Another realistic thing the teams will do is change their playbooks as the season progresses. Where will they get new plays? They'll download them from the database of plays loaded onto EA's website by other players. You'll be free to do the same, or just take a look at them and vote on which plays are the best. If you're playing the Giants midway through the season, and they come out with a new blitz you can't stop, you won't have to pause the game to download a play to counter it. Another function of the Clipboard is editing plays on the fly; hopefully, you'll be able to stop those Giants in their tracks.
With all the online features tied into the website, we're interested in seeing how the multiplayer aspect of the game works out. To keep things moving quickly, EA has opted to Supersim online head-to-head games. That means that you'll be calling out plays and then be given the results without watching everything in the game chug along in real-time. This keeps online match time to about 20 min, which seems about right. However, that essentially means, turn-based football. Weird, but we're optimistic and open-minded.
The whole game is a bit unusual, so we're looking forward to seeing more of it. It's a football game where you don't actually play - you just tell everyone what to do. It should be more accessible to people than last year's version, and newbies can delegate a lot of the coaching to assistants and follow Clipboard advice. Look for the game to be packaged with Madden 09 on Aug 12. You might want both games, since the plays you make in Head Coach 09 will be useable in your offline Madden games.
Apr 11, 2008