10-28-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

SEATTLE - OCTOBER 24: Running back Tim Hightower #34 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes against Marcus Trufant #23 and Lawyer Milloy #36 of the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on October 24 2010 in Seattle Washington. The Seahawks defeated the Cardinals 22-10. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Time for some links.

Cardinals report (10.25): Positives between the raindrops
The Cardinals lost their grasp on the NFC West lead in Seattle, but there are still reasons to keep the faith following a 22-10 defeat.

For want of a quarterback, an opportunity lost
Remember all those fans and media voices calling for quarterback Max Hall? They’re revising history today -- absolving themselves of poor judgment with a convenient case of amnesia. All because they failed to see this predictable outcome.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Wednesday practice update
Outside linebacker Clark Haggans (groin) was the only player not to participate in at least part of Wednesday's practice. Receiver Steve Breaston (knee), receiver Early Doucet (groin), outside linebacker Joey Porter (groin) and cornerback Greg Toler (back) will all limited.

azcentral.com blogs - Bob Young - Disastrous year for the NFL's signal callers
It probably comes as no surprise that the Colts Peyton Manning is the NFL's top-rated passer so far this season. OK, without looking it up, who is the second-highest rated passer?

KTAR.com - Max Hall's hands and head won't keep him from practicing
Max Hall may have been knocked out of the Arizona Cardinals' loss to the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday due to a blow to the head, but his hands have dominated a lot of the talk since. Neither will prohibit him from practicing this week.

Cardinals QB Max Hall returns to practice, wants to play after concussion - ESPN
Three days after what he said was the first concussion of his football career, Cardinals quarterback Max Hall practiced on Wednesday and said he was anxious to prove he is a far better QB than he showed on a dismal wet afternoon in Seattle.

Running In Place?
Hightower fumbles could mean more Beanie ball

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Max Hall eager to fix mistakes
When Cardinals quarterback Max Hall says he can't remember ever playing as poorly as he did Sunday, it's not because his memory was affected by the concussion he suffered in the third quarter. It's because so much time has passed since he was that bad.

Arizona Cardinals must keep wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald happy
In case he forgot, we would like to remind Larry Fitzgerald that the end zone is 10 yards long and 53 1/3 yards wide. It is bordered by a white line and sometimes is used as a stage for celebratory hijinks. A month has passed since the Cardinals wide receiver has seen it.

KTAR.com - Cardinals must keep the ball if they want to win
Twelve turnovers in six games and countless more issues in the return game. The Cardinals, 3-3, are pretty confident that the reason they have struggled is the team's propensity to give the ball to the other team.

KTAR.com - Cardinals running backs need improvements too
The Cardinals offense has struggled so far this season, with most of the blame being put on the issues at quarterback. Both Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower, though, realize the running game hasn't been perfect either.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Branch shines, Campbell sputters for Cardinals
Granted, it has been four years. But we hear the Cardinals are hardly complaining about how long it has taken DE Alan Branch to live up to the billing they expected when they traded up to get him at the top of the second round in the 2006 draft.

Adjustment time for Rodgers-Cromartie
Not much went right for Rodgers-Cromartie in Sunday’s 22-10 loss in Seattle. He was whistled for three offside penalties on special teams, and his main coverage assignment, Seattle receiver Mike Williams, caught 11 balls for 87 yards and a touchdown. Following a 2009 Pro Bowl season in which he picked off six passes and changed game plans with his speed and ability to break on a ball, DRC has fallen on hard times in the stat department.

Whisenhunt not as much of a genius without a QB - NFL - CBSSports.com Football
We offer our condolences to the people of Arizona. It turns out Ken Whisenhunt is human.

Cardinals Underground Podcast (TB Preview)
Paul Calvisi, Darren Urban, and Ron Wolfley take a look at the upcoming match-up with Tampa Bay and more!

Whisenhunt, Hall on Max's Health

Hall Expects Better Showing
QB "fine" after concussion; Haggans sits out practice

How I See It: NFC West Stock Watch - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Beanie Wells, Cardinals RB. The Cardinals haven't named Wells their starter for Week 8, but he stands to benefit from lost playing time for Hightower. Wells did not find much running room against the Seahawks, but the Cardinals know he can run the ball. They need to see him make strides in other areas. Wells did make an exceptional catch on a pass out of the backfield.

Pete Carroll, the Cardinals and Max Hall - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley of KTAR radio in Phoenix had some fun Wednesday morning parsing what Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told 710ESPN Seattle regarding the Arizona Cardinals.

Mike Sando's MVP Watch - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Ten of the 12 NFL teams with two or fewer defeats found representation on the MVP Watch list heading into Week 8.

Freeman developing into comeback artist - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Josh Freeman's composure and physical abilities are consistently helping the Bucs overcome late deficits.

Bucs rookie RB Blount earns more playing time against Cardinals
LeGarrette Blount's most enjoyable run wasn't when he broke two tackles at the line of scrimmage and dragged two other defenders for a 9-yard gain. Nor was it the fourth-quarter carry he turned into a 46-yard jaunt that was wiped out by a penalty.

Should 49ers make coaching change? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Fire the coach. Bench the quarterback. Overhaul the roster. The San Francisco 49ers have tried all these things at various points over the last five-plus seasons. They might wind up doing all of them again if they continue down the path they have taken to the NFL's worst record entering Week 8. But why wait til the offseason? Why not get a jump on the coaching front at least?

Fantasy Football Round Up, NFL Week 8: Arizona Cardinals-Tampa Bay Buccaneers - SB Nation Arizona
Who to sit and who to start in the Cardinals Week 8 match up vs. Tampa Bay (aka the Best Team In The NFC)

NFC West: Injury situations that matter - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Arizona: Quarterback Max Hall passed neurological tests following the concussion he suffered against Seattle. That means Hall will start against Tampa Bay unless something unforeseen happens in the interim. The Cardinals' decision to rest Steve Breaston against Seattle means the receiver hasn't played a game in more than a month. Breaston underwent surgery Sept. 28 to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The expectation then was that Breaston might return by the Seattle game. He'll presumably be back Sunday. The Cardinals have yet to activate linebacker Gerald Hayes to the 53-man roster following back surgery. Hayes is one week into a three-week window allowing him to practice without counting against the 53-man limit. Arizona must activate him during that window or play the rest of the season without him. Rookie Daryl Washington showed improvement against Seattle, taking off some of the pressure to bring back Hayes. Update: Clark Haggans missed practice Wednesday.

Fitz manages his feelings
Larry Fitzgerald’s statistics aren’t what they have been or what the Cardinals counted on this season, in large part because of the quarterback issues the team has endured already in six games. The Pro Bowl wide receiver doesn’t like to talk about it, but it’s hard not to notice his numbers (29 catches, 331 yards, two touchdowns) are on a pace well below recent standards (They extrapolate to 77-883-5).

NFL Videos: Week 7: Rookie Roundup
Featuring Daryl Washington's sack of Matt Hasselbeck.

Chat wrap: Worst QB situation in the NFL? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The latest NFC West chat produce several good ideas for future blog entries. Thanks for those. Full transcript here. Highlights below:

Arizona Cardinals' opponent Tampa Bay best in NFC?
Raheem Morris isn't going to budge. The second-year head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers called his club, which faces the Cardinals on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium, "the best team in the NFC" after Sunday's win over the Rams. Morris not only reiterated it Monday, but he did so again Wednesday during a conference call with Arizona reporters.

NFL Week 8, Picks: Our 'Experts' Destroy Vegas Odds - SB Nation Arizona
Our picks are better than milkshakes (at least 45% of the time).

KTAR.com - "Dream" Team: The best team in the NFC won't play the Cardinals this weekend
"I like where we are. We're 4-2. We're the best team in the NFC. Yeah, I said it. We're the best team in the NFC and we're excited." Those were the words of Tampa Bay Buccaneers' head coach Raheem Morris after his team beat the St. Louis Rams on a touchdown in the final seconds last Sunday.

Reunited: Warner and Green team up for late-week podcast | Rich Eisen – NFL Network
This week, I flipped on the mics for two old friends brought together at the crossroads of NFL history by Rodney Harrison back in the 1999 preseason: Trent Green and Kurt Warner. When Harrison blew up Green’s knee in the summer of ’99, it kick-started Warner’s Disney-like magic carpet ride career that should one day land in Canton. The two talk about that moment at length and reminisce about how that championship season came to be as a whole.

Fitzgerald keeping the faith amid frustrating QB situation
"I have a burning desire to be great." Bittersweet words uttered by Larry Fitzgerald this week, with the All-Pro wideout off the worst start of his seven-year NFL career.

Cardinals report (10.27): Ready to run
Sunday’s contest against Tampa Bay could end up being a major turning point of the Cardinals’ 2010 campaign. Arizona has struggled on the road this year but has managed to protect its home turf. A loss at home could prove costly with Seattle and St. Louis playing better than expected within the division.

Michael Vick, Jon Kitna, And The Year Of The Backup Quarterback In The NFL - SBNation.com
Some of the NFL's hottest quarterbacks weren't even on the field when the 2010 regular season began.

The Hot Read: Patriots, Steelers Among Teams In Danger Of Squandering Promising Starts - SBNation.com
Last season, the Broncos started 6-0, the Giants began the season 5-0 and the Steelers were 6-2 at the midpoint. All three ended up missing the playoffs. Should you need more convincing that omnipresent power ranking posts are reactionary pageview grabs, take a glance at this one from Week 6 last season and compare it to how the final standings shook out.

NFL.com news: All sorts of changes in order for this year's playoff picture
Roughly six new teams -- half the playoff field -- will advance to the postseason. That's where things are headed again, especially with the dysfunction in Dallas, San Diego, Minnesota, Cincinnati, and Arizona.

Brett Favre injury update: Vikings QB sheds walking boot - NFL - SI.com
Brett Favre is walking around the Minnesota Vikings practice facility without the oversized boot that has been protecting his injured left ankle.

NFL Week 8 Predictions, including Steelers-Saints, Packers-Jets - Peter King - SI.com

NFL Videos: Sound FX: Romo's bad day
Watch and listen as Tony Romo takes on the Giants in Week 7 and suffers a devastating injury. Watch "Sound FX" on NFL Network: Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET.

NFL.com news: All sorts of changes in order for this year's playoff picture
Let's take a look at who could be out and in with 10 weeks to go:

NFL.com news: Latest round of stunning results shows lack of dominant team
Every week, teams take to the field operating under the premise that on any given Sunday anything is possible, but the growing parity in the NFL is making the mantra a reality. Just take a look at the scores, and it is apparent that the margin between the haves and have-nots is narrowing.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 8 has Giants rising to No. 3 - Don Banks - SI.com
Approaching midseason, disappointment seems to dot the NFL landscape. Maybe it's always that way, but it does feel more so this year. Dallas, Minnesota, San Diego and San Francisco were all popular picks to win their divisions, but they own a grand total of six wins through the first seven weeks of the season.

Eagles have new quarterback problem - NFL News - FOX Sports on MSN
Kevin Kolb lost his job. Josh McDaniels might be next. Brett Favre is down. Tony Romo is out. The Raiders and Browns shock the world. The officials rob Miami. And we have so many coaching blunders to chew on. We break it down, SCHEIN 9 style.

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