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Madden players might not punt much, but when they do, it's we need to know what to do.  Your punt returner's job is to field the punt, but there's nothing special about mishandling a punt.  A muffed or fumbled punt is dangerous.  Not only is the kicking team likely to regain possession, but a fumbled punt gives the kicking team the ability to advance the ball while the return man is laying on his back.  It's enough to get a punt returner demoted to the bench, never to return another kick.  Fortunately, the fair catch rule allows a return man an opportunity to field the punt cleanly without getting hit. 

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Small decisions matter, especially on special teams.  On kickoffs it is sometimes better to take a knee than attempt to run it back.  In recent memory getting the ball to the 20-yard line was enough to justify the risk of poor field position, but the NFL changed the rule for kickoffs for the 2016 season.  Now, a touchback grants the receiving team possession at the 25-yard line instead of the 20. 

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Fourth down is decision time.  Often, Madden players make the wrong decision.  For reasons unknown to football traditionalists, some people simply refuse to punt.  There is a perception that punting indicates weakness and is indicative of offensive failure.  Perhaps.  But consider that punts flip the field position an average of 30+ yards virtually every time its called, punting is actually the most successful play in the history of football.

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Kickers are the highest scoring players in the history of the NFL.  Check it out.  The leagues scoring record holders are virtually all kickers. Madden scoring records, not so much.  Madden players don't use their kickers to get points even when they are well within range in fourth and long.  Daring, but not necessarily smart.  After all, they don't call it football for nothing. 

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Many players want to know how to "lab" for game situations. This tip sent in by legacy member orbit639 details a technique to simulate game situations to improve the effectiveness of your practice sessions.

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Madden players constantly look for advantages. Making the right call at the right time is all the advantage we need. Planning ahead for game time makes picking the right play easy come crunch-time. Whether it's 3rd and long or the offense is backed up in the shadow of it's own goal posts; Madden players that plan ahead win more games.  This tip, submitted by legacy member "TruthBTold" relates a tournament experience that changed the way he approaches game planning.

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Madden players face a dilemma striving for balance in their game plan. Finding a happy medium between runs and passes on offense or coverage and blitzes on defense might look difficult, but it is simpler than it seems.  Balance need not be a 50/50 mix.  Even a game plan featuring 100% passes or pressures can maintain a balanced attack as long as the play calling sets up the anticipation of opposing threats in varied situations.  Keeping an opponent's mind focused on countering one threat is often enough for another to work.

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By default, Madden comes prepackaged with playbooks designed to imitate real NFL teams.  But what if you don't like the mix of formations and plays in any of them.  Why use a playbook that only has a handful of good plays and a boatload of bad ones.  Moreover, why not collect the best plays from all the playbooks into one playbook that you can use or at the very least, build a playbook with the best plays for the way you play and make reads.  Building your own custom playbook can be a time consuming task, but there are shortcuts to creating the perfect playbook for your tastes.

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