on this play because he will cover short receivers. 
    If you have to leave someone open, leave the TE until 4 or 5 seconds into the
    Run And Shoot QB Sneak
    RB#1         --O C
    Offense: You can run this play two ways: you can 
    just run straight in and get a couple of yards, or you
    can move at a diagonal down-right and follow your 
    advancing line, which can sometimes yield you more 
    than five yards and allow you to break out (as much
    as a slow QB can do so). Follow your blockers and
    be creative with this play. If you see the CPU defender
    or even the MAN defender fly in at you, just diagonal
    cut; it's usually a dive tackle situation and the diagonal
    down cut is what you want. 
    Defense: Just get the quarterback down, either with a 
    defensive back or with a linebacker. One thing to
    take advantage of is the low Hitting Power of QBs. 
    If you have a strong defender, simply touching him
    will tackle him in many cases, and thus you can get 
    yourself in more risky situations than you could with 
    a decent running back. Do not underestimate, however,
    the power of this play. It can get short yardage
    consistently and there isn't a lot a DB can do about 
    it; by the time you get down there he's already taken
    off. It also has some of the most screwed up blocker
    dynamics of any play in this game. Sometimes your line
    will evaporate before this play with free blockers 
    running everywhere. Other times the NT or LE will slide
    tackle and take down the QB behind the LOS. Sometimes
    it's worth it to call this play, it's that ugly. The
    LILB often is unblocked on this play, but sometimes he
    is also annihilated. Sometimes people try to use this
    as an attack against the LILB; it's hit or miss.
    Often as the LILB, it's best to just fly in at the QB.
    One way to hedge on this is to call a pass against it;
    for some reason pass calls seem to get more effective
    penetration against the QB than run calls. 
    Run And Shoot QB Run
            |     RB#2
            \      LT
             \     LG
    RB#1      -----O C 
    All non-QB men block. RB #1 moves to the bottom and 
    comes back up to block.  
    Offense: Make sure you don't run this too often, 
    because a familiar opponent can cause problems with 
    it. However, it is a fairly strong run for this
    formation, especially against defenders who prefer nose 
    tackles. Simply run the play the way it goes, because 
    you're too far up by the time you gain control to 
    feasibly switch directions.
    Defense: Take a bottom defensive back or a bottom linebacker
    and smack the quarterback down. Hitting Power differences
    are useful here for you, so pick a strong one, if your FS
    is strong he can really blow this play up. You must
    be careful against the blockers if your opponent has a
    good A button. Again, you may have to call this play in
    some situations. The final blocker who comes out, you can
    usually keep yourself out of his "vision" so don't worry
    too much about him. If you have a decent LOLB, you can also
    come up in the backfield by going through the hole vacated
    by the RG, that will snuff this play out pretty easily.
    Run And Shoot Draw
    O----QB--------O C  (all other men block)
    Offense: This is the worst run play you could
    possibly have. Only use it for surprise attacks and 
    just get your yards before your opponent catches on 
    to what you're doing.
    Defense: You can discern this play from a normal 
    pass by looking at the pocket. If a man is sitting there 
    and doing nothing, it's the draw play. What you can 
    do is a nose tackle dive to kill the runner and even the
    quarterback before he hands off if you're fast enough, 
    or you can take a linebacker or a secondary guy and just
    struggle him down. All in all, you should have no 
    problems with this play. Just don't overpursue it and
    get stuck in the backfield.
    Run And Shoot Sweep Left
         ----------------->RB#1    (these guys sweep)               
        /         RB#2
      /            LT
     /             LG
    O             QB C  (all others move out and north and block)
    Offense: Sweep up top, get your yards quickly, try to
    cut back against your blockers (who stop and don't seem
    to engage anyone at that point!) in front of
    you for some guaranteed yards. Call-safe with a very
    fast runner, but you usually have to be shifted to the
    Your usual reads:
    ROLB/RILB: Run as designed
    Lower LBs or LE: press middle, press upper blockers, consider reverse.
    FS: Diagonal reverse or middle penetrate. If you think
    you can win solo grapple, then run diagonally to the sidelines
    and bait the dive tackle. If he engages you, then you have a
    chance to evade the drones. 
    SS: Read the motion, press if tentative, reverse if not
    - Follow-on: R&S Sweep R, possibly R&S QB Sneak
    LCB: probably just hard press it
    RCB: Difficult read. If you think you can win solo grapple
    you probably want to fight the guy. If you don't think you
    can win, but you think the MAN is going to avoid the blocker,
    then run to that side. Otherwise just hard diagonal cut
    to the bottom for 5 yards. 
    Defense: R&S Sweep L is a weak run. The RCB can
    stop it if he can blow up WR#1, the FS can easily
    take it away, etc. There are a lot of things you
    can do against it - just don't run into the blockers
    the RB will get. Sometimes you can get caught up and
    blocked by them if the RB moves their way. However
    they aren't known for pursuit (they usually stop) so
    don't worry much about that. Just don't use the ROLB,
    the RILB, or the RE and you will basically be fine.
    Note that if the two players "ghost" each other, you
    can run right through them to the MAN.
    If you get caught using the ROLB, move down and away to
    move the blockers out of the way, then combo tackle with
    one of the CPU drones.
    You can "pass off" the RILB or RE blocker to your RCB if
    you want to solo grapple the MAN. 
    One way you can do things is, move the LILB right into
    the C-RG gap, he will not get touched (thanks, Matt
    Knobbe). You can also smash through the LILB's struggle
    with the RG, using the LOLB, and you will come up thus
    in the backfield also.
    Offensive blocking assignments (pass call):
    LILB and LOLB are free, everyone else in front 7 has a blocker.
    ROLB draws a combo block.
    WR #1 takes on the RCB.
    WR #2 looks for a block in the deep middle, but no specific target.
    Run And Shoot Sweep Right
                   WR#1 (blocks out)
             RB#2  O--\
                |--O  LT (blocks)
    O           |  QB C (blocks)
     \          |--O  RT (blocks)
      \         \  O--/
       \         -----(LG & RG) (block)
        \         O-----TE (sweeps and blocks)
                   O-------WR#2 (sweeps and blocks)
    Offense: Simply move in the direction of the play.
    You can usually get two or three yards at least
    with this. Note that since the guards come
    out and block on R&S Sweep R, this play is more
    effective and powerful than R&S Sweep L. 
    If you see the MAN try to come through the blockers
    shallow, you typically just want to get close to your
    own guards, and then have them bump the defender off you.
    If you see the MAN set up past the LCB, he's trying to
    contain or even dive tackle, and in this case you should
    look to see if you have a running lane right up against
    your offensive line. If you have this, you should be able
    to gain several yards and maybe even break out. 
    Note that on this play, if you have a guy like Bo
    Jackson in EXCELLENT, the pitch will actually take him
    out of bounds! Beware of this if you are shifted to
    the bottom especially.
    Defense: Take someone and move through the
    blockers (or around if you have yards to spare) and
    slide tackle or struggle the runner down. The right end is
    free on R&S Sweep R, so you can use him pretty easily.
    However, he can get seen by the pulling linemen so
    keep a look out.
    The ROLB can run right next to the line, going down,
    possibly freeing up one of his boys along the way, then
    getting a clean shot at the RB. This is not guaranteed
    but it happens a decent amount of the time. You can do the
    same thing with the RCB or FS depending on the relative speed
    of the players. 
    If you go in too quickly, you can get manhandled by the
    pulling blockers if the opposing runner moves into
    them. A middle to slow speed RB will try to run with the
    guards as long as possible; this may be an opportunity
    for a slide tackle. 
    Sometimes you will only see one guard pull on this play,
    typically when you call a run against it. 
    WR #2 can start cut blocking, so try to obliterate
    him early in the play if you have a powerful run
    defender. Top defenders are much better than bottom
    You can use the LCB to "pass off" your assigned defender,
    e.g. if you are using the LILB and the C is assigned to block
    you. If you have a strong player, you can then re-free the LCB
    by bumping the blocker off him. 
    With a very fast LOLB (e.g. Kevin Greene) or LCB, you can go for
    a dive tackle against the RB while he is getting control of the
    ball. However, this is a sell-out and often fails. You can also
    try for a solo grapple if you have thumb advantage and the pulling
    guards have low HP. Your read in this case is the TE. If you see him pull
    diagonal up, you go towards the RB and mash B. If you see him go straight for
    you, pull up and away, it's not this play.   
    Defensive situation (vs. pass call):
    ROLB truly free
    RILB available
    RE available (he normally goes in and blocks)
    RCB available (WR #1 is looking for a block in deep middle)
    LILB pulls center
    LOLB pulls TE
    RE pulls a lineman
    NT pulls a lineman
    FS is free, so is SS, but WR #2 goes into their area with a cut block
    LCB is in the path of the two pulling guards
    Shifting Onesetback Formation:
            |     |
            |     O
    O       |     LT
    |       |     LG
    RB#1    |     QB C
            |     RG
    O-------      RT
    General Comments: All the plays in this formation 
    can be slightly altered in the positions and paths of 
    players, in either blockers for runs or receivers for
    passes, by taking the snap at different times during 
    the shift. 
    Playaction Z In:
            |     |
            |     O
    O       |     LT
    |       |     LG
            |     RG          WR#2
    O-------      RT          /
                  O          /
                  |         /
    Offense: This play is good, with two short men and 
    two long men. Note that the pass to the running back 
    in the middle (who goes out for a pass and acts as a 
    receiver) should probably be done as soon as possible 
    since defenders guarding the receiver on top can 
    move down more easily to prevent a pass. This play 
    is not call-safe; if your opponent picks this play, you
    eat it. 
    Passing Order:
    Defense: The man moving out in the middle can be 
    ignored once he's gotten out long enough in the field
    as long as you have enough people back there to 
    cover him should the pass move in his direction. 
    Following him for a little while is a good idea if no 
    one has the man who curls from the bottom. This 
    play can be stopped with a nose tackle dive and 
    responds only mildly to the usual pressure tactics. 
    Roll Out R:
         |        |        \
         |        |         \
         |  -----RB#2        \
         |  |     |           \
         |  |     O            \
    O   / \ |     LT            \
    |  /   \|     LG          WR#1
    ---     |----O C
      /     | RG--O
    O/------ RT---O
     |            O----\
     QB           O    TE
    Offense: Like its cousin, Roll Out L, this play has a 
    vulnerability in that the QB can be taken out fairly 
    easily. However, with more plays to choose from, it's
    not quite as predictable or risky. The receivers are 
    shorter range on this play, though two go out at 
    angles. This is an ok play, but don't expect to get a 
    pass off if it's called. RB #1 develops later, so if
    all your other receivers are covered, watch for him
    to come out. 
    Passing Order:
    Defense: The thing to watch is the hand off. If the 
    QB takes the ball, it's Roll Out R, and if not, it's FB 
    Open L. Calling FB Open L is a good way to insure 
    yourself against a big gain. Stop the play by just 
    moving a cornerback or linebacker behind the line 
    and taking down the QB while he's still a drone. You
    also have a slim chance of sacking the quarterback 
    when the handoff occurs if you take the nose tackle 
    and slide in. The best way to stop this, however,
    is to take the bottom two linebackers and then go
    through the gap between the guard and the center on
    the bottom. You can also do this with the left end,
    but you will also have to fight off a guard in this
    case. Then you can just drop the QB (or RB) from the
    Onesetback Dive:
                  |    (these two move down and block)
            |     |
            |     O
    O       |     LT
    |       |     LG
            |     RG
    O-------      RT
                  O     (these two block)
    Offense: This play is not as good as a power dive, 
    you get no one out in front of you. It's reversible 
    just as any other dive play. Go wherever you think 
    you'll get the most yards. 
    Defense: This one can be stopped with a nose tackle 
    dive. If you can't do that, take a safety or cornerback
    or even inside linebacker and tackle the runner. Watch 
    for the RB reversing the play as always. The ROLB is
    a good choice when multiple plays run out of this
    formation, but he will be pursued. The MAN will try to
    delay at the LOS. Pass your blocker to a drone. If
    you see this play without any other plays, take the
    SS instead.
    WR Reverse L:
           ||     |
           ||     O
    O      ||     LT
     \     ||     LG
      \QB--||-----O C (men on the sides go out and block)
       \   ||     RG
    O---\--||     RT
         \ |      TE
          \|      O
           |\     |
    Offense: Surprise your opponent with this. You can 
    get decent gains with this if your opponent isn't 
    looking for it. The handoff can be confused with 
    Oneback Sweep R. You can enter the fray at any 
    point you deem viable on this play, since most of the 
    blockers are usually disorganized. 
    Defense: Oftentimes you can catch the runner 
    moving up with the man you take in to catch 
    Oneback Sweep R. Otherwise, simply stay back from
    the line, until it is obvious what play is developing, 
    then move. You can disable this one using a lower 
    linebacker and hitting the decoy or the runner as well, 
    I believe. 
    Oneback Sweep R:
            |     |
            |     O
    O       |     LT
     \      |     LG
      \QB---|-----O C (men on the sides go out and block)
       \    |     RG
    O---\----     RT
         \        TE
          \       O
    Offense: This can be an effective run play if you can
    throw off the MAN without any blockers. 
    Not ultra-reversible. 
    Defense: Take a man in from the secondary or the
    linebackers and take down the runner. It's that simple.
    ROLB is good when you see this with other plays, but
    you have other options as well. Key thing to remember
    is the shove is straight in front. You can throw the
    blockers if the RB is slow, otherwise the safeties are
    a conservative option.
    FB Open L:
         |  -----RB#2
         |  |     |
         |  |     O
    O   / \ |     LT
    |  /   \|     LG
    ---     |-----O C (men on the sides go out and block)
      /     | RG--O
    O/------ RT---O
     |            TE
    QB            O
    Offense: Just as with Oneback Sweep R, note the 
    relative absence of blockers and the predisposition of 
    the play for being run the way it was designed. 
    Defense: If your opponent has Roll Out
    R in, you can take care of both by penetrating the
    backfield through the gap that opens between the
    guard and center, then smashing the person who ends
    up getting the ball. You can do this with either the
    left end (dangerous, because the guard will see you)
    or with the LILB or LOLB. You should be safe going
    through the line with the linebackers. If you wind
    up using ROLB, just pass off blockers.
    Shotgun Formation:
    Formation 1 - Shotgun X Curl and Shotgun Draw:
    RB#1            LT
    QB                C
    Formation 2 - Shotgun Z S-In and Shotgun X Drive:
    RB#1            LT
    QB                C
    Formation 3 - Shotgun XY Bomb and Shotgun C Draw:
    RB#2            LT
    QB                C
    General Comments: There are three distinct shotgun 
    formations. Two plays switch the running backs,
    and two plays switch the tight end and WR #2. This
    is a big problem for diverse teams. I have ordered
    this section to put the separate formations' plays
    next to each other. The runs in here are only good 
    as surprise plays. If your opponent is watching for 
    them, they are next to useless. The passes from here 
    are superb. Going for the QB on these plays is a bad
    idea since most of the time, an opposing player will 
    find an open man before you can stop him from passing.
    The best chance is to stay out in coverage using one 
    of the defensive linemen or linebackers, which also 
    insures you against the runs. I don't think as highly 
    of this formation as I used to, but it is still 
    decently useful, especially if you don't have to
    worry about the race defects. One other thing to
    note is that QB sneaking from this formation is not
    terribly useful because it takes a while for the
    QB to move up. If you're thinking about running,
    move toward the line as soon as you get the ball. 
    Formation 1
    Shotgun X Curl
         ------RB#1 O-------------------|
        /                              WR#1
       /           O---------|
      /                     RB#2
     RB#1           LT
    QB                C
    Offense: This is one of the best short range pass 
    plays. Five receivers give you good options. The 
    longer range men can be had, but usually the two 
    shorter range ones are open and good choices, with 
    the occasional fifth man pass to mix things up. This
    play really works well in the red zone when the 
    coverage begins to tighten. 
    The progression I use is as follows:
    If you watch the LCB, sometimes he will twitch his
    shoulders about a half second into the play. If he
    does this, he will certainly bail on his assignment,
    WR #2, who will be open about 3 seconds into the play.
    Basically any QB can hit him from the top of the screen
    in the flat area without getting the ball tipped. That
    should set up at least a QB run short-long. 
    You will often see a player on the top of the screen
    pull up to the flat. That gives you the option for
    another QB run on the bottom of the screen, and likely
    also gives you the option of staying in the pocket and
    rotating cursor to get the open man.
    You can flatten out either WR #1 or WR #2's curl route
    with an early throw. You can also jump ball them on the
    curl motion. 
    The way the defense reacts is that the secondary will
    "jump" on their receivers about 1 1/2 seconds into the
    play, so you can't do much anticipation past the above.
    This basically means you have to wait to be sure about
    where you're going with the ball. However, I still
    recommend moving to the top or bottom if the defense
    reacts with either key weakness.
    If you see the FS or SS turn off to cover WR #1 or
    WR #2, you can probably throw it in to them with a good
    QB, as long as you are roughly in the tackle box.  
    The other factor you should remember is that if RB #1
    is open, you can do an opposite field throw to him and
    open up the QB run. This gives you a short option if
    one of the WRs are open. 
    Reaction to the MAN:
    If the MAN uses a DB, you know you have an open receiver
    on that side; you just have to be patient. The MAN should
    use a DL or a LB to stop this - although if the man uses
    the RILB, he can wind up leaving RB #1 open. If he does
    use the front seven player, you want to look deep and try
    to get a throw off by flattening out the WR's route before
    he can recover to those players.
    On Called Play:
    Typically you would tend to pull to the bottom. This frames
    the two call-safe receivers, the TE and the RB #1, in a way
    that the MAN can't cover both of them. The MAN should want
    to sit on RB #2 and try to bait you into the TE. You mostly
    just want to default to RB #1 and play it safe. If you have
    a good secondary matchup, you can throw to either WR #1 or
    WR #2 on a gamble play. In 3rd or 4th down, you probably
    always want to throw to your best receiver going deep, unless
    the MAN just abandons the short ball. If you get one of those
    deep gamble plays to work, you can possibly pull the MAN off
    the short options and get some space for the check-down to RB #1.
    If you have a fast QB, WR #1 and WR #2 will be completely
    uncovered if you can stay alive long enough. With the MAN
    likely to use a DL or LB, you can probably force the ball in
    to your best receiver in that situation. 
    Call-Safe Receivers (may get knocked over):
    RB#2 (A 1x)
    TE (A 2x)
    RB#1 (A 4x) - you can throw him out of bounds with an
    early throw, or you can complete the ball if you hold
    it a bit longer. 
    Passing Order:
    Defensive Matchups:
    RILB: RB #1
    RCB and FS: WR #1, RB #2, even pull up to RB #1?
    LCB and SS: TE, WR #2, LCB sometimes goes deep
    Defense: This play, like Shotgun X Drive, has two 
    ranges of receivers. Make sure that each range is 
    covered and put yourself in the middle if one isn't. In 
    particular, use your best lineman to cover the two 
    short range opportunities, because coverage is almost 
    always lacking in that region and passes to those men 
    are short and effective. One thing that your opponent
    will try is to run his QB and then throw over your head
    to the short player farthest away from you. There isn't much
    you can do about that, just be decisive in whatever you
    try and remember that you can tip a pass if you are on
    the line of flight of the ball.
    If you see the LCB tip or the RCB/FS go to the flat, you
    know you have to cover deep. 
    Shotgun Draw
     RB#1           LT
    QB                C    
    All people go out to block except for the QB, the 
    center, and the guards. The three offensive linemen
    in the middle (C, RG, LG) fan slightly to give the
    running back more room. 
    Offense: This is better than Shotgun C Draw and you 
    can usually get a few yards using it if your opponent
    isn't expecting it. Just be careful about moving every 
    which way once you get the ball. Get your yards and 
    then finish things. Dawdling behind the line gets you 
    Defense: If you think your opponent will call this 
    play, simply take the LOLB, swing around into the middle,
    and wait for him. You can even go inside, but that 
    gets risky because he can simply run out around you 
    and you can get engaged or knocked over by a blocker.
    However, with the LOLB move, you shouldn't have too
    many worries about rogue blockers getting to you. Just
    make sure you don't overpursue and get yourself 
    stranded, because the other players on your team will
    probably be blocked. If you have to stand your ground,
    you can gamble by taking (in order of preference) the
    LILB, the NT, the RILB, the ROLB, and some other people
    if you can manage to squeeze them in there.  
    Formation 2
    Shotgun Z S-In
     RB#1           O---------------->WR#1
     |             O---------------\
     |                            RB#2
     O              LT
    QB                C
                    RG     WR#2
                    RT     /
    Offense: This play has some interesting properties. 
    One of them is the running back on the side of the 
    quarterback who is generally insulated from 
    immediate coverage. The second is the short WR #2 
    about five or so yards out. These two give you nice 
    alternatives to the two men who go long, and the 
    intermediate running back. If every man is covered, 
    you might want to throw to the TE on the bottom 
    because he usually only has one defender in his 
    vicinity. Call-safe receiver is RB #1 (A 4x).
    Call-Safe Receiver:
    RB#1 (A 4x)
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: Watch the short range pass by staying in the 
    middle and covering the man there, or by moving 
    behind the line to cover there. Like all shotguns, just 
    cover everyone and you'll be fine. Don't lose track
    however of the RB out past 10 yards.
    Shotgun X Drive
       /           O---------
     RB#1           LT
    QB                C
                    RG         WR#2
                    RT        /
    Offense: The benefit of this play is that WR #1 sometimes goes wide open with
    no warning. The disadvantage is that it's easy to get trapped behind the line
    of scrimmage with no options, and you have to make sure to keep your QB's feet
    Call-safe receiver is RB #2 (A 3x), but the better play against a
    MAN is RB #1 out of bounds or on a delay. There's also a game you can play
    with good receivers and QB.
    - Read ROLB. If he stays in position maybe RB #1 will get open, but likely you
      will have to run the football.
    - Otherwise do level read, and know that WR #1 sometimes gets left wide open.
    - With a high PC or PS QB, you can throw a number of off-angle passes to the
      RB #1.
    - In theory you can throw WR #2, but a lot of times that's just an
      incompletion. The best way to handle this one is if you see the MAN is
      playing off him and you know the WR #2 will clearly outrun the defender,
      wait until the WR #2 starts his turn inside and then throw the ball while
      the defender is not following it.
    - Don't be afraid to just throw a bomb on this play, especially if you have a
    good WR #1.
    The ILBs will hang out in the A gaps; you can exit the pocket from the B
    gaps and induce some really poor CPU dives to open up your longer-distance QB
    Call-Safe Receiver:
    RB#2 (A 3x) - you can throw him out of bounds with timing as well
    RB#1 (A 4x) - pull towards him and give time for the pass to be completed. You
    can also throw it out of bounds if you throw it quickly. 
    TE (A 1x) - the technique you use here is:
    - Put a good WR #2 and fast TE in the lineup
    - If you see the bottom defenders playing soft, throw to WR #2 right before he
    enters his break. This will set up a bail-out jump ball opportunity.
    - If you see the SS hold, wait until he enters curl of death. Once he starts it,
    switch-pass to the TE. The LCB will stop on the play and the TE will run past
    both defenders. It's tough for the QB to consistently complete, but if he does,
    it will be for 20+ yards.
    - Throw this route combination from the top hash.
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: Don't cover with the ROLB, he plays a key role in this coverage.
    Watch for RB #1 who comes out, because as soon as he passes RB #2 he becomes a
    good target for a first down pass.
    Formation 3
    Shotgun XY Bomb
    RB#2          LT            \
                  LG             \
    QB              C            RB#2
                O----               ->TE
    Offense: This play is, as you might expect, a bomb.
    Everyone goes long and the best chance you have of
    making it is if one person is uncovered. You should
    toss to them promptly after you have identified them,
    because the longer you wait, the easier it will be for
    more defenders to obstruct the pass. The only real
    diversity in the play is the shortest pass to RB #2.
    Your opponent may try to lure you to pass to him
    since you can't see where the defender or the receiver
    is on this play until you pass, and then move in for an
    interception or whatever. I don't like this play
    because it just doesn't have a whole lot of options or
    complications. You either make it or you don't. The
    closest thing to a call-safe receiver is RB #2 (A 3x).
    Passing Order:
    Defense: Note the trap with RB #2 above. The only 
    thing to watch for is a QB sneak that might come 
    when you move away to cover a slightly open man.
    Shotgun C Draw:
                          (these two go out and block)
     RB#2           LT
    QB                C    
                          (these two go out and block)
    Offense: The main difference between this play and 
    Shotgun Draw is that this play keeps the ball out of 
    the running back's hands for two seconds after the 
    snap, when the QB tosses it to the running back. 
    Thus, this can only be used as a surprise play since an 
    opponent can cause severe problems with this.
    Defense: If you want to watch for this play, simply
    look at the running back. If he stays put for more than 
    a second, then this is it. To prevent it from 
    developing, either wait as before or simply move in. 
    You can even go in right after the snap and engage 
    the running back in a struggle, causing a minor 
    fumble, but that usually doesn't pan out for you. It's 
    better just to tackle the runner for a loss. 
    Strong-I Formation
    RB#2       QB C
         RB#1   RT
    General Comments: The plays from here are decent, 
    with Toss Sweep Right and Offset Flare E being the
    better plays. It has good runs and good passes which 
    complement each other.
    Offset Flare E:
     O         QB C      RB#1
      \          RG       /
       \  O---/--O--------
        \    RE/---O
         \  TE-
    General Comments: Good play, concentration to the
    bottom and a short range bias, but plays well into a
    mixed pass-run strategy. RB #2 is the call-safe
    receiver (A 3x). You can throw a curl-pass to WR #1
    move straight out if you pass 50%-80% of the way
    through his motion, when he gets about 6-8 yards
    out. Know that RB #2 is going to be thrown to a lot
    because the MAN can often use the Circle of Death
    technique to cover both the RB #1 and the WR #1 and
    go for the INT on both. You can often get the auto-dive
    if you go to RB #2 whilst the MAN is circling.
    Call-Safe Receiver:
    RB#2 (A 3x)
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: The long receiver is usually covered, so just
    stay in the middle of the field about five yards from
    the center for best results. Nose tackle dives and
    other sacking techniques work here. You would rather
    get all three short receivers covered than just the
    RB #1 and the WR #1, but if you have a good coverage
    or a good pass rush, you definitely want to blanket
    those two receivers and try for the INT or sack.
    Play Action:
                LG (slight shift up of these)     
            /   RG       \-RB#1 (blocks)   
         O--    RT       
                TE            WR#2  
    RB #1 is a roving blocker.
    Offense: This play only has three receivers, and two 
    are short. Make sure your opponent is probably not 
    going to call a pass play before you use it, because 
    three receivers can be easily covered. One redeeming 
    feature of this play, though, is that it has a free 
    blocker who goes out and takes on defenders, which 
    often opens up the shortest man for a pass. You will
    get sacked if this is called. One way that you can
    defeat an ROLB moving in on you is to alternate this 
    with FB Power Dive to confuse your opponent. Running
    your QB is surprisingly effective (though not very
    effective compared to other plays).
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: Watch the blocker, because he will cause 
    you grief if you don't. A nose tackle dive will finish 
    this play off without a hassle. Unless you feel your
    opponent is going to heave the ball instead of running
    it with the QB, I wouldn't pass rush because of the
    complicating blocker and also because only three 
    receivers exist, with only one long. If you want to 
    go after the QB, the ROLB will be able to get in, 
    but your opponent may still be able to get a pass off. The diagonal rush is
    the best in the case - you just have to recover if they wind up running FB
    Power Dive.  
    Toss Sweep R:
                LT    WR#1 (blocks)
     O         QB C
      \         RG
       \  RB#1  RT
        \       TE  (all these but RB#2 block)
    Offense: This is a great play, with lots of low 
    blockers. It can be close to invincible in certain
    situations, such as when you are shifted toward the 
    bottom. Staying behind the blockers is a good idea on 
    this one. It can be reversed to some extent as well. 
    Defense: If you take a hard inside cut against the
    grain of the play, you may be able to get around the
    edge with an ROLB or RILB without the blockers
    seeing you, but this can be risky, especially if the
    play is reversed. The key is to watch the pulling
    guard motion - he has to get about 3 yards up before
    he won't target you. There are a few holes in the line;
    if you can avoid the C coming down, you can get inside
    the play with the ROLB or RILB if you can catch the back.
    If you use the RILB for this, you must circle away from
    the C so that he does not see you.
    You can take the nose tackle inside, moving at a
    diagonal, and follow the runner, but you have to slide
    tackle and this method is not consistent even with a
    good nose tackle. Otherwise, take a higher
    defensive back or a higher linebacker and move
    through or around the blockers at the first
    opportunity. Moving around the whole line is also
    possible with a good linebacker, but not recommended
    otherwise. You can try and free up your LOLB with the
    left end right after he gets blocked and then he will
    come free to rush the RB, but it won't work every time;
    however, it can be good if you can dominate down low
    with the LE. You can also engage with the LOLB and then
    come free after the blockers pass; this is worth trying
    if the RB is not that fast and your opponent also has
    FB Power Dive in. 
    FB Power Dive
                LT  WR#1 (blocks)
                LG  (all the top offensive linemen shift up)
    O--QB-------O-C----->RB#2-->RB#1 (blocks)
             /  RG
         RB#1   RT
            O----------WR#2 (blocks)
    Offense: This is a dive play which means that you
    can either take it through the middle for almost
    guaranteed yards, or, move to the top or bottom
    around the blockers (usually the top for this one) and
    move out from there. This play has a great
    reversibility, like almost all runs through the middle,
    and has a blocker through the middle as well. Couple
    this with Play Action if you can. If your opponent
    tries to use the ROLB, just move straight through the
    line and don't look back behind you at the ROLB chasing.
    Defense: Nose tackle dives kill this play instantly. If
    this is not allowed, take one of the defensive backs
    (because the linebackers have to take care of the
    blocker) and tackle the runner. However, this will only
    work if you can get the linebackers to take on the blocker
    that comes through the middle. If you have a fast
    and powerful ROLB, you can run around the line and catch
    the runner from behind. Another way to stop this play is
    to free up your boys from the top of the line with the ROLB,
    and those boys you free up will go tackle the ballcarrier.
    When the ball is snapped, free up the two boys struggling
    right next to the hole, first the top one, then the one
    next to the hole. At the snap, the RILB engages the LT and
    the RE engages the LG, and the NT engages the C. You are
    going to free up the RE and NT. Then they will maul the
    ballcarrier. This is how it looks:
             /  RG
         RB#1   RT
    Still another way to stop this play is to use the left end.
    It turns out that the guy right next to where the hole
    opens up (the RG) is invisible at the snap, so you can go
    right through him with the left end, and, if he does end up
    hitting you, you are on his backside, so A button smashing
    will get rid of him easily. Then you can take on either
    the FB or the RB. Here's how it looks:
                RT \--LE
    You can also use the LOLB dive against this play, provided
    that the RB isn't too fast. Likewise, taking on the RG with
    the LILB can also work. The main difference between 
    FB Power Dive and T Power Dive is that in the FB Power Dive,
    the ROLB is truly free. 
    One Man Shift Formation
             | RB#2
             |   LT
             |   LG
    RB#1     |  QB C
             |   RG
             |   RT
             |   TE
    General Comments: These plays, for the most part,
    can be taken out easily if your opponent knows what
    you called or has called a play that defends against an
    unexpected play (for instance, if he thinks you'll call
    Roll Out L, he'll call Weakside Open so that when he
    runs in to take out your quarterback, he doesn't have
    to worry about a run to the bottom). So, mix up the
    plays and don't have any pattern about them at all.
    Roll Out L, in particular, is a good play, but it can be
    taken out like all the rest, in fact, more easily, if your
    opponent is watching for it. Watch the tight end: if he
    goes forward, the play is Roll Out L. Watch the right
    tackle; if he goes down, the play is FB Offtackle R.
    Otherwise, the play is either Flea Flicker if the QB
    goes straight back and otherwise it is Weakside Open.
    A good trick here is to set up Roll Out L with the running
    plays, provided the opponent doesn't use a top-side defender
    to stop them.
    One great thing to do with the running plays is to "send"
    WR #2 into the RG/RT/TE area, this way you can get an
    extra blocker to help you out at the point of attack,
    should the MAN try and beat it down by freeing up some
    FB Offtackle R:
                 WR#1 (blocks)
     QB      | RB#2  (blocks straight out)
     |       |   LT
     |       |   LG
     O   ----|---O C
      \ /    |   RG
       \     |   O
    The tight end first takes some steps back, and then
    moves forward again to block, coming all the way
    around the right tackle, not through the gap. The
    right tackle moves diagonal downward to make the hole.
    Offense: There are two main routes you can take on
    this play: one through the gap in the line, and the
    other moving around the whole line altogether.
    Usually, you want to move through the line if that
    will put you closer to a decent opening, or all
    the way around if that will. If you move through the
    line, watch out for a slide tackle, and don't go all the
    way around if you don't have a fast enough back to
    make it before the secondary or your opponent can
    stop you. You can reverse the play, but I don't
    recommend it in most situations.
    Defense: If you think this one is coming, take the FS
    or RCB or ROLB and just move in to tackle the runner.
    Watch out for any unexpected blockers that may
    break out. The ROLB is guaranteed in many cases but no
    other LB necessarily.
    Also, you can use the RILB to free up your boys, then
    tackle the ballcarrier with your horde. The LILB can
    do this as well, hitting the LOLB's man, but it's much
    In addition, you can take the LOLB, engage his
    man (the RT), then after you throw him, the RB will be
    in your lap.
    Weakside Open:
                 WR#1 (blocks)
     QB      | RB#2  (blocks straight out)
     |       |   LT
     |       |   LG
     O   ----|---O C <- variable motion
      \ /    |   RG
       \     |   RT (blocks)
        \    |TE-O (the tight end moves like FB Offtackle R)
         ----|-->RB#1  (blocks)
    The tight end first takes some steps back, and then
    moves forward again to block, coming all the way
    around the right tackle, not through the gap. The
    right tackle moves diagonal downward to make the hole.
    Offense: This is a play which you need to use with
    discretion. Make sure you stay behind the blockers
    and don't move around too much. It is more
    reversible than FB Offtackle R, but it's not that good
    of an idea unless your opponent is hurtling straight
    for the spot where you will end up if you use the play
    Sometimes you will see a hole open up in the middle,
    which is an option depending on how the defense is set
    up. I tend to use the middle hole more frequently in
    goal line and short yardage, as the press up to the line
    will either confuse someone coming from down low, or
    can bait a top side defender into trying and pursuing 
    you through that hole, and then you can bounce back
    You can use the WR #2 to cut block the defenders 
    by running him through the RG. 
    If you have a pesky SS or LCB you are worried about,
    this play can really cut through those positions,
    provided you can hold out with your A button; the SS is
    particularly vulnerable if you let your WR #2 go down
    to the bottom of the formation, as he will then become
    a cut blocker in various situations as far as the SS
    is concerned. If you can then hold out against the SS,
    (and the SS doesn't just blow up your guy), then this
    play can really work for you, because the cut blocker
    will throw off the SS on you, and, since it is a MAN,
    you can spring a big play off this if the cut blocker
    stays with the SS.
    Defense: The key with this play, as it is with several
    sweep plays that go to the bottom, is to get out of the
    way of the blockers. You can either move through the
    blockers, if you have a strong player who can end
    things quickly, or you can bide your time and move
    around the whole group and tackle the ball carrier
    from behind.
    As far as tactics are concerned, if you use any DB
    but the LCB, or the ROLB, you can cut in close to the
    line blocking and out of the "vision" of the CPU
    blockers. Then you will have a clean shot at the
    ballcarrier. If you use the SS for this, you have to
    move up into the middle of the field, then move back
    down to make this play. Also, you can use the RILB
    or the LILB to free up your RE and LOLB on the bottom
    of the blocking, this works pretty well as well.
    You can also engage the RT (NOT the TE, who is on the
    bottom, he pulls back) with the LOLB, throw him, then
    the blockers will have passed you and, provided you
    did that quickly enough and you have a fast enough
    LB, you can liquidate the RB right there.
    Also, you can use a shortcut that uses the LOLB (and
    also the left end or the LILB, depending on how
    good they are) to move in between the line and the
    blockers when they first materialize and throw down
    the back before the play gets going. That, however, is
    more than a tad risky; the key to tell if you can't
    do this on that play is to watch the center; if he moves,
    then you can't perform this trick successfully, at least
    with the LILB, whereas if he stays in, you have a clean
    lane to the RB. If this play is shifted to the bottom
    though, you cannot perform this trick consistently with
    the LILB. However, the LILB (maybe others) can go around
    the initial wave of blockers and never be "seen" if the
    center stays in, even if the play is shifted to the
    bottom. The center stays in during run calls, often
    those out of Run 1 and Run 4 (I think); however, he will
    stay in during Run 3 as well sometimes. However, with
    pass play calls, he usually jumps out at you.
    If you have a fast ROLB compared to the RB, you can just
    go straight around the line and bring him down from
    behind. I personally like to use the RCB to defend this
    play. This play can be confused with Flea Flicker.
    Roll Out L:
            ---O     /
    QB      | RB#2---
    |       |   LT
    |       |   LG       TE
    O   --------O C     /
     \ /    |   RG     /    --------WR#2
      \     |   RT    /    /
      RB#1  |   O-----    /
            |            / 
    Offense: You need to make sure your opponent does 
    not know you're going to call this play. Predictability 
    is disaster, because if your opponent knows what's 
    going on, he can make you lose nine or ten yards no 
    problem. This is the weakest one-man-shift play
    against a good defense. Look for both short and long 
    receivers developing as your quarterback moves up and 
    throw right after you gain control of your 
    quarterback. This play is not call-safe at all (except 
    for one or two notable instances in which the
    quarterback gained control of the pass before the 
    defenders caught up with him, then threw it to RB #2
    right away). You won't have much time with
    this, so think about to whom you're going to pass as
    the your QB moves into position.
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: This play has a simple and deadly defense. 
    Take a free safety, the RCB, the ROLB, or the RILB
    and move around the offensive line, moving straight
    for the quarterback, like this:
          ------O--------X (Die, QB, die!!!)
         /   | RB#2
        /    |   LT
    (get him)|   LG
    RB#1-----|--QB C
             |   RG
             |   RT
             |   TE
    Since the quarterback cannot pass or move outside of 
    the track until disturbed or until he finishes his 
    movement, simply slide tackle him or struggle him 
    down when he looks to have moved back around ten 
    yards. Voila. Free loss. You can tell if this is a
    Roll Out L because the tight end will come forward,
    leaving you plenty of time to kill the QB.
    Flea Flicker: 
             ---O   /          |
             | O----          WR#1
             |   LT
             |   LG
     QB  ----|---O C
      \ /    |   RG
       \     |   RT 
        \    |--O (moves out and blocks)
         RB#1|\------TE        ->WR#2
    The tight end first takes some steps back, and then
    moves forward again to block, coming all the way
    around the right tackle, not through the gap. The
    right tackle moves diagonal downward to make the hole.
    This motion is similar to that of FB Offtackle R and
    Weakside Open.
    Defensive Shifts:
    Flea Flicker - Any Play in Slots 1, 4, 5, 6, and 8
    Offense: Pass quickly when you gain possession of the 
    ball. This play is not call-safe (unless you get very 
    lucky, and it does happen, in which case you pass to 
    whomever, who usually ends up being WR #2, who is 
    uncovered). If your opponent has a defensive shift, just 
    pass as soon as you can, if possible, and hit A otherwise 
    if you manage to get the ball. Make sure to be ready to 
    cover a fumble if there's a defensive shift.
    Passing Order:
    Defense: This play can easily be defended by simply 
    covering the three receivers. Also, you can take a 
    defender inside and tackle the man tossing the ball
    back or take out the QB and cause a fumble. You can 
    tell that this is a Flea Flicker because the quarterback 
    moves straight back into a passing position whereas 
    the run plays don't have this feature. If you see 
    a defensive shift, then this is the play, and you
    can just take someone inside for a fumble. Consider
    calling defenses that will reveal this play. This is a
    twin of Weakside Open.
    Shotgun 3-Wing Formation:
    QB           C    
    RB#1       RT   
    General Comments: This formation is handy if you have
    a fast quarterback, but a little predictable. You can
    usually get at least a few yards using its two plays. 
    Shotgun 3-Wing (Pass):
    QB           C    TE
               RG    /
     O         RT   /
      \      O------
       \     O-----------RB#2     WR#2
        \----------RB#1          /
    Offense: This play is good, with five receivers. The 
    concentration short-range could be better, but this is 
    pretty nice. Move your quarterback down to stifle 
    defenders on one man from moving to the one you 
    pass to before the ball gets there. You have a 
    possibility of a RB #1 catch if this play is called
    (A 4x).
    Call-Safe Receiver:
    RB#1 (A 4x)
    Passing Order:
    Defense: Make sure that the two longer receivers are 
    covered, and then put yourself in a position where 
    you can move to any of the uncovered short-range 
    receivers when the pass comes off. 
    Shotgun Sweep L:
        -------(LG & RG & TE block)----->QB
       /     / WR#1 (blocks straight out)
      /      | LT
     |       |-O
     O       |   C  (block straight out)  
    RB#1   |   RT   
             RB#2   (these three block)
    RB#1 stays put. The guards and the tight end
    make a column that moves up the line behind the
    blocking tackles and the center and WR #1 following
    the path of the QB and blocking him thereby. 
    Offense: Simply run it the way it looks. You have a 
    good number of blockers on the play and people get
    caught if they move into your line. Just run as usual 
    and you'll come out well. This play can't easily be 
    reversed, but you can move the other way if you are
    really in danger. 
    Defense: If you see this shotgun formation, and you
    must stand your ground, don't think about taking 
    the nose tackle. Take the ROLB, the RILB, or even 
    a fast free safety, so that you can run around the 
    sweep and slide tackle the QB as he runs. If you 
    try to struggle with him, you probably won't succeed 
    because blockers will knock you off him. You may have 
    to mash the B button if you use the linebacker, because 
    Tecmo does not respond well to that move. Alternatively, 
    you can take the strong safety or lower linebackers and 
    move through the sweep, then struggle the man down. If
    you have strong people, then often the slide tackle
    isn't necessary. Using the top guys ends up being
    a gamble. If you want more of a contain,
    particularly when you call a passing play, use the
    LCB and move up around the sweep. You should be
    able to keep the QB to five yards or less if he's
    not a rushing quarterback. Calling a running play
    against this often seals up the hole, but it gets
    the QB more guaranteed yards.
    Slot Formation:
    O-------    LT
            \   LG
            |  QB C
            |   RG
            |   RT
    RB#2    |   TE
    General Comments: This is not the best formation, 
    since the run play is not terribly good, but the pass is 
    a pretty decent move. Only use the run if you want to 
    surprise your opponent, because the run can be killed 
    quite easily if you do it regularly. The pass, however, 
    can be abused. 
    Slot L Z Drive:
    O-------    LT      \
            \   LG       \
          QB|---O C      WR#2
            |   RG
            |   RT
     O      |   O----|          ->RB#1
      \     |        TE        /
    Offense: This is a pretty good play, with five 
    decently and non-regularly spaced receivers. If it did 
    not have this irregular formation, it would be great. 
    Still, you can tag good receivers at any length. You
    should run to the top in order to make your opponent 
    come up to you if he wants to stop your run.
    Call-safe receiver is RB #2 (A 3x). 
    Call-Safe Receiver:
    RB#2 (A 3x)
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: This play is a tough sucker, largely because 
    it has a good mix of ranges. Just cover whoever 
    would cause the most damage if two or more men are 
    uncovered. If you are trying to stop a short-range 
    pass, move into the bottom. You can use the nose 
    tackle dives and other usual tactics here as well. 
    Slot Offtackle:
                WR#1 (blocks straight)
              WR#2 (blocks straight)
    O-----/-    LT
         /  \   LG
        /<-----QB C
       /    |   RG
      |     |   RT
      O     |   TE  (blocks straight)
            O ----RB#1  (blocks straight)
    Offense: You don't really have a lot of blockers on 
    this play. The only thing it really does is disable most 
    of the defensive line. You should choose whatever 
    path you think will get the most yards and incur the 
    least defenders, which depends on what player your 
    opponent is controlling (in the case of a man vs. man
    game). This play is somewhat reversible.
    Defense: Simply take the ROLB or RILB and pursue the 
    running back by attacking from a diagonal position 
    into the path of his run. You can also use the RCB to 
    decent effect.
          (attack)<------X (Eat turf, sucker!)
    O-------    LT
            \   LG
            |  QB C
            |   RG
            |   RT
    RB#2    |   TE
    You can struggle if you're fast enough at bringing 
    him down, or just slide tackle and that will finish
    it quite nicely.
    WTE Formation:
    RB#1     QB C
    General Comments: This is the worst possible 
    formation to have in your playbook because whether 
    you choose the passing WTE Flea Flicker or the 
    running WTE Offtackle R, both plays can be almost 
    instantly stopped with a slide by a lower linebacker 
    or the left end. Not only that, but both these plays 
    aren't very good in their own right.
    WTE Offtackle R:
              RB#2    (blocks)
    O--QB---O  C
       \      RG
           RT/O       (blocks)
          TE-/         /
    Offense: This play should be used with discretion and 
    only if the defense slide is disallowed. You can 
    usually get a few yards on it with a decent running 
    back, but there's only two blockers that come out to 
    help you, leaving you at the mercy of the secondary, 
    and a human player will catch up with you. This play 
    is mildly reversible, but is not call-safe at all. 
    Defense: This play has an incredibly easy 
    defense. Simply pick the left end or a lower 
    linebacker and move into the running back, then 
    struggle or slide tackle, like this:
    RB#1  QB    C
          <--------X (Getting a free five yard loss!)
    If this is forbidden, take one of the safeties or 
    cornerbacks and move into the fray. 
    WTE Flea Flicker:
      O<-----QB C
       \ \    RG
        \RB#1 O
    Offense: Only if you can find an open man out of 
    only two receivers, both of whom go long, do you
    stand much of a chance. This is a surprise play and
    little else. Run early and run often.
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: You can use the same tactics as for the run 
    and slide in or you can simply take a linebacker or 
    lineman and cover the two men who go long. Not 
    much else about it, or to it. One odd thing that you
    can try if you're really bored is to see if you can
    disturb the QB during the flick to cause a fumble
    by using a linebacker or cornerback. That tactic
    isn't terribly useful, however. 
    Formation/Play Oneback Z Cross
              O          -->WR#1
              |         /
    RB#1  QB---O C    --WR#2
    |          RG    /
    |          LT   /
             |  |     |
             O  |    RB#1
    General Comments: A first grader could spot this 
    particular play, but the receivers will give almost 
    anyone trouble for a few plays. This play has an
    automatic defensive shift on defensive pass play
    calls that must be taken into account.
    Defensive Shifts:
    Oneback Z Cross - Any (Pass) Play in Slots 5, 7, and 8
    Offense: Don't call this play very often, because its 
    best feature, the erratic paths of the receivers, is 
    weakened by frequent use. Other than that, you might 
    want to move your quarterback lower to take 
    advantage of the three receivers on the bottom. Don't 
    forget that you can move the receivers somewhat by 
    changing the time of your snap to coincide with 
    particular movements. There are no truly call-safe 
    men on this one: RB #1 (A 1x) and RB #2 (A 2x) are 
    only partially call-safe. The pass trajectory 
    determines whether they are or not. If your opponent's
    LCB shifts up to match your WR #2's movement, then your
    opponent has called a pass play and you must get rid of 
    the ball quickly before everyone is covered. If he 
    doesn't, he's either called your play or he's called a run.
    Call-Safe Receivers:
    RB#1 (A 1x)
    RB#2 (A 2x)
    Passing Order:
    Defense: Nose tackle dives and pursuing the QB are 
    decent here, but you might want to take a man and 
    cover the lower receiver nest. One thing to remember 
    however is that WR #1 is the top receiver on this play 
    and pinned quarterbacks may default to him. Your LCB 
    will shift up if you called a pass 
    play against this (except for this play itself). 
    Formation/Play No Back X Deep
    --------| |    |          WR#1
    |       | |    |
    |   ----|-O----|
    O   |   | LT
        |   | LG
     QB-|---|-O C
        |   | RG       -------->RB#2
        |   | RT       |
    O---|   | TE       |
            | O        |
    General Comments: This is another unique play that 
    can be seen by any decent Tecmo player (since there 
    is literally No Back), though it is harder to tell it from 
    others with teams like Washington as opposed to the 
    Redgun of Denver. It has good short and long pass 
    Defensive Shifts:
    No Back X Deep - Any Play in Slots 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7
    Offense: The short receiver on the top is a good one 
    to go for. Watch out for the receiver in the middle, 
    because he can be quickly covered by any wandering 
    defender out there for the top or bottom long 
    receivers. Since this play shifts, you can change the 
    destinations of your receivers by hiking the ball at 
    different times before they get set. Call-safe passes
    are to RB #1 (A 2x) and to RB #2 if you let him move 
    all the way down to the bottom of the screen before 
    hiking the ball (A 3x).
    The defensive shift here isn't very important. If you
    want to see it, you should give enough time for RB #2
    to move around and draw the cornerback.
    Call-Safe Receivers:
    RB#1 (A 1x)
    RB#2 (A 3x)
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: Don't let this play confuse you with the shift 
    or the funky receiver paths. Just move long in the 
    middle, since that receiver doesn't get covered often, 
    and, as always, make sure someone has that short 
    man obstructed. A nose tackle dive or any defensive 
    lineman or linebacker rush can also work for this 
    play. You don't really need to care if your cornerback
    moves, because if you can't see this play without a
    defensive shift, there's little chance that you will
    be able to tell this play with the shift. However, if
    you want your opponent to see that you called one of
    the plays that shift, you need to switch around your
    cursor and change defensive players long enough to
    delay the snap so that the motion will draw off the
    Formation/Play Run And Shoot 3-Wing
      O   QB---O C    ----TE--->RB#2
       \       RG     |    |
        \RB#1  RT     |    |
             O---------    |
    General Comments: An easy play to spot, R and S 3-
    Wing gets its strength from the four longer-range 
    receivers, one of whom turns up short for a ten-yard 
    pass. It does have a nice call-safe receiver though.
    Offense: Pick your best long opportunity and
    go for it. If you want to go short, make sure you pass 
    quickly before your competitor can spot your open 
    man. Call-safe receiver is RB #2 in the middle (A 1x).
    Call-Safe Receiver
    RB#2 (A 1x)
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: Rushing the QB does well here, with either 
    nose tackle dives or just general pressure tactics. This 
    is because the play doesn't really develop until the 
    receivers move several yards out. If you want to go 
    out into the field, just go long as soon as the man in 
    the middle is taken care of. 
    Formation/Play Redgun Z Slant
           /| O----------
          / O------      \   
         /    LT   \      \
        |     LG    \      \
    QB  |       C    WR#1   RB#2
        |     RG
        O     RT
    General Comments: A good play, lots of receivers, 
    but everyone knows this play when they see the 
    formation since it is unique. This play is very
    popular in Madison tournaments.
    Defensive Shifts:
    Redgun Z Slant - Any Play in Slots 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7
    Offense: Timing the throw to the TE is critical
    because defenders will peel one way or the other,
    and you want to get the ball in the window before
    your opponent also sees which way the drones cover.
    Call-safe receiver is RB #1 at the top, short range (A 4x).
    If you can avoid the blitz, WR #1 will also come open.
    This is a deadly situation with QB Eagles or other fast QB,
    because you can also run the QB to the bottom and put
    marker on RB #1. 
    - If top corner follows WR #1 pre-snap, you definitely have either RB #2 or TE.
    (depends on several factors which) In this case your likely play is to run to
    the top and have RB #1 come out of the backfield for the 8-10 yard gain. 
    - If both corners go in, the TE and WR #1 are open, and you should play from the
    - If the bottom corner and the bottom safety go in, WR #2 is open and the
    play is to either go RB #1 or run the QB down bottom (watch out for all the
    LBs in the area).
    - If no DB goes into the middle, WR #1 is open and the play is either the 2-man
    game of RB #1 and WR #1 from the pocket, or QB running the football up top.
    - If the bottom corner goes in and top corner does not follow WR #1, WR #1 is
    - You can tell if RB #1 is open based on RILB motion, but your eyes should be
    - Don't use RILB to cover, as sometimes he pulls up to catch RB #1. However,
    he also tends to trail RB #1 and so a QB run through middle with option to
    RB #1 is effective on the goal line.
    - On the goal line you can run the QB through those big splits that open up.
    - If you need a play and you have a team like the Oilers with a fast RB #2, you
    have a window to throw it to RB #2 as he crosses the shoulder of the FS.
    However, this play only works with accurate QBs and decently fast RB #2. 
    Either the FS or the SS can make the "turn of death" if they wind up
    matched against the TE and WR #2, respectively. That is, if you stay in
    the pocket, you can time a throw to either of them as the FS or SS
    curl back towards their target. Rolling to one side gives the S a chance
    to tip the pass. 
    vs. MAN:
    If you see him use the RILB, RB #1 is open at any time.
    If you see him use the LCB or SS, and the RCB doesn't follow
    WR #1, you probably have one of your WRs open. Stay in the pocket
    and also look for the RB #1.
    If you see him use the RCB or FS, you know you have a throw to the
    top of the screen and you roll to the top of the screen. Another good
    opportunity to dump to RB #1. 
    If you see him use a front seven player and the play is called,
    you have a better than normal chance of buying enough time for the
    WR #1 to stop, allowing you to complete a pass to him. 
    Call-Safe Receiver:
    RB#1 (A 4x)
    WR #1 (A 0x, or one A tap after RB #1) (late in play). Recommend to
    mark RB #1 - if you can't buy time, throw it to him, otherwise freeze
    the MAN and throw to whichever one seems more open. 
    Passing Order:
    Bomb Threats:
    Defense: This is essentially another shotgun play.
    Make sure all the receivers going long are covered
    and catch them if they aren't, and otherwise, watch
    for the short pass and QB sneak. A good place to put
    yourself is in the middle of the field if you have to
    guard both short receivers. Don't use the RILB, he will
    sometimes cover RB #1. 
    5. Passing
    There are several concepts you want to master here:
    The Short-Long Game
    When you have one receiver long and one short, you wait long enough in the
    pocket, moving yourself in position for an accurate deep throw (behind the
    receiver). You make the MAN commit to either short or long, then switch to the
    other side. The marker should generally be on the long receiver because that
    means your bail-out against the pass rush will be a bomb. (but that's
    situationally dependent). The same concepts apply when the QB is running and
    you just have the long receiver. 
    The Top-Bottom Receiver Game
    When the two open receivers are both short, you position yourself in the
    middle and wait for the MAN to commit to one or the other, or to go in 
    no-man's land. You hold marker on one and wait for the circling MAN to make
    a mistake. Note that you should try to put marker on the one with fewer taps
    to the other.
    The Short-QB Run Game
    When you only have one short receiver, you run the QB to the other side with
    marker on the receiver, forcing the MAN to commit to one or the other.
    The Quick-Hitter Game
    This is play-dependent, but on some plays you have targets (e.g. RB #2 on Pro
    T Flare C) that, if your opponent chooses certain players, that they can't
    possibly cover. This is a component of goal-line play when using certain
    plays, like Pro T Flare C, that don't work very well on the goal line. 
    Leading Receivers Open/Flattening Out Routes
    On some plays (e.g. Pro T Flare C) you can change a receiver's route by
    throwing to them prior to a curl or other motion.
    JJing from Curls
    On any play with a cut-in (e.g. R&S Z Fly) or a curl action, you can throw
    a pass that will cause the receiver to jump if you throw it to them right after
    they cut. Just like dive tackling, the throwing targeting lags the receiver
    route slightly. 
    Window Throws Available Because of CPU Defensive Technique
    On certain plays (e.g. Redgun Z Slant RB #2) you can complete passes to that
    receiver as they cross the shoulder of the defender (often the FS for
    Redgun Z Slant). The defender won't recover because they are standing still
    and you are throwing the ball at the point of maximum speed delta.
    Another situation that you see frequently is on R&S Y Up, where many players
    will throw to RB #1 out of the backfield, and it works because the covering
    defender is stopped while the receiver is in the flat area.
    Another common situation is when you have a FS or SS covering a deep route.
    What they will do is bail out in a curve to the sideline, allowing the
    receiver to momentarily get behind them. If you throw from the middle of the
    field while the defender is adjusting, the WR will be open. 
    Window Throws Available Because of Mismatch
    On pretty much any route, when you see a receiver and a defender with a big
    difference in speed, then you may be able to throw it to the receiver, who
    gets behind the defender and remains uncovered. This is a primary skill to
    master if you want to be successful as the Dolphins. 
    Throwing Proper Jump and Deep Balls
    With high PS and PC QBs, this can be throwing on an
    offset angle. With typical iffy Tecmo QBs, this is
    typically rearing back on the direct line to the
    receiver and throwing it (because they will be quite
    inaccurate enough as it is). 
    Time your pass so that the person
    who needs to be catching the ball is still moving.
    This increases the chances of the ball overshooting
    the receiver, making it more possible for him to
    have an opportunity to jump. This also hinders the
    efforts of defenders, because a defender farther away
    from the receiver will jump and miss or not jump at
    all, and one on the "X" for the pass will not even
    get a chance to intercept or interrupt the pass if
    the receiver jumps and picks up the ball. It also
    prevents the receiver from becoming lost in a clump
    of defenders who zero in on a stationary man in no
    time at all. The second way to do this is to juke
    your QB backwards a bit so that the pass goes awry. 
    This gives more movement and more freedom
    to the receiver. The third way is to attempt to loft
    only when a receiver has no definite target. If he
    does, oftentimes he will stop and either be too slow
    to catch the pass, or the pass will go straight to
    him, AND the defenders that move in on the target
    point. I must emphasize that using your best
    receivers in jump ball makes things much easier
    because they have higher probabilities of catching
    a difficult pass. Bo Jackson types need not apply.
    Some players also like to throw the ball off-line,
    that is they will stay in the middle of the field
    and throw to either side. I tend not to use this
    technique because it makes the throws significantly
    less accurate, but it does help with players who
    know how to get in passing lanes and deflect. The
    one situation where this clearly outperforms is when
    you may have the defender beat with WR speed. In
    that case, going on an angle allows the receiver to
    possibly catch it on the X.
    Shifting to Pocket Presence to Extend Time
    Particularly on certain called plays, like Redgun Z Slant, where you get
    late-developing open receivers that can put your opponent in a no-win
    situation. Same technique as dodging defenders normally, but you have to put
    your eyes back to the pocket from downfield. Once you beat the defenders, then
    you can set back up to deliver the pass. 
    Throwing Through Passing Lanes
    You have to avoid the ILBs if you want be successful throwing the ball with
    mid-to-low tier QBs. You also want to avoid throwing with guys in your face,
    you get incompletions that should have been first downs. 
    Hitting the correct receivers on called plays. You should almost never throw a
    garbage ball on a called play - only an over or undertap. 
    Make sure you have your marker switches solid. Switch pass (A then B) is
    helpful on called plays or 2-man games. (But if you have an iffy controller
    then slow down marker technique.)
    Remember to switch to your high-frequency tap technique when you let go of
    the ball.
    If the MAN is circling and trying to cover the passing lane on the further
    target, you want to try and time against his circle so that he's on his
    near-swing, forcing him to slow down and opening up the passing lane for the
    longer-distance throw. Even Rod Woodson will go at about 1/4 of the
    edge-to-edge distance per second or less if you throw it behind him. The key
    is to avoid throwing the ball in the same direction that the MAN is going.
    This is when the speed of the elite DBs comes into play, or even the
    not-so-elite LBs. 
    Don't Run the QB Too Much
    If you run the QB a lot, you are not
    going to get what you want out of the play most of the time. It's one
    thing to run on 4th and 1, but running on 3rd and 8 can often result
    in not picking up the first down. You must be disciplined and fake the
    QB run, while relying on it only if your QB is fast and/or you are in
    a key situation, your RBs can drop the ball, or you need to mentally
    relax. In order to force the MAN out of run calls/air patrol schemes,
    you must be able to exploit the wide-open receivers deep and not allow
    him to get picks or fumbles off you. This means not only going out of
    bounds when your receiver or QB runs with the ball, but also not taking
    sacks by fooling around too close to the LOS where the CBs and LBs are.
    As the quarterback, you can choose to use the dupe pass (A after B) to induce
    your opponent to take a bad angle to the ball and lose his speed, but I find
    it a waste of time. You should have burned your opponent with technique, and
    he should be watching the ball out of the QB's hands. With that said, it does
    work, even against good players. 
    Remember, particularly with iffy QBs, to get rid of the ball before you
    get high defensive pressure. If you have only one guy, make him dive before
    you throw, or directly engage him. 
    If you see that all the receivers are covered, and you don't have a viable
    deep throw under coverage, you can throw the ball to a
    player that is running a route towards the sideline. Most of the time, that
    ball will go straight out of bounds. 
    Against a called play or a nose tackle dive, hold a direction at the snap.
    If you see the MAN blitzing at you, just run straight back and find your
    receiver. It is possible to pull up, grapple, then have the OL knock him
    off you, but the QB tends to be slow and is vulnerable to dive tackles.
    In theory you can use the "Dave Krieg play" by engaging the man that is
    covering your short target, but it's very risky because the LBs shed their
    blockers and tackle you. 
    6. Pounding the Rock
    The keys when running are:
    - Don't get too far away from your blockers unless you intend to solo grapple
      the MAN.
    - Don't run in one straight line for too long close to the MAN, otherwise you
      become vulnerable to the dive tackle. If you see the MAN circling on a line,
      this is a clear indication he may be looking to dive at you. 
    - Switch thumb technique to your high-speed move. 
    - Remember to vertical cut as well as diagonal zig-zag. Vertical cutting is
      the best way to deal with high-speed CPU defenders, and also against MAN
      players that like to dive tackle. 
    Mostly just practice.  
    Some specific pointers follow:
    Runner Types
    Runner Tips
    The Triangle Dodge
    The Sine Dodge
    The Circle Move
    Free Form Advance
    Move To The Middle
    When Not The QB, Hit A
    Attack Drone Players
    Runner Types
    When you get control of your runner, you have to 
    consider a) your runner's speed and b) your runner's
    hitting power. 
    If your runner is slow, you should probably go for 
    guaranteed yards and stay behind the blockers.
    Reversing the run play is not a good idea with a 
    slow fullback like Ickey Woods, because the defense
    will advance upon you, breaking through the offensive
    line and causing you big problems with slide tackles,
    struggles, and assisted tackles (struggle+slide or
    struggle+defender who moves in on your struggle). 
    Breaking out is very hard with slow people. As your
    speed increases (with different runners or with
    the same runners in better condition), you want to
    take more chances, move between more defenders, and
    go for the holes in the defense, even if they are
    far away, so that you can break out and get the
    big yardage. 
    If your runner has little hitting power, you can't
    engage in struggles beyond one-man with the 
    computer, and don't engage at all with a MAN if 
    your thumb isn't good (although if your thumb is
    good, you will want sometimes to advance upon a
    human player if you can win consistently, because
    getting rid of the MAN is a big bonus in Tecmo).
    As your hitting power increases, you can take more
    chances on struggles, which means that you should
    go for a hole that's almost open, but blocked by,
    say, a defensive back that you would have to 
    engage. With a decent hitting power, you can go
    for him and knock off people who attempt to
    interfere in your struggle, and once you've 
    beaten him, you can continue on to a touchdown,
    instead of taking only two more guaranteed yards
    that would be your only recourse if you had low
    hitting power. If your runner has high hitting
    power, what you should do is actually go for the
    weak defenders head-on. If a defender is weak
    enough, and your hitting power is high enough,
    you can knock over the defender with little 
    difficulty, which can open up new routes for
    you, since you don't have to worry about the
    defender in the middle of your path. Moreover,
    that defender won't get up for two or three 
    seconds. This tactic is quite effective when you
    scout your opposing defenses' weaker players. If
    you have a powerful back like Christian Okoye,
    you can emphasize routes that go by weak corners
    or safeties, or know that you can move up into
    a limp linebacker squad to dodge a powerful
    So I will now recap: what do you do for certain
    types of runners?
    The Limp Noodle (slow and weak): With this 
    character, you should simply focus on just getting
    yards. Stay behind/inside the blockers and don't reverse.
    A good way to describe this play style would be
    computer-esque. Don't be innovative because you
    have enough problems with rushing as it is. 
    The Slow Fullback (slow but powerful): With a
    slow fullback, you should mainly follow the play, 
    but you will also want to note whom you can bowl
    over when your blockers dissipate. Get into 
    struggles if you must, but be wary of doing so
    in crowds. 
    The Flash (fast but weak): Press the hole,
    but reverse the play or move laterally if you
    have space.
    The Running Jack (mildly fast and with a 
    dose of hitting power): When you run with this
    person, you have a greater advantage over the
    Flash in a man-to-man situation, because your
    higher hitting power gives you more ability to
    cope with the likes of Singletary and Taylor.
    However, you still want to follow the play,
    though you can reverse and go for holes if 
    those options are viable. 
    The Demon (fast and powerful): This runner is
    the best of all worlds. You should be aggressive
    in seeking to break out because that is something
    which a Demon can do very easily. You should 
    adopt the Flash's "hole-seeking" strategy, but
    you must also remember that with a high hitting
    power, a Demon can make holes through lesser
    defenders. If someone is between you and the
    clear beyond, and you know that you can knock
    them down, go for the hole and ram through that
    player. You can be especially effective if you
    watch the defenders as the play develops, 
    because you can keep track of the strong people
    that you have to avoid and the weak people that
    you can move through. 
    You can apply this rushing knowledge to receivers
    and tight ends after they get a pass as well. 
    In addition to the knowledge above, generally, with
    a tight end, you just want to get your yards, since
    there usually aren't many holes with linebackers
    behind you, corners near your sides and ahead, and
    safeties on the horizon. As regards wide receivers,
    you want to dodge and outwit the usually-powerful
    secondary that is after you. When a running back 
    acts as a receiver, he's either short, which means
    he needs more of a tight end strategy, or long, 
    which entails a wide receiver approach. 
    Runner Tips
    Also, when you get behind your blockers, try to 
    move yourself into a position to set up
    opponents in their paths. For instance, if you've
    got a human Mike Singletary running after you and
    you run Pitch L Open, if Singletary comes up 
    behind you, move down and force the defender to
    move into your blockers to get at you or force him
    to move around and slow down his tackle. The ideal
    would be to force the MAN to either bail out of 
    pursuit or force him to make a sharp cut to avoid
    a blocker, causing him to lose his speed.
    When you do this, try to take a sharp angle to
    dodge a dive tackle.
    One move that you can try when you're desperate is
    to move inside the offensive line and try one of
    the holes there. Most of the time, you won't want
    to do this since you can bounce off the line and
    essentially stop your advance. However, if you
    need a reverse and if you see the defense plugging
    up your hole, go through the line, in between the
    linemen (obviously), and try to break out from there.
    Another move that you can use if you have a power
    back is to smash into struggling players to open
    up a hole. For example, if you are trying to cut
    back inside, you can smash your center in the
    back to try and knock off the tackle. The good thing
    about this tactic is that unlike on defense, where
    you will fall down if you don't have enough hitting
    power, you will just bounce off a little bit. You
    can then use this bounce to move into a hole on
    either side of your center, since you just smashed
    into him. However, the big drawback on this move
    is that if it fails, you will have lost a lot of
    time and gained no yardage. Make sure to scout
    the matchups on the line and the anticipated
    matchups of your other blockers and their targets
    before trying to do this methodically.
    Whenever a run play is called, there's always a best
    direction you can go in to minimize your losses.
    Find it and go for it. Sometimes, there will be a
    gap between one group of defenders and another.
    Move through this gap; it often allows you to
    escape if you have a fast back. Don't give up just
    because the play gets called. 
    The Triangle Dodge
    This is the classic way to avoid getting tackled. 
    Whenever you get the ball and are in front of all your
    pursuers, simply move up and down like this:
          \    /\    /\    /
           \  /  \  /  \  /
            \/    \/    \/
    When you do this, your computer controlled
    opponents will attempt to slide tackle you, but will 
    miss. Also, when the defenders change direction, they 
    will slow down in many cases. 
    The Sine Dodge
    The Sine Dodge is like the Triangle Dodge, but used 
    whenever you have men in front and men behind. 
    What you do is simply maneuver in the spaces in
    between players and then, when you get significantly 
    past the player in front in the y-direction (up and 
    down), you move past the player in front. It looks 
    somewhat like this:
            |         ___
            \       /     \       /
             \  X  /   X   \  X  /
              \___/         \___/
    This is useful when you escape the initial defenders 
    on a punt return and also when you are using a run
    play or short pass.
    The Circle Move
    "The circle move is like...the extreme...corner move."
    Really, it's like...the extreme...MAN defender
    speed-draining move. When the MAN comes close to you and
    is almost about to catch up to you, pull the circle 
    move by moving in a circle (so you avoid him), first in
    the direction that he was heading, then come back around
    into the direction that you were going previously before
    the MAN entered the picture, like so:
                /    \
    -----------/->MAN O
    In this way hopefully he will make a turn too sharp and
    lose his speed, or get a bad angle to take towards you.
    Keep in mind that this won't always work, especially if 
    your opponent is wise to this and goes straight for you 
    or moves in a big circle. Also if the defender is too
    fast you may not see any gains out of it because they 
    won't lose enough speed to allow you to gain yardage.
    There is a variation of this that doesn't circle, but
    hard cuts against a MAN who is pulling even with you.
    If the MAN instinctively reacts, he will lose his speed
    by trying to stay with your cut. 
    Free Form Advance
    The best Tecmo dodging strategy combines the above 
    three with a few twists: 
    1. Try to change directions whenever someone is 
    about to slide tackle for best results.
    2. If you have a computer or human opponent that is 
    far ahead of all the others, and you know that player 
    poses the most threat to you, simply run up to him 
    and solo grapple. If you can throw him, it 
    makes it much easier to move upfield, especially 
    against a human who is much smarter than a drone.
    3. Even moving backwards can help your advance, 
    because everyone will follow you back. If you have a 
    fast enough player, you can then move in a circle 
    around the mob and get everyone behind you, which 
    makes it easier to dodge people as they approach.  
    Move To The Middle
    Whenever you use a run play or catch a short pass,
    moving along either side is fine for getting 
    guaranteed yards, but you can often get cornered
    before you can break out. One way to avoid this is to
    move into the middle or 1/4 off the boundary early in
    the run, so that you can dodge each defender in ones
    or twos instead of fours and fives. 
    You can also use this tactic on defense if a 
    good running back is destined to advance ten or more 
    yards, because getting into the middle makes it 
    harder, especially for a human player, to completely
    break away from you. 
    When Not The QB, Hit A
    When you are not controlling the quarterback, you
    are either a defender or a ballcarrier. A defender
    should hit A prior to any contact to avoid getting
    knocked over and to give oneself an advantage in
    struggles (and even giving oneself enough power to
    flatten an offensive player). An ballcarrier
    needs to hit the button for the important struggle
    advantage and to raise one's power enough to
    flatten defenders. In either case, hitting A in
    advance of contact is a good idea (except for your
    poor wrists).
    Attack Drone Players
    The best way to attack drones is to hit them with a
    high Hitting Power player, either on offense or defense.
    If you have 50 more HP than the drone, they won't even
    be able to make you struggle, and you will beat them down.
    If you hit them from the sides or the back, you can get
    away with 44 HP difference or maybe even less. However,
    do note: conditions change before the game even begins
    and continue changing during the game, so do know that
    sometimes this won't work.
    Another miscellaneous point is that drone contact
    is irrespective of your movement. If you stand still
    and do nothing, you can still take people down or
    people will still bounce off you. As an example,
    I ran over Phil Simms with Karl Mecklenberg
    without hitting A at all, and I once stood in
    the middle of the Indianapolis defense with about
    6 people just bouncing off Tom Rathman. HOWEVER,
    this does not apply for MAN contact.
    Also, on many plays, players are controlled by the
    computer until some specified point. For instance, on
    handoffs, neither a runner nor a quarterback has any
    player control until the handoff executes, and even
    then, sometimes the quarterback is uncontrollable.
    What you want to do is exploit these opportunities
    and tackle or hit drone players to stop a play or
    force the MAN to do something completely different.
    7. Pass Defense
    Notes on pass defense, especially manually rushing
    the passer:
    Coverage Tips
    Rushing The Passer
    Coverage Tips
    Many times, you will be faced with situations where
    one or more deep receivers is open and you need to
    cover all of them. The way to do this is to "split"
    the two receivers (hopefully that's all you have open)
    by running back in the middle of the field. When the
    quarterback throws a pass, you can then easily move
    to whatever side of the field the pass is going to.
    One thing to remember about this is that even if
    one of two deep guys is uncovered, for example, you
    still want to remain in the middle to help the
    coverage out on the other side of the field. You can
    cheat a little, but don't sell yourself out just to
    cover one receiver. In many instances, that works
    against you because the receiver will jump for the
    ball while you stand like a doofus on the 'X' on
    the field - you can get there too quickly. So make
    full use of the time it takes the quarterback to
    get the deep ball to the receivers by running in
    the middle and thus covering everyone who is deep.
    Many times, you end up in a situation where you
    have multiple receivers to cover short, and you
    don't have any help. One way to contain this
    situation is to run around in circles between the
    players you want to cover. This allows you to
    maintain a high speed while still remaining able
    either to tackle the receiver who gets the ball
    or to cover them before the ball gets there.
    If you stand still, you won't get where you want
    to be as quickly as you would if you ran around.
    Locate your circle in either a) the closer of the
    two receivers if you are covering 2 or more short
    ones or b) the far side of the short receiver if
    you are covering one short and one longer.
    Know that a great opponent can try and time your 
    circle move in a way that will cause you to autodive.
    Prefer the pass tip to getting on the X to mitigate
    this. Also try varying the size of your circles or
    change pattern shape. 
    If you know you aren't going to be able to get to the
    receiver, then don't get too close to them. The game
    can make you "autodive" and you will totally miss them
    and the ballcarrier will get 20 additional yards while
    you pick yourself up off the ground.
    Sometimes, you end up covering receivers (and good
    passing games) with only LBs, for instance. In these
    cases, you can try to cover by using tipped balls.
    To tip a pass, get into the line of the pass, and
    trail the receiver by about 3 player lengths. If the
    pass is high, hump him. Thus, you can make plays
    without having to take chances on the receiver winning
    the battle for the ball.
    Rushing The Passer
    These tips do not address tactics that are
    suited to particular plays - only the nose tackle
    dive is really touched on.
    Defensive Backs
    Safer Blitzing (DLs & LBs)
    The linemen are the hardest to get a clean, pure
    rush at the quarterback with. This is because they
    absorb the offensive linemen and get pursued by
    them in many cases. The first and by far the
    easiest way to attack the quarterback are the
    various dives, most nefariously the nose tackle
    dive, but also the left and right ends can do
    damage of their own if they can get inside without
    being engaged. These must be used with a little
    caution, however, as a good quarterback can simply
    dodge or escape them, not to mention the perils
    involved in using a lineman to dive when a Pitch
    L Open starts breaking. About 19 MS for the quarterback
    is when the nose tackle dive loses its effectiveness.
    However, if your nose tackle is bad, you can still end
    up not being able to sack a 13 MS QB.
    Look to the beginning of the play explanations section
    (currently Section 4) for more info on the NTD.
    The second way is to simply rush the QB with the
    lineman. It's easiest to use the nose tackle, but
    you can also use the others, especially if you
    stunt them by moving them around another struggle.
    With the nose tackle, you should move diagonally
    up or down toward the line and then move more or
    less straight in - a nose tackle dive, but without
    the actual slide. Most of the time, the center won't
    catch you, letting you advance. However, do take
    note that the center then pursues you, and there
    may be a running back or other blocker inside the
    With the ends, simply move towards the nose
    tackle and then move in, or move in an arc around
    the guard and then rush, with the same caveats as
    for the nose tackle. However, if you have a strong
    nose tackle, one thing you will be able to do is to
    have the weaker guard bounce off the struggle and
    be taken out of the play, since the guard wants to
    go through the struggling nose tackle and center
    to get to you. This stunt blitzing is good stuff
    and you want to use it if possible when you rush
    a lineman.
    The third method is to take one lineman and
    exchange him. To do this, one must take a
    lineman who is not the best on the line (you can,
    but that's counterproductive, as you shall see) and
    ram him into the struggle between the best lineman
    and his offensive counterpart, pressing A as you
    do so to raise your power. You then cause the
    struggle to break up and the lineman that you
    freed to run straight for the quarterback
    without any blockers to stop him. Sometimes you
    will accompany him, but you often get caught up
    with the offensive lineman that you ignored in
    order to free your teammate.
    Linebackers have an easier job and can rush in
    two ways.
    The first is to simply move right through the
    line. With an outside linebacker, you need to
    make sure that the tackle for your position
    doesn't get in your way. To avoid him,
    use the gaps between the center and the guards
    to move inside. The inside linebackers can use
    those avenues as well, and would be best
    advised to use them in any case.
    You can also free up your boys with your LBs,
    but linebackers often don't have the hitting
    power and sometimes bounce off, especially when
    the person rushing doesn't hit A enough. This
    can be a very effective tactic, particularly if
    you have an Interceptions linebacker and can
    then drop back into coverage, but be
    warned, you can get burned if you have too many
    open receivers.
    Another way in which linebackers can rush is by
    moving around the pocket and hitting the QB from
    the side or from behind. This is mainly limited to
    faster outside linebackers and takes more time
    than with the gap rush, but can yield results
    if your opponent isn't watching the sides
    (which happens a good deal; I myself scan the
    pocket, then the middle (top and bottom), then
    guess as to whether someone has gotten out of
    coverage offscreen, but don't often look
    directly at the quarterback). It works better
    with certain formations that don't have as
    many people dropping around a particular side,
    like the formation for Offset Flare E.
    Defensive Backs
    These guys don't have much of a role in
    attacking the passer, though they sometimes can
    help. The main places they fall into are the
    tactics for certain plays, but they can also follow
    a certain play that looks like a run, but
    turns out to be a pass. In such cases, it's
    simply a matter of following the QB. You want
    to be as direct as possible because some
    receivers aren't being covered when corners
    and safeties go inside to hurt the QB.
    Sometimes you also have situations where your
    opponent loves to roll out to the side of a certain
    receiver, or rolls out to one side to avoid the pass
    rush on the opposite side. In these situations,
    an occasional unexpected CB blitz on that side will
    cause problems, especially for QBs who crumble under
    pressure and extra movement. However, you must have
    pass coverage behind it, and you have to have an
    opponent who won't just stand in the pocket, seeing
    that your guy is open, because you won't have enough
    time to hit him. The problem is that the receiver
    is usually going deep on your side, and those routes
    are difficult for the CPU-controlled FS to pick up,
    though the SS is sometimes surprisingly smart.
    Therefore, it is only a measure to be used against
    certain opponents in certain situations, not a general
    move that can be applied against every player; I for
    one never see when guys are trying CB blitzes because
    I release the ball well before the impact would ever
    Safer Blitzing (DLs & LBs)
    Oftentimes your scouting report will tell you whether
    the opposing QB is susceptible to the blitz in terms of
    a) his ability to evade the blitz and b) his ability
    to throw the ball while the blitz is coming, to a receiver
    who can make a big play out of it. Typically, the receivers
    are good enough to where you can give up humongous plays
    if the QB delivers the goods, so the key focus is on
    jarring the QB and forcing an errant pass to an open man,
    or in forcing a situation where the QB doesn't have enough
    time to get the ball to the open man. Few QBs in this game
    are both slow enough and poor enough (Jeff George) to where
    you can just go straight after him with bloodlust, provided
    you called a pass play. Therefore, you must detect the amount
    and depth of the pass coverage BEFORE you totally commit
    yourself to a blitz; otherwise, you can end up with a deep
    receiver like WR #1 on many plays, on whom the cursor initially
    rests, and who will burn you for the TD if the QB can deliver
    the ball. To do this, you must know the opposing plays possible;
    then, when the receivers show the play, you must read _your_
    defense, especially the corners, to find out whether or not
    your guys have adequate coverage to hold the QB until you can
    get your hands on him. If you can see that your defense will get
    the primary receiver (usually WR #1) and then the primary
    checkdowns from that receiver, you continue your blitz.
    Mind you, you've already started your motion; ILBs blitz
    off-center, DEs stunt around the NT, and OLBs begin evading the
    tackle. In the first second of the blitz you determine if you
    can proceed; if not, your ILB reverses direction, your DE peels
    off, and your OLB cuts back outside into coverage. Even LT can
    be beat if he has nothing but air behind him, so be responsive
    to what your defense is doing for you to keep the ball out of
    the hands of the receivers.
    8. Run Defense
    There are three main ways of handling runs:
    Gang Tackling
    Tactics (not covered here)
    Confrontation is the best way to handle a CPU
    with low hitting power or a MAN with low hitting
    power and a bad thumb. Simply take your best guy
    with good to great hitting power and just touch
    the runner while hitting A, and, if necessary,
    have a brief struggle. You can also have a kind
    of confrontation with a slide tackle against
    strong backs, through I would not recommend
    using that against a human unless you are sure
    that you can make the tackle. The best people to
    do this with are linebackers, though you can
    also do it with linemen (having circuitous
    routes) and the secondary (risking breakouts).
    Three ways that you can tag the runner are to
    move around the play and hit him head on, or
    to cut through the blockers and hit him on the
    sides, or, in the case of certain sweep plays
    and others where the player you use to stop 
    runs is at the tail end, is to go behind the
    play and hit the runner from behind, which has
    the added advantage of reducing the hitting
    power needed for an instant tackle.
    One key to remember if you get into the backfield
    or you are all alone is that if your opponent
    uses the circle move or something similar, they
    may be able to make you lose your speed and thus
    get past you. Another classic trick is to move
    through their own blockers and thus tie you up.
    In order to avoid this, run in circles if they are
    trying to lead you into a trap, so that you can
    keep the RB contained and let your boys help you,
    and also don't pursue too quickly to the RB without
    help, sometimes you can overpursue and end up
    behind him, thus losing your speed. Only if you 
    must make the stop should you take risks like that
    in the backfield.
    If you are playing against a tapper, sometimes
    you can bait the tapper into going lateral as he 
    tries to seek you out. Don't make it too obvious
    Gang Tackling
    If this is not feasible because the runner has 
    a high hitting power or he has a lot of friends
    around him to smash you to kingdom come, then 
    you can use a gang tackle.
    The traditional way of gang tackling is that, you
    let the play draw out, then, once the blockers
    are engaged and can't hit you, go for the runner
    and keep struggling until you either tackle him
    or your drones help you make the tackle by
    hitting the running back. One thing to remember
    is that once your opponent is tied up, you can
    slide tackle into the struggle and bring down the
    runner. This won't help you much in short yardage
    necessarily. The key here is to contain the big play
    that you know you will get toasted on if you try and
    confront the runner.
    One easy way to get some guys to help you take
    down the MAN is to free up some boys. Also, if
    you have to use this strategy, calling runs
    gives you a lot more support. 
    9. Playbooks/Playcalling (needs update)
    This part has information about having certain
    formation combinations in your playbook as well
    as amalgamated playbooks, good and bad. Note
    for defense that, if your opponent is calling a
    lot of runs or passes, you should adjust your
    play calling accordingly. 
    Slot Recommendations
    Good Playbooks And How To Shut Them Down
    Vs. MAN Playcalling
    CPU Playcalling
    Slot Recommendations
    These are some general feelings I have about the plays
    in each slot and which ones you should choose for each.
    More specific recommendations are in the Good Playbooks
    section. When I say a play has good compatibility, I 
    mean that several other plays also run from that 
    formation and that this is a good fit for those plays.
    I have ranked them in categories and within categories:
    the higher up it is, the more I like it.
    Slot 1:
    Great Choices:
    15: Toss Sweep R - Strong-I Formation: This is a great
    run to just knock people away with. Smash-mouth
    football should not be played without this run.
    Other Choices:
    12: Run And Shoot Sweep L - Run And Shoot Formation:
    This is a great run, not as good as R&S Sweep R, but
    very compatible and a little effective.
    17: T Power Sweep R - T Formation: This is a nice,
    solid run, but it does nothing particularly great,
    especially since it's not hard to stop.
    14: FB Open L - Shifting Onesetback Formation: This
    run has good compatibility, but it lacks blockers.
    13: FB Offtackle R - One Man Shift Formation: This
    one has pretty good blocking, but it lacks
    compatibility. It's also (almost) mirrored by a play
    in Slot 2, so you want to think twice about this
    11: Onesetback L - Onesetback Formation: This one is
    a decent play, but it can be shut down with certain
    tactics and has a (almost) mirror in Slot 2.
    Bad Choices:
    16: T Fake Sweep R - T Formation: You can get wiped
    out in several ways with this play. Only good as a
    surprise play.
    10: WTE Offtackle R - WTE Formation: This is the worst
    play you could possibly put in this slot. Don't do it.
    Slot 2:
    Other Choices:
    25: T Sweep Strong - T Formation: This is just another
    solid run play.
    24: T Offtackle R - T Formation: You get a good push
    with this that can beat up linemen and linebackers, but
    you are pretty defenseless against the secondary.
    23: Weakside Open - One Man Shift Formation: This play
    has only a few blockers, but it has fair compatibility.
    Not that that's of any use as all the One Man Shift
    pass plays suck.
    22: Oneback Sweep R - Shifting Onesetback Formation:
    The compatibility on this is iffy and it has an (almost)
    mirror in Slot 1, but it has really good blocking in
    the front seven. However, it can be weak if your
    opponent doesn't sell himself out trying to take you
    down behind the line.
    27: FB Offtackle L - Onesetback Formation: This play
    is (almost) mirrored in Slot 1 and can be shut down, but
    it does give you a decent shove.
    26: T Power Dive - T Formation: This dive has someone
    clearing the way for you, but it has a race defect,
    so it isn't terribly optimal. If NTD is banned it
    becomes a lot more viable.
    Bad Choices:
    21: Pitch L Fake - Onesetback Formation: This is
    pretty weak. It takes a long time and it doesn't
    come out strong.
    20: Run And Shoot Draw - Run And Shoot Formation:
    This play just reeks. You can see it coming so
    easily and stop it almost as readily. Choose any
    play but this for this slot.
    Slot 3:
    Great Choices:
    37: Run And Shoot Sweep R - Run And Shoot Formation:
    Great compatibility and decent blocking on a
    direct route with no holes make this the best one
    for this slot.
    Other Choices:
    33: Pitch L Open - Onesetback Formation: This run
    will bash the bones out of the secondary on top.
    32: Cross Offtackle - T Formation: This one can
    stuff an ROLB very well and gives you a good shove
    off the snap.
    30: T Cross Run L - T Formation: This play is not
    that good, but it is mostly useful and compatible.
    36: Shotgun Draw - Shotgun Formation: This is
    a quick shot off that can get you yards, but if
    your opponent is awake, you may not be able to get
    very far. This is one to go for if you have
    Shotguns though - but watch that race defect.
    31: Slot Offtackle - Slot Formation: This play is
    not very good because it has little compatibility
    and because you get thrown out in between the
    defensive backs and the linebackers with no one to
    block for you. It can work with fast runners,
    Bad Choices:
    35: WR Reverse L - Shifting Onesetback Formation:
    This is only a little better than the worst play
    for this slot. Your opponent will nail you unless
    blockers can somehow miraculously intercede
    between the two of you.
    34: WR Reverse R - Onesetback Formation: This is
    the worst play because it operates out of an
    even worse sequence (Top Handoff) than WR Reverse
    L. It's just as bad in effectiveness as well.
    Slot 4:
    Great Choices:
    43: FB Power Dive - Strong-I Formation: This is a
    RB #2 blocking dive that works decently on the
    reversal to the top.
    47: Shotgun Sweep L - Shotgun 3-Wing Formation: This
    is brutally effective with several blockers and
    play reversal ability. Its only flaw is its low
    40: Run And Shoot QB Sneak - Run And Shoot Formation:
    This will get you only a few yards usually, but it
    does well against players who like to take
    defensive backs.
    Good Choices:
    42: Pro T Dive - T Formation: You go in alone on
    this one, but it can be reversed to either side.
    41: Onesetback Dive - Shifting Onesetback Formation:
    This one can't be reversed as well as Pro T Dive,
    and its compatibility is not as good.
    Other Choices:
    46: Run And Shoot QB Run - Run And Shoot Formation:
    This play will only work if your QB has feet and
    your opponent is in the blocking path of this.
    Otherwise, you're probably dead, unless your
    opponent is weak enough that he can't flatten your
    QB with one touch.
    Bad Choices:
    45: Reverse Pitch R - T Formation: A wide receiver
    reverse is bad news, and this is no better. Too
    slow and too weak.
    44: Shotgun C Draw - Shotgun Formation: This is
    obvious from the get-go. If your opponent is watching
    your running back, you're gone. If you're showing
    him the race defect, you're really gone.
    Slot 5:
    Great Choices:
    57: Run And Shoot Flare C - Run And Shoot Formation:
    Nice receiver spread and great compatibility.
    Other Choices:
    54: Pro T Screen L - T Formation: This is a pretty
    decent play, but you will get nailed almost
    automatically if it's called.
    53: T Play Action D - T Formation: This play gives
    you decent receivers, but loses time in the handoff.
    55: Play Action - Strong-I Formation: There aren't
    too many receivers here. Get this only if you've
    got other Strong-I plays.
    Bad Choices:
    51: Roll Out R - Shifting Onesetback Formation:
    The receiver spread is pretty decent, but you are
    in a formation where your opponent will be looking
    at the QB, and you have a lot of lag time before
    you can pass on this one.
    52: Roll Out L - One Man Shift Formation: You can
    snooker people with this, but you will get totaled
    if your opponent is wise to it and/or uses a
    top-side defender.
    56: Pro T Waggle L - T Formation: You have three
    receivers at three different ranges, but you will
    get waxed if your opponent is looking at your
    50: Pro T Waggle R - T Formation: All of your
    receivers are within ten yards, and your QB is a
    sitting duck for a defensive back as he rolls out
    ever so slowly.
    Slot 6:
    Great Choices:
    61: Run And Shoot Z Fly - Run And Shoot Formation:
    Someone is almost always going to be open. What
    more can you ask for?
    60: Shotgun X Curl - Shotgun Formation: You get
    one running back beside you, two short options,
    and two medium options, with no NTD possibility.
    This is a great insurance play. But note it is
    a Shotgun, so it has a race defect.
    62: Pro T Flare D - T Formation: Three call-safe
    receivers, short, medium, and long options, plus
    five wideouts, with your running backs on either
    side ready to take off. It doesn't get much
    better than this.
    Other Choices:
    63: Offset Flare E - Strong-I Formation: This
    play is a little compatible and you get a nice
    range of receivers.
    65: Oneback Flare A - Onesetback Formation:
    You don't have many receivers, but they come at
    good ranges.
    66: Power Fake Z Post - Onesetback Formation:
    You don't get a lot of options, but you get
    decent compatibility.
    64: Formation/Play Oneback Z Cross: This play
    has no compatibility, but otherwise it offers
    lots of receivers on good paths.
    Bad Choices:
    67: WTE Flea Flicker - WTE Formation: This play
    gives you two easily-covered long receivers and
    huge weaknesses otherwise. Don't make yourself
    suffer with this one.
    Slot 7:
    Great Choices:
    70: Shotgun X Drive - Shotgun Formation: This is
    not the best play, but you get a good range of
    receivers with a running back at your side.
    Take care about the race defects.
    Other Choices:
    72: Playaction Z In - Shifting Onesetback Formation:
    Good receiver spread and good compatibility.
    74: Pro T Flare C - T Formation: You get a slanting
    tight end, but everyone is rather distant.
    77: Power Fake X Fly - Onesetback Formation: Four
    receivers, but all go medium to long.
    75: Shotgun 3-Wing - Shotgun 3-Wing Formation: This
    gives you five wideouts, but three of them are
    clustered close.
    71: Formation/Play Run And Shoot 3-Wing: Everyone
    goes medium to long on this and you have no
    Bad Choices:
    76: T Flea Flicker - T Formation: This one can
    get you a fumble if it's called. Don't be so hard
    on yourself.
    73: Flea Flicker - One Man Shift Formation: This
    one is a flea flick on top of an obvious formation.
    Really, don't waste your time. The only good thing
    about this play is that RB #2 has a tendency to
    get open on it. It also has a defensive shift that
    shows your opponent what play it is.
    Slot 8:
    Great Choices:
    84: Shotgun Z S-In - Shotgun Formation: RB #1
    curls on the top, WR #2 curls in the middle,
    RB #2 curls off the screen, and WR #1 and the TE
    go long. This is a great spread to have.
    Just watch the race defects.
    87: Run And Shoot Y Up - Run And Shoot Formation:
    You get a close running back and a man in the
    middle in addition to three long men.
    80: X Out And Fly - Onesetback Formation: Two
    go long and three cluster in the middle in a
    very compatible package.
    85: Formation/Play Redgun Z Slant: You get
    RB #1 on your left and a moving target in the
    middle, plus three long bombs. However, there
    is no compatibility to speak of.
    Other Choices:
    82: Slot L Z Drive - Slot Formation: Little
    compatibility, but great receiver spread,
    including one on the bottom that comes out and
    WR #2 in the middle.
    83: Formation/Play No Back X Deep: No
    compatibility, but a fair spread across the field.
    Bad Choices:
    86: Shotgun XY Bomb - Shotgun Formation: Your
    shortest man is off the screen and most everyone
    is long gone and covered after two seconds. I
    wouldn't even call this as a desperation play
    because there will be all kinds of coverage.
    You can use this to clear out for QB run,
    and it works pretty well for that. The race
    defects don't matter so much for this, but
    it is a weak play nonetheless.
    81: Reverse-Fake Z Post - Onesetback Formation:
    Two wideouts (one of them is your running back
    who wades through the entire defense) on top of
    a ball-switching frenzy that takes five seconds
    makes this clearly inferior to any other play in
    this slot.
    On this rev I've tried to cover more common playbooks
    and give some more indication of when you are likely
    to see each/when they are useful.
    Note that for many playbooks, due to the fact that I
    typically play no-holds-barred, you don't see the
    Pro T Flare C and Redgun Z Slant mentioned as much.
    I do try to give some detail on those, but it could
    certainly stand improvement.
    Also note that I haven't had the experience with the
    coverage schemes in some of the playbooks I give below,
    most of them I am not sure of. It's something you can
    figure out though, and if by experience you do manage
    to work out what does what then by all means contact
    me with your results, and I'll credit you in here for
    The Defensive Play vs. Offensive Play is by slot,
    where say, for Draft Standard Playbook Z Fly, R&S Z Fly
    is 6, and the play that heads them is the defensive call.
    However for similar playbooks, I reversed the two so that
    I wouldn't be wasting space and time.
    Herein are some playbooks. I rank them according to
    a one to ten system, where ten is the highest value
    that a playbook could have and one is the least.
    Example Formation - Balance Of Formation - Ranking
    Play in Run Slot 1
    Play in Run Slot 2
    Play in Run Slot 3
    Play in Run Slot 4
    Play in Pass Slot 1
    Play in Pass Slot 2
    Play in Pass Slot 3
    Play in Pass Slot 4
    Good Playbooks And How To Shut Them Down
    Draft Standard Playbook Z Fly | 3-2-2-1 | 8/10
    Best with 2 RBs
    This playbook is designed so that the runs
    are going to be very difficult to stop with
    just one player. The passes are not complete
    yet as I haven't analyzed the coverages but
    this at least seems to be the best what I can
    muster up as far as runs are concerned.
    People will typically use a playbook like this 
    when they feel confident in their red-zone
    passing, as the passes tend to be pretty tough
    to complete down in the red area.
    Also note that this playbook does better in
    no-lurch formats; otherwise the Strong I plays
    are fairly useless.
    Toss Sweep R
    Weakside Open
    R&S Sweep R
    FB Power Dive
    Play Action
    R&S Z Fly
    Shotgun X Drive
    Shotgun Z S-In
    Defense: Call Toss Sweep R, then NTD away
    FB Power Dive and Play Action. Alternatively
    you can LOLB dive and react to the Toss Sweep,
    or bring the ROLB down. 
    Call R&S Sweep R, then use the ROLB tactic
    for the FB Power Dive in order to give you
    a chance there, and play Toss Sweep R as you
    go. However I wouldn't call it unless you are
    really certain that you are going to be in good
    shape because you aren't going to get any coverage
    vs. the pass with R&S Sweep R.
    Beat down Weakside Open with simple
    tactics, try and get good anticipation of
    run vs. pass, you'll need it.
    Either shotgun will stand you in good stead
    when it comes to the pass but will get you
    blown up on the run. Play Action is at least
    a better all-around defensive call.
    Defensive Play vs. Offensive Play:
    Toss Sweep R vs:
    Toss Sweep R    - Called play.
    Weakside Open   - Pretty good defense.
    R&S Sweep R     - Shut-down defense.
    FB Power Dive   - Room to run, blocker often is free.
    Play Action     - SS sets up 10-yard zone, FS drops low and deep, everyone open.
    R&S Z Fly       - Now and then SS sets up 10-yard zone.
    Shotgun X Drive - Unpredictable coverage, at least two guys open.
    Shotgun Z S-In  - Unpredictable, often RCB on RB #2 and SS in medium zone.
    Weakside Open vs:
    Toss Sweep R    - Defense gives no room to run.
    Weakside Open   - Called play.
    R&S Sweep R     - Defense gives a lane alone the sideline.
    FB Power Dive   - Random DBs descend on the hole, decent defense here.
    Play Action     - Corners pick up WRs, sometimes a guy tries to cover the RB #1.
    R&S Z Fly       - SS sets up a 10-yard zone.
    Shotgun X Drive - Unpredictable, but at least 2 receivers will be open.
    Shotgun Z S-In  - Unpredictable, but at least 2 receivers will be open.
    R&S Sweep R vs:
    Toss Sweep R    - Defense gives a little room at the bottom.
    Weakside Open   - Defense gives a little room at the bottom.
    R&S Sweep R     - Called play, RB can escape out wide now and then.
    FB Power Dive   - DBs mostly converge on hole.
    Play Action     - Sometimes the corners pick up the WRs.
    R&S Z Fly       - LCB picks up WR #2.
    Shotgun X Drive - No coverage.
    Shotgun Z S-In  - SS drops deep.
    FB Power Dive vs:
    Toss Sweep R    - Bad defense.
    Weakside Open   - Shutdown defense.
    R&S Sweep R     - Pretty good defense.
    FB Power Dive   - Called play.
    Play Action     - SS sets up 10-yard zone, FS drops low and deep, everyone open.
    R&S Z Fly       - RCB picks up WR #1 usually, LCB picks up WR #2.
    Shotgun X Drive - FS sometimes sets up 10-yard zone.
    Shotgun Z S-In  - SS sometimes sets up 12-yard zone to the bottom.
    Play Action vs:
    Toss Sweep R    - Terrible defense.
    Weakside Open   - Decent but thin layer of defense - easy to break out.
    R&S Sweep R     - Defense gives a lane along the sideline.
    FB Power Dive   - Defenders come in the area and contain.
    Play Action     - Called play.
    R&S Z Fly       - Unpredictable, but at least 1 receiver will be open.
    Shotgun X Drive - Unpredictable, but at least 1 receiver will be open.
    Shotgun Z S-In  - Unpredictable, but at least 1 receiver will be open.
    R&S Z Fly vs:
    Toss Sweep R    - Terrible defense.
    Weakside Open   - Terrible defense.
    R&S Sweep R     - Defense gives a lane along the sideline.
    FB Power Dive   - Defenders come in the area and contain.
    Play Action     - Wildly unpredictable coverage.
    R&S Z Fly       - Called play.
    Shotgun X Drive - Great defense, often only 1 receiver open, sometimes none.
    Shotgun Z S-In  - Unpredictable, but usually 1 receiver will be open.
    Shotgun X Drive vs:
    Toss Sweep R    - Defense gives a lane along the sideline.
    Weakside Open   - Defense gives a lane along the sideline.
    R&S Sweep R     - Terrible defense.
    FB Power Dive   - Stationary contain, can run right through it.
    Play Action     - Unpredictable, but at least 1 receiver will be open.
    R&S Z Fly       - Great defense, often 1 receiver open.
    Shotgun X Drive - Called play.
    Shotgun Z S-In  - Great defense, often 1 receiver open.
    Shotgun Z S-In vs:
    Toss Sweep R    - Defense gives a lane along the sideline.
    Weakside Open   - Defense gives a lane along the sideline.
    R&S Sweep R     - Terrible defense.
    FB Power Dive   - Stationary contain, can run right through it.
    Play Action     - A guy often tries to cover RB #1, WR #1 covered, WR #2 often
    R&S Z Fly       - Unpredictable, but at least 1 receiver will be open.
    Shotgun X Drive - Great defense, often 1 receiver open.
    Shotgun Z S-In  - Called play.
    Draft Standard Playbook Flare E | 3-2-2-1 | 8/10
    Best with 2 RBs
    This playbook is designed so that the runs
    are going to be very difficult to stop with
    just one player. The passes are not complete
    yet as I haven't analyzed the coverages but
    this at least seems to be the best what I can
    muster up as far as runs are concerned.
    This one changes Play Action for Offset
    Flare E so that the NTD won't be so brutal,
    provided your QB has good feet.
    Toss Sweep R
    Weakside Open
    R&S Sweep R
    FB Power Dive
    R&S Flare C
    Offset Flare E
    Shotgun X Drive
    Shotgun Z S-In
    Defense: Call Toss Sweep R, then NTD away
    FB Power Dive and possibly Offset Flare E.
    Can also LOLB dive or LILB absorb, or use
    ROLB. You can use the RCB to some extent on
    this one because the top receiver doesn't
    go deep.
    Call R&S Sweep R, then use the ROLB tactic
    for the FB Power Dive in order to give you
    a chance there, and play Toss Sweep R as you
    go. However I wouldn't call it unless you are
    really certain that you are going to be in good
    shape because you aren't going to get any coverage
    vs. the pass with R&S Sweep R.
    Beat down Weakside Open with simple
    tactics, try and get good anticipation of
    run vs. pass, you'll need it.
    Either shotgun will stand you in good stead
    when it comes to the pass but will get you
    blown up on the run. R&S Flare C is at least
    a better all-around defensive call.
    Offensive Play vs. Defensive Play: Here it is
    reversed since there are only a few changes. I just
    put down the stuff that isn't in the other
    playbook of this type.
    R&S Flare C vs:
    Toss Sweep R     - FS sometimes sets up a 10-yard zone.
    Weakside Open    - FS sometimes sets up a 10-yard zone.
    R&S Sweep R      - Unpredictable coverage, at least 3 receivers open.
    FB Power Dive    - Unpredictable coverage, at least 3 receivers open.
    R&S Flare C      - Called play.
    Offset Flare E   - Unpredictable coverage, at least 1 receiver is open.
    Shotgun X Drive  - Unpredictable coverage, at least 1 receiver is open.
    Shotgun Z S-In   - Unpredictable coverage, at least 1 receiver is open.
    Offset Flare E vs:
    Toss Sweep R     - SS drops into 17-yard zone, everyone is open.
    Weakside Open    - SS drops into 17-yard zone, everyone is open.
    R&S Sweep R      - SS drops into 17-yard zone, unpredictable coverage,
    2 men open.
    FB Power Dive    - SS drops into 17-yard zone, unpredictable coverage,
    2 men open.
    R&S Flare C      - Unpredictable coverage, RB #2 usually open.
    Offset Flare E   - Called play.
    Shotgun X Drive  - Unpredictable coverage, RB #2 usually open.
    Shotgun Z S-In   - Unpredictable coverage, RB #2 usually open.
    Power + Cover Playbook | 4-4 | 7/10
    Maxes RB #2
    This playbook puts in the powerful
    Toss Sweep R and FB Power Dive to
    enhance the strength of the run,
    specially with less able players. This
    covers the new additions by complementing
    them with pass plays. It also adds the
    superb Pitch L Open to further make
    FB Offtackle L viable and to enhance the
    running game generally. It also introduces
    a race defect in Pitch L Open, so watch
    your backs and make sure they are of
    the same color.
    This is a typical playbook against a strong
    RCB like Wayne Haddix or Deion Sanders, when
    the opposing team doesn't have many good
    Note also you have substantial weaknesses
    against NTD in this set; better for no-lurch
    Toss Sweep R
    FB Offtackle L
    Pitch L Open
    FB Power Dive
    Play Action
    Offset Flare E
    Power Fake X Fly
    X Out And Fly
    Defense: Call Toss Sweep R, then nose tackle
    dive everything in the Strong-I form. Call
    X Out And Fly, and skewer the runs with the
    left end. Not much to this one. Get caught
    by the Onesetback form, and go to the left
    end to stop the run if he can also cover the
    pass, otherwise use the SS or LCB. Get caught
    by the Strong-I form, and defend against Toss
    Sweep R.
    If you have to use the RCB, try running him 
    down whenever the opponent runs at you, then
    after the blockers have found targets, come
    back up to make the tackle.
    No-Lurch Run & Shoot | 6-2 | 7/10
    Maxes RB #1
    This is a common playbook used by non-lurchers.
    It still has a number of opportunities for
    counterplay, but is a good way to take advantage
    of players like Bobby Humphrey.
    This playbook is especially good to use if your
    RB has 56+ MS, as the LOLB dive becomes less
    effective at higher MS.
    R&S Sweep L
    T Power Dive
    R&S Sweep R
    R&S QB Sneak (or QB Run if fast QB)
    R&S Flare C
    R&S Z Fly
    Pro T Flare C
    R&S Y Up
    Defense: When you see the T formation, you
    know the only run is going to be T Power Dive.
    Refer to the section on that specific play for
    defenses. Unless you are going to get wrecked
    on tapping or are in short yardage with no
    options I recommend never calling it; players
    get away from the dive too easily, even if they
    are successful with it. Mainly this is
    because of the fumble factor, but also because
    players get discouraged by having to run, and
    using a fairly complicated run with high
    Otherwise the only run worth calling is R&S
    Sweep R, which has the usual caveat about no
    pass defense. Against the R&S QB Sneak call a
    pass, against the QB Run defend it the way you
    would typically do R&S Sweep L.
    When you see this playbook and a < 56 MS
    RB, expect a lot of passing.
    No-Lurch Conventional Power | 3-2-2-1 | 7/10
    Best with 2 RBs
    This is a fairly common configuration in
    no-lurch as well. If you are skilled in the
    power dive and have reasonably fast backs
    going against weak defenses, this will 
    outperform the R&S heavy playbooks. The
    Redgun Z Slant sometimes gets abused, although
    more typically with high PS QBs. 
    Toss Sweep R
    T Power Dive
    R&S Sweep R
    FB Power Dive
    R&S Flare C
    Offset Flare E
    Pro T Flare C
    Redgun Z Slant
    Defense: The key to stopping this playbook
    is to stay in Offset Flare E calls instead
    of Toss Sweep R, since you cannot NTD away
    the power dives. This requires game-specific
    strategy, but here are some suggestions:
    - Good ROLB against both runs
    - Quick adjust LOLB to handle both runs
    - Great RCB hard down 
    - Blow up blockers
    On the T set, follow previous suggestions.
    The Redgun will also be challenging against
    a skilled human opponent because you will
    probably wind up doing some R&S Sweep R 
    calls. I suggest just bailing out if you 
    are not in a pass call; the WR #1 in the
    low flat is too far away from the RB #1 
    that comes out to really deal with both
    without help over the top. Another, far
    risker, option is to try and bait a throw 
    to the deep receivers and get either the 
    tip or the incomplete. I only really
    recommend this against moderate PS QBs
    and a player with good Interceptions. 
    Older Playbooks And How To Shut Them Down
    Shotgun 2 & 2 Playbook | 4-4 | 5/10
    This playbook takes the 2 & 2 and puts in
    some non-race defective shotguns in order to
    stop any persistent nose tackle diving.
    Run And Shoot Sweep Left
    T Sweep Strong
    Run And Shoot Sweep Right
    Pro T Dive
    Run And Shoot Flare C
    Pro T Flare D
    Shotgun X Drive
    Shotgun Z S-In
    Defense: Call R&S Sweep R, when you get
    them into an obvious passing situation,
    call anything but Pro T Flare D (it is too
    2 & 2 Playbook | 4-4 | 5/10
    I really don't believe I missed this one
    for so long. This playbook has three 5-receiver
    plays in it and two-way runs for two formations
    (you have to reverse and go up for Pro T Dive).
    The biggest asset of these plays is the balance
    of options. R&S goes Left and Right, T Sweep
    Strong goes south, and Pro T Dive goes through
    the middle and can be reversed to go in any
    direction. One nice thing about putting in Pro
    T Dive instead of R&S QBSneak is that it puts
    a person with actual Hitting Power (and no,
    Dan Marino, you do not have Hitting Power in this
    game, sorry) on the run through the middle, and it
    makes problems for the top linebacker, who can
    run around T Sweep Strong and also rush the QB,
    but will get into a struggle if he runs straight in
    or downward, causing him to stall on the other T
    formation plays. The R&S passes are good for
    short and long opportunities, Pro T Flare D needs
    no explanation, and Pro T Flare C has the moving
    tight end that causes big problems. You also have
    good flash opportunities on Y Up and D, as well
    as good field saturation on the other two. This, my
    friends, is (nearly) boss.
    Run And Shoot Sweep Left
    T Sweep Strong
    Run And Shoot Sweep Right
    Pro T Dive
    Run And Shoot Flare C
    Pro T Flare D
    Pro T Flare C
    Run And Shoot Y Up
    Defense: Call R&S Sweep R, bye bye run (provided you
    use the LOLB or somesuch). Then you can use whatever
    pressure tactics you want in obvious passing downs.
    2 Shotgun Playbook | 4-2-2 | /10
    If the nose tackle dive is allowed, this
    gives you five plays immune to its effects
    instead of three as 2 & 2 does, and
    sacrifices some unpredictability thereby,
    but not too much, since there are still passes
    for every run. This does have a race defect,
    though, so you need to take that into
    consideration as well.
    Run And Shoot Sweep Left
    T Sweep Strong
    Run And Shoot Sweep Right
    Pro T Dive
    Run And Shoot Flare C
    Shotgun X Curl
    Pro T Flare C
    Shotgun Z S-In
    Defense: Call R&S Sweep R and you should have
    no problems with the run if you are going to
    play it with the LILB or a DB, for instance.
    Against Shotgun X Curl, call R&S Flare C to
    get good coverage.
    Redgun T: This one has 7 T Formation plays and
    Redgun Z Slant for two-minute offense. It's
    decently strong, but it is susceptible to tactics,
    especially if the opponent has good linebackers or
    a good RCB.
    T Power Sweep R
    T Offtackle R
    Cross Offtackle
    T Power Dive
    Pro T Screen L
    Pro T Flare D
    Pro T Flare C
    Redgun Z Slant
    Defense: Call T Offtackle R and then use the RILB
    to throw this running game down, or call a pass and
    use your best DB to stop the runs before they can
    get any yards. Don't call Pro T Flare D, it is
    not easy to stop even if you do call it.
    Power: This playbook's strength is the number of
    blockers and receivers that come out, but its
    weakness is its three-formation split and
    predictability, not to mention a race defect.
    Toss Sweep R
    FB Offtackle L
    Pitch L Open
    FB Power Dive
    Play Action
    Shotgun X Curl
    Power Fake X Fly
    X Out And Fly
    Defense: Use the LE against the Onesetback plays,
    call Play Action if Shotgun X Curl is being abused,
    but otherwise, call either Strong-I running play.
    T Run Playbook | 6-2 | 5/10
    This offers the balance and power
    of Run And Shoot without the lousy Draw
    (there are more appropriate vulgarities
    for that horrid play, but I'll simply
    leave it at this) and the predictable
    Run And Shoot Sweep Left
    T Sweep Strong
    Run And Shoot Sweep Right
    Run And Shoot QBSneak OR QB Run
    Run And Shoot Flare C
    Run And Shoot Z Fly
    Pro T Flare C
    Run And Shoot Y Up
    Defense: Call R&S Sweep Right, use the ILBs
    against the T, pressure the passer as you
    desire, there should be no real problems here.
    Power Shoot Playbook | 5-3 | 5/10
    One of the great things about Onesetback
    plays is that they break through the
    defense very well in many cases. This
    playbook substitutes Run And Shoot Y
    Up with X Out And Fly to offer the ability
    to have HATS Plays without having to
    worry about an impudent defender slide tackling
    the running back or the quarterback all of the
    Run And Shoot Left
    FB Offtackle L
    Run And Shoot Right
    Run And Shoot QBSneak OR QB Run
    Run And Shoot Flare C
    Run And Shoot Z Fly
    Power Fake X Fly
    X Out And Fly
    Defense: Against the pass, call X Out And Fly,
    then NTD. R&S Z Fly will do well if you can't
    NTD the QB because he's too fast, so long as
    you remember the curl-pass defense. If you
    are thinking run, call R&S Sweep R, that will
    screw them up good, and defense the Onesetback
    form as you normally would, while defending the
    other two plays with, say, the LILB (though many
    other positions will work as well). Overall this
    is just not strong at all.
    Shift And Shotgun Playbook | 6-2 | 6/10
    The Shifting Onesetback is also a very
    respectable formation, not least for the
    ability to shift receivers. This playbook
    provides Shotguns to fill in the gaps in
    the playbook where no original formation
    play exists. It does introduce a Shotgun
    race defect though.
    FB Open L
    Oneback Sweep Right
    WR Reverse L
    Onesetback Dive
    Roll Out R
    Shotgun X Curl
    Playaction Z In
    Shotgun Z S-In
    No defenses for this one, haven't seen it
    much at all, got pretty good at shutting
    the Washington offense down and this is
    basically a slightly upgraded Washington
    Total Power Playbook | 4-2-2 | 4/10
    (this is one to use on the computer)
    This is a tested playbook that I have
    used on the computer for quite some time.
    Since the computer has no real intelligence,
    it doesn't really care a whole lot what 
    plays you call and it doesn't have a good
    idea of how to kill some plays. Thus, this
    playbook sacrifices predictability for the
    advantage of increased yardage gains due to
    the power of the individual plays chosen. 
    Toss Sweep R
    FB Offtackle L
    Pitch L Open
    FB Power Dive
    Run And Shoot Flare C
    Run And Shoot Z Fly
    Power Fake X Fly 
    X Out And Fly
    Other Tricks/Pointers in Vs. MAN Playcalling
    A little trick you can use is to open up the menu by
    pressing A when you are going to call a
    pass. Your opponent may then think you were trying
    to call a run and thus will call a run. Of course,
    like anything else on the play menu, your opponent
    may be wise to this and crush you.
    Likewise, if you DID accidentally open the play
    menu, you can try and go to "Change" to make it
    appear as if you didn't screw up so badly.
    Defensively of course you can't go into Change. :)
    Defensively, if you are getting beaten a little by
    a particular play that isn't a threat to break out,
    let the MAN use it a little bit. Then, start calling
    it on a key play and then return to normal playcalling.
    Always remember defensively that if you have already
    called a given play out of a formation, don't bother
    about trying to defend it, because you should have it
    shut down (most of the time anyway). There are a couple
    exceptions, mainly involving fast QBs, but you can
    react to those on the fly.
    CPU Playcalling
    The computer, being plain silly, always chooses
    to return the ball if it wins the coin toss.
    The computer's patterns are set before the end of
    the first half, at least. It may also switch
    in the fourth quarter. Once you find these
    patterns, it becomes much easier to exploit the
    computer, on both offense and defense. The defense
    especially benefits from knowledge of patterns.
    The easiest way to do that is to keep track of
    what plays the computer calls, even in your head,
    because that aggregate probability is what usually
    determines what the computer is going to do.
    Sometimes, you'll light upon a computer doing the
    same things it did in a previous drive, and you
    can exploit that, playing just as you did on that
    drive to beat the computer down.
    CPU Playcalling On Fourth Down:
    If the computer is behind the fifty-yard line
    and it isn't fourth quarter, the computer will
    almost always punt. It will also punt in front
    of the fifty-yard line if the kicker is not all
    that good - how bad determines where the computer
    will kick a field goal. During the fourth quarter,
    if the computer is losing, it will keep the
    ball, but if not, it will punt it as normal.
    If it is past the fifty yard line and it isn't
    fourth quarter, the computer will kick a field
    goal. During the fourth quarter, if the
    computer is losing by seven points or more, it
    will almost always try for the touchdown/first
    down and call a play. If it is losing by
    few enough points such that a field goal will
    win it for the computer, the computer will
    kick a field goal. Its behavior in the
    intermediate range I have not yet determined,
    since I either blow the computer out or am
    worried about losing so much I don't give it
    much heed (if I am less than 7 points ahead).
    I believe, however, that it will go for the
    touchdown or first down if the point
    difference is more than 3. I don't think it is
    entirely predictable, certainly not to the
    degree that the others are.
    10. Tweaking The Tecmo
    "Just a few more adjustments, and your Tecmo will
    be better than ever."
    Herein are some nice tips and tricks, some obvious
    and known, others obscure, that generally help your
    Call-Safe Your Playbook
    Call Plays That Cover For Others
    Watch For Blocking
    Intending To QB Run From The Beginning
    Watch The Shift
    Use Different Players On Defense
    Freeing Up Your BOYZ
    Run Along The Sidelines To Suppress Fumbles
    Cover A Fumble Behind The Line
    Cover A Fumble With A Slide Tackle
    Two-Tap Field Goals And Punts
    Check Your Returner's Condition
    Set Your Backups To The Return (Season Mode)
    Change Your Lineup
    Vary Your Hike Time With Shifting Plays
    Coach Mode for Training
    Look At Your Opponent's Controller
    Hide Your Controller
    Look At A Play You're Not Picking
    Look At Your Opponent's Face/Eyes (with XRayMind)
    Skip The Coin Toss If You Lose
    Call-Safe Your Playbook
    One thing that will improve your game drastically is
    a play that you can use even when your opponent
    calls it. How about having several of those? What
    you want to do is stack your playbook with pass
    plays that have call-safe receivers and run plays that
    running backs like Bo Jackson can get out of, such as
    Run and Shoot Sweep Right. Not only is it
    demoralizing for your opponent, it also can gain you
    five or more yards.
    As the defender, this is an opportunity to bait the
    QB if you have a good Interceptions player. 
    Call Plays That Cover For Others
    On some plays, especially passes, people move in
    ways that either hurt or help your defense. One
    thing that they do is that they move up to the
    line (like cornerbacks). Another is that they
    spread out over the field. What you should do is
    watch how your defenders move on certain plays and
    take that into account as you call your plays. If 
    your corners always move up on one pass play when you 
    really need them, or your safeties are contracting, 
    call another pass play to get better coverage, or if
    one run play call is really getting you pounded,
    call another that allows you to contain better.
    Pass #1 (Slot 5) is a common play used in this role;
    sometimes guys will just sit on this play if you
    aren't hurting them that much in the passing game. 
    Watch For Blocking
    On some plays that begin alike, one way that you
    can tell whether the play action ends in a run
    or a pass is to look at whether wide receivers
    and others are making contact with defenders. If
    they are, then it's a run, and if they are passing
    through, then it's a pass.
    Intending to QB Run from the Beginning
    One particularly effective tactic when you are on 
    offense is to be able to both run and pass with one
    play. Pro T Flare D can do this a little bit, with the 
    two running backs on either side of the pocket, but 
    it's not really that sound given that the back has to 
    catch the ball (they don't always do this), be
    uncovered, and that everyone on the opposing team 
    goes after him. In certain short and medium-yardage
    situations, it makes more sense to just run the QB
    without ever intending to throw. Partially this is
    because your QB-target combination has poor ability to
    complete passes. Sometimes it just helps your QB to
    have some advantage against a MAN defender who is
    primarily concerned with covering open receivers; you
    can start your QB rush before the MAN gets into his
    short-yardage loops and traps. Remember that the QB
    only has 44 Ball Control, so you don't want to do this
    with the intention of getting tackled unless you need
    to cross the marker. 
    Watch The Shift
    When a player gets tackled on the top or the bottom 
    of the field, the ball will be shifted to that particular 
    side. What this does is it makes it harder for a player
    to run to the particular side the ball is shifted to, and 
    easier for the other side. On a pass, it concentrates 
    receivers on one side or the other. What you want to 
    do is take this into account when you call your plays 
    (mainly for runs though - the pass shift is usually 
    insignificant). If you think there's going to be a run 
    play called, and your opponent (Player 1) is shifted to 
    the top, and he has both Run And Shoot Right and 
    Left, you want to call Run And Shoot Right to cover 
    your weaker side, letting the blockers that are already 
    going to be close for the run take care of a run to the 
    top. Because of the bias, those blockers will be
    concentrated more heavily at the top than at the
    bottom, and will make it harder for the runner to the 
    top to try to make it out. It usually won't completely 
    eliminate yardage gains, but it does reduce their 
    Use Different Players On Defense
    Sometimes on defense your opponent will try and key in
    on a particular player that you are using with success.
    To combat this remember that if you have two or more
    viable players, you should try and attack the opponent's
    play which is attacking the player the MAN hates. Of
    course, if you are fully dominating with that player or
    if you wouldn't do any better using a different player,
    don't switch up.
    Freeing Up Your BOYZ
    If you are playing as a strong linebacker and a
    run play is happening behind the line of scrimmage
    (as with wide receiver reverses, for instance), what
    you can do to increase the efficacy of your run
    defense is to hit the struggling linemen. That way,
    your defensive linemen will be freed up to start 
    roaming and your opponent's offensive linemen will
    be lying on the ground, not only taking them out of
    the blocking picture, but also opening up holes for
    you and your fellow defenders to run after ballcarriers
    behind the line. However, if the run is going straight
    out from the line, don't waste your time getting extra
    run blockers that will never arrive in time to catch
    the runner.
    On a power dive, you can also use safeties to achieve
    the similar effect.
    You can also use this tactic to get a pass rush.
    And also remember conditions change during a game, so
    you might go back to a matchup that you abandoned
    earlier in the game.
    It seems that this is more effective with higher
    HP/MS players, and against a matchup where your player
    has a clear advantage. With a strong player, it seems
    to be about an 85% chance that you will roll the
    CPU blocker. With a weaker player, it seems more like
    Run Along The Sidelines To Suppress Fumbles
    If you don't want to lose yards and possession of
    the ball to fumbles, moving along the sidelines ensures 
    that nearly half of the fumbles that occur will go out
    of bounds. In addition, if you really want to ward off 
    fumbles, simply run out of bounds to avoid the tackle. 
    Cover A Fumble Behind The Line
    Because a MAN-controlled player cannot pick up a 
    fumble in most cases, what usually ends up
    happening in situations where a fumble occurs behind 
    the offensive line or close to it is that the computer 
    for the offense will get a man down there, pick it up, 
    and start running for yardage, sometimes getting first 
    downs, or, occasionally, touchdowns. Therefore, 
    when a fumble happens, you should either, if you 
    think your players might be able to recover the ball, 
    struggle off your opponent's men and keep them 
    away from the ball, or, if you don't think you can 
    recover the ball, move away from it somewhat and 
    tackle the person who picks up the ball to end the 
    play. Also, make sure to slide tackle through the
    opposing players.
    Cover A Fumble With A Slide Tackle
    One nice thing about Tecmo is that when you hit the 
    slide tackle button, the ball is the target. So, when
    the ball gets loose and opposing players are all around
    it, slide tackle through them to knock them down
    and keep them from gaining possession and/or tackle one 
    who may come up with the ball.
    Two-Tap Field Goals And Punts
    Don't take chances with your playcalling. When you
    choose either a punt or a field goal, only tap
    twice - that is, tap twice downward to punt, and
    tap twice upward to kick. There are several 
    advantages to this, the principal one being that
    you can't go over or under your choice and choose
    a field goal or a punt that you don't want and that
    can kill your game. Moreover, if you under-tap, then
    you will either use a timeout or you will go into
    the change menu - two quite harmless actions 
    compared with kicking a punt from your opponent's
    thirty-yard line or kicking a field goal from your
    Check Your Returner's Condition
    Ball Control is crucial to successful kick and
    punt returning. If you don't have a lot, then
    you will put the ball on the grass, which means
    excellent field position should your opponent
    recover a fumbled kickoff and a free touchdown
    on a fumbled punt. To avoid this, if you have a 
    returner who only has 50 Ball Control, even in
    a Preseason game, check his condition during the
    game to make sure he doesn't drop below 50 by
    changing condition. If he does, put in someone
    else. You simply cannot afford fumbles on the
    return. Conditions change after every quarter.
    Set Your Backups To The Return (Season Mode)
    Returners have a tendency to get injured because 
    because they take at least three or four tackles a
    game, and sometimes, if you set one person to both
    kick and punt returning, that can increase to eight
    or ten a game. So, don't set your starters, 
    especially your good starters, to returns in Season
    games because they can get injured quite easily.
    Change Your Lineup
    One good way to screw with your opponent, if it is
    allowed, is to change your offensive lineup once
    or twice every drive. One thing this does is it
    makes it harder to exploit race defects. 
    Another thing it does is to add one more layer of
    paranoia and guessing to the play. If you shift
    a receiver into the fullback slot and you have
    Pitch L Open in your playbook, your opponent may
    think, "Gee, I wonder what play he's going for.",
    and call Pitch L Open. In the meantime, you've 
    called X Out And Fly, leaving two open receivers,
    one of whom is your substitution. Or maybe it's 
    the other way around! Maybe he thinks it will be
    X Out And Fly, then you call Pitch L Open to 
    drive him into the turf. It's one more dimension
    of Tecmo. 
    Vary Your Hike Time With Shifting Plays
    If you switch around your snap time with plays that
    have motion, you can deceive your opponent and 
    just generally annoy him/her. For example, with a
    Shifting Onesetback formation, you can let the
    motion end for, say, FB Open L, and hike quickly
    for Playaction Z In. Then, you hike quickly for
    your next FB Open L and your opponent can lose 
    a second on the play from the general disorientation,
    especially if you've been using that shift pattern
    for a quarter or more. You can also just randomly
    hike the ball to keep your opponent focused on when
    the snap will come (since the motion distracts from
    readiness). Another trick you can use is to snap
    the ball so that a wide receiver or other player
    will come out of the formation and get in the way
    of an opposing human player.
    Pick Up The Interceptor's Fumble By Tackling Him In Bounds
    Unlike most situations, you CAN pick up a fumble if a
    defender who intercepts the ball then fumbles it on the
    tackle. Therefore, be persistent about tackling the defender
    in bounds and not allowing him to save the ball for the
    Coach Mode for Training
    Useful in particular for practicing how to score
    and move the ball even when your opponent has 
    picked your play.
    These are some tactics that most people don't allow,
    but which do belong in your arsenal if you have
    a no-holds-barred game.
    Look At Your Opponent's Controller - 
    If you know what play your opponent has called by
    doing this, it makes your game easier for obvious
    Hide Your Controller -
    If you have a game where you can look at your
    opponent's controller, you need to do this in some
    Look At A Play You're Not Picking - 
    If you can look at your opponent's face and eyes,
    you will want to deceive him like this. Also, you
    can look at the play you're going to call, get it
    called, then look at another play that you
    haven't called, and fake out your opponent.
    Look At Your Opponent's Face/Eyes (with XRayMind) - 
    This can do the same thing as looking at your 
    opponent's controller. Watch out though - your
    opponent may try to deceive you and look at one
    he/she is not calling.
    Skip The Coin Toss If You Lose -
    This gives you a chance to reset the flip on the
    initial kickoff. Pretty much angling in my opinion,
    you shouldn't be worried about the chance to put your
    opponent behind 7 points to start the game.
    11. The Pro Bowl
    "Tecmo Super Bowl should only be attempted by 
    trained professionals."
    This is in three sections now:
    Pro Bowl Game And Roster Data
    Gaffney's Pro Bowl Even Teams
    Training Exercises (Best & Worst Teams)
    Pro Bowl Game And Roster Data
    In this mode, injured players are playable (in Bad 
    condition). Also, there seems to be some sort of
    operation which Tecmo performs on the players:
    many times it will take players' stats down a 
    notch for all the players, or sometimes some of
    the players. This seems to turn off if you then
    enter Team Data and look at the affected players.
    Also, some of the worse players will move up in
    terms of stats when in the Pro Bowl rosters.
    It's quite strange. Conditions also shift in this
    mode as in Preseason.
    There's one bug that's unique to this section,
    which I will get more into in a second: the
    fourth player on the third AFC Central Team
    (Ernest Givins/Oilers in Tecmo 1991) is in the Pro 
    Bowl roster as the fourth WR (unless you've 
    changed that position). However, if you
    switch him out, you cannot put him back as
    a WR, but only as a RB! Be careful. 
    When you use the AFC/NFC All Stars rosters, you
    can choose from only the categories that are
    listed for each position. However, this doesn't
    work like you would think it would. It goes down
    the list of offensive players in a similar fashion
    to the OF Starters menu. This is how it works:
    QBs - Put in any QB in either of the slots.
    RBs - The players that you can use here are the
    four that are listed after the QBs (3-6). Most
    of the time these are running backs, but they 
    can also be wide receivers (like Ernest Givins). 
    WRs - You can use the players from the 7th-10th
    slots here. These are usually WRs, but there are
    also some running backs here that you can put in.
    TEs - You use the players from the 11th through
    12th slots here (the ones right before the center
    in the list). There are tight ends, and also some
    C - Self-explanatory.
    G - You can put either left or right tackles in
    either of the slots. 
    T - You can put either left or right tackles in
    either of the slots. 
    DE - You can put any defensive lineman (left end,
    right end, or nose tackle) in these slots.
    NT - You can put any defensive lineman in this
    LB - You can put any linebacker in these slots,
    irrespective of their original position.
    CB - You can put any cornerback wherever you
    like here. 
    S - You can put any safety in any combination
    in these slots. 
    K - Self-explanatory.
    P - Self-explanatory.
    The Ernest Givins bug occurs because the game
    does not select players based on their position,
    but rather their place in the rosters. I suspect
    this was done to make the roster more ergonomic,
    but it kind of backfired with three or four WR
    offenses. So, you ask, how were they able to get
    Ernest in the roster? They could get Ernest in
    there because Tecmo stores the information in
    the rosters with pointers. Instead of duplicating
    even all the name data, the game simply "points"
    to where the information is stored on the normal
    rosters. What I suspect they did was to enter
    in Ernest manually with the default information
    into the fourth WR slot without using the normal
    mechanism, the menu that we use, which filters
    out the 3rd-6th slots for that position. That
    also means that you can put other players that
    don't belong in that slot if you put other data
    in there. 
    Gaffney's Pro Bowl Even Teams
    These teams were hammered out by Jeff Gaffney to give
    each side an equal team. As he says on his webpage:
    "There are only three dissimilarities in the teams... 
    The first is that Maury Buford has slightly less Avoid 
    Punt Block than Brian Hansen. Of course, punts cannot be 
    blocked in this version of Tecmo (go ahead and try, you 
    either get tackled or get the punt away, there is no 
    blocking), so this difference is essentially non-existent 
    in gameplay. The other two differences kind of balance 
    each other out. Tim McKyer and Don Griffen have identical 
    stats, except McKyer has 44 Hitting Power, while Griffen 
    has only 38. Brian Washington is identical to Mark Murphy,
    except he has 38 hitting power and Murphy has 44. Thus, 
    they essentially cancel each other out - sure one could 
    argue that the hitting power is better served in the safety 
    position, but over the course of a game, the difference 
    is really negligible. 
    Anyway, as far as I could tell, this is as close as you 
    can get. If you find any better plan, please let me know,
    especially if I overlook a pairing. For the most even 
    results, plug the players into the positions defensively 
    in the order listed for both teams. To add more of a 
    managerial aspect, you can allow players to use only the 
    given players, but switch around where on defense they 
    play to best defend their opponents offensive style. 
    I'm sure you can tell the QB's and LB's suck, but the 
    DB's, WR's and RB's aren't half bad. It makes for some 
    pretty interesting gameplay, I must say."
    Here goes nothing:
    QB #1: Steve Beuerlein (Rai.)
    QB #2: Gary Kubiak (Den.)
    RB #1: James Brooks (Cin.)
    RB #2: Blair Thomas (Jets)
    RB #3: Chris Warren (Sea.)
    RB #4: S.Jennings (Cin.)
    WR #1: Haywood Jeffires (Hou.)
    WR #2: Stephone Paige (K.C.)
    WR #3: Mark Jackson (Den.)
    WR #4: Irving Fryar (N.E.)
    TE #1: Ozzie Newsome (Cle.)
    TE #2: Paul Green (Den.)
    C: Paul Fairchild (N.E.)
    G #1 (top): Gregg Rakoczy (Cle.)
    G #2 (bottom): Randy Dixon (Ind.)
    T #1 (top): Will Woolford (Buf.)
    T #2 (bottom): Jeff Criswell (Jets)
    DE #1: Doug Smith (Hou.)
    NT: Ron Stallworth (Jets)
    DE #2: Lee Williams (S.D.)
    LB #1: Kevin Walker (Cin.)
    LB #2: Ed Reynolds (N.E.)
    LB #3: Chris Singleton (N.E.)
    LB #4: Terry Wooden (Sea.)
    CB #1: Raymond Clayborn (Cle.)
    CB #2: Tim McKyer (Mia.)
    S #1: Brian Washington (Jets)
    S #2: Jarvis Williams (Mia.)
    K: Pete Stoyanovich (Mia.)
    P: Brian Hansen (N.E.)
    QB #1: Stan Humphries (Was.)
    QB #2: Anthony Dilweg (G.B.)
    RB #1: Emmitt Smith (Dal.)
    RB #2: Harry Sydney (S.F.)
    RB #3: Robert Drummond (Phi.)
    RB #4: John Harvey (T.B.)
    WR #1: Gary Clark (Was.)
    WR #2: Sterling Sharpe (G.B.)
    WR #3: Robert Clark (Det.)
    WR #4: Hassan Jones (Min.)
    TE #1: Ed West (G.B.)
    TE #2: Damone Johnson (Rams)
    C: Mark Stepnoski (Dal.)
    G #1 (top): Ron Hallstrom (G.B.)
    G #2 (bottom): Todd Kalis (Min.)
    T #1 (top): Tim Irwin (Min.)
    T #2 (bottom): Ron Heller (Phi.)
    DE #1: Darryl Grant (Was.)
    NT: Erik Howard (Gia.)
    DE #2: Freddie Joe Nunn (Phx.)
    LB #1: Mike Wilcher (Rams)
    LB #2: Darrion Conner (Atl.)
    LB #3: Eric Hill (Phx.)
    LB #4: Fred Strickland (Rams)
    CB #1: Mark Lee (G.B.)
    CB #2: Don Griffin (S.F)
    S #1: Mark Murphy (G.B.)
    S #2: William White (Det.)
    K: Steve Christie (T.B.)
    P: Maury Buford (Chi.)
    Training Exercises
    I have to date found only one other use for the Pro Bowl 
    that develops your skills: use the Pro Bowl Change 
    Players option to choose any player from the 
    respective conferences (AFC and NFC) to stack the 
    deck against yourself with horrid players, like the 
    backup receivers of Chicago and Hugh Millen for the
    NFC, or Steve Grogan and the whole defense of 
    Indianapolis for the AFC. Here are some of my
    vile creations for this purpose, with a bad playbook
    to give yourself headaches. Give your opponent 
    whatever playbook you have the most problems with.
    Note that for the playbooks, there are several 
    alternate players with the same stats, who are just
    as bad and can be substituted, and some other things 
    which I have noted. 
    Tips on making this harder for all teams: switch in
    the pathetic WRs for the faster running backs or 
    even put them in at tight end if you can spare it.
    For your opponent, put in the demons (Okoye and
    Anderson) as the primary running backs and returners,
    because those guys will give you no end of trouble;
    Bo Jackson can't even compare. 
    AFC's Worst
    Lots of people from Cleveland, Indianapolis, and New 
    England on this one, although Buffalo makes a good 
    showing, mainly because they had the first people 
    with the worst stats on the list. The Broncos and 
    Jets also show they've got the talent to be "Super 
    Bowl Champions". 
    QB #1: Steve Grogan (N.E.)
    QB #2: Jeff George (Ind.)
    RB #1: Kenneth Davis (Buf.)
    RB #2: Don Smith (Buf.)
    RB #3: Anthony Johnson (Ind.)
    RB #4: Sammy Winder (Den.)
    WR #1: Al Edwards (Buf.)
    WR #2: Fred Banks (Mia.)
    WR #3: Terance Mathis (Jets)
    WR #4: Jojo Townsell (Jets)
    TE #1: Mike Dyal (Rai.)
    TE #2: John Talley (Cle.)
    C: Paul Fairchild (N.E.)
    G #1 (top): Damian Johnson (N.E.)
    G #2 (bottom): Brian Baldinger (Ind.)
    T #1 (top): Paul Farren (Cle.)
    T #2 (bottom): Danny Villa (N.E.)
    DE #1 (RE): Tim Goad (N.E.)
    NT: Jeff Lageman (Jets)
    DE #2 (LE): Harvey Armstrong (Ind.)
    LB #1 (ROLB): John Grimsley (Hou.)
    LB #2 (RILB): Fredd Young (Ind.)
    LB #3 (LILB): Richard Harvey (N.E.)
    LB #4 (LOLB): Chris Singleton (N.E.)
    CB #1 (RCB): Carl Carter (Cin.)
    CB #2 (LCB): Wymon Henderson (Den.)
    S #1 (FS): Thane Gash (Cle.)
    S #2 (SS): Kevin Porter (K.C.)
    K: Jerry Kauric (Cle.)
    P: Bryan Wagner (Cle.)
    KR: try Kenneth Davis
    PR: try Kenneth Davis
    AFC's Best
    This team has a very strong DL and QBs with
    great Pass Speed, as well as a better running
    game and receivers with massive ball control,
    with a great secondary. The only thing this
    team lacks in comparison to the NFC's best is
    a rushing quarterback and a better linebacking
    squad. Houston was the biggest because of 
    their WRs with 81 Ball Control and 75 Receptions
    (no one in the AFC has 81 Receptions), but 
    the Bills, Raiders, and Chiefs make their mark with
    stars on the run and on defense. Make sure to start
    Drew Hill and Ernest Givins. Kendal Smith and
    Dwight "hands of" Stone are there to return.
    QB #1: Warren Moon (Hou.)
    QB #2: Dan Marino (Mia.)
    RB #1: Bo Jackson (Rai.)
    RB #2: Christian Okoye (K.C.)
    RB #3: Thurman Thomas (Buf.)
    RB #4: Bobby Humphrey (Den.)
    WR #1: Dwight Stone (Pit.)
    WR #2: Drew Hill (Hou.)
    WR #3: Kendal Smith (Cin.)
    WR #4: Ernest Givins (Hou.)
    TE #1: Rodney Holman (Cin.)
    TE #2: Marv Cook (N.E.)
    C: Kent Hull (Buf.)
    G #1 (top): Bruce Matthews (Hou.)
    G #2 (bottom): Steve Wisniewski (Rai.)
    T #1 (top): Anthony Munoz (Cin.)
    T #2 (bottom): Richmond Webb (Mia.)
    DE #1 (RE): Bruce Smith (Buf.)
    NT: Greg Townsend (Rai.)
    DE #2 (LE): Howie Long (Rai.)
    LB #1 (ROLB): Derrick Thomas (K.C.)
    LB #2 (RILB): C. Bennett (Buf.)
    LB #3 (LILB): Greg Lloyd (Pit.)
    LB #4 (LOLB): Dennis Byrd (Jets)
    CB #1 (RCB): Rod Woodson (Pit.)
    CB #2 (LCB): Richard Johnson (Hou.)
    S #1 (FS): Eddie Anderson (Rai.)
    S #2 (SS): David Fulcher (Cin.)
    K: Nick Lowery (K.C.)
    P: Mike Horan (Den.)
    KR: Dwight Stone (Pit.)
    PR: Kendal Smith (Cin.)
    NFC's Worst
    These guys have a pathetic line and blocking 
    capability due to the fact that WRs are put in
    for running backs and tight ends, with the
    commensurate results. If you can get the ball
    to the QB, though, you have extra Receptions of
    the WR running backs and tight ends. This team
    has an even worse defense than the AFC's Worst,
    due in large part to a total lack of hitting
    power. Four teams, Minnesota, Atlanta, Tampa 
    Bay, and Detroit make up most of the list,
    with Detroit making its splash because of
    low Hitting Power WRs in RB and TE slots, and
    the rest because their players gimp around
    for a living. Shame of the day goes to Barry
    Helton, who disgraces the 49ers by appearing
    on this list of grannies. 
    QB #1: Jeff Hostetler (Gia.)
    QB #2: Hugh Millen (Atl.)
    RB #1: Aubrey Matthews (Det.)
    RB #2: Michael Haynes (Atl.)
    RB #3: Jessie Clark (Min.)
    RB #4: Alfred Anderson (Min.)
    WR #1: Glen Kozlowski (Chi.)
    WR #2: Leo Lewis (Min.)
    WR #3: Danny Peebles (T.B)
    WR #4: Lonzell Hill (N.O.)
    TE #1: Mike Farr (Det.)
    TE #2: Terry Greer (Det.)
    C: Randy Grimes (T.B.)
    G #1 (top): Carl Bax (T.B.)
    G #2 (bottom): Ron Solt (Phi.)
    T #1 (top): Rob Taylor (T.B.)
    T #2 (bottom): Mike Kenn (Atl.)
    DE #1 (RE): Brian Smith (Rams)
    NT: Keith Ferguson (Det.)
    DE #2 (LE): Jim Skow (T.B.)
    LB #1 (ROLB): George Jamison (Det.)
    LB #2 (RILB): Eugene Marve (T.B.)
    LB #3 (LILB): Ray Berry (Min.)
    LB #4 (LOLB): Dennis Gibson (Det.)
    CB #1 (RCB): Mark Lee (G.B)
    CB #2 (LCB): Leroy Irvin (Det.)
    S #1 (FS): Scott Case (Atl.)
    S #2 (SS): Andre Waters (Phi.)
    K: Mike Lansford (Rams)
    P: Barry Helton (S.F.)
    KR: try Lonzell Hill
    PR: try Lonzell Hill
    NFC's Best
    This team has all-around capability, from linebacker
    interceptions to Boomers to Montana-Rice. The
    running game isn't as strong as the AFC's Best, but
    this team has QB Eagles, which is more than enough
    to justify this team's superiority. If you think
    the line needs more hitting power (such as if you
    don't take the NT inside) then you can switch out
    Bob Nelson with a guy like Pierce Holt. If you 
    don't like Gary Reasons because he lacks hitting
    power, put Charles Haley in his place. Make sure
    that when you use the OF Starters screen and 
    verify which backs run what that you don't get
    confused between the Andersons. Ottis should be
    the primary running back, with Neal doing 
    everything else. You might want to temporarily
    switch in Sanders until you get things figured
    out and then put in Neal.  
    QB #1: QB Eagles [AKA God, sharing duties with
    Rod "God" Woodson] (Phi.)
    QB #2: Joe Montana (S.F.)
    RB #1: Neal Anderson (Chi.)
    RB #2: Ottis Anderson (Gia.)
    RB #3: Barry Sanders (Det.)
    RB #4: Mel Gray (Det.)
    WR #1: Jerry Rice (S.F.)
    WR #2: Henry Ellard (Rams)
    WR #3: Andre Rison (Atl.)
    WR #4: Gary Clark (Was.)
    TE #1: Jay Novacek (Dal.)
    TE #2: Keith Jackson (Phi.)
    C: Jay Hilgenberg (Chi.)
    G #1 (top): Randall McDaniel (Min.)
    G #2 (bottom): Mark Bortz (Chi.)
    T #1 (top): Luis Sharpe (Phx.)
    T #2 (bottom): Stan Brock (N.O.)
    DE #1 (RE): Chris Doleman (Min.)
    NT: Bob Nelson (G.B.)
    DE #2 (LE): Reggie White (Phi.)
    LB #1 (ROLB): Mike Singletary (Chi.)
    LB #2 (RILB): Lawrence Taylor (Gia.)
    LB #3 (LILB): Gary Reasons (Gia.)
    LB #4 (LOLB): Pepper Johnson (Gia.)
    CB #1 (RCB): Wayne Haddix (T.B.)
    CB #2 (LCB): Deion Sanders (Atl.)
    S #1 (FS): Ronnie Lott (S.F.)
    S #2 (SS): Joey Browner (Min.)
    K: Steve Christie (T.B.)
    P: Sean Landeta (Gia.)
    KR: Mel Gray (Det.)
    PR: Mel Gray (Det.)
    Pro Bowl Pussycat Playbook
    (for the AFC's Worst and the NFC's Worst)
    WTE Offtackle R
    Pitch L Fake
    WR Reverse R
    Shotgun C Draw
    Pro T Waggle R
    WTE Flea Flicker
    Flea Flicker
    Reverse-Fake Z Post
    12. The Season Game
    "How the seasons of Tecmo change! From fall to 
    winter to spring to summer, the fields of Tecmo are 
    always green (and the cheerleaders are always ugly)."
    There are some things that deserve mention as 
    regards Season Game in Tecmo:
    Tecmo QB Rating
    Stat Limits
    The Computer Adjusts Itself To Your Record
    Controllers (1P vs. 2P)
    Injuries only happen when a person is tackled,
    injuries can be avoided by simply running out of bounds
    when a tackle is imminent.
    The condition of a player does not really seem to affect
    his injury rate.
    A player's recovery from the given injury is at least
    partially random. Sometimes you can get a guy back
    in a week and other times you won't get him back for
    five weeks, and if you reset and play the game again
    the player may come back, or conversely, may not
    come back. You usually won't have him out for more than
    three weeks though.
    Injuries seem to be mostly random, unaffected by
    condition. The only reliable determinant of them 
    seems to be the number of tackles a person takes, 
    but no defender or offensive lineman or kicker or 
    punter can get injured. 
    According to the manual (which by the way I do not
    endorse, since it's quite wrong about the team
    assessments {take their comments about the 
    Indianapolis linebackers as an example}):
    "There is a high probability that the Returner
    will be injured."
    "Some players will need three games to recover from
    their injuries."
    It seems to me that the number of statistics that a 
    player racks up helps the performance of said player 
    ever so slightly, but this may just be psychosomatic. 
    In any case, watch your players' ability stats after 
    every game so that you can switch in other people if 
    necessary (you may want to check their conditions after 
    every quarter if you are really wanting to always have 
    the best guys in). However, sometimes I think the game
    will downgrade your players' ratings behind the scenes 
    if you always switch out players like that. 
    You can stay on the leader board for QBs if you throw 
    7 or more passes a game (credit j<13 a's>y).
    Tecmo QB Rating
    Courtesy of Matt Knobbe, here is the Tecmo QB rating
    "It's much like the NFL formula except that your QB
    rating can be a lot higher because it probably would 
    have taken a lot more programing space to code in the 
    limits that the NFL ratings have.
    Tecmo QB Rating Formula
    You need five numbers: Attempts, Completions, Yards, 
    Touchdowns, and Interceptions. I will abbreviate them
    Att., Comp, YDs, TD, and INT.
    Next you need to figure out 4 values: Percentage of 
    Completions, Average Yards Gained per attempt, Percentage 
    of Touchdown Passes, and Percentage or[of] Interceptions. 
    I will list the formulas, respectively, from A-D.
    A. (Comp/Att)*5
    B. (YDs/Att)*.25
    C. (TD/Att)*20
    D. 2.375 - ((Int/Att)*25)
    Take those 4 values, add them together, divide by 6 and 
    multiply by 100.
    Raw QB Rating = (A+B+C+D)/6*100
    Tecmo does one more thing here: They subtract 37.6 from 
    this number to come up with the QB Rating. So, take 
    your Raw QB rating, subtract 37.6, and then round UP to 
    the nearest decimal point and you will have your Tecmo
    QB Rating. (IE: 45.6544 = 45.7 and 45.6002213 = 45.7.)
    Tecmo QB Rating = Raw QB Rating - 37.6
    I have this on a spreadsheet @ 
    Stat Limits
    Tecmo doesn't have infinite SRAM. Therefore, there are
    limits to how much of a given stat you can have. The
    carries/receptions max out at 255, the yards max out
    at 4095...therefore if you are going for major stat
    building with one player in a season game, watch out
    for a stat limit in whatever you are going for.
    The Computer Adjusts Itself To Your Record: 
    As you win victory after victory, the computer opponent 
    gets more and more ratings until you lose a game 
    or two. 
    Per bruddog and the Tecmo community, the ratings the CPU
    gains are:
    Defensive Speed, Offensive Speed, Interceptions, 
    Pass Control, Receptions
    The pass coverage also gets better as you win more games.
    More detail available here:
    This makes passing harder and running 
    without capable (i.e. fast) backs almost impossible. It 
    may actually be to your advantage, if you don't have 
    any pride, to lose a few games in the normal season 
    and forestall demonic computers in the playoffs. The
    ultimate result of this is running backs that clear
    ten yards in 1.5 seconds and linebackers that
    immediately stuff you when you dare to run against the
    God Machine. A point worth mentioning is that this 
    works in reverse: if you lose a ton of games, the 
    computer will get weaker. Probably the worst aspect of
    the cheating will be the turnovers the computer will 
    force, especially fumbles, as a result of the stat 
    increases, for whatever reason. Some claim this is
    a good argument for greater forced-fumbling ability by
    high-hitting power players.
    One note about this: in Coach Mode, the computer won't
    get any easier or harder. That's not saying much,
    though, seeing as how it's very tough to counter a
    balanced opposing offense in Coach.
    Controllers (1P vs. 2P)
    In the Season Mode, I believe that the teams for the
    two controllers in a MAN game are decided by the order
    in which the names appear on the schedule. For example,
    if G.B. * T.B. is on the schedule, Player 1 will be
    Green Bay and Player 2 will be Tampa Bay. However, keep
    in mind that the order of the teams on the schedule
    sometimes changes according to Tecmo's pseudo-random
    schedule re-ordering, BUT, this does not change 1P vs. 2P.
    In TSB 1991, BUF always has home-field because of this,
    and ATL is always away (left, right sides) in a 2-player
    13. Bugs And Weird Stuff
    "Tecmo Super Bowl has some minor 'issues'."
    The strange things in this section are ordered
    by familiarity. The more something occurs, the
    farther down it is. I only put in stuff I see
    for this, though if I had multiple confirmations
    of something, I might add it in.
    Waters Broke The Ball: This has many variants,
    under the heading of "super jump bug", including
    different timings and scenes. During one of the most
    slaughterfest games that I have ever played, Troy
    Aikman passes to Michael Irvin, who is covered
    by a computer-controlled Andre Waters. Waters 
    jumps up and smacks the ball, but as the ball is
    coming to the ground, it shows the "double jump"
    cinema, and then the ball flying right past the
    hands of Michael Irvin. The game then returns to
    the landing of the ball, which is nowhere near
    Irvin. I guess Waters just sliced the ball in
    So That's How You Got The Pick: I had the 
    misfortune of passing with Jim Harbaugh, and, since
    I was playing against the skilled Minnesota 
    secondary, they covered my men terribly well. So
    well, in fact, that on one interception, a Chicago
    black-and-white jerseyed player caught the ball - 
    everything else was the same, just that the uniform
    was different, and the cinema was for a close catch
    (not the jump ball). Those defensive backs sure know
    how to bamboozle an offense (not to mention the
    hapless human player involved). 
    Now That's An MVP: If a player catches a pass, and
    he fumbles, and if another player recovers it and
    scores a TD, then the player who recovered the ball
    will run the "receiver" part of the passing TD
    celebration. So if a QB recovers the ball, he will
    not only be the jumping quarterback, he will
    also be the running receiver! That's one way to get
    a big payday - throw a TD to yourself. Not even
    David Patten and Walter Payton have done that.
    Frozen by Fear: Every now and then, when a turnover
    occurs, the team that does not possess the ball will
    have its MAN player frozen. Example: Washington throws
    a pass which the receiver fumbles, then WAS recovers.
    My MAN defender was frozen and could not move as the
    WAS offensive lineman ran it in for a touchdown. In
    that case, it was ever after called, "The Grim Reaper."
    Lunatic: Now and then, on a caught pass, the defender
    will actually dive, not before the pass is caught,
    but AFTER the receiver clearly has the ball in his
    hands. This happens with no intervention on the
    human's part. Talk about bad coaching.
    I Can See The Dementia: In one game I played, after
    an opposing player made a pick, I lost control of
    my quarterback to the computer, which promptly
    proceeded, amazingly enough, to actually go after
    the ballcarrier. This happened twice during that
    game, which leads me to believe that turnovers
    dazzle the brain-beaten quarterbacks in Tecmo so
    much that they actually play properly. 
    They Named A Power Bar For You, Boomer: After 
    safetying Scott Mitchell (the Dolphins' backup QB),
    by using the nose tackle dive tactic against a Pro
    T Waggle L, the power bar came up and to the left
    of it was a 7-. Boomer Esiason, the QB for the 
    Bengals, has number 7, and, as fate had it, I was
    playing as the Bengals. This bug can be replicated
    with any other quarterback as well - I did it with
    Dave Krieg too. 
    Don't Hate Me Because I'm Perfect: I once had the
    occasion to run a perfect 100 yards on a kickoff
    return, all the way from one end zone to the other,
    and celebrated my massive accomplishment. Well, 
    my friend Steven and I went after the game into
    the Kickoff Returns stat menu, and guess what?
    The 100 yards was NOWHERE! Somehow they just 
    didn't count it at all. I was so pissed. 
    What Are You Staring At Now, Rice?: During
    the Tecmo Passing Study, I was tossing the ball to
    Jerry Rice and was greeted by another odd little
    error; instead of getting on the X, Rice moved 
    past it and stood there facing the other direction
    as Montana's ball bounced off two defenders. Good
    job! and I thought the 49ers were overrated. Who
    knows what he was looking at? There's a variant
    of this called, "I Guess You're Taking A Stroll,
    Eh, Cornerback?"
    Who's Got The Ball?: The notorious "fumble bug"
    first manifested itself to me on a field goal
    blocked by my Lawrence Taylor. The game said that
    he gained possession of the ball, but in 
    actuality, the ball was sitting on the 20-yard line.
    A HUGE kill-the-man-with-the-ball game emerged as
    every player tried to get the ball in the middle
    of the field. However, no one could actually pick
    it up, except me. That didn't stop me from getting
    knocked around for three minutes as I tried to 
    escape the mob. I finally did, and tried to see 
    whether I could run out of bounds or score a
    touchdown or anything. No dice. So I had to fight
    my way back in to go get the ball and end the play
    as I was tackled on my fumble recovery to set up
    a Giants possession.
    I'm Getting There: It may not technically be a bug
    per se, but one interesting thing that happens on
    punt returns is the bouncing punt. If you have a
    slow returner, sometimes he won't get to the X on
    the field before the ball does, and the ball will
    bounce once before the returner picks it up.
    I See That Football Up Your Sleeve: On flea flicks
    (especially T Flea Flicker) and occasionally on
    punts, sometimes the ball doesn't even come close
    to the person trying to catch it. Even so, the 
    person will still have a ball to carry or throw,
    and there's even a healthy accompanying thump. I
    think some of the offenses in the league have 
    been to Las Vegas for a little "spring training."
    The Grass Gave Me Power: If an offensive blocker
    hits a defender with something that looks like a
    sliding cut block (which will knock him over) then
    he will become a god for the rest of the play,
    playing Tekken with every defender he meets, no
    matter their Hitting Power (credit Paul).
    They Must Be Really Hard Hits: Everybody knows that
    you can hit a person who's scored a touchdown in
    the end zone after they've scored, knocking them
    down, and sometimes struggling with them. Well,
    occasionally, if you get hit in the end zone, your
    player will fumble the ball. In so doing, the yards
    you've gained in getting the touchdown will be 
    lost, since the game erases the yardage from a
    fumbled play. I think what must happen is that the
    intransigent tackler hits the man so hard that
    even the scorekeepers get amnesia. 
    Are These House Rules We're Playing By?: Everyone
    at one point or another has had the chagrin or
    joy of having a reception out of bounds, a running
    back over the sideline, or even an interception
    off the field and getting the yards and catches
    counted. Not only that, but errant quarterbacks 
    throw passes into the stands that both receivers
    and defenders run for, sometimes triggering 
    "dropped ball" cinemas. The classic is the Jerry
    Rice catch of a ball above the line, then his
    landing out of bounds for a first down. One 
    thing I would like to know: who gets sued when
    players run over the cheerleaders and the people
    in the "nosebleed" seats?
    Tecmo Is So Realistic, They Even Got The 
    Refs Right: Tecmo has a tough time deciding 
    whether certain hits are one or the other. For 
    instance, you can slide tackle a QB in a flea 
    flick or a running back in Shotgun C Draw as he 
    gets the ball and the ball can pop, but the play 
    is over. But if you struggle with these same
    people, the ball bounces off as a fumble. How
    does this come about, I wonder? (see Mechanics
    for Paul's explanation of this)
    (no funny comment here): Every time a 
    player gets injured, no matter whether he is 
    black or white, he will always be represented 
    as a white player when he is lying injured on 
    the field (before the "Injured!" cutscene 
    appears on the screen).
    It Isn't Over Yet: On many plays, if you get a
    safety, the runner will continue to go if he
    can get up. In addition, if you tackle the QB
    on a pitch play and he gets up, he will "pass"
    the ball to the running back downfield, and 
    sometimes he will miss him by ten yards! This
    works with any pitch play and even people who
    can't play QB (see Mechanics for why). 
    Tecmo End Zone Dances: One thing you can do in 
    Tecmo is get crazy things to happen to people
    caught in the end zone. If you hold the button
    in the opposite direction to the end zone, you
    can make a receiver move out of the end zone
    as soon as he catches the ball. In addition,
    you can make your runners move out of bounds 
    and into the stands by holding the button in
    the appropriate direction. Moreover, if you
    have a defender who slides for a guy in the
    end zone, he can slide for twenty yards or 
    even slide right off the screen. If a guy gets
    in a struggle with someone who's in the end
    zone, they can have it out, or in the best
    tradition, the successful team's man starts
    cheering and his antagonist keeps wrestling.
    One that I haven't quite figured out how to
    trigger yet is the moonwalk, where the player 
    runs in and then runs backward. Paul says it
    happens sometimes when the player is hit as
    he enters the end zone. 
    Is This A Comment?: The inability of a player
    controlled by a human to pick up a fumble in
    every situation but that of a dropped field goal
    (and the botched pitch) is truly amazing. Not only 
    that, but the fact that a ball can be bouncing about 
    in a swarm of twelve big, muscular guys, and move 
    ten yards over out of bounds is stupefying. Is this 
    the ultimate meaning of Tecmo - a parody of football
    I Guess This Is What Quantum Theory Is All About:
    No matter how many people stand between you and
    a ball carrier behind the line, you can move
    through all of them and just touch one pixel of
    the holder to take him down. At the same time,
    you can escape a slide tackle past the line if
    the slider flickers, even if the guy half
    engulfs you. In addition, if you end a struggle
    and a man is in your midst while you do so, you
    will be invincible against his attacks until you
    part company.
    And of course, the Ernest Givins Pro Bowl bug.
    14. Mechanics
    "Let's take a look at Tecmo 'under the hood'."
    I put some interesting observations about the way
    that Tecmo works in here. Most of these are just
    the oddball tinkerings and curiosities of an
    fanatic, but a few of these are actually useful
    and/or interesting.
    On The Field
    Possession Of The Ball
    Menu Screens
    Music And Sound
    On The Field
    The reason why some plays work better when people 
    are shifted to one direction is because not only
    is there more (or less) room to run (in the cases
    of few blocking and breaking out, and much blocking
    and getting definite gains), but also because the
    actual formation will shift a little. Players on 
    the compressed side will move closer together,
    and players on the open side will move farther 
    away. There's something to consider.
    Computer controlled players (the other 10 that
    you don't control) have fixed coverage patterns
    for one play vs. another. However, if one of
    those plays changes, the coverage pattern will
    change also. 
    Sometimes on certain plays (especially on T
    Offtackle R), a computer controlled player will
    do a lateral slide tackle/cut block and hit opposing 
    computer players. Us peon humans can't do it
    (why can't you use Select?). Paul says with an
    "Amazing, but true!" that if an offensive 
    player does this, he will be invincible for the
    rest of the play and knock off defenders with
    impunity as per a fullback, but against any
    player for the defense. 
    If you decide to QB sneak, the computer players
    will not catch on until you cross the line, so
    you can take your time and get yourself lined
    up for the greatest gain. Be aware, however,
    that sometimes linebackers will start going
    for you after a few seconds, so that may impede
    your run somewhat. 
    Fumbles, are, as far as I can tell, dependent only
    on ball control. I think that every time you are
    tackled the game does a fumble check, and if you
    get unlucky, you fumble. QBs and defenders have
    44 BC, per bruddog/jstout et al.
    There are two instances in which a human-controlled
    player can pick up a fumble: if a field goal is
    blocked; and if a pitch botches and falls to the
    Possession Of The Ball
    Thank Paul for this nice tip: The possession of 
    the ball is determined by who the number (1 or 
    2 depending on the player) is over. Whenever the 
    QB takes the snap, the number is over his head. 
    When he passes, the number switches to the receiver 
    (or another one if you use the dupe pass, but the
    computer still recognizes it the same way). With a
    pitch, the computer will switch the possession of
    the ball from the pitcher to the pitchee about
    halfway through the pitch. This accounts in large
    part for one "fumble bug": Sometimes the computer 
    thinks that the person being pitched to has the
    ball and sometimes it doesn't.
    A pitch in Tecmo is handled just the same way that
    a pass is. Whenever a player pitches a ball, the
    game does the same calculations that it would for
    a pass, which means that a person can throw a bad
    pitch just as they can a bad pass. So how can
    WRs and RBs and TEs pass, you ask? I think that
    there is a default value for people who don't 
    have QB stats, probably around 50 for each of
    the categories, which would make the wildest
    pitches believable. I don't think that a person
    can drop a pitch, though. That much has been
    taken care of.
    Menu Screens
    If you look closely at the background of the
    NFL Leaders screens, you'll notice that the 
    motions on the cinemas therein are the same ones
    as actual cinemas in the game, except that the
    players change colors and there's no other 
    Music And Sound
    Whenever you have the first down music playing, if
    you enter the menu it shuts off. I guess the 
    menu noise is a little too much for the NES sound
    15. Reading Plays/Keys
    These are a series of lists detailing how you can identify
    particular plays and how then to destroy them, and what
    players to use for the job. It is organized by formation.
    I have not put in any of the single formation plays 
    because it would simply be redundant. This should be useful
    for those of you who don't want to go and look through
    that whole horrendous Section 4 for tactics. This may not
    be entirely complete since I focused on tactics that usually
    always work (to one degree or another). I didn't put in a
    lot of personnel-dependent tactics.
    Run stop - just do what you normally do to beat run plays.
    Cover - cover open receivers
    Blitz - go straight for the QB
    NTD - nose tackle dive
    Twin of - the play referred to has most of the same motions
              as its twin
    DB - defensive back
    T Formation (16 plays)
    (watch for a race defect to show T Power Dive)
    IF: QB drops straight back
        =  Pass Set 1: Straight Back Plays
               IF: No wideout is behind the line
               = Pro T Flare C - 74
               IF: The RBs both curl behind the line
               = Pro T Flare D - 62
               ELSE Pro T Screen L - 54
               Kill with NTD, Blitz or mid-long coverage
    IF: Blockers start moving up
        IF: WRs start blocking or RB #2 starts juking
            = T Cross Run L - 30
            ELSE Pro T Waggle R - 50
        Kill both with RILB or LILB or CB attack through 
        O-line. These two plays are twins.
    IF: Blockers start moving down
        IF: RB #2 does as well
            = T Sweep Strong - 25 - Kill with man through
                                    O-line hole or Run stop
            ELSE IF: QB moves straight back
                     = T Flea Flicker - 76 - Kill with
                                             Cover or Blitz
                 ELSE IF: WRs start blocking
                          = T Power Sweep R - 17 - Kill with
                                                   man thru
                                                   O-line or
                                                   Run stop
                          ELSE Pro T Waggle L - 56 - NTD,
                                                   Hit QB,
                                                   hole run
        Kill most of these with RILB or LILB or DB through
        the O-line hole. Pro T Waggle L is the twin of
        T Power Sweep R
    IF: QB moves straight back for handoff
        IF: RB #1 moves close to the QB
            = T Power Dive - 26 - NTD or Run stop
            ELSE IF: WRs don't block
                     = T Play Action D - 53 - NTD or
                 ELSE IF: RB #2 gets ball
                          = Pro T Dive - 42 - NTD or
                                              Run stop
                          ELSE T Fake Sweep R - 16 -
                                              NTD or
                                              Run stop
        Kill all of these with a NTD. All of these
        except for T Power Dive are twins.
    IF: WR #1 stays in place at top
        = Reverse Pitch R - 45 - Hit WR #1
        ELSE IF: RB #2 comes diagonally up to QB
                 = Cross Offtackle - 32 - RILB slide 
                                          or DB Run stop
                 ELSE T Offtackle R - 24 - LOLB slide
                                           or DB Run
    Onesetback Formation (10 plays)
    (watch for a race defect to show Pitch L Open)
    IF: QB trots and pitches the ball with WR remaining
        at the top of the screen without blocking
        = Set 1: Top Handoff Plays
              IF: QB runs straight back
              = Reverse-Fake Z Post - 81
              IF: WR takes handoff
              = WR Reverse R - 43
              ELSE Pitch L Fake - 21
          Kill with ROLB or RCB dive from top at RB #1
        ELSE IF: QB moves for play action with RB #1
                 =  Set 2: Handoff After The Snap Plays
                        IF: WR #1 cuts down without blocking
                        = Power Fake Z Post - 66
                        IF: TE goes out without blocking
                        = Power Fake X Fly - 77
                        IF: Right guard drops back
                        = Onesetback L - 11
                        ELSE FB Offtackle L - 27
                    Kill with left end dive, right end
                    dive, RILB attack, or secondary stop
                    or coverage, or for the runs, can also
                    use LE
             ELSE IF: Tons of blockers come forth
                      = Pitch L Open - 33 - Left end move up
                                            or wait and
                                            then go for man
                      ELSE IF: RB #2 moves down into middle
                               = Oneback Flare A - 65 -
                                 Cover or Blitz or NTD
                               ELSE X Out And Fly - 80 -
                                 Cover or Blitz or NTD
    Run And Shoot Formation (8 plays)
    IF: RB #1 stays in place
        = Run And Shoot Draw - 20 - Slide tackle or stop
        ELSE IF: QB drops only a little and blocking starts
                 = Run And Shoot QB Sneak - 40 - Attack QB
                                                 maybe w/LILB
                 ELSE IF: QB starts to sweep with blocking
                      = Run And Shoot QB Run - 46 - Hit QB
                                                    or LOLB tactic
                 ELSE IF: QB pitches the ball
                              = Run And Shoot Left - 12
                                if runner goes to top;
                              = Run And Shoot Right - 37
                                if runner goes to bottom;
                              Kill both with slide tackles
                              and moving around the blockers
                              or LOLB attack for R&S Sweep L
        ELSE: QB drops straight back
             IF: RB stays inside
                 = Run And Shoot Z Fly - 61 - Cover or Blitz
                                              or NTD
             ELSE IF: RB moves up to the offensive line as WR
                      = Run And Shoot Flare C - 57 - Cover or
                                                     Blitz or
                      ELSE Run And Shoot Y Up - 87 - Cover or
                                                     Blitz or
    Shifting Onesetback Formation (6 plays)
    IF: The QB does play action with RB #1
        IF: People block
            = Onesetback Dive - 41 - NTD or Run stop
            ELSE Playaction Z In - 72 - NTD or Cover
        ELSE IF: Blockers move upward
                 IF: People block
                     = FB Open L - 14 - Run stop
                     ELSE Roll Out R - 51 - Hit QB or Cover
                 ELSE IF: WR #2 stays in place at the bottom
                          = WR Reverse L - 35 - Hit WR
                          ELSE Oneback Sweep R - 22 - Run
        Good strategy against these: Call Roll Out R and
        attack runners with a strong defender. Roll Out R
        is the twin of FB Open L.
    Shotgun Formation (6 plays)
    (watch for race defects to assist you)
    IF: RB gets the ball right away
        = Shotgun Draw - 36 - Slide tackle or stop
        ELSE IF: RB stays by QB
             = Shotgun C Draw - 44 - Slide tackle or stop
             ELSE IF: RB goes straight out
                  = Shotgun XY Bomb - 86 - Cover and watch
                                           for QB scramble
                  ELSE IF: RB goes directly up and curls
                           = Shotgun Z S-In - Cover
                  ELSE IF: RB goes diagonally after the snap
                           = Shotgun X Curl - 60 - Cover
                           ELSE Shotgun X Drive - 70 - Cover
        Watch for a QB sneak on these.
    Strong-I Formation (4 plays)
    IF: QB pitches the ball down to RB #2
        = Toss Sweep R - 15 - Run stop
        ELSE IF: QB drops straight back
                 = Offset Flare E - 63 - NTD or cover
                 ELSE IF: WRs block and hook in
                          = FB Power Dive - 43 - NTD
                          ELSE Play Action - 55 - NTD
        A good strategy is to call Toss Sweep R, then
        NTD. FB Power Dive and Play Action are twins.
        Can also free up RE and NT with LOLB on FB Power
    One Man Shift Formation (4 plays)
    IF: TE moves forward
        = Roll Out L - 52 - slam the QB
        ELSE IF: The right tackle goes downward
                 = FB Offtackle R - 13 - Plug the hole
                                         & Run stop
                 ELSE IF: QB moves straight back
                          OR WRs don't cut in or block
                      = Flea Flicker - 73 - Hit QB
                                            or RB #1
                      ELSE Weakside Open - 23 - Run stop
        A good way to stop these is to call Weakside Open
        or, if that's not available, FB Offtackle R, and
        cover the passes with a fast defender. Flea
        Flicker and Weakside Open are twins.
        Stop the runs by fighting the RT with the LOLB,
        RILB attack for both, taking a hard angle to the
        line with the ROLB, a FS or RCB, or the LILB freeing
        up boys on Weakside Open only.
    Shotgun 3-Wing Formation (2 plays)
    IF: WRs block OR guards drop out
        = Shotgun Sweep L - 47 - LOLB end-Run inside play
                                 or DB Run Stop
        ELSE Shotgun 3-Wing - 75 - Blitz, Cover
    IF: WRs go out OR guards stay in place
        = Shotgun 3-Wing - 75 - Blitz, Cover
        ELSE Shotgun Sweep L - 47 - LOLB end-Run inside play
                                    or DB Run Stop
    Slot Formation (2 plays)
    IF: WRs block OR QB slants downward
        = Slot Offtackle - 31 - RILB rr defensive back Strike
        ELSE Slot L Z Drive - 82 - Blitz or NTD
    IF: WRs go out OR QB drops straight back
        = Slot L Z Drive - 82 - Blitz or NTD
        ELSE Slot Offtackle - 31 - RILB or defensive back Strike
    A good strategy for these is to call the pass and cover the
    WTE Formation (2 plays)
    IF: WRs block OR QB fades
        = WTE Offtackle R - 10 - Left end dive or LOLB attack
        ELSE WTE Flea Flicker - 67 - Left end dive or LOLB attack
    IF: WRs move out without contact and QB stops running
        = WTE Flea Flicker - 67 - Left end dive or LOLB attack
        ELSE WTE Offtackle R - Left end dive or LOLB attack
    I should think you can figure out what you should do for these.
    These two plays are twins, but that's a bad thing rather than 
    a good thing.
    16. Tactics List By Player (empty)
    Here, for your convenience, is a list of tactics that each
    player can execute, and the plays on which the player can
    execute them. At least, that is what I would have done with
    this section. :) I haven't seen much of a need for it, but I
    am too lazy to just edit this out. So I will just go and
    list the positions I like the most for putting great players
    for tactics:
    17. What Your Opponents Will Do (and what you can do to them)
    This section is kind of a cross between a "this is what you will
    see out of elite players" and a self-improvement guide. What 
    follows is a list of priorities or hints that build up into you
    playing like a high-level player. (Personally I would not call
    myself an elite player at this point, so I don't make the promise
    that you would become elite if you did all these things. You will
    be pretty good, though.)
    Note that unlike the tips in Tweaking the Tecmo, these tips don't
    always apply to your play - you have to use them based on how your
    opponent is reacting.
    Full-Random Playcalling
    The basic strategy of football is to run the ball in relatively
    short yardage and throw otherwise. However, this allows your 
    opponent to play original Tecmo Bowl against you, since you will
    often only use 4 plays on 1st and 2nd downs. In full-random
    playcalling, you call any play in almost any down and distance
    (usual exception being running in long yardage and late downs).
    You won't get the same yards per play, but you will have less
    volatility, and you can march yourself down the field. 
    There's no real defense against this, but the way you play it
    is to choose a play (like Pass 1/Slot 5) and use that as your
    base defense. The idea is that you choose this play to give
    yourself a decent coverage against whatever play comes out; 
    typically Pass 1 or Pass 2 do best, although sometimes you might
    do Run 1 or Run 2. Then you play bend-don't-break, and wait for
    your opponent to call your base defense play. Then you switch
    off your base defense play (typically into a pass since you 
    just called his play) and then hope to get another called play,
    and therefore to stop the drive.
    The tricky counter-play is how the opponent reacts. Oftentimes,
    in a called run situation, the player will want to stay in that
    base defense, particularly on the goal line where you know that
    a run is the most likely call. In a pass defense situation,
    the opponent can either stay in it or go off. Here you will 
    sometimes see higher-level players adjust their next call based
    on how tricky they think their opponent is. If they think their
    opponent is tricky, or if they have been setting them up, they
    will call the same play again, anticipating a shift off the base
    defense. At that point it just comes down to luck of who is
    playing on what level.
    The other thing you can do is be stubborn and refuse to call
    that play type or that particular play. In certain marginal
    situations like a 56 MS RB running R&S Sweep L against an OK
    defense and tapper, you can just run R&S Sweep L and other plays
    like it over and over again, since you know the opponent is not
    going off their base. The key here is to get out of bounds, since
    your yards per play will typically go down as the opponent sees
    that play again and again. (Also you tend to use mostly runs in
    that spot.)
    Setting Up A Tendency
    Naturally your tendency as a player is to run the plays that
    have been doing well and avoid the ones that your opponent is
    using. Some players will give you certain plays earlier in a
    drive and then crack down on them in field goal range. The idea
    is that they can't stop your defense on average, but they may be
    able to get 1 or 2 stops if they can set you up into a predictable
    pattern. You can do the exact same thing; this is particularly
    effective in Season mode when you are playing lots of games 
    against the same players, as you can use the garbage time in one
    game to set up the tendency for the next game.
    The key to avoiding this is to reshuffle your strategy cards when
    you get a called play. That is, if you were going full random,
    switch to a pass-heavy or run-heavy alignment, and vice versa. 
    Also, smoothing your distribution if you have been going heavy
    or being successful on one play by throwing in a couple other
    plays can allow you to catch your opponent on the wrong play and
    avoid the trap. 
    Baiting Over-Use Of Pass Plays
    This isn't a frequently used tactic, but can set up other 
    playcalling tactics. Good players know the passing order and can
    get the ball out to the hot read fairly predictably. The idea
    of this is not to smother the hot read, but instead
    to let the hot read catch the ball, but then get tackled right
    after the catch. You can use this to set up a trap to actually
    pick off the pass, but the more subtle use is to keep your
    opponent calling this particular pass play over and over again.
    The key is that you have to set up 2nd and 5, 2nd and 3 type of
    situations early in a drive. Once you have the opponent abusing
    that particular play, you then start calling it all the time and
    then stuff it every single time and/or shift defenders to 
    confuse the MAN's read. This winds up achieving the same effect
    as a more conventional bend-don't-break, but may be easier to
    execute against players who have very strong passing offenses
    and aren't going away from the deep ball. You need to have a
    decent Interceptions defender to smother the hot read though.
    The defense is obvious, don't just keep calling picked plays.
    Some players get overconfident with guys like Marino though, and
    won't abandon their strategy card. 
    Forcing Autodives and Speed Loss
    In the situation where your deep receivers are covered and you
    have a medium-speed defender, or one with low Interceptions, in
    the 5-10 yard area covering two receivers, depending on the Pass
    Speed of the QB and other factors, you can cycle between the two
    receivers and force the circling defender to change position or
    autodive on the other one.
    You have to have mastery over the passing order in order to time
    your opponent's circle at the apex. You also need to stop moving
    in the backfield, as any inaccuracy is going to walk your receiver
    into the defender. 
    There is a variation of this tactic based upon the opponent's 
    setup in the early part of the play. If you can recognize that a
    receiver is going to come open earlier in the play, you can wait
    until the MAN has begun to recognize this, and throw the ball right
    then. If timed properly, the MAN will get just close enough to the
    pass to autodive into it.
    If your opponent's angle is on a diagonal, you want to set up a
    hard cut backwards and then on the opposing vertical. The circle
    move works better against CPU defenders, but is often too wide in
    this situation against a fast MAN. You want to force the reaction
    right before you would normally collide, so that you can ideally
    force your opponent to get right into the spot where he is turning
    parallel to you, and then would have to go backwards to make contact.
    The defensive keys are to know when to bail out of a situation like
    this, and to face directly onto the ballcarrier, so that you aren't
    setting up extreme angles and can adjust to whatever the ballcarrier
    tries. On the pass plays, you can also try to defend one player with
    the passing lane (so jumping) and defend the other player on the 
    X. This of course requires that the opposing QB has set up in a place
    where the two receivers are aligned, and so usually implies a QB run
    is also an alternative. 
    Off-Screen Baiting
    You will see:
    On-line to on-screen:
        WR      |>   D        WR
    Has fastest time to trap and covers passing
    lane on deep ball, but only works if QB is on that side of the field.
    You can avoid this trap by running the QB the other way and setting
    his feet if the trapper bails out. If you are on the same side of the
    screen, just go deep if you are worried about this. The MAN is going
    to have a very difficult time timing the tip anyway. 
    Divide and shift:
        WR                   WR
               |>   D
    Used in jailbreak situations when the MAN thinks you are trying to
    string him out deep. 
    Not that fast to the WR, but if the target is relatively close
    to the edge of the screen, now and then the MAN may be able to jump 
    the route. 
    However, the main use of this is to stop the play before you can 
    get to the first down marker.
    The key to breaking this is to have mastery of the passing order,
    so that you can pull on and off of the short receiver in order to
    try and influence the defender to pull to either side, or even to
    come on screen. Also, make sure to throw it deep in this spot 
    sometimes, so you force the defender to stay honest. If you have a
    very accurate QB you can go to the off side (where the WR is not
    in this diagram) to force the DB to commit to the bottom WR. 
    Exploiting Superior Tappers
    Being unable to out-tap the opponent is always a problem in
    Tecmo, but there are ways that you can mitigate that disadvantage.
    The first insight is that a tapper will usually take a direct line
    to the ballcarrier, instead of playing off. You then lead the tapper 
    back behind the line of scrimmage or into the middle of the field, 
    and force him into hard cuts, or even run right through your own
    blockers and force him off his pursuit angle. With slow running
    backs, this tends not to work, but with 50+ MS running backs against
    iffy defenses, this can get you good yardage.
    When running the ball, the tapper will seek open-field contact
    against the MAN. Get up close enough to him for him to target you,
    then start zig-zagging like against the CPU. This slows down his
    pursuit, allowing the drones to help you take him down.
    On certain runs, or on certain throws where you know where the 
    receiver is going to land, you can get the tapper into a narrow
    situation and then dive tackle. This requires quite a bit of
    practice but is generally useful, not just against players who
    outtap you.
    Any advanced rushing technique such as waiting for your own
    blockers to throw their defensive players is also good as a change
    of pace. 
    Don't shift too heavily into deep passes in order to avoid the
    tapper. While it does mitigate the tapper's advantage, then you
    will get killed by called plays. 
    As a tapper, don't get ultra-aggressive; if you see trouble when
    defending the run, bail out. Also, force the issue when running 
    the football and stay north-south. If the other guy wants to run 
    away from your or do tricky stuff, let him. The further you can 
    run away from the MAN, the more likely you can get that 1-on-1 in 
    Extreme Pocket Discipline
    This is just, pretend your QB is a ballcarrier and keep dodging
    the pass rushers like they were in pursuit on a breakaway.
    When is this useful?
    When a fast defender goes up against a slow QB and multiple
    receivers are open in relatively long yardage, you need to create
    separation between the receivers in order to force the MAN to 
    You also have to buy time when you have successfully moved the 
    MAN to one side of the screen to stop a QB run, but then you need 
    to throw back the other way to the open receiver.
    Also, when your play is called and you have a relatively fast
    QB, you can buy an extra second or two by making some initial 
    dodges (or just outrunning everybody if you are QB Eagles). This
    will get your receivers additional time to separate from the 
    Recognizing Conditionally Open Receivers
    Elite players know, based on their quarterback, their target, and
    the likely defender on that player, that on certain routes, 
    particularly those coming out of the backfield, they can target
    the receiver and get a catch. This typically requires some
    combination of
    - A decently high PS QB 
    - A decently fast RB
    - A route that continues in bounds
    - A angle to that route that doesn't pass directly over the
    drone defender
    Hence you rarely see me point out these opportunities in other
    parts of this FAQ, as I rarely play with teams that are good
    enough to consistently complete these passes. 
    This tactic is somewhat opposed to the QB-run school of play, as
    it works a lot better from the pocket, both because of passing
    angles, and because when the QB moves, the throw becomes less
    accurate. Consequently you tend to see this used a lot more when
    the pass coverage is good, and less when the pass coverage is bad
    and the MAN expects you will bail out to cover deep. 
    There is no obvious defense to this beyond double-covering, but
    you can try to force the MAN to cycle back and forth between the
    conditionally open receiver and the other open receiver, hoping
    that in the process of cycling back and forth, the MAN will make
    a mistake. If you have a fast defender, you can also try to cut
    off the passing lane, since the pass will be low to the ground.
    18. Basic Instructions
    "Let me show you the Tecmo, kid."
    This section is divided thus:
    Sound Test
    Preseason/Pro Bowl
    Team Data
    Season Mode
    Playing the Game
    Sound Test
    At the title screen, press Left and B to access the 
    sound test. The sounds are as follows (names mine,
    and I know they're pathetic).
    1. Tecmo "Killer Team" Intro Cinema (after 
    "Ready!") with an additional flourish at the end
    (thank you Gaffney for pointing this out - 
    what a mental error for me to have made)
    2. Tecmo "The World Is Watching" Cinema (until 
    3. Tecmo "Killer Team" Intro Cinema
    4. Pro Bowl - Theme Of Player 1
    5. Pro Bowl - Theme Of Player 2
    6. Postseason - Theme Of Player 1
    7. Postseason - Theme Of Player 2
    8. Season - Theme Of Player 1
    9. Season - Theme Of Player 2
    10. Preseason - Theme Of Player 1
    11. Preseason - Theme Of Player 2
    12. Super Bowl Finish Cinema #1: "Super  
    Champions" (until the roster starts scrolling)
    13. Super Bowl Finish Cinema #2: "Tecmo's 
    Greatest" (when the roster starts scrolling)
    14. Kickoff!
    15. Theme Of Run Touchdown/Coin Toss - Kickoff 
    Or Return?
    16. Safety! 
    17. Touchback!
    18. Interception!
    19. Turnover
    20. Theme Of Player 1 First Down
    21. Theme Of Player 2 First Down
    22. "It's Good!" - Theme Of Successful Extra Point 
    And Field Goal Attempts
    23. "No Good" - Theme Of Unsuccessful Extra Point 
    (it happened once to me) And Field Goal 
    24. Injury!
    25. "New Quarter" - The Theme That Plays When 
    The Scoreboard Appears After The First And Third 
    26. Halftime
    27. "Is It A First Down?" - Theme Of Measuring The 
    Position Of The Ball
    28. Tecmo Sports News
    29. Division Champions
    30. Conference Champions
    31. "The Playoffs Await" - Theme Of The NFL 
    Standings Sequence After Week 17
    32. "Prophecy" (this theme is not used in the game, 
    but it seems to me from listening to it that maybe it 
    would have been used for a season cinema where a 
    player commits a crime and gets put in the clink, kind 
    of like an injury, but Nintendo didn't want to have to 
    kids frightened by the shady characters in the holding 
    pen, so Tecmo had to censor it out. However a much more
    probable scenario is that it would have been used when
    penalties were called, as there are some lines in the
    code that indicate plans were underway for some simple
    penalties like offsides)
    33. Recovered! - Theme Of Injured Players' Return 
    To The Game (also known as the "we nurses don't 
    have anything better to do but stand up on the 
    hospital all day long and wave at departing football 
    players who don't have cars or changes of clothes and 
    have to run to the game in their jerseys and pads - 
    just what the doctor ordered for a guy who just got 
    out of the hospital" cinema theme)
    34. Theme Of Pass Touchdown
    35. QB Sack!
    36. Fumble!
    37. QB Throws The Ball
    38. Hike! (??)
    39. Player Catches The Ball - Kicker Kicks The Ball
    40. Players Hit Each Other #1 
    41. Ball Thump #1
    42. Whistle
    43. Ball Thump #2
    44. Two Minute Warning
    45. "Time Is Running Out" - Noise Played When 
    Time Is Ticking Away At The End Of A Quarter
    46. Gunshot - End Of Quarter
    47. Ball Thumps Against The Uprights
    48. "Press Start" - Noise When You Hit Start At The 
    Beginning Of The Game
    49. "What Do You Want To Do?" - The 
    Unintelligible Muttering Of The Referee At The Coin 
    50. "Kickoff/Return" - The Even More Unintelligible 
    Muttering Of The Player Who States His Wish
    51. Week Skip Selection Noise
    52. Ball Is Punted Or Players Hit Each Other #2
    53. Applause #1
    54. Applause #2
    55. Applause #3
    56. Applause #4
    57. Ready!
    58. Down!
    59. Hut!
    60. Touchdown!
    Once you've had your fun with this menu, hit Start. 
    To select, press A, and to cancel, press B. 
    Preseason/Pro Bowl 
    This is a game where you can choose from a variety of 
    man, com(puter), and coa(ch - where you choose the
    plays but don't actually control a player) games. The 
    Pro Bowl is the same, but you play with the Pro Bowl 
    people listed in the Pro Bowl menu under Team Data in
    AFC All Stars and NFC All Stars. The players' data 
    that changes during a season also changes for the
    Preseason; if someone is injured in the Season, they
    won't be able to play in Preseason, and the condition
    of the player affects their performance. The Pro Bowl
    games will put all players who are injured into Bad
    condition, but otherwise is the same as Preseason.
    The AFC divisions are at the top and the NFC divisions
    are at the bottom, starting with Eastern divisions in 
    the first column, Central in the second, and Western
    in the third. 
    Team Data
    Team Data is where you find all the smatterings of 
    team data like names and numbers and stats and 
    Players Data
    OF Starters
    DF Starters
    Play Book
    Players Data
    To take a look at the players, go into Players Data 
    and select the player you want to see. The positions
    are indicated at the top right hand corner with 
    abbreviations. Here's a list of them:
    RB=Running Back
    WR=Wide Receiver
    TE=Tight End
    LG/RG=Left Guard/Right Guard
    LT/RT=Left Tackle/Right Tackle
    RE/LE=Right End/Left End
    NT=Nose Tackle
    ROLB=Right Outside Linebacker
    RILB=Right Inside Linebacker
    LILB=Left Inside Linebacker
    LOLB=Left Outside Linebacker
    RCB=Right Cornerback
    LCB=Left Cornerback
    FS=Free Safety
    SS=Strong Safety
    Note that all the Right people are the top people and
    all the Left people are the people closer to the 
    bottom for defense, and the reverse for offense. 
    For detailed explanations of the players' statistics
    and conditions, go to the Roster section. 
    Offensive Starters
    To change your offensive starters, go into OF Starters 
    and choose the position you want to fill and then fill 
    it with whoever is available. Players with red X's 
    beside their names are injured and can't be selected
    unless they were just injured and need to be replaced. 
    To reset the starters, press A on Starters before you
    go down into the actual starters and select Yes. If
    you want to look at players' data in this section,
    simply press Start when the cursor is next to the
    desired starter to see that person's stats. 
    Defensive Starters
    To view the defenders and their positions, go into DF 
    Starters. For those of you wondering where the top
    of the screen players are, the left is the top of the
    screen and the right is the bottom. 
    Play Book
    You can change the plays by going into Play Book, 
    hitting A on the slot of the play you want to change, 
    and choosing from among the list. To reset the plays, 
    select Data Reset at the bottom. The red dots are
    a pitch to a man, the red lines are either the path
    of a runner or the paths of receivers, and white 
    dotted lines signify a shift before the play begins.
    Note that some shifts are not shown on certain plays.
    You have been warned. The names of the plays are 
    shown at the bottom and the names of the plays that
    you can select from are shown on the menu bar (but
    when you choose run plays, you can't see the name
    of the play that is currently in the slot). The
    runs are the top four slots and the passes are the
    bottom four slots (to yet again state the obvious).
    Season Game
    There are several options here:
    Team Control
    Game Start
    NFL Standings
    Team Rankings
    NFL Leaders
    Team Data
    Team Control
    This lets you choose the type (man, com, coa, skp 
    (don't play this game, but if the other team has 
    an option set, this is com)) of control the team 
    will have. 
    Schedule is the place where you look at the past 
    and upcoming games. Hitting the A button brings up
    a menu:
    Auto Skip - Choosing this lets you pick a week to
    skip to. This will automatically skip to that week
    and its games (if you choose Week 1, it will play
    all the games to Week 2) when you choose Game Start,
    unless you have man, com, or coa chosen for a team
    playing in those weeks, in which case it will stop
    skipping and return you to the Season Mode menu to
    allow you to play the game currently up by selecting
    Game Start. You can make the game stop Auto Skipping
    by holding the B button, which will return you to
    the Season Mode menu (thanks for reminding me, Paul).
    You can also tap the B button repeatedly for the same
    Playoffs - This allows you to view the Playoff 
    schedule as it is created through winning of division
    championships, and also when the the regular season
    is over, you can use it to go back to the Playoff
    Reset - If you choose this option, it will give you 
    two menus to confirm that you really want to clear
    away all the season data. Selecting "Yes" for both
    of these will reset the season to the beginning of
    Week 1, change all the players' conditions to 
    Average, and clear away all the players' statistics.
    During the Playoffs, the Schedule option will default
    to the Playoff Screen that shows the results and the
    upcoming games therein. 
    Game Start
    Game Start plays or skips the games you've selected,
    according to the options that you've chosen. Keep
    in mind that if an option other than skp is chosen
    for a game, the game will be played out in full
    just like a Preseason game.
    NFL Standings
    NFL Standings shows the records and progress of 
    each team in the NFL with total points for and 
    against a team, as well as any wild card (noted with
    a white circle doodad under the team's helmet) or 
    division champion status that team may have earned 
    (noted with a red star under a team's helmet). The 
    teams are listed by conference and division. 
    Team Rankings 
    This lists each team in the league or conference 
    by the total amount of yards gained in Offense or 
    the least amount of yards allowed in Defense, 
    depending on what list you chose. Once you are
    in the ranking, you can then move the cursor right
    or left to show the ranked yards gained or allowed
    for passing only or rushing only. 
    NFL Leaders 
    This lists individual leaders in certain stats by 
    NFL, AFC, and NFC. In each menu except for Sacks,
    you can press right and see another set of list
    options for each one. This holds true for all of
    the sub-menus as well. I have made a list of my own
    that shows the options for ranking as
    well as the initial ranking criterion:
    <Category> - <ranked criterion> 
    Passing - Rating
    Completion %
    # Of Pass Attempts
    # Of Completions
    Total Yards Gained
    Yards Per Attempt
    # Of Touchdown Passes
    Least Interception %
    Receiving - # Of Receptions
    # Of Receptions
    Total Yards Gained
    Yards Per Receptions
    # Of Touchdowns
    Rushing - Total Yards Gained  
    Total Yards Gained
    Rushing Attempts
    Yards Per Attempt
    # Of Touchdowns
    Scoring - Total Points
    Total Points 
    # Of Touchdowns
    # Of Extra Points
    # Of Field Goals
    Punting - Average Punt Yardage
    Average Punt Yardage
    Total # Of Punts
    Interceptions - # Of Interceptions
    # Of Interceptions
    Total Yards Gained
    # Of Touchdowns
    Sacks - # Of Sacks
    # Of Sacks
    Punt Returns - Average Yards Gained
    Average Yards Gained
    Total Yards Gained
    # Of Returns
    # Of Touchdowns
    Kickoff Returns - Average Yards Gained
    Average Yards Gained
    Total Yards Gained
    # Of Returns
    # Of Touchdowns
    Team Data 
    This is the same Team Data that is in the first menu, 
    but duplicated for your convenience in the Season 
    Mode menu.   
    Playing The Game
    Table of Contents:
    Other 1
    Special Teams
    Other 2
    Other 1
    In a game, pressing B will skip through the coin toss 
    and randomly assign a kicking and returning team. It
    will also skip through halftime.
    A struggles (or hits) and B does nothing for a plain
    old vanilla-and-nothing runner or returner. On the play 
    formation screen, A brings up a menu where you can 
    call time outs, punt, kick a field goal, or change your 
    offensive lineup. To choose a play, hit the directional 
    arrow and button simultaneously that are shown 
    underneath the play you want to call. To hike the 
    ball, press A. For a run play, you only have to control 
    the runner. For a pass play, you change receivers with 
    A and pass with B. There are two more sophisticated 
    ways of passing. One of them is the switch pass, in 
    which you hit both buttons (A+B) at the same time, but 
    with A a little earlier, which switches the pass from 
    one receiver to the next in the order for the play. 
    The second is the dupe pass, in which you do the same 
    thing, but hit B first. This will shift the cursor to
    the next receiver, but will throw the pass to the one
    the cursor pointed to previously.
    On defense, hitting A or B will move you
    progressively through the people you can control, with
    A moving forward and B moving backward through the 
    players. B slide tackles and A struggles as with
    offense. You cannot change players during the course
    of the play. In the play screen, you can call time
    outs by bringing up the menu by pressing A. 
    Special Teams 
    Kicking a ball from a field goal position is done with 
    A, the direction being determined by an arrow. Kicking 
    off is done with A, with the power meter on top 
    determining the strength of the kick. The higher the 
    bar is when you hit A, the more powerful the kick will 
    be. Kicking when the meter is in the blue will cause 
    an onside kick. If you hit up or down when you kick, 
    the direction of the kick will change to move up or
    down correspondingly. Punting is done the same way, 
    but you cannot change its direction and you cannot 
    "onside punt". 
    Other 2
    Note that the numbers and names of the offensive and 
    defensive players are shown at the top (though often
    not in full). Also, in the playbook screen, it shows
    the person who runs the play atop the actual play for
    the run plays.  
    At the end of the game, you can either hit A or B to 
    exit the score screen. 
    That's about it for the serious stuff.
    19. Press Conference
    "I completely deny these false and Tecmo 
    This is all the random thoughts I have (and others 
    have, hopefully) about Tecmo. (Note to future writers:
    add your own below)
    Leif Powers - 
    Index: These names do not match the formal titles in
    some cases; but this is the general order of my press 
    How do I make Tecmo harder/teach others how to play?
    Do you run or pass?
    Do you defend the run or the pass?
    How do you measure your performance?
    What do you think about tactics?
    How long did it take to write this FAQ?
    I've beaten the computer for about the 10000th time,
    259-0, 75 points 4th quarter, 500 yards passing,
    500 yards rushing, 100% receptions with my backup
    QB, the worst person on my team returning both
    kicks and punts for a total of 300 yards, stopping
    so that the rest of my team could get some action,
    0 first downs for and against, no yards against me, 
    no one even shown for the computer on the game stats 
    screen, 95 QB sacks, 25 safeties, -367 yards rushing 
    for the computer (I was so bored I kept that stat
    myself), and to top it all off, 1 successful
    field goal for my 6 Kicking Ability (he was in Bad
    condition) kicker from my 30 yard line. But I love
    Tecmo so much, I don't want to stop playing, and
    say, go into accounting. How can I make Tecmo harder?
    Also, I want to teach my little sister how to play 
    too. She just turned 4, and I figure I could use some 
    competition. How can I?
    Some ways in which you can make it harder to play
    Tecmo are as follows:
    1. Pick a horrible team and play against a great
    team (one way you can do this is to use the
    Pro Bowl options).
    2. Set your slowest people to running backs,
    and try to get them with low Hitting Power as
    3. Set your slowest/worst Receptions people to
    4. Set a low Hitting Power/slow/bad Receptions
    guy to TE.
    6. Put in your worst overall QB (low Pass Speed
    and low other stats). 
    6. Play some games in Season and win with the
    team you will want to play and lose with the one
    you want to oppose. 
    7. Don't do anything that is unrealistic, like
    nose tackle dives or other really, really, 
    physics-defying stunts. 
    8. Pick the worst defender for any play to play
    as, or play games with whom you choose as your
    controlled man. Even worse, let your opponent
    select as whom you play.
    9. Run straight out instead of using dodging
    tactics when you break out. 
    10. Give yourself time consuming plays like
    oneback reverses and low-receiver passes. 
    11. Give your opponent the plays and playbook
    which give you the most trouble.
    12. Don't kick punts or field goals (though the
    latter may make it easier, depending on how
    good you are).
    And the worst way in which to make Tecmo harder
    13. Use Coach Mode. 
    Paul tells me that not hitting A in a struggle
    is one thing you can also do, but I don't know
    about that. As an equalizer of tapping, I like,
    but kind of messes up a number of other situations.
    You could also just stop whenever you
    get the ball. I think it goes a little bit too
    far, but you can try it if you like. 
    Do you run or pass?
    I personally like to run. However, if my opponent is
    stacking up against my run, I look to go deep and let
    my best receiver go up and get the ball against single
    coverage, if the secondary is not good. Most of the
    time, I look to pass to the open guy instead of taking
    a risk, but if nothing is available short, I go long
    and take my chances if I can't run the ball with my
    quarterback. Throwing it up works better than one might
    expect if the QB-WR tandem is decent on the receiver
    Note that this strategy is not optimal with many good
    passing teams in Preseason. In those situations, you
    can know what your matchups are likely to be, and can
    throw into more dangerous situations than you would in
    a Season game. 
    Do you defend the run or the pass?
    Right now, I have been looking to stop the run, and
    take my best player to stop the pass. However, this
    will not work if your opponent comes out throwing on
    every down and knows how to move with the quarterback.
    The opposing player doesn't necessarily have to be
    a good runner with the quarterback, but the opponent
    has to know where to move his QB to get himself in
    position to "chicken" the MAN defender or to set up
    a longer throw (not to mention avoiding the sack).
    If he does those two things, I have to call passes
    to get enough coverage to force the opponent to either
    call runs or take a bunch of hits on his QB as I
    slam into him when he tries to run.
    In a no-lurch environment, you are basically forced to
    defend the pass with playcalls and then deal wih the
    run via tactics. 
    How do you measure your performance?
    Nowadays, there are a large number of live tournaments
    in which to test your skills. Watching the current 
    players as of 2016, I'm about at the 50% - I haven't
    mastered the Higgins tapping technique, am rusty, 
    definitely don't know how to play well with good teams,
    and am still having to adjust to almost exclusively
    defending the pass. 
    What do you think about the scandalous nose
    tackle dives and tactics so well documented
    and perfected in your FAQ? Aren't they just
    cheap excuses for gameplay, the Virginia Woolfs
    of video game football, that only progeny
    of John Wilks Booth use, revealing the ineptness,
    juvenilinity, and Limburger-Brie-cheesiness
    of the person who uses them?
    About tactics...there are many people who play
    Tecmo who think that things like the nose tackle
    dive and a ton of the techniques listed in the
    plays are cheap and shouldn't exist in Tecmo. I'm
    not one of them. I look at it this way: if you're 
    going to play a game, you should play your hardest
    (at least in most situations) or else you're not
    really playing at all. Would you not attack the
    castled king in chess because "it's cheap"? Would
    you forbid the Dragon Punch in Street Fighter 
    because "the person who does it is invincible if
    you're in the air"? Of course you wouldn't; that's
    how those games work. To some extent, the NTDs and
    unstoppable tactics like the left/right end dive on
    HATS Plays are tough to handle. If people aren't
    allowed to choose playbooks before a game or season,
    then I can see full well how such tactics can be
    forbidden, because some playbooks can be shut down
    hard using tactics. But if people are allowed to
    weed out weak plays and put in strong ones, then 
    they should be allowed to use whatever tactics they
    see fit. Otherwise, you have situations where all
    you can do against certain plays like Toss 
    Sweep R and FB Power Dive is to sit back and watch
    as the fullback simply drives ahead for three or 
    five yards a play, because you can't stop the 
    passes with NTDs, and you can't call both FB Power
    Dive and Toss Sweep R, making it nearly impossible
    to halt the drive, even if you know what's coming.
    It would be like boxers who are only allowed to
    use one hand and could only hit the upper torso; 
    the fighter who has the better combination of the 
    punch and the body would win, with little room for
    ingenuity, upsets, and the use of natural 
    strengths. Playing a game like 49ers-Oilers would
    be meaningless, because the 49ers have a much
    better defense as opposed to the Oilers, making
    it impossible for the Oilers to win without having
    some brains. But without tactics, how can those
    brains be utilized? Games simply become seesaws
    of offense followed by offense, each side scoring
    touchdowns because there's nothing to stop the
    advance of the runners or the bombs of the passers.
    Luck would prevail rather than skill. If you got
    two called plays in a four-down set, that would be
    the only way to make the offense buckle in a 
    Preseason game. The person who got the most 
    interceptions and recovered the most fumbles would
    be the winner. Tecmo becomes a coach game
    with improved offense if tactics are not allowed. 
    So, for my part, I think anything you can do is
    legal as long as there's a way for your opponent
    to circumvent or defeat your actions. Have a 
    problem with nose tackle dives? Call Pitch L Open.
    Gary Reasons covering all your men? QB sneak.
    And on defense: if they're battering you with
    runs, call runs and lurch. If they're
    hitting you with passes, cover the run with your
    best defender and call passes. Whatever you do, 
    though, don't knock the people who use the game
    to their advantage. The only tactic that is 
    game-breaking is looking at the other person's
    How long did it take to write this FAQ?
    Physically it probably took over 200 hours to write
    out all the text and diagrams. Obviously in terms of research, 
    that also goes into hundreds of hours outside the game itself,
    watching how the CPU is moving. Of course, I also spent a lot of
    time taking advantage of the help from the community and the 
    information that folks have published on the forums over the years. 
    20. Rumors And Myths
    O=My Take
    R: People can catch blocked balls.
    O: I believe that it could be true, because I
    have seen people diving for the ball, but I have
    never actually seen it in action. However, the
    incidence of this phenomenon would be very rare.
    It's only the intended receiver who could do such
    a thing in any case, because they're the only offensive
    players who slide for the balls.
    R: Changing receivers a lot helps a QB's accuracy/receptions.
    O: This one is speculative. Maybe it does and maybe it
    doesn't. I might have seen some slight improvements with
    Steve Grogan. I don't think it does anything much for any
    decent passer though.
    R: Getting mob tackled increases the rate of injury.
    O: I studied this recently and it seemed as though tackles
    involving two or more defenders produced more injuries.
    However, I watch a lot of mob tackles that don't injure
    anyone, and one day, I had two single-tackler injuries in two
    R: Getting hit by powerful defenders increases the chances
    of a fumble.
    O: Very possible, but not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
    R: Making your receiver dive for the ball increases the
    chances of a reception and decreases the chances of
    O: Possible, certainly, but I am not at all sure about it.
    One of the problems with this rumor is that when a player
    makes a diving catch in coverage, you typically remember it
    but the interception on that play, not so much. Tough to
    say, but I have seen it happen a lot, that the defenders
    will be all over the play, and then the receiver slides in
    to make the catch.
    R: Struggling a lot/not struggling at all makes a person
    more fumble-prone.
    O: I think I would need more study on this before I could
    come to a real conclusion.
    R: Punts can be blocked, however rarely.
    O: This was probably a feature, like penalties, that the
    programmers and developers were going to put in, but
    never finished. Whether this can actually be activated
    is doubtful. Extensive tests have turned up nothing, not
    even a pressure.
    R: Changing plays in the middle of a season helps your
    ability to run them.
    O: Don't think this one is quite the case.
    R=Reason(s) Why It's Wrong
    M: Quickness does anything significant.
    R: Many hours of tests prove this wrong. The fact that no
    one can agree on it is the most convincing argument.
    M: Running in the opposite direction makes defenders more
    likely to struggle with a runner instead of slide tackling.
    R: I checked on this for a few games, and noticed nothing
    21. Taunts
    Some of these taunts are lame, but some are all right.
    "With that kind of speed, you could play in Madden. 
    Maybe you're even Madden himself."
    "O-ho! That's hitting power!"
    Kick field goals from where you would punt and punt
    from where you would kick field goals.
    Kick the extra point at the last minute or even take
    the tackle. 
    On interceptions:
    Run the ball as if you were the intended receiver 
    towards a touchdown. For even greater effect, make it
    into the end zone and start humming the pass touchdown
    "This is how <quarterback> got in the NFL, no doubt.
    He passes the Grogan test with flying colors."
    "It's too bad I can't set <interceptor> as a wide
    "Do you get bonuses for these?"
    On fumbles:
    "Couldn't hold your lunch, eh?"
    "I didn't know <fumbler> could pass."
    "If you keep behaving like Lorenzo White, you'll
    never win this game."
    "Thanks for giving me back my ball."
    "Touchdown celebrations are done in the end zone."
    On safeties:
    "You're safe all right - from getting a touchdown."
    "You ran to the wrong end zone."
    "You're better at getting to your end zone than I
    "You should have punted."
    "I don't have to play - you win this game for me."
    "You could have made things easier for me and 
    kicked a field goal."
    "That was an old-school 2-point conversion."
    On BAD passes (credit Paul for some inspiration):
    "In another era, you could have been an anti-aircraft
    artillery piece/shuttle launching pad/flare gun."
    "The geese are breaking formation almost as quickly
    as you are."
    "Do you hunt that way?"
    "If you break the Tecmo blimp/scoreboard/uprights, 
    you're going to have to pay for it, and on the salary 
    you're getting next year, it'll be a tough buy - that 
    is, if they don't fire you for <insert other bad 
    quarterback here> and leave you totally destitute."
    "Giving the fans balls is certainly generous of you."
    "That's one way to avoid an interception."
    "If you could kick as well as you pass, every team
    in the league would want you. Are you trying to be
    the next Tom Tupa?"
    "The coaches don't need all this practice."
    "I repeat: just because the cheerleaders are in red
    doesn't mean they're your targets."
    "If you keep throwing like that, the cheerleaders
    are going to have to wear pads too."
    "I guess cheerleaders get breast implants to absorb
    your incoming passes."
    "Getting revenge on the mute fans, I see."
    "The parachutist only comes at halftime."
    "Are you Groganing again?"
    On dropped passes:
    "Gee, that guy came straight from junior high."
    "You have to catch the ball first to be able to 
    "My linemen are better receivers."
    "You're confusing football with hot potato."
    "Gee, maybe I should have thrown it to the
    bleachers. Someone might have caught it there."
    "<dolt> isn't catching and he isn't blocking. Why
    do you pay this guy?"
    On missed field goals:
    "The cheerleaders can kick better than you can."
    "You wanted to be a sniper, but..."
    "Too short to be a punter and too high to be a
    soccer player..."
    "<bad quarterback> gives away balls on passes and
    <bad kicker> gives away balls on kicks."
    On oafed kicks and punts:
    "You're the argument for the thrown kickoff/punt."
    "You could have just thrown <backup or bad player> 
    over the line with the ball and gotten more yards. 
    Or for that matter, you could have kicked him."
    "In golf, that kind of thing is called a bogey.
    In football, it's called pathetic."

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