I think maybe I should clarify a bit. Hopefully this falls in line with the discussion. I'm not against the FOF gameplan screens, but I disagree that you should can make wholesale/drastic changes from week to week with no penalty. This can be fixed by looking at "base" plans that fall underneath your weekly gameplan stages. This "base" plan (or template) would be created in the off-season. The training camp option in FOF is woefully lacking and would be the perfect place for the players to create their base offensive and defensive template.
Let me expand on this thought for a moment. With the training camp phase, the screen should expand on the general screen that is there now. What time players go to hang out (to build chemistry) or how much time they practice offense/defense is important and should not go away.
But training camp is a great place to build those offensive and defensive templates...these templates would really begin to identify with "real" football, and give bonuses to teams that employ what they learn do here (and penalties for those who side-step their own templates too much).
For instance, in the offensive realm, there are different styles that (no doubt) the beginnings of understanding begin in training camps around the NFL. Offenses are learning the West Coast or Smashmouth Run attacks. Defenses are practicing in the 4-3 or 3-4....cover 2, tampa 2, cover 3, cover 4...
So, with that in mind, before you set the sliders on the training camp screen (in 2 minutes or less) and press on by hitting the "Run Training Camp" button, this is a great place to employ new options for the game player and to build your philosophy on both offense and defense.
Nobody understands defense in FOF2k7. And this may not really help that, but at least we can know we are MAXIMIZING our players talents. This could really allow us to think more about defense.
A screen that should make us decide between the 4-3 and the 3-4. Make us decide how much time we want to spend working on different secondary coverages.
A screen for training camp depth charts would be absolutely critical to allow the decisions you make hit home. You want to run the 4-3? Well guess what? Now you have to tell us who your primary MLB is going to be in the off-season. You have a 2nd great MLB you want playing? Maybe you better run a 3-4.
You love the 4-3 tampa-2 defense but your MLB is an oversized tank with no coverage skills? Maybe you better run something else this year.
Give greater bonuses to training camp starters vs those who are used out of position to "exploit" the system or those free agents that don't know a thing (yet).
Expand season rust to also include "offensive/defensive philosophy knowledge".
You have the best offensive run blocking line in the game? A power RB? And you are running a West Coast offense? Something is wrong. Make people pay for decisions like that in training camp. You picked the West Coast offense. You lineman aren't getting any bonuses (to experience/skill presumably) this year, your QB is only getting bonuses to his short game passing, but that's it.
Encourage people play the style of football they built their rosters to do!
Show off what styles teams are running. FOF needs that "football" relationship.
Also, another thing you could do is give bigger bonuses to styles that are used rarely in relation to the rest of the league. Meaning, eventually we all will "follow the leader" to success. If somebody determines that the West Coast offense is clearly the most impressive, everybody will run the West Coast offense. Make the question of "What offense will everybody run this year?" be a big discussion during the training camp stage.
For example, say that there are 4 styles of offense and the league splits equally between the four. They get the standard training camp bonuses. But if 29 teams choose "West Coast" then their bonuses are severely reduced (not penalized mind you, just reduced) while the teams that picked other styles (smash mouth) get enhanced training camp bonuses.
A lot of this stuff isn't a blueprint to success or what Jim should do, but I did want to explain kind of how I *think* we could bring some football into the wonderful spreadsheet simulation.
The gameplan screens, with the implementation of something like these pre-built templates that we make in the pre-season could remain basically the same.
You have the perfect gameplan, but do you have the right roster to run it perfectly?