12-22-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

Some links, including a couple that I missed earlier this week. There is also a story about Rex Ryan having a foot fetish...

Arizona Cardinals' Ken Whisenhunt says players are not lacking talent, work ethic
Through this dismal season, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt has been satisfied with his team's work ethic in practice and its effort on game days. The Cardinals have their health, too: Only one starter, right tackle Brandon Keith, is on injured reserve. So, if a healthy team with laudable work habits is 4-10, isn't it logical to assume the team doesn't haven enough talented, healthy, hard-working players? Whisenhunt doesn't see that.

Gift-giving with Nine-O And The Cards
Dockett, Campbell, Bridges host annual shopping sprees for kids

What's up with former Cardinals kicker Al Del Greco
What's up with former Cardinals kicker Al Del Greco, Catching up with the former NFL placekicker.

Doucet lands on IR
The season of wide receiver Early Doucet is over, after the Cardinals put him on injured reserve Wednesday with his hip injury. It’s been a tough year for Doucet, who suffered two similar injuries (he needed surgery to repair a sports hernia) and again couldn’t seem to stay on the field. Andre Roberts will take his place, and there is no doubt Stephen Williams will reappear on the radar the last couple of games. Doucet had 26 catches for 291 yards this season, which were still career-highs for the third-year pro.

Joey Porter expected to be one and done in Arizona | ProFootballTalk
Back in March when Joey Porter signed with the Cardinals, we called the signing a panic move. We also said Porter would have to play very well to last more than one year in the desert based on his contract structure. Well, Porter hasn’t made much of a difference on the Cardinals. He’s recorded only five sacks and hasn’t provided consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Cardinals sinking toward rock bottom after loss
After a one-week reprieve, the Arizona Cardinals are falling toward rock bottom more than ever after a loss to lowly Carolina. Now they take their act on national television for a Christmas night encounter with the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona's final home game in a miserable season.

Additions, subtractions don't square on Cards' balance sheet
As Kurt Warner stood at the podium last January to announce his retirement, the magnitude of the moment was visible on every Cardinal's face. Coach Ken Whisenhunt kept a stiff upper lip, assuring everyone that the pieces were in place to keep the train running, but it was an impossible sell. Hall of Fame quarterbacks are hard to find, and Warner's retirement also preceded the loss of free-agent departures of linebacker Karlos Dansby and Pro Bowl safety Antrel Rolle, the decision not to re-sign left tackle Mike Gandy and the financially motivated decision to trade Pro Bowl receiver Anquan Boldin. The Cards knew Warner was irreplaceable, but they moved quickly to shore up the other areas and felt they had addressed some needs. Thirteen games into the season, two things are clear:

What Arizona Cardinals Coach Ken Whisenhunt Should Have Said After Sunday's Loss | Bleacher Report
After losing to the hapless Carolina Panthers Sunday 19-12, Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said all the right things. His coaches and players are still working hard in practice and in games. The effort is still there. He likes the gameplan and schemes they’re calling on offense and defense. They’re leaving too many plays on the field. They can’t overcome their mistakes.

KTAR.com - Living with mistakes part of starting Skelton
When you were a child, people were more understanding of the mistakes you made. You hadn't fully learned the appropriate way to handle things and so the expectations of you weren't as high as the expectations placed on those older than you. Mistakes were expected and were sometimes an acceptable part of the learning process. The same can be said for rookies in the NFL. Especially rookies at the most important position in the game, quarterback.

Video Gallery
The Way I See It - Michael Adams

Madden 11 Week 15 Ratings Change Suggestions | pastapadre.com
With only a couple weeks left in the NFL season teams are either fighting for the playoffs or for the future and there are likely to be more interesting changes in the way of personnel than ratings this week. Many more players headed to the IR and backup QBs are getting a shot to lead their teams.

NFL Playoff Scenarios: Kansas City Chiefs Change Their Fortunes - SB Nation Arizona
Now we've finally got some clarity to the NFL playoff picture. A few spots have already been clinched and most of the spots should be secured before the final week.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 16: Michael Vick And The Eagles Wish You A Merry Christmas - SB Nation Arizona
Only four days until Christmas and two weeks left in the NFL season. What do you say we combine those two things in this week's Power Rankings?

Pats a destination for Fitzgerald?
Though the thought for Patriots fans may be as unlikely as it is appealing, one of the league's top receivers may be available.

Arizona Cardinals place Early Doucet on IR
The Arizona Cardinals placed receiver Early Doucet on injured reserve Wednesday, ending his season. Doucet is battling a hip injury. In a corresponding move, linebacker Curtis Gatewood was added to the 53-man rostyer from the practice squad.

Skelton has golden opportunity
The Cardinals offense has hope once again. That hope comes in the form of rookie quarterback John Skelton.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Another disappointment for Doucet
A disappointing season came to a disappointing end for receiver Early Doucet, who was placed on injured reserve Wednesday because of a hip flexor injury.

Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft 2011: In Defense Of Taking AJ Green With 1st Pick | Bleacher Report
I recently wrote an article 2011 NFL Mock Draft: Predicting the Arizona Cardinals during which I attempted to predict the players, or sort of players, that the Cardinals may target during the upcoming NFL draft. For my first pick, I suggested that the Cardinals should look for a QB, namely Ryan Mallett, but that if he was already gone, none of the remaining rookie QBs are automatic starters.

NFC West champ should get home game - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Eight of 16 NFC West scenarios for the final two weeks of the 2010 NFL season produce a 7-9 division champion. A team with double-digit victories visiting a 7-9 division winner in the wild-card round has already stirred debate. It's something we can expect to hear more about when NFL owners hold their annual meetings in the spring. What to do? There's no need to overreact. Never before has a team with a losing record won a division title. If it happens one time, that's the way it goes. The current system rewards division winners, as it should.

Mike Sando's MVP Watch - NFC West Blog - ESPN
To review, Tom Brady could pretty much coast toward MVP honors unless, perhaps, he suddenly started playing the worst football of his life. But what if Michael Vick closed the regular season with a couple more seeing-is-believing performances along the lines of his multidimensional masterpiece Sunday? It could happen.

Pittsburgh Steelers got phantom first down against New York Jets - ESPN
Coach Mike Tomlin concedes the Steelers were mistakenly awarded a first down on a 9-yard run by Rashard Mendenhall during their 22-17 loss to the Jets on Sunday.

The New York Giants press room filled once Eli Manning began speaking - ESPN New York
Before Eli Manning met the media following Sunday's last-second loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, he had to wait a few minutes. As is apparent in a video circulating on ESPN and on the Internet this week, the press room was empty as the quarterback stood near the podium. But this wasn't a slight by the media or a case of reporters ignoring Manning, who didn't have to wait too long. And it was nothing unusual. Following every game, Manning and other Giants stars such as Justin Tuck conduct their press conferences at the same time as the rest of their teammates are talking in the locker room.

Deion Sanders said Chicago Bears return specialist Devin Hester belongs in the Hall of Fame - ESPN Chicago
Deion Sanders is a first-year eligible candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2011, but if he gets elected, don't expect Sanders to claim he was the best return man of all time.

Dallas Cowboys place Tony Romo on IR, year over - ESPN Dallas
The Dallas Cowboys officially ended Tony Romo's season by putting the quarterback on injured reserve Tuesday.

Brett Favre won't go on injured reserve yet, Minnesota Vikings coach says - ESPN
In the wake of two embarrassingly lopsided losses, interim coach Leslie Frazier isn't giving up on Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings. Frazier said he would not put Favre on season-ending injured reserve with a concussion and wouldn't rule out a return to the field before the season is over. "He's proven time and time again that he's capable of coming back and playing," Frazier said Tuesday.

Donovan McNabb felt 'disrepected' by Redskins' benching - ESPN
Donovan McNabb felt disrespected by the way he was benched by Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.

NFL Power Rankings Week 16 - National Football League - ESPN
For the second consecutive week, the New England Patriots are the unanimous choice of our experts to reign atop ESPN.com's NFL Power Rankings.

Power Rankings: How the voters voted - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Philadelphia Eagles' latest Miracle at the Meadowlands sent them charging toward the top in ESPN.com's NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 16. The Eagles jumped from sixth to third, leapfrogging Baltimore -- even though the Ravens beat previously fourth-ranked New Orleans.

Report: Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay Packers passes tests, cleared to return - ESPN
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he has passed all concussion-related tests and has been cleared to return by both team physician Dr. John Gray and an independent neurologist, ESPNMilwaukee.com reported Tuesday.

Indianapolis Colts put Austin Collie on injured reserve - ESPN
The Indianapolis Colts will have to make their final playoff push without receiver Austin Collie. Collie, who on Sunday suffered his second concussion this season, was placed on injured reserve due to a concussion.

Rex Ryan: Jets won’t kick to Devin Hester | ProFootballTalk
Jets coach Rex Ryan is telling his punter and kicker to use their pretty feet to kick the ball away from Bears return man Devin Hester on Sunday. "I think it’s pretty safe to say we’re planning on not kicking to him," Ryan said, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. "I think you can write that down as everybody else I’m sure doesn’t want to kick to him.

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive So you’re saying the 49ers still have a chance? "
Maybe this whole conversation about the 49ers making the playoffs isn’t so far-fetched at all. And maybe, just maybe, it was actually a prophetic moment back in October that prompted 49ers owner Jed York to put it out there that the 0-5 49ers would win the NFC West. OK, that last one is a big maybe. But, inexplicably, even while losing three of their last five games, York hasn’t been proved wrong just yet.

Stats say Patriots' Tom Brady better than Colts' Peyton Manning - Kerry J. Byrne - SI.com
Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning has been pro football's Great Debate for much of the past decade. We imagine it will continue for decades to come, much like sports fans today still debate the relative merits of, say, Ted Williams vs. Joe DiMaggio. As far as the Cold, Hard Football Facts are concerned, the argument should have ended long ago.

Vikings fans enjoyed outdoor game against Bears on Monday - Peter King - SI.com
Great fun getting a Tour de Twin Cities Football Monday before and during the Bears' crushing 40-14 NFC North-clinching victory over the Vikings ... and sitting in the stands for the first half of the beatdown. Five observations of the evening:

New York Jets' Rex Ryan: Foot-fetish report personal matter - ESPN New York
The New York Jets are on the verge of making the playoffs, but the focus is once again off the field as coach Rex Ryan gets asked whether his wife Michelle posted foot-fetish videos on the Internet. In a conference call with Chicago reporters leading up to Sunday's big game with the Bears, Ryan didn't deny a Deadspin.com report that shows a number of videos with a woman that looks very much like his wife showing off her feet while a cameraman who sounds like Ryan talks to the woman.

The latest Jets controversy is the strangest one yet | ProFootballTalk
Just when it appeared that one of the craziest NFL seasons in NFL history could get no crazier, one of the craziest stories we can ever recall has emerged. On Tuesday, I was rendered speechless (a rare occurrence for me) when I saw the Deadspin item about the eerie similarities between the wife of Jets coach Rex Ryan and someone who previously posted a series of foot-fetish videos on YouTube.

Rex Ryan calls foot video "a personal matter" | ProFootballTalk
The Jets had issued a statement regarding the Deadspin report unearthing foot-fetish videos that appear to star the wife of Jets coach Rex Ryan. The coach had not personally addressed the situation. He now has.

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