12-30-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Finish Strong

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Time for todays links, which look at trying to end the year on a positive note.

As a little side note. I did not post the Madden Roster update yesterday because there isn't one this week. They are taking a Holiday break so everything will be next week there. The Sim will be up on Saturday though.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Fitz In The Fourth
Pro Bowl receiver has made plays when it has counted this season

Levi's Future
Notebook: Whisenhunt says tackle has played well; Peterson sits again

After a terrible start, Cardinals can leave us smiling
Final impressions matter in football. Unlike the college team in town, the Cardinals will try not to leave a mess. Start with Ken Whisenhunt, who can end his winless streak against Seattle's Pete Carroll. From the head coach's perspective, there is a huge difference between 8-8 and 7-9. One set of numbers represents a stunning success. The other is just another losing record.

Cardinals' Beanie Wells perseveres through 2011
Beanie Wells appreciates the good things that came in this football season. The Cardinals running back has missed only one game and rushed for 1,000 yards for the first time in his three-year career. But Wells will look back at the 2011 season with frustration, too. An injury to his right knee suffered against the Steelers in Week 6 diminished his strength and explosiveness. Wells persevered, helping to dispel the notion that he's soft, but he can't help but think about what could have been.

Arizona Cardinals' Levi Brown ending season strong
Left tackle Levi Brown might have unintentionally saved his best for what could be his last, at least in a Cardinals uniform.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Beanie Wells wants to keep his role
Running back Beanie Wells perservered through a knee injury this season, playing when he wasn't close to 100 percent. It's a good thing he did, too, because the Cardinals lacked depth at the position.

Word From the Birds Blog - Finishing kick by the defense
Much has been made about the Cardinals’ strong fourth-quarters on offense — particularly by the quarterback — but of late, the defense has arguably been even better.

2011 Cardinals Week 16: Five observations - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Five things I noticed about the Arizona Cardinals while watching their most recent game, a 23-16 road defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals:

NFL.com news: For some promising 2011 rookies, the best is yet to come
Sam Acho, LB, Cardinals: A fourth-round pick who played defensive end in college and has been playing lights out at linebacker for Arizona.

Chat wrap: Brandon Lloyd's prospects - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Mackay from Utah asks whether I'm amazed by Larry Fitzgerald's production. He notes that other top receivers tend to play with better quarterbacks.

Word From the Birds Blog - What Ryan Williams could mean
Ken Whisenhunt was talking about his running game this season — when he considered if that part of the game made progress or was just frustrating, Whisenhunt said "Would it be fair to say you can have both?" — when I decided to ask him if he ever thought about what rookie Ryan Williams would have meant had he not blown out his patella tendon in the preseason. "I don’t think any of us are under the illusion that having Ryan Williams wouldn’t have helped us," Whisenhunt said. "It was pretty evident he is a talented young player. But it’s like anything, you don’t look back and say ‘You wish …’ or ‘You could’ve …’ because that’s the NFL."

Word From the Birds Blog - Finishing the year with a sellout
The Cardinals officially have sold out Sunday’s finale against Seattle, meaning it will be televised locally (Fox) and making it 63 straight at University of Phoenix Stadium. There were many wondering about the sellout streak this season, especially with the early-season losses, but the Cards completed a sixth season of sellouts as they head into 2012.

ESPN NFL analyst: Cardinals should open up QB competiton - ArizonaSports.com
Could another quarterback controversy be brewing in Arizona? According to ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski, a guest on Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo, the Cardinals should open up competition between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton this offseason.

A look back: Radio calls from the 2011 Arizona Cardinals season - ArizonaSports.com
The 2011 season for the Arizona Cardinals has really been a tale of two different seasons. There is, of course, the 1-6 start, which was bad. Then, though, there is the 6-1 stretch that followed, and with one game left the Cardinals currently sit at 7-8. Their next game will be on January 1, 2012, which means their work for 2011 is done. And as you already know, the Cardinals have not been short on highlights, with all their overtime wins and all. So, we compiled a list of 10 of the best moments of the season, as heard on the Arizona Cardinals Radio Network.

Larry Fitzgerald wants to finish season on a high note - ArizonaSports.com
Larry Fitzgerald is tired of losing. As he preps for the Cardinals' Sunday matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, Fitzgerald is focusing on ending this season on a high note.

Big Red Rage - Rhodes and Adams
CB Michael Adams joined Paul Calvisi, Ron Wolfley, and Kerry Rhodes to talk about the upcoming match-up with the Seahawks.

Arizona Sports News:

Coyotes can't keep up with Avalanche in loss
The Colorado Avalanche's big win over the Phoenix Coyotes might have come at an even bigger price. Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves, Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist, and Colorado beat the Coyotes 3-2 on Thursday night. Kevin Porter and Stefan Elliott also scored for Colorado, which went 8-1 at home in December. But Colorado's celebration was tempered because of a right knee injury sustained by center Matt Duchene early in the first period.

NFL News:

Cam Newton Shouldn't Give Racist Critics A Free Pass - SBNation.com
Cam Newton had a chance to say "I told you so" to his pre-draft critics. Instead, he blamed Jamarcus Russell and Vince Young. Here's why that was sad and stupid.

NFL.com news: Stephen Jones: Dez must 'get his hands around' off-field issues
As Dez Bryant faces another lawsuit concerning alleged non-payment of a debt, Cowboys executive Stephen Jones acknowledged the team has talked to the young receiver about his repeated issues.

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