If you think you can help, open up Madden NFL 08 and change the penalty sliders following my descriptions right here.
As of this writing, I only did one test in the Practice Mode.
- False Start
This should be "False Start/Encroachment". This naturally alters how likely is the O-Line to jump when you use the Hard Count (HUT!). It also alters how likely is the blitzers to come in and cause offsides or encroachment, but not as drastically as the false starts. The reason is that the O-Line is trying to get set up quicker on their blocks. A Higher setting will make the O-Line drop back in Pass Blocking faster, and start pushing the D-Line during Run Blocking. Lower makes them react slower when you snap the ball. This might or might not affect how good is the pass/run block. I'd say keep this mid-high, like 75.
This alters the blocking power of the O-Line and everyone else. A high setting makes everyone block better because it triggers more blocking animations. The drawback is that when the blocking is just TOO good, say, your highest rated O-Lineman is blocking someone, the refs will call the holding. A low setting reduces the holding calls because the blockings are not TOO good. The drawback is that it is easier for anyone to slip out of blocks, which could be a problem if your O-Linemen are not the best blockers in the league. This one works in line with the Pass Blocking, Run Blocking sliders, Pass Block and Run Block stats to determine how good is a block. Put this one pretty high, on 85. Although if you prefer, you could use something lower to see defenders getting out of block better, say at 65-75. If you do this, you might want to raise Run/Pass Block
So far, haven't noticed any big change other than the lack of facemasking animations during my tests. According to what I read, this effects the aggressiveness the AI has when making tackles, specifically, the use of the Hit Stick and the Strip Ball. My theory is that, at higher settings, the Strip Ball animation will always trigger a facemasking animation, but the AI is coded so that they try to go for the strip every now and then, and they end up with a hand full of mask. At lower settings, it will not happen everytime you go for a Strip. I recommend a setting around 60-75.
Is Clipping the same as Illegal Block in the Back? Anyway, this alters the aggressiveness of the offense when it comes to looking for someone to block. At low settings, the offense will be more careful when it comes to blocking, they might hold back in case they trigger a block in the back and make the officials blow the whistle. At higher settings, you will basically see the "Beast Quake", the O-Line going down the field blocking for their ball carrier. Maybe the QB too. I honestly find the higher settings a bit more realistic, as the O-Line looks to block more aggressively during plays, which can increase the effectiveness of the running game, specially on trap/sweep/power plays. At low settings, the Offensive Line at times simply let's the Linebackers or the Defensive Line go around them for no particular reason. I recommend 99.
- Roughing the Passer
This seems to alter the effectiveness of the Pass Rush. Higher makes them more careful when it comes to reaching the QB, somewhat slowing them down, lower they simply become bulldozer and try their hardest to go and kill the QB. The lower the setting, the more late hits appear however. This can result in a lot of QB injuries if set too low. I recommend 75-99.
- Roughing the Kicker
I have not tested any Special Teams play for now. But the effect this has is how aggressively and smartly the defense pursuits the ball carrier. At higher settings during some plays, I saw defenders taking a while to reach the ball carrier. At the lower settings, they go all out to reach taht ball carrier, as soon as you become the ball carrier, they will be hunting you down and will be getting a better pursuit from what I gathered. Why this is "Roughing the Kicker" I guess because they go more aggressively for the ball carrier, which includes the holder dutring FGs and the punter during punts? Don't know. I will use 40. Maybe this will trigger a blocked FG?
- Offensive Pass Interference
This seems to alter how aggressively the receiver will go for the football. At lower settings, the receiver will seem to have a more passive attempt at the ball. At higher, they will go all out for the ball. Now, I really didn't notice a difference just yet, but that's because I need to play a game. I will use this at 85
- Defensive Pass Interference
This seems to alter how aggressively the defender will go for the football. At low settings, the defender is more likely to play the receiver instead of the ball, allowing the catch but planting the receiver in his back as he catches it. They might not contest jump balls and let balls be catched over their heads. At higher settings, the defender is more likely to play the ball, going for the swat or pick. I recently saw a jump swat which worked. This might affect the amount of interceptions. I like to keep this low (40) and Interceptions at around 20. My guys get a few INTs, and if I'm dumb throwing the ball, the opponent also get a few picks. I recommend 40-50. Also, keep this lower than the Offensive Version.
- Punt Catch Interference
This seems to alters the aggressiveness of the coverage. Higher means that as soon as the ball is in the air, as soon as the ball carrier gets the ball, or a move is made, the defender will go get it. Lower means they'll actually read and react. If they see a handoff, they'll wait a bit to see if it is play action, when the ball is in the air, they'll wait a bit too see what's going to happen. This can be good or bad. At higher settings, the defense might be easily fooled by PA passes, counters, end-around, reverses. At lower settings, they'll wait in their zones if you are scrambling, which can result in a big gain before they go "He's on the run!". This also appears to alter Scrambling QBs willingness to run. At 99, I see scramblers take the snap and start to run away from the pressure, which results in drives that end in 3 straight sacks. Lower, I see QBs wait more before scrambling. I recommend 65.
- Intentional Grounding
A very interesting setting. This alters the patience the CPU QBs have when it comes to having the ball. Higher makes them throw the ball if there is no one open in 1 second. Lower makes them wait to see if someone gets open, which includes buying time by scrambling. You could alter this to match how patient is the QB you are up against. 99 lowers the amount of sacks the CPU QBs receive.
So there you have it. Go do some tests and see if you get any different result from what I posted, I will do some as well.