12/29 Arizona Cardinals news: Coaching rumors and preparing for the 49ers

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The links to start your day.

ON the Friday before the Arizona Cardinals' final game of the 2012 season, we have quote a bit of links and stories to get to. There are rumors of Ken Whisenhunt's firing and his being retained. Ray Horton is focusing on his job right now, and of course, we get a look at what is going on in the world of the San Francisco 49ers.

Cardinals stories

Word From the Birds Blog | Friday before the Niners
Some thoughts by Darren Urban before the week's end.

Final Motivation
Cardinals have plenty of reasons to seek win in San Francisco

Grading Out The Defense
Notebook: LT Potter questionable, Doucet out; Zastudil's NFL record

Rough year, but Cards keeping it in perspective
Losing hasn't been fun, but with big picture in sight, Cardinals aren't ready for year to end.

Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt’s road has hit barricade; time for new driver
With all due respect, Whisenhunt’s time is up

Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s future in limbo
Defensive coordinator’s status could be tied to decision on Whisenhunt

Cardinals to replace Whisenhunt and pursue Andy Reid? - ArizonaSports.com
Sports Illustrated's Don Banks wrote that Arizona's "collapse after a 4-0 start this season is expected to lead to head coach Ken Whisenhunt and the team parting ways," while also noting that general manager Rod Graves is not expected to retain his role.

Report: Ken Whisenhunt to remain in Arizona - ArizonaSports.com
Perhaps Ken Whisenhunt's tenure in Arizona is not coming to an end after all.

Starting four different QBs puts Cardinals in rare group - ArizonaSports.com
"It's no secret, we haven't got the production out of that position that we've needed," Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said this week. "We've got to get consistency out of that position."

Ray Horton's focus is on being a defensive coordinator - ArizonaSports.com
When a team begins a season 4-0 and goes into its final game 5-10, rumors of changes are inevitable.

ESPN NFL Insider: 'There's going to be changes in Arizona' - ArizonaSports.com
Rumors are swirling that Whisenhunt could be one of a good number of head coaches fired on "Black Monday."

Scouting the enemy -- the Niners:

This Week in Niners Nation: Week 17 2012 Edition - Niners Nation
This Week in Niners Nation, a weekly revisiting of Niners Nation content. It's been a long week. A blowout loss in Seattle. Mario Manningham lost for the year. Bad news on Justin Smith's injured arm. We cover it all, if you dare relive it!

Cardinals vs. 49ers Week 17 Fantasy Football Preview - Niners Nation
There isn't much fantasy relevance in this week 17 contest, but there are gems to be found. In this article we breakdown the key players on both teams.

Justin Smith is a bad, bad man - Niners Nation
We take a look at some comments from Justin Smith, indicating he would be ready for Sunday's playoff game.

49ers fine updates: Anthony Davis fined, Kam Chancellor not fined for hit on Vernon Davis - Niners Nation
We take a look at news surrounding fines related to the 49ers-Seahawks Sunday Night Football contest

What Justin Smith's injury means for 49ers - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The San Francisco 49ers' Pro Bowl defensive lineman will require surgery to repair his injured triceps. However, Smith will wait until the offseason before undergoing the procedure. In the meantime, he'll try to play in the playoffs.

NFL stories:

Sean Payton, Saints agree to new contract, according to report - SBNation.com
The New Orleans Saints and suspended head coach Sean Payton have reportedly agreed on a multi-year contract extension.

SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY! A Graphical Preview of the Cowboys vs. Redskins - SBNation.com
The Redskins host the Cowboys in a do-or-die regular season finale.

Dennis Allen names Terrelle Pryor starter for season finale vs Chargers - Silver And Black Pride
Dennis Allen today made it official - Terrelle Pryor will start the Raiders final game of the 2012 season in San Diego.

'Could be worse' countdown: Nos. 12-9 - SBNation.com
Our countdown of the team that put its fans through the most painful calendar year continues with Nos. 12-9.

Richard Sherman's attorney: NFL PED testing rules leave 'room for improvement' - SBNation.com
A conversation with Richard Sherman's attorney is a reminder that the process for testing NFL players for PED violations could stand some improvement.

Jets' Rex Ryan denies latest report about his future - SBNation.com
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan denied a report by the New York Daily News that stated he was interested in being fired if the team didn't make changes prior to next season.

Maurice Jones-Drew placed on Jaguars IR - Big Cat Country
The Jaguars have placed Maurice Jones-Drew on injured reserve.

With Injuries All Around, Does Cleveland Stand a Chance to Beat Pittsburgh This Sunday? - Dawgs By Nature
Heading into the season finale against the Steelers, though, I have to ask myself: do the Browns really even stand any legitimate chance at beating the Steelers this Sunday? QB Brandon Weeden, RB Trent Richardson, CB Sheldon Brown are all out.

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Keep up with Cardinals news and opinions when you are not on the site. Follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and "like" us on Facebook. You can follow me individually at @senorjessroot.

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