4-15-11: Bird Droppings - Horton, Bulger, Leinart Re-invention?

Some interesting stuff for this Friday Afternoon, including links about our new DC Ray Horton, John Clayton stating that the Cardinals will probably go with Bulger and not draft a QB this year, a visit from Amukamara, Gramatica messing up his leg in a recap of celebration failures, teams being turned off by Kolb's high price tag, and a continuation of the Leinart not being ready to give up article that has some interesting points about how Leinart can reinvent himself and save his career after that debacle between him and Coach Whiz last year.

The Unpredictable Coach
Whether it's hair or defensive philosophy, Horton stays "quirky"

Word From the Birds Blog - In the same boat
New defensive coordinator Ray Horton — about whom I have written a profile — arrived at an awkward time, which he had noted when he was hired. The potential work stoppage was coming, it arrived, and he obviously didn’t get a chance to install anything. Horton, however, shows no nervousness given the situation.

ESPN's Clayton thinks Bulger will be Cardinals QB - ArizonaSports.com
The starting quarterback for the 2011 Arizona Cardinals will be who? ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton thinks the Cardinals could very well be going the free agent route in securing their signal caller for next season.

NFL.com news: Leinart hungry, but he must reinvent himself to succeed
Before a Thursday night game between the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles last season, I spent some time on the field talking to Texans quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp and third-string quarterback Matt Leinart, the former first-round draft pick whom the Arizona Cardinals had released in favor of Derek Anderson and Max Hall. Leinart couldn't have been more engaging and told me he was "hungry to get another chance." He said he just hoped he'd get one. Leinart recently told the Daily Trojan, the student newspaper at USC, "I am not going to give up."

NFL analyst doesn't think Cards will take a quarterback - ArizonaSports.com
Who will be under center for the Arizona Cardinals in 2011? You can probably cross two of the rookie quarterbacks off your list. According to ESPN NFL Analyst John Clayton, both Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton won't likely be available when the Cards make their selection at No. 5 in just a few weeks.

Prince Amukamara visited the Cardinals | National Football Post
Nebraska All-American cornerback Prince Amukamara recently visited the Arizona Cardinals, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation. He has previously visited the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals and is also slated to visit the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Washington Redskins.

Jake Plummer to ASU football: The work starts here
After the last play Thursday, Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson called his team together on the Kajikawa practice field. Then he introduced Jake Plummer.

Analysis: Phoenix Coyotes deal would make Glendale money
Glendale leaders are adamant that city taxpayers will lose out on millions of dollars in revenue if the Phoenix Coyotes leave. Goldwater Institute attorneys argue that the city's costs to keep the team will hurt taxpayers. Both sides of the coin - revenue and costs - are essential to determining whether the city would be better off with or without the hockey franchise.

NFL.com news: Agents reportedly want big contract for Kolb as part of trade
The asking price to acquire Kevin Kolb -- presumed to be at least a first-round draft pick -- appears to be on the rise. ESPN Radio Twin Cities cited league sources Thursday in reporting that Kolb's agents plan to demand a multiyear deal from any team trying to trade for the Philadelphia Eagles' backup quarterback. One league source called the price tag "significant enough to make me nervous," based on Kolb's limited track record -- just seven starts in four NFL seasons.

NFL.com news: Odd that projected top-five pick garners so little buzz
There's something that's really been puzzling me as we get closer to the 2011 NFL Draft: Where is the buzz surrounding Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert? People seem to have a lot to say about Cam Newton and Da'Quan Bowers and Mark Ingram and Kyle Rudolph and Nick Fairly and Marcell Dareus -- even quarterbacks Jake Locker and Ryan Mallett. But what have you heard about Gabbert?

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Data Points: Passer rating on the rise "
The one statistic -– albeit far from perfect –- that’s often used to gauge quarterbacks is passer rating, seemingly a deranged mathematician’s concoction of completion percentage, touchdowns, interceptions, yards per throw, and a shot of pre-calc thrown in. Flawless or not, seeing where today’s quarterbacks stack up with passers of yesteryear based on their efficiency rating brings up some eye-popping results.

NFL.com news: When it comes to celebrations, these guys were failures
Our old friend Bill Gramatica tops the list.

NFL.com news: If Bills draft Texas A&M OLB Miller, where would he fit?
The player most commonly attached to the Buffalo Bills' No. 3 overall draft pick is Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller. The logic is easy to see, because Miller is a dynamic pass rusher worthy of top-five consideration, and the Bills desperately need to upgrade their woeful defensive front. What might not be as easy to see would be his exact role in the Bills' defense.

NFL.com news: In hindsight, decision at top highlighted volatile '08 draft
Of course, there are no do-overs when it comes to the NFL draft. You simply live with the picks you make, whether they work out or not. But what if teams could go back and rewrite history? This week, NFL.com will do just that by looking at each draft from 2004 to 2008 and assign do-overs based on what we know now. Today, Pat Kirwan rewrites 2008.

2007 NFL draft: Beyond JaMarcus Russell - NFC West Blog - ESPN
JaMarcus Russell's demise as an NFL player is back in the news, shining light upon the perils of investing millions in unproven prospects. The 2007 NFL draft was about more than Russell, of course.

Jamie Dukes calls Ryan Mallett "a Caucasian street guy" | ProFootballTalk
Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett has been criticized from many angles. There are rumors, via Tony Softli 101espn.com, that Mallett did drugs in college, and that he may even have been addicted. Others scrutinize Mallett’s leadership skills. We know he can’t run. But NFL Network’s Jamie Dukes has struck a new blow to the Mallett pinata, and it has nothing to do with athletic ability, on-field performance, or off-field habits that could ultimately affect Mallett’s play.

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