6-9-11: Bird Droppings - QB's, Pass Blocking, Missed Tackles

Time for todays links, featuring articles on Quarterback options, pass blocking and missed tackles. Also a poll on which first NFC West round draft pick from 2009 has the most upside and Beanie Wells was in last place with six percent (Crabtree was first with 42 percent), and a fantasy prediction from NFL.com where two of the three guys said that Kevin Kolb will wind up in Arizona and he will suck badly.

Cardinals News:

Other than Kolb, Hasselbeck is best option for Cards - ArizonaSports.com
Just a month ago it was thought the Arizona Cardinals could cross veteran Matt Hasselbeck of their potential quarterback list. That all changed in the late Tuesday when Sports Illustrated's Peter King tweeted out the signal caller might be interested in relocating to the Valley. It's a move a certain Cardinals sideline reporter and local radio host would be in favor of.

Despite Reports, Peter King Thinks Matt Hasselbeck Could Come To Arizona Cardinals - SB Nation Arizona
Just a week ago it seemed that the quarterback picture was getting clearer, Peter King seemed to muck it all up again with a set of tweets Wednesday morning. When responding to someone who was sure that Matt Hasselbeck would be returning to the Seattle Seahawks and that Charlie Whitehurst would most certainly would not be the starter in 2011, King tweets, "you are incorrect, sir." When someone else then asked King where Hasselbeck would be come the season, he responded as he did around the start of the NFL Draft, stating that the most likely destination for the bald veteran signal-caller is Arizona.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Pass blocking: final evaluation
The analysts at Pro Football Focus concluded their series on pass blocking with some final rankings. The Cardinals fared better than expected, ranking 21st overall. The piece didn't spare any criticism, however. Here's what it says about the Cardinals:

Word From the Birds Blog - A chat, Fitz, A-Dub and a towel in Belize
A few notes on a Wednesday afternoon, after pointing out I will be hosting a live chat tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Arizona time (3:30 p.m. EST). I’ll go as long as there are questions to be asked. Anyway …

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Cardinals rank high in another dubious category
Football Outsiders continues to churn out interesting analysis/statistics from the 2010 season. The latest is this story on missed tackles. Four Cardinals are among the 28 players who missed at least 10 tackles, according to Football Outsiders. As FBO's Aaron Schatz notes in the piece, the analysis is subjective, both in the definition of missed tackle and the judgment used in evaluating games.

Yuck? Hey, this class could've been worse - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The NFC West held three of the first 10 picks in the 2009 NFL draft. All three project as starters for the 2011 season, but none appears headed for Pro Bowl status -- yet.

Arizona Sports News:

Arizona Diamondbacks rally to tie, blow lead, lose in 12th inning
The count was full in the 12th inning Wednesday night, and in trying to decide what pitch he was going to throw to Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen, Diamondbacks reliever Zach Kroenke flashed back to earlier in the at-bat, to a slider that McCutchen had pulled foul. "We thought he was cheating on the heater," Kroenke said. Thinking McCutchen still was waiting for a fastball, Kroenke went back to the slider, and McCutchen made him pay, yanking the pitch barely inside the left-field foul pole to give the Pirates a walk-off, 3-2 victory over the Diamondbacks at PNC Park.

Scouts say D-backs had best draft in MLB - ArizonaSports.com
The Arizona Diamondbacks have made it clear that they need to strengthen their entire pitching staff, especially their bullpen. General Manager Kevin Towers has said that a team can never have too much pitching and this belief system was on display during the 2011 MLB Draft where the Diamondbacks selected four pitchers in the first two rounds. Arizona was pleased with their draft results, but it appears that plenty others took notice of what the D-backs were able to accomplish during the draft. Although post-draft evaluations are nothing more than looking at names on paper, as true evaluations will not come for a few years, scouts are saying the D-backs had the best draft in baseball.

Diamondbacks announcer Mark Grace arrested in DUI in Scottsdale
Former Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs first baseman Mark Grace was arrested in Scottsdale on Memorial Day on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to a police report. Grace, 46, was stopped by Scottsdale police at 64th Street and Cochise Road shortly after 1 a.m. May 30, after he made a wide right turn and police observed him weaving within his lane, according to the report. Grace, who did not have his wallet or license with him at the time of the arrest, admitted to "having a few drinks," police said.

NFL News:

NFLPA moves rookie education program to Bradenton, Florida - ESPN
The NFL Players Association has moved its two-day educational program for rookies from Washington to Bradenton.

NFL.com news: Our fantasy experts make their bold predictions for 2011
The NFL can be unpredictable, to say the very least. As much as we prepare for our drafts and the upcoming season, there is no doubt that a few odd and seemingly improbable scenarios will alter the fantasy football landscape. NFL.com's Dave Dameshek, NFL.com senior editor Craig Ellenport, associate editor Adam Rank and I broke out our thinking caps in an attempt to predict the unpredictable with five bold, maybe outlandish (and in some cases even a little crazy) prognostications as we inch closer and closer to the 2011 campaign.

NFL.com news: Grab bag: Game’s best WRs ride first-round pedigree
Eighteen receivers made NFL Network's "The Top 100: Players of 2011" list, which comes to about half the teams in the league being represented at the position. As when I ranked the best quarterbacks and running backs over the last few weeks, the wideouts will be grouped into categories of five and put in alphabetical order. For example, Group A is my top five receivers in alphabetical order, meaning I don't necessarily believe the fifth player named is the fifth best receiver. Each of the 50 receivers listed either has an (^) for guys on the rise, (>) for players maintaining their status and (v) for those on the decline.

NFL: Plaxico Burress isn't the only player facing significant post-lockout challenges - ESPN
Plaxico Burress's release from prison left many observers asking the same question: What will happen to his career now that he has lost two full seasons to incarceration? Optimists point to Michael Vick's success in Philadelphia and say Vick is the best example of how quickly Burress could return to stardom after being imprisoned. Skeptics look at Burress' age (he'll turn 34 on Aug. 12) and his time away from the game and assume that he has a hard road ahead him. What most people don't mention, however, is that Burress will have plenty of company when it comes to big names trying to answer serious questions about their careers this fall. Including Burress, here are 10 players facing unique challenges this coming season and what they might have to do to overcome them once the NFL lockout ends:

Source: 'Decent shot' Terrelle Pryor plays in United Football League first - ESPN
A well-placed UFL source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Wednesday that Terrelle Pryor would benefit from the coaching in the league.

Terrelle Pryor not interested in CFL, focused on NFL - ESPN
Terrelle Pryor is not interested in playing in the Canadian Football League and is focused on the NFL's supplemental draft, Larry James, his attorney, said Thursday.

Cam Newton earning Carolina Panthers' respect - ESPN
Cam Newton sweated through a workout with his new Carolina teammates Wednesday morning, hopped a flight to Washington to meet the president in the afternoon, then quickly returned to make sure he attended the final player-organized workout Thursday.

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