3-25-11: Bird Droppings - Defending Levi, Quarterbacks, Wildcats Upset Duke

Links, including stuff on Coach Whiz defending the play of Levi Brown, finding a Quarterback for Larry Fitzgerald (possibly Bulger), the continuing sales of season tickets for the Cardinals, a win by the Coyotes and the upset win of the U of A Wildcats over Duke.

Even though I am an ASU fan, I was glad to see them pound Duke.

Arizona Cardinals' season-ticket sales proceed despite lockout
No one is tossing footballs around these days at the Cardinals headquarters in Tempe, so why is the team collecting money from season-ticket holders?

Coach protecting Levi Brown's blind side - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Ken Whisenhunt is right when he says Levi Brown takes more criticism as a high draft choice than he would take as someone selected later in the process. That's the way it works. The highest picks in a draft class should outperform their peers.

Finding Fitz A Quarterback
Cards' search for improved QB play begins with Pro Bowl wide receiver

Word From the Birds Blog - Whiz talks Levi
The play of tackle Levi Brown has been an oft-discussed topic, and he obviously has his critics, especially in the fan base. But as I have written before, coach Ken Whisenhunt and his staff are not unhappy with his play, and Whisenhunt reiterated that again at the recent owners’ meetings. Mike Sando has all the quotes and the breakdowns — Sando points out there are many first-rounders from that season Brown has probably outperformed — but there is the reality Levi will always be graded down because of how high he was selected (and because everyone knows by now the Cards considered taking Adrian Peterson with the selection).

There could be battle for Bulger brewing in NFC West | ProFootballTalk
One year on the sidelines and a number of desperate teams looking for quarterbacks could wind up making Marc Bulger a popular man when free agency eventually starts.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Whisenhunt has Levi Brown's back
Offensive tackle Levi Brown was the team's first draft choice under coach Ken Whisenhunt in 2007, and the coach has been consistent in his defense of Brown's performance throughout the four years.

Word From the Birds Blog - Draft "news" and mocks
As the news of the Cards’ visit with Blaine Gabbert blew up yesterday afternoon, the back-and-forth of Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers’ knee has erupted and the travel schedule of Cam Newton has been documented, it made me think this column by agent Jack Bechta about the media and the draft. As someone who has covered the draft and the league for a long time both on the outside as a newspaper reporter and on the semi-inside with this job (believe me, it’s not like I get to know everything just because I’m in the building), much of what Bechta says I understand. Does everyone? I don’t know. It’s a great read though, putting in perspective everything reported upon this time of year. Among the parts that I’d want to highlight:

Video Gallery
Ronald McDonald House Check Presentation

Arizona Wildcats upset defending champion Duke in NCAA Tournament regional semifinal
Derrick Williams scored a career-high 32 points and his Arizona teammates showed they're not just a one-man team with a 93-77 win to reach the Elite 8.

Arizona Wildcats grab NCAA Tournament spotlight by pounding defending champion Duke Blue Devils
Want to know what surrender looks like? The ghost-white face of coach Mike Krzyzewski as he sat on the Duke bench, expressionless, as Arizona twisted the knife deeper with every possession.

Phoenix Coyotes shut out Columbus Blue Jackets
Ilya Bryzgalov can be a man of few words one second and talk up a storm the next. That's considered normal behavior for a goaltender. Bryzgalov was a bit reticent Thursday night, and maybe with good reason: He let his performance on the ice do the talking, and it came through loud and clear. The big Russian fashioned his seventh shutout of the season as the Coyotes defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 in front of 11,172 at Jobing.com Arena.

Phoenix Suns hope tough 3-overtime loss to Los Angeles Lakers didn't spell the end
Defeat vs. Lakers in 3 OTs in Los Angeles was a microcosm of the season so far.

ASU football's success hinges on QB Brock Osweiler
If you're looking for punctuation at quarterback, Brock Osweiler is more question mark than exclamation point. That's a problem in football. But if you're looking for intangibles, you've come to the right place.

Source: 9 teams set up closer Cam Newton look - ESPN
Nine teams will take another look at quarterback Cam Newton before next month's NFL draft, a league source said.

NFL Videos: QBs with most to prove
Which quarterback is ready to take the next step being elite? Is it Stafford, Sanchez, Romo, or another?

Five rule changes the NFL should consider - ESPN
Updating the tuck rule is among the changes the NFL would be wise to consider, John Clayton writes.

NFL lockout: Cleveland Browns fan sues NFL, citing seat license contract - ESPN
A Browns fan sued the National Football league and its teams over the player lockout, claiming it violated his contract to buy tickets through his personal seat license.

Report: League insists on HGH testing be a part of any new CBA - ESPN
Whenever a new collective bargaining agreement is reached with the NFLPA, the league is insistent that HGH testing for all NFL players be included in the deal, according to a report on FOXSports.com.

Deion Sanders criticizes Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant, has cut ties with him - ESPN Dallas
Deion Sanders, who stopped mentoring Dez Bryant months ago, strongly criticized the Dallas Cowboys receiver in reaction to the criminal trespass warning given to Bryant over the weekend at a Dallas mall.

NFL.com news: Demand for quarterbacks high, supply after draft low
The most striking thing about the teams picking in the top 10 of this year's draft is that seven have quarterback as one of their top needs. Some believe that number should be nine, but the Browns and Redskins insist they won't draft one with their top pick.

Julio Jones closing gap on A.J. Green as NFL draft's best wideout - Peter King - SI.com
Julio Jones or A.J. Green? Tide shifting in Alabama wideout's direction, WR-needy Bengals, with the fourth pick, appear to be leaning toward Jones, Mailbag questions on prospects skipping draft, the lockout and more

Panthers need to rectify passing game with No. 1 draft pick - Kerry J. Byrne - SI.com
The Carolina Panthers are on the clock, with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and their greatest need is the most obvious one. They must find a quarterback who can produce at even an average level by NFL standards.

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