GameShark has posted an interview with Ian Cummings, Creative Director for Madden NFL 11.
GameShark: "Can you go into some detail about the run blocking improvements? We saw holes develop at E3 we have never seen before in a Madden game? What was done to tweak this?"
Ian Cummings: "Going back to question #3, run blocking was also up there on that list. We were at this critical point where we could keep trying to cobble together delicate fixes on run blocking code that was extremely hard to tune, or decide to suck it up and spend the resources to basically scrap it and go with a new system that was built on real NFL blocking assignments (rather than a video-game version of run blocking assignments). The gameplay design team spent weeks just meeting with coaches on all the schemes and months watching film of both good and bad executions of each scheme to basically create a full design of how the AI and animation support needed to be, so that the engineers and animators could implement the feature. I’ve also attached a video that Mike Scantlebury, a gameplay designer, put together back in August of 2009 that was the first part of that design. He did some great work there to help the engineers visualize how the new rules should work when players succeeded or failed."