As far as what ratings affect cover results and general receiving success, I think it's pretty obvious that SPD isn't the only factor. With the logic broken out into steps and different checks, as opposed to 2.0 where it lumped everything into one big check, we have to start answering these questions. So one part of this discussion I'd like to just focus on that.
Currently in 3.0, we can break out the cover match up by the target location, the target, the defender(s) in cover, and the step of the play. We also take into account the pressure on the QB. To select the defenders in cover, we look at all the defenders with influence in that location compared to the influence of the offense in that area, which tells us if there is more defensive cover in the area and the likelihood of a target being double covered. We then pick the defender based on all those factors as well as hooking up CBs to WRs and LBs to RBs/TEs when possible. Additional defenders will most likely be a S unless we have extra CBs or LBs. Now we have our offensive player (the target) and the defenders and can look at the cover match up.
For the match up, we try to look at one rating (actually one mix of ratings) for each player based on the location, their role, and the current step. Right now, the general idea is that targets in the medium, long, and deep areas in the first few steps of the play are mostly looking at SPD. Defenders ratings will depend on their role - CB/LB covering medium, long, and deep would also be looking mostly at SPD, while S which would already be in that zone would rely more on GI. For the short zones, the offensive player is mixing in GI/ELU more than SPD and the defense is looking more at GI. As the play continues on, at some point, those WRs running long are no longer outrunning the defenders and are now just established in the long zone and the ratings switch more to the GI/ELU than SPD.
This is up for discussion, but at some point I just have to decide something and go with it and it can't always be the perfect solution. I can see the debate that SPD could affect a receiver's chances in the short zone, but I also think short passes and getting open can be a lot about just knowing where to go. There are a lot of receivers we could point to that are examples of not very fast but get open on the short routes and slants. It's very difficult to switch between the two philosophies for short routes and be able to also adequately give the defense their fair shake as well. For game purposes, what do you guys think about making calls in these situations where we lock certain ratings in to be ideal for certain situations over others. I'm even okay with locking in ratings for different positions for different situations as long as we can define those to where users know what to expect.
I'm going to add players in cover to PBP. Even if those defenders don't make sense or are wrong, it will let us know a little more about what is going on and if there is something off, it will be easier to see.