4/26/2013 12:05 PM
I posted this in another thread and it didn't much attention. I'm going to bring the idea back and if it dies this time I'll leave it alone.

One thing I have been thinking about concerns play calling - especially defense. If we set our defense up for 50-50 run vs pass we are really saying we think the offense may go with either play call. But the sim gives us all pass or all run as defense. Setting up for other percentages (80-20, 20-80) whatever gives us better odds to call our hunch on the offense play call, but still will produce an all rush or all pass defense.

What I would like to propose for line play - is that the defensive play call would be a level of confidence in the possibility of a call for the offense. If we give a 80 (rush) - 20 (pass) DEF play call we are attempting to bolster our DL player ratings or formation IQ advantage to stop the offensive rush play and will be willing to accept some ratings or IQ dis-advantage for a passing play. Various team and player behaviours could be instigated using these confidence levels (CL). Since the offense knows what play it is running it should have a default (CL) of about 70 (since no matter what play the OFF is running, it doesn't know what the DEF is doing). If the defense guess is correct at 70, the play runs straight values + bonus for blitz.. If the DEF guesses correct and is above 70, the defense has an advantage and the chances of bad things happening for the OFF (fumbles, INT, sacks, stuffs etc) increase. If it guesses conservative or totally wrong, the offense takes the advantage by whatever the margin of difference the (CL) was for that play. This would work well for the first 2 or 3 steps currently in the game.

Effects for pass coverage - short - medium - long - provide opportunities for defensive positioning on pass plays as they do now. (OFF short pass vs DEF long coverage would benefit the OFF, matches benefit the DEF)
4/26/2013 1:14 PM
I understand the concern.  The way it is now, picking either run or pass defense based on your percentage setting, it is conceptually possible that if you pick 50/50 and they run and pass 50/50, you end up always picking the wrong defense versus always picking the right defense.  What you are saying with your defensive run/pass setting is the percentage you expect the offense to run one or the other. For instance, a 70/30 run/pass would mean that in the given situation you expect the offense to run 70% of the time.  The problem right now is that if the offense does rush 70% of the time, it doesn't automatically benefit you.  It just means you have a much better chance of calling the right play.

The fuzzy mix of run/pass for defense where it's more of how much you are thinking run versus pass on each play is how it is done in 2.0.  This also has some problems, like if you take the 70/30 example and they pass on a play you are ALWAYS giving up some defense against the pass.  With the distinct rush or pass call, you at least will be right some of the time.

There is also an issue in how this setting can affect the results.  It does indeed only affect the first few steps of a play, as we decide the defense will at some point realize a play is a rushing play even though they called for a pass defense.  That's not to say there might not be some lingering effects on a play in later steps, but mostly it affects the first few steps of the play until the defense can adjust.  With the distinct rush versus pass, we can set emphatic differences in the results based on different activity and results within the play, while the fuzzy setting requires a more formulaic code.  The 2.0 engine used a lot of formulas with a lot of factors that adjusted certain checks by percentages - so maybe you come up with a 0.30 chance of completing a pass and then adjust it by 0.8 to 1.2 based on the defensive rush/pass call.  What happens is that these adjustments end up not making much if a difference except in the extreme cases and so the setting becomes somewhat ineffectual.

On each play, you could get some wrong defensive calls, but over the course of the game, if you call the defense right, you should end up with more plays called right than wrong.

This doesn't mean we would never look at something more like the confidence level interpretation at some point, but I wanted to explain why it is the way it is and that it was a conscious decision to move away from the old way.  It's always up for debate, but we have to go with something and given the timeline this will probably remain as it is at least for the initial 3.0 release.

4/26/2013 10:12 PM
I agree with katz.

If I pick 50/50 and see all pass as my defense, that is not what I want at all. I want to not be fully committed either way.

You say the first few steps are all that are affected, but what about where you stand when the play starts? That is a couple more steps, at least? Which way you lean? A step. How you interpret the actions of the offense based on your expectations?

What if I recruit for speed, game instinct, technique, so I feel that I don't have to compensate with my defensive alignment for the expected action of the offense? I would want to be neutral and react.

4/27/2013 2:47 PM
Posted by norbert on 4/26/2013 1:14:00 PM (view original):
I understand the concern.  The way it is now, picking either run or pass defense based on your percentage setting, it is conceptually possible that if you pick 50/50 and they run and pass 50/50, you end up always picking the wrong defense versus always picking the right defense.  What you are saying with your defensive run/pass setting is the percentage you expect the offense to run one or the other. For instance, a 70/30 run/pass would mean that in the given situation you expect the offense to run 70% of the time.  The problem right now is that if the offense does rush 70% of the time, it doesn't automatically benefit you.  It just means you have a much better chance of calling the right play.

The fuzzy mix of run/pass for defense where it's more of how much you are thinking run versus pass on each play is how it is done in 2.0.  This also has some problems, like if you take the 70/30 example and they pass on a play you are ALWAYS giving up some defense against the pass.  With the distinct rush or pass call, you at least will be right some of the time.

There is also an issue in how this setting can affect the results.  It does indeed only affect the first few steps of a play, as we decide the defense will at some point realize a play is a rushing play even though they called for a pass defense.  That's not to say there might not be some lingering effects on a play in later steps, but mostly it affects the first few steps of the play until the defense can adjust.  With the distinct rush versus pass, we can set emphatic differences in the results based on different activity and results within the play, while the fuzzy setting requires a more formulaic code.  The 2.0 engine used a lot of formulas with a lot of factors that adjusted certain checks by percentages - so maybe you come up with a 0.30 chance of completing a pass and then adjust it by 0.8 to 1.2 based on the defensive rush/pass call.  What happens is that these adjustments end up not making much if a difference except in the extreme cases and so the setting becomes somewhat ineffectual.

On each play, you could get some wrong defensive calls, but over the course of the game, if you call the defense right, you should end up with more plays called right than wrong.

This doesn't mean we would never look at something more like the confidence level interpretation at some point, but I wanted to explain why it is the way it is and that it was a conscious decision to move away from the old way.  It's always up for debate, but we have to go with something and given the timeline this will probably remain as it is at least for the initial 3.0 release.

To dissect portions of the response:

The fuzzy mix of run/pass for defense where it's more of how much you are thinking run versus pass on each play is how it is done in 2.0.  This also has some problems, like if you take the 70/30 example and they pass on a play you are ALWAYS giving up some defense against the pass.  With the distinct rush or pass call, you at least will be right some of the time.   and    On each play, you could get some wrong defensive calls, but over the course of the game, if you call the defense right, you should end up with more plays called right than wrong.

I think I would rather be partially right or partially wrong than completely wrong or completely right especially if I pick a 70/30 tendency. And if the game makes you completely wrong the one time the other gets a TD it can affect the game.

 It does indeed only affect the first few steps of a play, as we decide the defense will at some point realize a play is a rushing play even though they called for a pass defense.  That's not to say there might not be some lingering effects on a play in later steps, but mostly it affects the first few steps of the play until the defense can adjust.  

I think this fuzzy logic would only be needed for line play during the first two steps. Coverage is mostly set by player role and distance. I don't think adding a modifer for the tendency to the existing code would change too much, but it would definitely give the defense a way not to get sold out completely. 

With the distinct rush versus pass, we can set emphatic differences in the results based on different activity and results within the play, while the fuzzy setting requires a more formulaic code.    and    What happens is that these adjustments end up not making much if a difference except in the extreme cases and so the setting becomes somewhat ineffectual.

But if I am playing defense and those emphatic differences are benefiting the offense I would still be happier giving up a little not to lose a lot. Conversely - I would trade a sack for an incompletion if I were playing a softer defensive tendency.

This doesn't mean we would never look at something more like the confidence level interpretation at some point, but I wanted to explain why it is the way it is and that it was a conscious decision to move away from the old way.  It's always up for debate, but we have to go with something and given the timeline this will probably remain as it is at least for the initial 3.0 release.

I appreciate this, but it may make a difference in some of the running/passing abnormalities we are seeing. Just tuck it away for later, it may be of use.
4/28/2013 12:19 AM
I like the "new way". I like to play an aggressive 3-4 (but will also play a 4-4 & nickel at times). I want very fast DB's and LB's. I'll give up some strength and even tackling ability for speed. This allows me to play the run, blitz and still be able to adjust. I think the "new way" helps aggressive defensive play, but will agree it may hurt more conservative defenses. If I were playing conservative I probably wouldn't care about being 100% right as much as I wouldn't want to be 100% wrong, but playing the type of "D" I play I will give up a play here and there to get the "big" play on defense...the big sack on 3rd and 7, the int., etc.
4/28/2013 11:49 AM (edited)
Posted by coach_deen on 4/28/2013 12:19:00 AM (view original):
I like the "new way". I like to play an aggressive 3-4 (but will also play a 4-4 & nickel at times). I want very fast DB's and LB's. I'll give up some strength and even tackling ability for speed. This allows me to play the run, blitz and still be able to adjust. I think the "new way" helps aggressive defensive play, but will agree it may hurt more conservative defenses. If I were playing conservative I probably wouldn't care about being 100% right as much as I wouldn't want to be 100% wrong, but playing the type of "D" I play I will give up a play here and there to get the "big" play on defense...the big sack on 3rd and 7, the int., etc.
I think what katz is saying is that you could still do that. If you set your D at 100 - 0 you would be going for broke. But for those with less will to gamble, the ability to be 50 - 50 towards both the run and pass may be more comfortable with their defensive scheme (bend but not break).
4/29/2013 11:41 AM
I can't go back to the fully fuzzy method as we don't have factors we throw into a formula any more.  For instance, in the 2.0 engine, when checking for a pass success it would determine a base result like 60% and then adjust that for the team match up and then the player match up.  So you end up with a 58% chance of completing the pass.  The only thing the defensive play tendency affected was that it adjusted the team ratings going in to that calculation - combined with the defensive formation.  So for a 3-4 Balanced defense, the team ratings would be adjusted by 1.125.  For a 3-4 Heavy Pass defense, the team ratings would be adjusted by 1.25 and 3-4 Heavy Run would be 0.9.  As you can imagine, this doesn't really give you much within a single play.  Over 1000 plays, sure, you will see the effect, but within one play that 0.9 or 1.25 really doesn't amount to much.  It basically might adjust the chance of complete +/- 2-3% or so.

With the 3.0 engine, I'm trying to give a more pronounced effect on each play.  This means instead of adjusting things by 1.125 or 0.9, that I actually can mold the entire chance of different results on the call.  For instance, when checking to see how well covered a player is, I can shift the advantages and therefore the range of results up or down based on Rush defense or Pass defense.  Basically I can code things to know it is a pass defense or a rush defense and I don't have to rely on those adjustment factors.

I do understand the issue as you might want to have a more balanced approach to your defense, but I think game-wise the either/or approach makes more sense than a 50/50 meaning that you are essentially just reacting and not committing to either pass or rush defense.  I think the defense should have to make a call one way or the other.  I'm not even sure what it would mean to say you are 70% rush defense and 30% pass defense.  Theoretically I understand it, but execution-wise I'm not sure how that would play out.

The real problem, I think, is really the way we call plays in the first place.  In real life, a defense might have things that the offense are doing that they can key on to look one way or the other, but they would probably always have something they expect for each play.  This certainly deserves more discussion, but I don't want to get back to the 70/30 type fuzzy effects unless I can come up with a good way to work it in like the current rush or pass setting fits in.

4/30/2013 12:12 AM
Thanks for the update. I hear what your saying, but don't really like it. We will have to see how it plays.
5/1/2013 9:16 AM
Posted by 0bigzeke0 on 4/28/2013 11:49:00 AM (view original):
Posted by coach_deen on 4/28/2013 12:19:00 AM (view original):
I like the "new way". I like to play an aggressive 3-4 (but will also play a 4-4 & nickel at times). I want very fast DB's and LB's. I'll give up some strength and even tackling ability for speed. This allows me to play the run, blitz and still be able to adjust. I think the "new way" helps aggressive defensive play, but will agree it may hurt more conservative defenses. If I were playing conservative I probably wouldn't care about being 100% right as much as I wouldn't want to be 100% wrong, but playing the type of "D" I play I will give up a play here and there to get the "big" play on defense...the big sack on 3rd and 7, the int., etc.
I think what katz is saying is that you could still do that. If you set your D at 100 - 0 you would be going for broke. But for those with less will to gamble, the ability to be 50 - 50 towards both the run and pass may be more comfortable with their defensive scheme (bend but not break).
isnt the point that currently 50/50 means that you are 100% commited to run half the time and 100% commiteed to pass half the time on a random coin-flip basis?
5/1/2013 9:31 AM
Could run/pass tendency impact things like reaction time or zone of influence or form IQ or etc if the D 'gets it right' or 'gets it wrong' when the actual O play is called?

working from the assumption that 50/50 would be totaly neutral, no bonus or penalty on D no matter if a run or pass is called.

But if I am say 75/25 run/pass, I would think this would mean that from whatever formation I am thinking run, watching for run, more ready for run. if a run play is called i am more likely to have a better chance to stop it. but if its a pass then whoops, i got caught with my pants down a little bit and it should be easier for the offense to complete that pass play cuz i was thinking run.

in the extreme, if i am 100 run and 0 pass, i am selling out to stop the run cuz i am 100% sure the opp is gonna run it here, im thinking of something like the old goalline blitz from EA Sports (or i used to also call the kick rush on ST if i wanted to run EVERYONE). it should be very hard to run against that.... but passing vs 100% RUN tendency should be a piece o cake if the QB can avoid the pressure and make a quick short completetion.
5/1/2013 11:48 AM
Keep in mind that the Rush/Pass setting is only one piece of the equation.  You also affect the play on how many LBs you set at the line and if you are blitzing as well as the Cover setting.  Basically, no play assumes 100% run or pass in the sense of selling out your team to the point where they can't tackle a player when the call is wrong.  The players at a start of a play are going to be watching the play unfold and work to stop the offense.  They are always going to have certain assignments, line up certain ways, and watch for what is happening, but I think there is a certain anticipation at the start of the play as to what they should be looking for and which way they should be moving.  At some point, if the LB moves towards the line in anticipation of the RB carrying the ball, he will recognize that the QB is dropping back to pass and try to get back to a cover assignment.  Likewise, if he is watching the RB in anticipation of cover, he will at some point realize he's actually rushing and move to tackle him.  I'm not sure it would make sense to have absolutely no anticipation of the play which is what 50/50 would mean in the fuzzy situation.  I can't really say I half anticipate a rush and half anticipate a pass - unless that is saying leave the anticipation up to GI and IQ.

If you are wondering why Rush 100% doesn't mean absolutely set up to stop the run, it's because it is really treated like an anticipation setting and the other settings (and ratings) go in to also deciding how well you do against the play.  For instance, there is a big difference in having a "3-4 with all LBs set to the line and blitzing the SS and Short cover" and a "3-4 with 2 LBs in cover and no blitzing and Long cover".  Both could be set to 100% rush and have entirely different effects against a rushing or passing play depending on the offensive set up.  The Rush/Pass setting is not the end-all in stopping the rush or pass.

I have thought about working GI and IQ into the mix to allow the defense to have a chance to anticipate the right play call and it could be adjusted by those settings.  For instance, the 50/50 split could say leave it entirely up to the GI and IQ where adding some rush like 70/30 would mean use GI and IQ but favor run a little more heavily.  But this would still be the Rush or Pass defense on each play.

5/1/2013 7:24 PM
So to get a chance at balance, and to guarantee that I am never 100% wrong, I would have to get in a run defense set, and go 100% pass. Makes sense to me.
5/1/2013 8:59 PM
Posted by badaxe on 5/1/2013 7:24:00 PM (view original):
So to get a chance at balance, and to guarantee that I am never 100% wrong, I would have to get in a run defense set, and go 100% pass. Makes sense to me.
I don't think that using some contradictive play set up is really what we want. That is again -  gaming the game, which we are trying to get away from.  It may be as easy as adding choices for the DL like the LB have (LINE/COVER). If we have settings for the DL for PASS/RUN we could give them assignments which would influence the first two steps of the play.
5/2/2013 2:30 PM
Here's a thought....

Give a bonus to the defense for "getting it right".  If the offense run/pass is set 75/25 and the defense is set to 75/25, the defense should get a bonus for "getting it right".  On the flip side, if the offense run/pass is 80/20 and the defense is set to 20/80, there should be some kind of penalty (or no bonus) for "getting it wrong".
5/2/2013 2:43 PM
Posted by katzphang88 on 5/1/2013 8:59:00 PM (view original):
Posted by badaxe on 5/1/2013 7:24:00 PM (view original):
So to get a chance at balance, and to guarantee that I am never 100% wrong, I would have to get in a run defense set, and go 100% pass. Makes sense to me.
I don't think that using some contradictive play set up is really what we want. That is again -  gaming the game, which we are trying to get away from.  It may be as easy as adding choices for the DL like the LB have (LINE/COVER). If we have settings for the DL for PASS/RUN we could give them assignments which would influence the first two steps of the play.
I forgot to add /sarcasm.
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