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#30 Defending The Run


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Hello Coaches!


Welcome to another Dev Diary for NewSim on SimFBA!


This Dev Diary continues to explain the transition to the new game engine. Last time, we talked about blocking. This time, we will talk about some defense! Specifically, what things make players good at defending the run.


First, let's talk about who might be in a position to defend against a run play.


Defenses are divided up into three "levels" (sensing a pattern here?). Those levels are:

  • Defensive Line
  • Linebackers
  • Secondary

The first two levels are the ones that will be called upon to stop the run. So you usually won't have to worry about corners and safeties trying to stop the run, but safeties sometimes get in on the fun when they are rolled down into the box. So basically any position but CB will sometimes defend against the run, and even then, more often than not, it is your front seven doing the heavy lifting for you.


The next thing to understand is how the sim determines who defends against the run, and who blocks. The way the sim determines this is based on the play call (inside, outside, power, etc.) and then it selects a few players from both sides (sometimes just one side, sometimes from both) as "key" to the development of the play. These are the players that are compared when a run occurs. For example, on an inside run to the left, the sim might call for the offense's LG and the defense's MLB to be compared. The net sum between the Run Blocking of the LG and the Run Defense of the MLB is added directly to the number of yards the RB gained (or lost) on that play.


(The numbers that follow are not the raw skills of the player. They are processed first by the sim)


  • #1
    • RG Run Block: 3
    • MLB Run Defense: -3
    • Yards added to RB gained yards: 0


    • RG Run Block: -1
    • MLB Run Defense: -3
    • Yards added to RB gained yards: -4


    • RG Run Block: 3
    • MLB Run Defense: 2
    • Yards added to RB gained yards: 5

Now sometimes, the sim will actually only have players from one side. This usually results in a big play for either side because one side doesn't have any numbers to offset the other team's. For example, it is possible for a run to be defended by two defenders (like a DE and an OLB on an outside run) and NO blockers. Thus, a DE with a Run Defense of -2 and an OLB with a Run Defense of -3 would cause 5 yards to be subtracted from whatever the RB gained. This also goes in the other direction, in that sometimes there will only be blockers, and no defenders.


So what skills make a run defender? The following do:

  • Run Defense
  • Speed
  • Strength
  • Football IQ

Ok, so how do each of these things affect how well a run defender will play?


Run Defense: This skill is pretty straightforward. The higher this value is, the better a player will defend on a run play. This skill will DIRECTLY reduce the number of yards the RB gains.


Speed: High speed players will get a small boost to their ability to stop the run. This simulates speed-oriented defenses that emphasize swarming to the ball with multiple tacklers (Think mid 2010s Seattle Seahawks). This bonus only kicks in above a large speed threshold. Low speed does not provide any maluses.


Strength: Players with high strength also have a slight bonus. This simulates defenses that want to try to push the offense back off the line of scrimmage and attack the backfield (Think 1985 Chicago Bears). This bonus only kicks in above a large strength threshold. Low strength does not provide any maluses.


Football IQ: Intelligence is key to being able to defend the run. Understanding tendencies and opposing blocking schemes can really give a defender an advantage. Thus, a small bonus is given to players with high Football IQ, whereas players with a lack of Football IQ will suffer maluses and potentially struggle.


This one was longer since I explained how the offense and defense actually match up on a play, but hopefully it made sense. Next we will talk about defending the pass!


That is it for this dev diary. Comment with any questions you have and I'll be sure to answer them as best as I can!


Until next time,



Edited by Rocketcan
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One more thing to add that I forgot: The strength and speed bonuses do NOT stack. You only get one or the other. They are the same amount of bonus, though, so it doesn't really matter which one is applied.
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