Diamond Wing is my primary running formation. I had been getting away with not having very many good passing plays in this formation because I primarily play against the CPU, which has yet to realize I would run 80% of the time when I'm in this set. Lately I've developed some new passing plays (Flurry) and renewed my interest in older ones (the newly added Lightnings), providing a balanced attack against humans and CPU alike.
The formation is modeled after the old school style Full House T formation, still favored by many high schools and small colleges. To adapt it to pro football teams, the third running back is actually a tight end lined up in the backfield. Rather than place all three backs in a straight line, the primary blocking backs (the TE on the left and fullback on the right) form the side corners of a diamond with the running back at the bottom and QB at top. The split ends line up a few steps away from the tackles to widen the line as much as possible; on runs to the outside these apparent vulnerabilities are compensated for by a combination of pulling linemen and lead blocks by the FB and TE.
Diamond Wing works well enough for straight ahead running, though that is not what most of my plays focus on. After all, any formation with a lead blocker for the tailback, as well as at least one extra blocker on the line is good for straight ahead run plays. The problem with this type of play is that it just comes down to raw power and execution (of the virtual players, more than the human controller). My playbook seeks to use innovative techniques to allow inferior physical ability to beat superior a good deal of the time, so I focus on sophisticated sweeps and trap blocking plays.
My wide receiver and blocking back assignments are somewhat arbitrary. Neither side is really favored for the receivers, so you may want to pick your favorite plays and put the best blocking WR on that side. Likewise, the TE and FB positions in the backfield are really just the first ones I came up with. I think the back on the right needs to be a FB or RB for a few plays (not yet included on this site) because I believe that Madden 2003 does not allow tight ends to receive handoffs, even when lined up in a running back position. If the team you like to play with has two solid fullbacks, you may want to put the second one in place of the TE, I haven't tried this but it should work just fine.
Diamond Wing is my most important audible formation. I like to keep my audibles balanced and complimentary to my usual formations and plays, so my audible plays are also my favorite regular plays. To keep opponents from guessing my audibles I use three plays from one formation and two from another. Diamond Wing has three audible plays, two run (Delay Sweep to the left and Counter Sweep to the right) and one passing (Flurry).
Probably my favorite running play. This play has a better chance of taking it all the way to the end zone than a lot of passing plays. Unlike most running plays, I expect to get at least 5 yards every time I run it unless the D-line or linebackers specifically stack the side I'm running to.
A great change up to the running plays primarily featured in the Diamond Wing formation. Five quick routes are designed to stun defenses stacked up against the run.
A solid passing play designed to gain short to medium yardage. It's symmetry makes for easy learning, with routes designed to pull man coverages out of position.
This misdirection play is an excellent compliment to Delay Sweep. The back starts left but then sweeps to the right, getting lead blocks from the tight end and fullback. While not the most consistent running play, Counter Sweep has excellent big yardage capability.
Contact Arkaein with any comments or questions regarding the Monstrous Madden Playbook.