With this year's release of Madden NFL 25, obviously the latest and possibly the most popular addition to the offense is the read option. Some say the read option is an overrated fad which will wind up with starting quarterbacks on the IR. Others say the read option is overpowered and takes advantage of the AI giving teams with mobile QB's in particular an unfair advantage. My personal opinion is that the read option is similar to the implementation of the Wildcat on steroids. The read option is new to a good majority of league participants except for those who have experienced it playing NCAA Football. Granted, we are talking two entirely different games. However, the desired result is the same... We want to know how to stop the read option and neutralize our opponent. THIS THREAD IS INTENDED FOR CONSTRUCTIVE PURPOSES ONLY. Before anyone replies, here are a few things NOT to bring to the discussion... This thread should NOT be a discussion regarding how often the read option should be used. This thread is NOT a discussion of how overpowered the read option is. This thread is NOT intended to discuss how Peyton Manning should not be running a read option offense. Lastly, this thread is NOT to be used to call anyone out or complain about opponents and what they have done using the read option. If you need to bash the read option or complain about an opponent, then you best take it to a different community forum. With that said, the purpose of this post is to generate constructive, healthy discussion between everyone in the league so that we ALL may improve our game. Don't be an asshole and keep knowledge to yourself so that only YOU can win. Quality Simulation Football is about camaraderie and competition. Spread the knowledge and empower your league brethren. EFFECTIVE WAYS TO STOP THE READ OPTION: In Madden 25, pre-snap on defense, there is an Adjust Defense option available to the defense in the pre-snap controles. When the user enters the menu, this is the flow and behavior (Shopmaster; MyMaddenPad.com): First, press "L2" to open the Adjust Defense menu. Next it depends on whether you want to attack the QB or the RB: Press "SQUARE" to have the read defender pursue the running back. The read will crash and initiate pursuit of the running back. Press "X" to have the read defender pursuer the quarterback. The read will stay at home and attack the quarterback when he initiates his run. Here is a video example of the defensive pre-snap controls (Zfarls; MaddenTips.com): Here are formation strategies of how to defend the read option (EASports.com): ENGAGE EIGHT Engage Eight is an extremely high-risk, high-reward defense. If you are looking to stop your opponent on the ground, then this play will likely do the trick. However, expect to get beaten by the pass if your opponent suspects Engage Eight is coming. This may not be an every-down defense against the option, but use this as a last-ditch effort to provide pressure on the QB. USER-DEFEND AND COMMIT User-defending and committing towards the option means attacking the QB from the play side with a MLB or safety. This can be tricky, because you’ll have to avoid blockers to make a play on the QB. User-control ability is extremely important here, so make sure that you only attempt this if you are confident in your stick skills. If your opponent throws a play action towards your side of the field, be sure to recover as quickly as you can back to your coverage assignment. SEND SIX This can be done from any formation and any play in the game. The only rule is to make sure you send six defenders, excluding your user defender. Sit back and let your opponent decide who to give the ball to and then attack. Don’t commit too early, otherwise you’ll get picked up by blockers and get taken out of the play. COMMIT TO HB If you are facing a QB that isn’t a threat to run, use your pre-snap tools to select “Commit to HB,” which means your defense will attempt to take away the handoff. Decide on your game plan early, and consider mixing it up so that your opponent doesn’t get comfortable with the same read. The indicator for this will be your DE crashing in towards the snap of the ball. COMMIT TO QB A general rule of thumb in Madden NFL 25 is that your opponent will want to run with a mobile QB. Don’t allow it. Using your pre-snap adjustments, select “Commit to QB” to take him out of the equation. Your indicator for this will be your DE standing up at the snap of the ball. If the opposing QB keeps the ball, he will get crushed by the DE. This forces the handoff to the HB, and the defense will have to make a play in the open field. This is, without a doubt, the best way to not only stop the option, but also to frustrate your opponent. The video that follows is an explanation of the "scrape exchange" technique that is used in football to stop the read option. For league purposes, we are limited to the Madden linebacker and/or line shifts. Even so, the video displays the idea behind the technique that may be implemented to stop the two headed monster of the read option (4wardProgressMadden): Those are just a few examples of how to defend against the read option. Feel free to discuss and/or post other insights!