11-22-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Ineptitude

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Time for some links, mostly referring to how awful everyone was on Sunday. Also something on the new coach for U of A

Arizona Cardinals News:

Skelton Moves On From Struggles
Quarterback "self-critical," will be starter in St. Louis if Kolb still out

QBR ranks: Can Cardinals develop QBs? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Most young, inexperienced quarterbacks are going to struggle on the road against top NFL defenses. John Skelton's performance for the Arizona Cardinals against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 11 undercut even the most guarded expectations. Skelton finished the game with a 10.5 NFL passer rating and 0.9 Total QBR that ranked among the lowest recorded since ESPN began tracking the stat for the 2008 season.

Silver linings: Cardinals at 49ers - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The facts: The Arizona Cardinals fell to 3-7 following a 23-7 road defeat to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 11.

Arizona Cardinals' game plan vs. 49ers backfires
Arm-chair critics can drive a football coach crazy. But the Cardinals ran the ball 11 times against the 49ers. Beanie Wells only had 8 carries, despite averaging over 4 yards per attempt. By contrast, the 49ers ran the ball 38 times, and their backup tailback had one fewer carry than Wells. In mapping out strategy, maybe it seemed clear that the 49ers were more susceptible to the pass. Maybe it was the perfect opportunity to test John Skelton, to see if the second-year quarterback could beat a good defense with his arm. Problem is, the game plan pulverized the Cardinals defense, leaving them on the field for 44:16. That represented the longest time of possession posted by the 49ers since 2002, and the highest by any team in the NFL this season.

Arizona Cardinals' Dan Williams out for season with broken left arm
NT Dan Williams is out for the season with a broken left arm. David Carter or Nick Eason will start there. The Cardinals will need to add an extra defensive lineman to the roster. That could be end Ronald Talley.

Arizona Cardinals' running-game woes hurt John Skelton, offense
When Kurt Warner still was with the Cardinals and they were slinging the ball downfield more than 60 percent of the time, their offensive line regularly would moan about it. They wanted to run the ball more so they could be more offensive themselves. It not only gave them the edge coming off the snap, but it allowed the linemen a release for some pent-up aggression. "That's the way it is with any offensive line," center Lyle Sendlein said. "You ask any offensive lineman in the NFL, and they'll tell you they want to run the ball 90 percent of the time. "When we had success in the past with this offense and Kurt was doing his thing, throwing the ball, we all half-heartedly complained about it. But we were happy because we were successful." This season, the Cardinals have had little success on offense, and nobody is happy.

Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt plans to stick with John Skelton
Although he turned to Rich Bartel late in Sunday's 23-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said John Skelton would make his fourth consecutive start Sunday if Kevin Kolb's injured right foot doesn't allow him to play. Kolb, however, sounded very much like he plans to do everything he can to return to face the St. Louis Rams.

So much for that quarterback controversy in Arizona | ProFootballTalk
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt didn’t want to blame John Skelton compleltely for the team’s decisive loss to the 49ers on Sunday. But he did so anyway.

Word From the Birds Blog - The prelim to the Doucet-Goldson scuffle
Receiver Early Doucet and San Francisco safety Dashon Goldson got into it after a play Sunday, with Goldson getting ejected after throwing a couple of punches. There was a lot of talk about the officials only catching the retaliation and not the instigator, and since Goldson didn’t talk afterward, all we were left with was Doucet’s explanation that he had been victim of a cheap shot first. Doucet said he was running his route and suddenly found himself on the ground after a Goldson hit well away from the play.

Word From the Birds Blog - Wrapping up with Whiz
A few short notes after coach Ken Whisenhunt’s Monday presser:

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Monday morning highlights
Some quick notes from Ken Whisenhunt's morning news conference:

Loss brings back familiar talk from Whisenhunt - ArizonaSports.com
Sunday's 23-7 loss to the San Fransisco 49ers was a quick, swift kick back to reality for the Arizona Cardinals. During the Cardinals six-game losing streak head coach Ken Whisenhunt stressed giving the players time to learn the new schemes. He said it was difficult for a new quarterback to learn a new system. The six-game losing streak was about growing and maturing as a team. Then the Cardinals won two in a row, including a surprise victory in Philadelphia, and people started to believe that the team was finally turning the corner and Whisenhunt's words were having some effect. Whisenhunt was back to his old sayings on Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf.

Skelton was bad Sunday, but not the worst in history - ArizonaSports.com
What does completing 6 of 19 passes for 99 yards and three interceptions lead to? Well, besides a benching and a loss, a QB rating of 10.5. It's as bad as it sounds. To be fair to Skelton, it's not the lowest QB rating in NFL history. According to Wikipedia, as recently as 2007 Atlanta's Chris Redman posted a rating of 0 in a game vs. Tampa Bay after completing just 4 of 15 passes for 34 yards and two interceptions. But it's not the worst in Cardinals history, and given the multitude of top notch signal callers who have called the Valley home, being the best - at being the worst - is actually fairly impressive.

Despite tough season, Cardinals stay positive - ArizonaSports.com
Every loss is a tough pill to swallow. The Arizona Cardinals dropped their seventh game of the season Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, losing 23- 7. What makes it worse is the Cardinals, after rolling off two straight wins, finally looked like a team that was ready to turn the corner. Then came Sunday, as the 49ers forced five Cardinals turnovers and only allowed 229 yards of offense. Even though the loss has potential to hurt the team's mentality, head coach Ken Whisenhunt says his team doesn't have a negative state of mind.

Whisenhunt on Skelton: 'That happens with young players' - ArizonaSports.com
John Skelton's Sunday did not go as planned. The second-year pro, who had won his previous two starts, completed just 6 of 19 passes for 99 yards and three interceptions in the team's 23-7 loss to the 49ers, and was pulled from the game in the fourth quarter. A step back in his progression? Hard to say it wasn't.

Cardinals defense takes step forward in loss - ArizonaSports.com
And they're back. The sloppy, mistake-ridden Cardinals fans have become used to watching on Sundays have returned. The team that racked up two straight wins seemed to be M.I.A. Sunday against the 49ers. The Cardinals had five turnovers, allowed 431 yards of offense, only had the ball for just over 15 minutes the whole game and even benched John Skelton for Richard Bartel in the 23-7 loss to San Francisco. Most would see the performance as a step in the wrong direction, however, head coach Ken Whisenhunt believes a part of his team is actually improving.

In the Red Zone with Ken Whisenhunt - SF Review
Ken Whisenhunt joins Jon Bloom and Ron Wolfley on Arizona Sports 620 to talk about the tough loss in San Francisco.

Cards Daily - Sunday's Highs and Lows
The Cardinals had some bright spots and negative points in Sunday's loss to the 49ers. Coach Whisenhunt and players recap the game against San Francisco.

Arizona Sports News:

Nicklas Backstrom leads Washington Capitals past Phoenix Coyotes
Nicklas Backstrom scored early in the third period, then set up Brooks Laich's power-play goal, helping the Capitals rally from a two-goal deficit and edge the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 Monday night, ending Washington's four-game losing streak.

Arizona Wildcats football program hires Rich Rodriguez
As had been reported a few hours earlier, Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne did Tweet the news tonight: Former Michigan and West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez is the new head football coach of the Wildcats.

ASU football coach Dennis Erickson: 'I'm living in the present right now'
Erickson said Saturday's loss boiled down to one thing: "You're sitting there with (a 10-point lead) with12 minutes to go in the game, and they got a first down on the 6, and they end up winning the football game," Erickson said. He called it the program's most difficult loss under his watch. Erickson: "Early in the year, when we were 6-2, in the fourth quarter we won games. The second half we kind of came out and dominated games. In the last three football games, it's been totally the opposite."

NFL News:

We All Know Tim Tebow Loves Jesus, Says Jake Plummer - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
In case you missed it, Tim Tebow has been the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. In case you haven't heard, he's an Evangelical Christian. These two facts don't always have to be mentioned in succession, says former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer. And whether you agree or not, if you read closely, this is actually as progressive a compliment as Tim Tebow's received all year.

Jay Cutler Injury: Bears QB Faces Uncertain Road To Recovery - SBNation.com
Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler suffered an injury on Sunday that will require surgery to the thumb on his throwing hand. SB Nation's Medical Expert details Cutler's prognosis and his road to recovery.

Adrian Peterson's Injury Expected To Keep Him Out At Least One Game, According To Report - SBNation.com
Adrian Peterson will reportedly miss Sunday's Minnesota Vikings game at the Atlanta Falcons, and could miss more. The Vikings star running back was hurt in Sunday's loss to the Oakland Raiders with what was later learned to be a sprained ankle.

Jay Cutler Injury Update: Bears QB To Undergo Surgery On Thumb - SBNation.com
If you watched the Chicago Bears beat the San Diego Chargers in Week 11 you may not have even noticed that Jay Cutler suffered a fractured thumb. The Bears QB never exited the game and even head coach Lovie Smith didn't know the severity of the injury in his postgame press conference. But Cutler's thumb is indeed a serious injury and it could cost him the rest of the regular season. The Bears are saying that Cutler will require surgery on his thumb and he could undergo the procedure as soon as Tuesday. They're still not officially setting a timeline on his recovery but they're hopeful he'll return before the end of the season.

Jay Cutler Injury: Bears Looking At Free Agent Quarterbacks - SBNation.com
Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith spoke with the Chicago media on Monday after news had surfaced that Jay Cutler fractured his right thumb and will be lost for at least several weeks. Smith didn't delve into specifics regarding the injury but did confirm it was a fractured thumb. When asked if it was a season-ending injury, he said it's not.

Rex Ryan Fined $75,000 For Cursing At Fan In Patriots-Jets Game - SBNation.com
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan was fined for cursing at a fan during the New England Patriots game in Week 10, according to Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com. Ryan was caught on video, which was uploaded to YouTube by a fan, cursing at who was apparently a Patriots fan. The fan said something to the effect of, "Hey Rex, Bill Belichick is better than you," as the Jets head coach was walking through the tunnel into the locker room. Ryan responded, "Shut the f--k up!" The video clearly caught the exchange between the two.

Anthony Adams leaves a special message for sick Packers fan - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Chicago Bears Anthony Adams and Matt Spaeth stopped by the University of Chicago's Comer Children's Hospital today to cheer up some of the sickest and smallest patients. The pair visited with several children, played video games, and even wore masks to visit with a young fan decked out in a Bears jersey. One patient happened to be a Packers fan, prompting Adams, a known jokester, to leave this message on the child's dry erase board:

Jabar Gaffney tells Cowboys fan on Twitter to kill himself - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Mammas, don't let your Cowboys fans grow up to be tweeters, or else they may be on the receiving end of inflammatory messages from rival opponents.

Elway: Broncos are no closer to finding quarterback | ProFootballTalk
Tebowmania has taken over the greater Denver area, just not the Broncos front office.

Elway’s comments enrage Tebowmaniacs | ProFootballTalk
John Elway’s lukewarm embrace of Tim Tebow as Denver’s "quarterback of the future" is not sitting well with Broncos fans. Nate Kreckman of 102.3 in Denver documented some of the responses to Elway’s Twitter account after Elway said on the radio Monday that the Broncos were no closer to finding their quarterback. These are are actual messages from Broncos fans to Elway:

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