Madden 23 Press Coverage: How to Press, Tips and Tricks


Football is a game of momentum and adjustments. The key to a good game plan in Madden is to have every tool and strategy at your disposal. Quarterbacks have started to use running backs and tight ends like wide receivers in recent years. Defenses typically stand five to ten yards from the receiver which can position them poorly for screens, drags, and outside runs. Press coverage helps stop or slow down these routes. Madden 23 provides multiple ways to put additional pressure on an opposing offense.

Below is a full and complete overview of running and beating press coverage in Madden 23. Following the overview will be tips for playing with press coverage.


How to run press coverage on defense

There are two ways to run press coverage in Madden 23:

  1. Select a defensive play from your team’s playbook designed to press the receiver. These types of plays will have the word “Press” added to the end of the play name.
  2. Manually set press coverage in the pre-snap menu by pressing Triangle on PlayStation or Y on Xbox to open the coverage adjustments menu. Move the left stick down to press receivers.

Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Running press coverage from the playbook will adapt your personnel and player alignments toward press coverage, which can leave you susceptible to getting burned by speedy receivers. Manually setting press coverage gives you the flexibility to add pressure to the offense based on their formation. Unless you are individually selecting which receiver to press, the entire secondary will shift, which could create an unwanted mismatch.

How to press an individual receiver on defense

To press individual receivers in Madden, use the pre-snap menu and press Triangle on PlayStation or Y on Xbox to open the coverage adjustments menu. Next, press X (PlayStation) or A (Xbox) to open the Individual Coverage menu. Press the button icon that corresponds with the receiver that you want to target. Lastly, move the right stick down to select press coverage.

Sending your entire secondary to press a receiver can have huge payoffs or expose you. Route tree combinations in the NFL can be very sophisticated, which makes it wise to not overplay your hand. Bumping a receiver on a slant, post, or drag route can be very effective, but a receiver with elite speed on a go route will blow right by you with ease.


How to manually press a receiver

To manually press a receiver in Madden, select the defender that you want to control and place them directly in front of the chosen receiver. When the ball snaps, hold X (PlayStation) or A (Xbox) while holding the Left Stick up. The defender will stick to the hip of the receiver to disrupt timing.

With full user control, you can pick what side of the receiver you want to shade and make adjustments in real time versus relying on the A.I. to react.

Manually pressing a receiver using the defender of your choice can lead to more interception opportunities and knockdowns as you have the advantage of learning the opponent’s throwing tendencies during the course of the game.


Manually pressing a receiver can save you time from having to access the pre-snap menu and is especially helpful if you are only looking to press one particular receiver. You have full user control while also having the A.I. assist you in keeping up after the snap.

How do you beat press coverage in Madden 23

To beat press coverage in Madden, run plays with at least three wide receivers on the field and route trees that cover each level downfield to combat press coverage.

Throwing the ball against press coverage can stifle your offense if the correct adjustments are not made. Press coverage executed properly can shut down most screens, drags, slants, and passes in the flats. Once a defense is able to dictate where you can and cannot throw the ball, your chances of winning drop sharply.

If the defensive backs are only one to three yards from your receiver, they are most likely in press coverage. Check the routes of the receivers that are being pressed and call an audible or hot route to make the proper adjustments. Amari Cooper is known for great speed and great route running in Madden, especially on slant plays. A smart defensive opponent will add pressure on Cooper and disrupt the timing of the play. If you audible him into a streak route downfield, you will have a high chance of beating the defender for a large gain or even a TD. Running stretch and toss plays against the press will also break down a press defense.

Press coverage tips for Madden 23

Read below for tips on when and when not to use press coverage, and the best ways to utilize press coverage in Madden 23.

1. Do not use press coverage against the fastest receivers

Press coverage is most effective against routes that rely on timing. Although you can try to slow down a speed demon receiver at the line,  you are taking a risk of being burned downfield and giving up an easy touchdown. Use the individual coverage option to select which players to press or use manual press if you just want to add pressure to one receiver. If your opponent is really pushing the pace of the game and not giving you time pre-snap, back off your safeties to provide support to defensive backs.

2. Utilize the blitz with Press Coverage

Blitz the offensive line while pressing the receivers to maximize the effect of disrupting the quarterback’s timing. The one or two seconds gained by bumping the receiver at the line can lead to a sack or interception. If you see a trend with your opponent’s targets and attack it, they will abandon their first read and give you more time to make a play. Adding a blitz can break down the pocket quickly or force the QB into forcing an errant pass.

3. Use double moves to beat press coverage

Press coverage can really throw off your game plan if you don’t have a way to expose it. Typically, a defender will stick to your receiver like glue even during sharp cuts and comeback routes. Take advantage of that anticipation by running routes with a double move. Zig zag and corner routes are great examples of what you want to include in your route tree as they can fool an overzealous defensive back into jumping a route incorrectly.

4. Press defense opens up the middle of the field for the offense

The main focus of press defense is to disrupt the passing game. The defense will attempt to take away your wideouts and slot receivers, but any routes you have coming out of the backfield or from your tight end will open up. Audible your other eligible receivers to run hook, curl, and in routes to force your opponent’s attention away from your wideouts. Running plays up the middle can be very effective as well. Do not run HB draw plays against press coverage as the linebackers will just sit and wait for you behind the line. The idea when running against press coverage is to take advantage of the opposing defense’s momentum towards the backfield.

Madden gives you full control and multiple ways to put additional pressure on your opponent’s passing game as well as allowing your offense to force the defense to explore every available option. Be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of press coverage to ensure that you use it in the most ideal in-game situations.

Looking for more Madden 23 guides?

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