As with just about everything else in the game, the controls have been tweaked. The scheme still retains the same playability as past games, though just about every button on the controller does something at any time (especially pre-snap), so there are a few new complexities added to mix. The defensive playmaker controls still allow you to indicate coverage assignments before the ball is snapped, though now you can also focus coverage on certain players (like your icon-marked Superstars). The trade-off is that doing so will leave other receivers unwatched.
While on defense, you can also use the right stick to lay in hits by pressing up or down, causing a high or low hit. These hit types play into the counters for each of the offensive weapon types. Hitting a big play receiver high could rattle him and even result in a fumble. Actually, fumbles are pretty common, even without being hit.
For whatever reason, players have the hardest time holding on to the ball. Early on, I thought it was because I was trying to be too fancy with the game's various functions, but even when I didn't use them, players would fumble for no real reason. Although they aren't as frequent as in NCAA 08, they still happen enough that it can become annoying, if not frustrating.
The Weapons system also influences other aspects of the general game. The running game has been vastly improved on the inside. Rather than always wanting to take guys to the outside, you can go for inside routes with success. The passing game has also been tweaked thanks to distinctions in different receiver types. These changes are even more apparent with players designated as "smart." After a particular scheme or play has been called a number of times, a player with the "smart" tag will be able to see what play is being called. Although it sounds like it might introduce a number of balance issues, it can easily be thwarted by mixing up your playbook.
All in all, Madden NFL 08 is as good an entry as ever in the series. The number of changes may add a steeper difficulty curve for players (especially more casual ones), though these can be tweaked in the settings. If you're a football fan with a PS3, Madden NFL 08 is a buy.