8-11-11: Bird Droppings - Gameday

Are you ready for some football! I know it is just the preseason, but I am excited. Besides training camp, this will be our first real look at how Kevin Kolb and some of the new additions preform in a game and I am ready to watch and digest all of this action.

Along with the normal training camp links, I also have an update on Lee Evans, and something about how the Bears best receiver from last year could now be the fourth string receiver and he might push for a trade because of it. If it won't take a lot to get him, he would fill the burner role that we have been looking for.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Getting Started
They are words not often uttered by NFL veterans, but Kevin Kolb didn’t hesitate. "Thank God for the preseason this year," the Cards’ new quarterback said.

Arizona Cardinals anticipate rough start in preseason opener vs. Oakland Raiders
Not ready, here they come. Even in normal seasons, the NFL's preseason is meant for immature football audiences, but the 2011 version figures to be special in that way. When the Cardinals meet the Raiders Thursday night, chances are it will look like a game between two teams that have practiced for only a week. "I know at times it probably won't look pretty," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said.

Arizona Cardinals: 5 things to watch in preseason opener vs. Oakland Raiders
Areas of focus during Thursday's Cardinals-Raiders game:

Word From the Birds Blog - Wednesday before the Raiders
Yes, we are, actually, ready for some football. The lockout ended less than three weeks ago, yet it feels like months. That first few days of camp – and the couple of days before it – were such a whirlwind and now, suddenly, it’s the eve of the Cards’ preseason opener in Oakland.

NFL.com news: Kolb's move, Tebow's play among preseason stories to watch
The games are upon us and there are several angles to follow. How will Kevin Kolb transition in Arizona? Will Tim Tebow make the Broncos' decision harder? Bucky Brooks breaks it all down.

Arizona Cardinals' Ben Graham makes trip to Australia
Cardinals punter Ben Graham's eventful off-season had nothing to do with the National Football League's lockout. Instead, it had to do with Gridiron Australia.

Two backs in the running for Cardinals - ArizonaSports.com
Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams. Ryan Williams, Beanie Wells. Both running backs are expected to see the field for the Cardinals, but one of the two will likely take over as the "lead guy" at some point. According to SI.com, the battle for that job is one to watch this preseason.

Buffalo Bills' Lee Evans talks about Arizona Cardinals rumors - ArizonaSports.com
If a halfway decent wide receiver becomes available it's likely the Arizona Cardinals will be connected to him by some rumor or source. It's just a byproduct of losing your No. 2 receiver in the whirlwind that has been NFL free agency and not finding a proven replacement. The latest receiver's name to be associated with the Cardinals is the Bills' Lee Evans. The rumors seem to be nothing more than people connecting the dots. Buffalo has an overabundance of solid wide outs and Arizona is in need of one.

NFL Network's Michael Lombardi not sold on Kevin Kolb - ArizonaSports.com
Most fans in Arizona are excited by the thought of Kevin Kolb lining up under center for the Cardinals this season. Many of those same people think the new quarterback will lead their team back to the top of the NFC West. Local fans are buying into the hype but many national media members are questioning just how effective the unproven quarterback will be in his first season as a Cardinal.

Receivers are important to Kevin Kolb's development - ArizonaSports.com
The focus for most of the Cardinals offseason and training camp has been on the quarterback position and just how much Kevin Kolb can improve it. With that said, it may be the wide receivers who play the most important part in ensuring the signal caller's success or failure. Larry Fitzgerald agrees and thinks it's his and the rest of the receivers job to make sure their new quarterback is comfortable in the offense.

The Shutdown Corner Podcast: Kurt Warner - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
There's very little question that former St. Louis Rams, New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner will someday be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as one of the most productive quarterbacks of his era. However, Warner isn't cooling his heels and waiting around for that to happen — he's going to have a much higher profile as an analyst on the NFL Network this year. We had the opportunity to talk with Warner on Thursday morning about his new opportunities (thanks to Dennis Johnson and everyone at the NFL Network), and what was supposed to be a rote 10-minute PR call turned into a 22-minute quarterback master class.

Arizona Sports News:

Arizona Diamondbacks defeat Houston Astros to take NL West lead
For a night, at least, the Houston Astros played like a team that is 41 games under .500 and the Diamondbacks like a first-place club that's just taking care of business. You read that right. The Astros really are 41 games under. And the Diamondbacks, by virtue of their 6-3 win at Chase Field on Wednesday night, really are a first-place team again. Coupled with San Francisco's 9-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier in the day, the Diamondbacks leapfrogged the Giants, whom they now lead by a half-game in the NL West.

azcentral.com blogs - Nick Piecoro - Trevor Bauer overkill: Up next, Double-A?; Archie update; comeback kids
Starting with the most recent news: There’s been speculation that right-hander Trevor Bauer is going to be promoted from High-A to Double-A for his next start, and no one I’ve talked to seems to be shooting down the idea. In three starts for High-A Visalia after signing a major league contract last month, the No. 3 overall pick in the draft gave up three runs in nine innings, walking four and striking out 17. Yes. Seventeen.

ASU football runs first full-contact scrimmage
After nine practices to start fall camp, Arizona had its first full-contact scrimmage Wednesday. The Sun Devils ran 39 scripted plays at the Kajikawa practice fields. Results were mixed.

azcentral.com blogs - RichardObertRattlers Blog - RichardObertRattlers - Rattlers QB Davila will be named league MVP
A source said Rattlers quarterback Nick Davila will be named Thursday as the Arena Football League's National Guard Most Valuable Player. Davila led the league in passer rating and threw for 117 touchdown passes during the 18-game regular season, tied for most in league history. Davila will lead the the Rattlers (18-2) against the Jacksonville Sharks and QB Aaron Garcia at 5:30 on Friday at US Airways Center in ArenaBowl XXIV. Garcia on Tuesday was named the AFL Offensive Player of the Year. Garcia threw for 116 regular-season scoring passes.

NFL News:

Player's view: Predicting more NFL injuries - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The first exhibition games of the 2011 season could provide a glimpse into how new rules governing kickoffs will affect games. Nearly five months have passed since former San Francisco 49ers and current Seattle Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson hinted at potential implications.

Terrelle Pryor postpones pro day workout, source says - ESPN
Terrelle Pryor's pro day workout, which had been scheduled for Friday, has been postponed until the NFL decides on his status for the supplemental draft, a source close to the player told ESPN.

Philadelphia Eagles, former New York Giants WR Steve Smith agree - ESPN
The Philadelphia Eagles' free-agency bonanza continued Wednesday, when they agreed to a one-year deal with former New York Giants receiver Steve Smith.

Denver Broncos' Tim Tebow a happy camper despite his many critics - ESPN
Tim Tebow insists he's a happy camper unfazed by his many critics who are blasting him over his inconsistent performances at the Denver Broncos training camp.

Titans coordinator says Hasselbeck is "struggling" to learn offense | ProFootballTalk
Kenny Britt has been injured. Chris Johnson is holding out. Veteran Matt Hasselbeck, meanwhile, is learning his first new offense in more than a decade on the fly. It’s not a big surprise that the Titans offense has looked rough around the edges early in camp.

Report: Ravens not interested in trading for Lee Evans | ProFootballTalk
The lack of experience on the receiving depth chart in Baltimore has become downright glaring, in the wake of the departure of Derrick Mason, the swing-and-miss attempt at landing Malcom Floyd, and the decision not to sign Jerricho Cotchery. So what will the Ravens do? Amid talk that receiver Lee Evans is available via trade from the Bills, Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Ravens aren’t interested in trading for Evans, and that the team would be interested only if he’s released.

Knox could push for trade if he’s not a starter | ProFootballTalk
The Bears made official this week what started to become obvious in training camp: Johnny Knox is behind Roy Williams on the depth chart. Devin Hester is locked into a starting flanker role, which leaves Chicago’s leading receiver of a year ago (Knox) no higher than No. 4 on the depth chart. (Earl Bennett plays the slot.) Knox believes he can get his job back. If that doesn’t happen, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes that Knox could push for a trade.

Aaron Rodgers does his best Allen Iverson impression | ProFootballTalk
Aaron Rodgers has heard the concerns that the Packers offense is looking sloppy. The biggest criticism came from coach Mike McCarthy Monday night, likely in an effort to send a message to his troops. Rodgers’ response was to invoke Allen Iverson’s classic rant.

Texans camp at a glance: QB Leinart keeps lighting it up | Houston Texans Football | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
In Tuesday morning’s practice, the Texans worked on red-zone offense and defense, among other things. It was youth day, and kids surrounded the field, cheering everything from passes completed by quarterbacks, receptions by receivers and passes defended. Any time fans attend practice, the players turn up the intensity level. That was the case again Tuesday when backup quarterback Matt Leinart looked like a natural fit in Gary Kubiak’s offense.

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