4-17-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Back To Work

Fitz is staying extra busy (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Time for some links, and now we actually have stuff worth mentioning with the Cardinals back in town for the start of their offseason workouts.

Also something involving Kolb's first chance to speak after the whole Peyton Manning thing. I find what he said to be perfectly reasonable, some people were upset by what he said. Your thoughts?

Arizona Cardinals News:

Cardinals Return For Workouts
Offseason program finally begins with strength and conditioning

Kolb Understands The Business
On Manning pursuit, "You can’t get your feelings hurt"

Word From the Birds Blog | Players return — and Kolb is ready
I’ll have much more in a homepage story later, but as expected, Kevin Kolb was one of the many Cardinals to show up for the first day of voluntary strength and conditioning work this morning. And as expected, he talked about being the QB here in the aftermath of the team’s pursuit of Peyton Manning. Kolb was matter-of-fact about the situation. It happens in the business, he said, teams trying to get better. His one request was better communication from the team — not that he didn’t talk to coach Ken Whisenhunt or the front office at all, just that it come sooner.

Kevin Kolb center of attention at Cardinals' off-season strength and conditioning program
Quarterback Kevin Kolb was the center of attention on Monday, the first day of the team's off-season strength and conditioning program. For the first time, Kolb addressed the Cardinals attempt to replace him with Peyton Manning.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Kolb and concussions
A number of issues greeted quarterback Kevin Kolb when he returned to Arizona for the opening week of strength and conditioning sessions. What did he think of the team courting Peyton Manning? What will his reaction to that be? Did the Cardinals' pursuit of Manning damage Kolb's chances of becoming a strong team leader? All are legitimate questions. But I think the most important one could be this: After suffering concussions in each of the last two years, can Kolb take a hit?

Arizona Cardinals' Levi Brown looking to silence critics
If Lyle Sendlein lands in jail (let's hope not) and is allowed only one phone call (like on TV), he knows who he would contact. "Levi Brown," the Cardinals center said. "He'd be the first guy I'd call if I ever needed something or got in trouble." Brown said he would have Sendlein's back. He plans to have Kevin Kolb's this season, too. Brown returned to the Cardinals, despite off-season interest from other teams, because "there's unfinished business here," he said Monday on the first day of organized team activities for the Cardinals. "My career so far has been up and down. Feel like I need to prove what I'm capable of and just set the record straight."

Cardinals' Peterson poised for sophomore campaign - ArizonaSports.com
Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson mounted an impressive rookie campaign for the Arizona Cardinals in 2011. He was also explosive in the role of kick return specialist, after tying the single season record for punt return touchdowns with four. As Peterson prepares for his sophomore season with the Cardinals, a noticeable maturity abounds from the 21-year-old aspiring star.

Back at work, Kevin Kolb talks Peyton Manning - ArizonaSports.com
Kevin Kolb understands why the Cardinals pursued quarterback Peyton Manning in the offseason.

Cardinals sign three restricted free agents - ArizonaSports.com
On the same day the Arizona Cardinals officially kicked off their 2012 offseason program, the team re-signed three of its own restricted free agents. Safety Rashad Johnson, running back LaRod Stephens-Howling and cornerback Greg Toler all signed one-year qualifying offers from the team.

Levi Brown has 'unfinished business' in Arizona - ArizonaSports.com
Levi Brown was not looking for a fresh start. The offensive lineman who was cut by the Cardinals in March - only to return shortly thereafter - said he wasn't really looking to escape the only NFL franchise he's ever played for.

Dockett: Now is time to improve selves, chemistry - ArizonaSports.com
For Darnell Dockett, the chance to get together with his teammates for workouts is a chance to get better.

Concussion symptoms plagued Kolb into offseason - ArizonaSports.com
No matter how you slice it, 2011 was a tough year for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Word From the Birds Blog | Preseason dates and times set
The Cards have set their preseason schedule, with the home finale against the Broncos the most notable, with it coming at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30. The team was limited regarding the Denver game because, by rule, Wednesday was not at option since Denver plays the previous Sunday and a later kickoff was necessary to avoid conflicting with network TV coverage of the Republican National Convention’s final night and the nominee’s acceptance speech.

Word From the Birds Blog | Levi wants to "set the record straight"
Levi Brown is not unaware. When he first re-signed a month ago, he mentioned his feeling of "unfinished business" in his reasoning of returning. Then Monday, Brown reiterated that thought, pointing to that as the main reason he wanted to come back. The left tackle (he also repeated that he planned to be the left tackle despite speculation he might end up on the right) also acknowledged his "up-and-down career." Then Brown said what will be the quote to note for 2012: "I need to prove what I am capable of and set the record straight."

The 2012 NFC West openers I want to see - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Seattle at Arizona. Consider this one a continuation of the Cardinals' overtime victory against the Seahawks in the final game last season. That was a bruising game featuring gritty play from Larry Fitzgerald and punishing running from Marshawn Lynch. We've debated this offseason whether the Seahawks or Cardinals should be considered in best position to challenge the 49ers for NFC West supremacy. Why not get some answers right away, in Week 1?

2012 Cardinals schedule: Simple requests - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A few simple requests for the Arizona Cardinals amid expectations the NFL will release its regular-season schedule Tuesday:

Team needs: Arizona Cardinals | ProFootballTalk
Perhaps the most overlooked won-loss stat of the 2011 season was Arizona’s 7-2 record in the final nine games. The Cardinals’ defense stiffened, allowing an average of just 18.3 points per contest. Ken Whisenhunt still must fix his offense, though, and Arizona’s problems begin up front.

Kolb wishes Whisenhunt had told him of Cardinals’ interest in Peyton | ProFootballTalk
Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb knows the NFL is a business, and that it’s a business in which you can lose your job if someone who’s better at your job becomes available. So Kolb says he has no hard feelings about the team’s pursuit of Peyton Manning last month.

Offseason Program Begins

The Arizona Cardinals began their offseason strength and conditioning program at team headquarters in Tempe.

Arizona Sports News:

Arizona Diamondbacks open homestand with convincing win over Pittsburgh Pirates
There's a reason the Diamondbacks couldn't wait to get back home to Chase Field. And it wasn't just because of the wind, rain, sleet and snow they encountered in Denver. Mostly, it was because they just don't seem to lose at home. Such was the case again Monday night as Arizona opened a 10-game homestand with a convincing 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in front of 17,366. With the win, the Diamondbacks have won 27 of their past 31 games at Chase Field, including a pair of victories over the Brewers in the National League Division Series. They are 4-0 at home in 2012.

Phoenix Suns rout Portland Trail Blazers to move into tie for 8th place
At 4-4, the Suns probably took for granted how much it meant to be in eighth place in the Western Conference. Ninety-eight days later, they are savoring being there again. They just need to treat it like a balloon and hold on tight with five games remaining against all teams with winning records. The Suns got there Monday night by routing what is left of the Portland Trail Blazers 125-107 with season-best shooting at US Airways Center. The Suns shot 60 percent, their first 60 percent game since November 2009, to take advantage of Houston's home loss to Denver and tie the Rockets for eighth place in the West at 32-29.

NFL News:

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Trade Talk Muddies The Waters - SBNation.com
Trade talk and the fate of Ryan Tannehill are making 2012 NFL Draft predictions tougher.

2012 49ers schedule: Simple requests - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A few simple requests for the San Francisco 49ers amid expectations the NFL will release its regular-season schedule Tuesday:

2012 Seahawks schedule: Simple requests - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A few simple requests for the Seattle Seahawks amid expectations the NFL will release its regular-season schedule Tuesday:

2012 Rams schedule: Simple requests - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A few simple requests for the St. Louis Rams amid expectations the NFL will release its regular-season schedule Tuesday:

Drew Brees, Scott Fujita Meet With NFL Over Saints Bounty Probe - SBNation.com
Drew Brees and former New Orleans Saints linebacker Scott Fujita are meeting with the NFL on Monday to discuss the team's bounty program under Gregg Williams, an anonymous source told the Associated Press. The two are joined by DeMaurice Smith, head of the NFL Players' Association.

The NFL Wants Fighting Football Fans To Take Online Behavior Courses - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
There's already been legislation in California to give fist-fighting fans a lifetime ban from stadiums that eject them, and the NFL's getting proactive, too. As the New York Post reports today:

2012 NFL Schedule To Be Released On Tuesday - SBNation.com
The 2012 NFL regular season schedule will be revealed Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. on the NFL Network. The preseason matchups were revealed earlier this month.

Just Business: Examining Where The Franchise-Tagged Players Stand - SBNation.com
Free agency and the draft dominate the NFL offseason. Contract skirmishes and player holdouts are another part of the story between April and September. Which contract situations are likely to get worse before they get better?

Brees reiterates that NFL has provided "no meaningful evidence" of bounties | ProFootballTalk
Saints quarterback Drew Brees, whose initial statement regarding the Saints’ bounty system provided somewhat of a safe harbor by denying knowledge of the "real existence" of a bounty system, has since taken a more unequivocal stance.

Eliminating kickoffs would change the game too dramatically | ProFootballTalk
Last year, Pats coach Bill Belichick said it was coming. And it moved a big step closer last week, when Giants co-owner John Mara told his team’s website that the game is "evolving" toward the elimination of the kickoff. Will it happen? Is it necessary? Is there an alternative?

Pete Carroll declares open competition at quarterback | ProFootballTalk
Last year, when the Seahawks had two quarterbacks who each were making $4 million per year, coach Pete Carroll said upon the signing of newcomer Tarvaris Jackson that he’d be the starter, even though the rules relating to the finalization of the CBA kept Jackson out of practice while Charlie Whitehurst was in charge of the offense. This year, Carroll isn’t handing anything either to Jackson or Matt Flynn.

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