Madden NFL 09 Strategy Guide


A brief foreword


The following is a note I would write to EA if any of the following were applicable: A) if EA listened, B) if anyone else cared, or C) if there were somewhere to send it – don’t worry, I haven’t and don’t plan to look.**

Dear EA, I appreciate the effort of this year’s Madden, but this game is becoming more and more unlike football. I understand programming AI that can play football must be hard, but scripting, rubberband AI, sliders, hidden sliders, and animations are not the answer. I’m sure it’s nice and easy to copy and paste last year’s tackle animations to this year, but if you actually compare those to how NFL players tackle, you’ll see that your animations don’t fly.

The main thing to fix is how you let the CPU quarterback throw off his back foot on any play. I’m sure Madden himself would say, “Now he should have never thrown that ball off his back foot, boom!”

Is it too much to ask for players to walk into a game with both teams on an equal field and the players decide the game, rather than sliders, scripting, and animations? I have been a loyal fan for many years, but other than crazy games against other gamers, I’m starting to understand why many people have long lost faith in the Madden franchise for not offering enough innovation. Madden 09 is just NCAA 09 in new packaging and some glitter to make it look better. For next year, please try to make a game that better reflects the NFL.



This is the most comprehensive controls section I’ve ever made, so you better like it. I hope they all match up with NCAA controls, as they are the same games, except for pump fakes and throwing away, which was TONS of fun to adjust to by the way.

Key: When you see X (A), it means PS3 (XBox 360)

Playstation 3 Xbox 360
Square X
Triangle Y
L1 Left Bumper (LB)
R1 Right Bumper (RB)
L2 Left Trigger (LT)
R2 Right Trigger (RT)
Left Stick (LS) Left Stick (LS)
Right Stick (RS) Right Stick (RS)
D-Pad D-Pad
L3 L3
R3 R3
Start Start
Select Back

General Controls

  • Move Player – LS
  • Sprint – R2 (RT) (can be bad at times)
  • Switch player – tap O (B), hold and direction to scroll
  • Show routes (playart) – R2 (RT) + Up; bluff with R2 (RT) + left/right
  • Audible – Square (X)
  • Preplay help -R3
  • Replay – L2 + R1 (LB + RB)
  • Timeout – Select (Back)
  • Pause – Start


Hurry Up *Hold these after a play is over

Hurry – X (A)
Hurry and call last play – TRI (Y)
Spike – SQU (X)
Fake spike – O (B)
*NOTE: It’s much faster to just call a play like normal instead of using these.*

Pre-Play *While at the line of scrimmage

Timeout – Select (Back)
Snap – X (A)
Fake snap – R1 (RB)
Audible – SQU (X) and then one of the receiver buttons that corresponds to
the pre-set play. These are displayed for you in this game.
Motion – hold O (B)  + left/right to select a player, then press left/right
to send him in motion
Flip run – RS left/right
Slide Protection – L2 (LT) + up/left/down/right

**L1/R1 (LB/RB) during play selection to change packages, such as Spell HB.

Hot Routes *These are pre-play

Select player – press TRI and then the receiver’s button
Hot Route – after you select a receiver, press one of the following routes

Straight up – LS up
Come back – LS down
In/Out route – LS left/right
Fade – RS up
Drag – RS down
Slant – RS left/right
Block – left/right = L2/R2 (LT/RT)
Smart route – R1 (RB)
Cancel – O (B)

Passing *Keep in mind you can move in the pocket, and run and pass so long as you
never cross the line of scrimmage 

Pass the ball – X, O, SQU, TRI, L1 (A, B, X, Y, LB);  tap for a lob, hold for bullet pass
Throw away (out of pocket) – click RS
Pump fake – R1 (RB)
Run – R2 (RT) (same as sprint)

Option Plays Pitch/Lateral – L2 (LT)
Fake pitch – L1 (LB)
Fullback (triple option, hold at handoff) – X (A)
Running *This is when running to start, with the QB, or after a catch

Sprint – R2 (RT)
Spin – O (B); RS in a circle
Dive – SQU (X)
Hurdle – TRI (Y)
Stiff Arm – X (A)
Protect ball – R1 (RB)
Lateral – L2 (LT)
Juke – RS left/right/down
Highlight stick – RS up
High Step/celebrate – press/hold O (B) as you run to the endzone

Catching Switch to receiver – O (B)
Catch – TRI (Y)
Diving catch – SQU (X)
Blocking *I guess someone may want to do this, sadly

For a running play, switch to player like a hot route, then press L1 (LB) to
control that blocker after the snap. Press the RS up for an impact block, or
down for a cut block.

Of course after an INT of fumble, normal running moves apply.

Pre-Play Timeout – Select (Back)
Audible – SQU (X)
Jump Snap – L2 (LT)
Defensive line audibles – L1 (LB)
Linebacker audibles – R1 (RB)
Coverage audibles – TRI (Y)
D-Line Audibles *L1 (LB) and then any of these buttons, or O (B) to cancel

Shift – LS left/right
Spread/Pinch – LS up/down
Crash – RS right/left/down
DE contain – RS up

Linebacker Audibles *R1 (RB) and then any of these buttons, or O (B) to cancel

Shift – LS left/right
Spread/Pinch – LS up/down
Blitz – right/left/all = RS left/right/down
LB Zone – RS up

Coverage Audibles *TRI (Y) and then any of these buttons, or O (B) to cancel

Show blitz/Show man – LS left/right
Soft/Press – LS up/down
Safety zone shade – RS left/right
Safety shade – RS up/down

Hot Routes *Tap O (B) to select player, then press X (A) and one of these buttons, cancel  with O (B)

Hook Zone – LS up
QB Contain – LS down
Man Coverage – LS left + receiver icon
Buzz zone – LS right
Blitz – RS down
Deep zone – RS up
QB spy – RS left
Flat zone – RS right

After Snap Sprint – R2 (RT)
Switch – O (B)
Dive – SQU (X)
Strip ball – X (A)
Strafe – hold L2 (LT)
Intercept – TRI (Y)
Diving INT – SQU (X)
Swat – X (A)
Hit stick – RS up for high; RS down for low
Bull rush – R1 (RB)
Finesse move – L1 (LB)
Hands up – TRI (Y)
Special Teams Kick – LS change height and direction of kick; RS down until in the red, then  up in the direction when in the red or close to it for power. Don’t adjust kickoff height please.
Punt – same as kick, just know low punts will be returned easier.
Fair catch – TRI (Y)
Kneel in endzone before leaving – don’t move
All other moves apply when returning.