4-18-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Schedule Unveiled

(Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images)

Time for todays links, and now we know the schedule the Cardinals will face this season. We already knew the Cards were going to play some good teams this season, and I feel good about the way all of these games are scheduled to play out now.

Arizona Cardinals News:

NFC West Gets Schedule Spotlight
Cards get national TV versus 49ers, Rams; Open with Seattle at home

Arizona Cardinals announce 2012 regular-season schedule
Three of the Cardinals first four games in 2012 are at home, including the season opener against Seattle on Sept. 9. The NFL released the regular season-schedule on Tuesday, and the Cardinals will have two nationally-televised games in prime time: on Thursday, Oct. 4, at St. Louis on NFL Network, and on Oct. 29 at home against the 49ers on Monday Night Football. The Cardinals play consecutive road games only once during the season: at the New York jets on Dec. 2 and at Seattle on Dec. 9. The Cardinals also received a break by playing the Patriots in New England the second week of the season. In 2008, they played at New England in a snowstorm and lost 47-7. They play at Green Bay on Nov. 4, which might be early enough to avoid cold weather.

Arizona Cardinals schedule analysis - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Breakdown: The Cardinals drew two prime-time games, both against division opponents, as part of a schedule that should let them avoid a second consecutive slow start. Arizona, which rallied to 8-8 last season after a 1-6 start, plays three of its first four games at home, beginning with Seattle's visit to University of Phoenix Stadium. The Seahawks and Cardinals played two close games last season, including a Week 17 matchup in Arizona that went into overtime. The 2012 season picks up where the 2011 season left off, in other words. That's a welcome early development for the division as these teams seek to close ground on the defending NFC West champion San Francisco 49ers.

Word From the Birds Blog | Gay sees a winner
He may have agreed to a free agent contract weeks ago, but cornerback William Gay didn’t arrive in Arizona until yesterday when workouts officially began.With a chance to finally catch up to him, the question was posed: Why Arizona? "I mean, you want to win," Gay said. "My thing is, to leave the Steelers, I had to come to an organization that had the mindset of not just getting to the playoffs and winning the division and feeling like that is a good season," Gay said. "It’s getting to the Super Bowl. At the end of the day, all the fans can celebrate (division titles) but you can’t celebrate that inside the locker room. It’s a bigger picture. "I felt the Cards had the guys to do it."

Word From the Birds Blog | Dockett, arch-enemies, and a lion
Darnell Dockett was talking about his offseason, one spent with alligators, snakes, spiders and a moment when he got into a cage with a lion. "All my stuff was life-threatening," Dockett said. "Any time I can do some life-threatening stuff and get away, I feel like I’m winning." That’s one way to look at it. Or in Dockett’s case, the only way.

Skelton feels like he has chance to start for Cardinals - ArizonaSports.com
John Skelton played in eight games last season, including seven starts. Skelton completed 54.9 percent of his passes, tossing 11 touchdowns to go along with 14 interceptions. He also led the Cardinals to six of their eight victories, and played well enough that head coach Ken Whisenhunt said following the season that there would be a competition between Skelton and Kevin Kolb for the starting gig in 2012.

Rhodes, Cardinals' defense aims to 'hit the ground running' - ArizonaSports.com
At this time last year, most of the NFL players were still on vacation instead of attending voluntary workouts like they are now. The 2011 lockout hindered the training and preparation for the upcoming season, but the players are now more eager to get in a complete offseason workout with their teams. "I think it's very beneficial. You get to be around each other. This is the time where I think teams form and bond and get to where we know each other and know what each other likes to do," Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes said Monday.

Whisenhunt on the Cardinals' 2012 schedule - ArizonaSports.com
The Arizona Cardinals, who got off to a notoriously slow 1-6 start last season, have home field advantage in the early portion of the 2012 campaign. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt marveled at the prospect of hitting the ground running and reversing his team's fortunes this year.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Initial thoughts on schedule
There aren't a lot of surprises when the NFL schedule is announced. Try none. We know the opponents; it's just the dates and times that are in question. But with that said, I think the Cardinals have to be pleased.

Whisenhunt Talks Schedule with Doug & Wolf
Ken Whisenhunt joined The Doug and Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 620 to talk about the 2012 Schedule and more!

Arizona Sports News:

Mikkel Boedker's goal puts Phoenix Coyotes back in charge
Before this series, the Coyotes and Blackhawks had no reason to become antagonizing rivals. They have no prior playoff history, compete in different divisions, and their clash in styles usually delivers clean hockey. But yet by Tuesday night's Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series, the tension was palpable. Perhaps it started before puck drop when the Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw was assessed a three-game suspension for his hit on goalie Mike Smith in Game 2. But a possible series-changing hit by Raffi Torres on Tuesday only added fuel to the fire. And in an emotional tug of war on the road in front of a raucous 21,627 at United Center on Tuesday, a win on this stage could have been the page turn the Coyotes needed to forget about a frustrating collapse in the final minute of the first two games. It took a third consecutve overtime game, but the Coyotes earned back home-ice advantage with a 3-2 victory to move ahead 2-1 in the series. This time, winger Mikkel Boedker had the answer with a shot from the goal line at 13:15 in the extra period.

Pittsburgh Pirates knock off Arizona Diamondbacks
Andrew McCutchen lined a run-scoring single in the ninth inning, Garrett Jones homered and drove in three runs, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 Tuesday night for a rare road win.

Phoenix Mercury take point guard Samantha Prahalis in WNBA draft
The search for a starting point guard may have come to an end. The Mercury selected Ohio State point guard Samantha Prahalis with the sixth overall pick in Monday's WNBA draft.

Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew optimistic, patient
Shortstop Stephen Drew looked so sharp taking ground balls during fielding drills Monday that Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson had to catch himself while watching alongside Ken Crenshaw, the team's head athletic trainer. "I was talking to Ken and I'm like, 'God dang, look at that play! That's unbelievable! Why isn't he playing?'" Gibson said. Nine months after suffering a freakish fractured right ankle, Drew continues to make a slow and steady progress. But putting a timetable on his return from the disabled list isn't possible, because no one knows when he will be healthy enough to play.

NFL News:

A few more NFC West schedule notes - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Additional 2012 NFC West schedule notes, from ESPN Stats & Information:

San Francisco 49ers schedule analysis - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Breakdown: The 49ers open the season against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, a marquee matchup reflecting San Francisco's improved standing following a 13-3 season. A Sunday night home game against Detroit in Week 2 follows, putting the 49ers in the national spotlight right away.

Seattle Seahawks schedule analysis - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Breakdown: Matt Flynn's addition from Green Bay in free agency has paid off already, helping the Seahawks secure a Monday night home game against the Packers on Sept. 24. But Seattle drew only a cautious prime-time commitment overall, with an Oct. 18 game at San Francisco standing as the only other game scheduled for under the lights.

St. Louis Rams schedule analysis - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Breakdown: Jeff Fisher's addition as head coach raised the Rams' profile, but not enough for the team to secure a Monday night game. A Thursday night home game against the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 4 will have to suffice in the prime-time department. That's what happens when a team goes 15-65 over a five-year period.

2012 NFL Schedule Released - SBNation.com
We've known every NFL team's 2012 opponents for several months, but the NFL has just now released the complete 2012 schedule with all the dates and TV schedules. The first game of the 2012 regular season, as we know, is the New York Giants hosting the Dallas Cowboys. The rest of the NFL schedule -- all 256 games -- can be seen at this link.

NFL Schedule 2012: Plenty Of Story Lines In Week 1, Including Peyton Manning's Debut - SBNation.com
The 2012 NFL schedule was released on Tuesday night and you can already see the story lines developing in Week 1 and we haven't even hit the NFL draft yet. Here are a few of the top story lines that popped to my mind as I skimmed through the first week on the NFL schedule.

Monday Night Football Schedule: Bengals-Ravens, Chargers-Raiders In Week 1 - SBNation.com
ESPN's Monday Night Football schedule for the 2012 NFL season will be kicked off with a pair of divisional rivalries. In Week 1, the Bengals will visit the Ravens and the Raiders will host the Chargers. ESPN traditionally has two Monday Night Football games in Week 1, with the late one on the west coast.

'Sunday Night Football' Schedule Starts With Peyton Manning And Broncos Hosting Steelers - SBNation.com
The 2012 NFL schedule was released on Tuesday night and we now know we'll see Peyton Manning early and often. The new Denver Broncos quarterback is likely the biggest reason the Broncos are hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers in a divisional-round playoff rematch in the first Sunday night game of the season.

'Thursday Night Football' Schedule 2012 Starts With Bears Vs. Packers - SBNation.com
The NFL expanded the NFL Network's "Thursday Night Football" schedule from eight weeks in 2011 to 13 weeks in 2012. The Thursday night schedule now runs from Week 2 all the way through Week 15. This enhanced Thursday night schedule is why every team will get a chance to play in primetime this season.

NFL Schedule 2012: Divisional Games Only In Week 17 Again - SBNation.com
Last year the NFL started tweaking the scheduling process to ensure that Week 17 would feature games by teams in the same division. The idea behind it, according to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, is that those games would be more meaningful late in the year with potential playoff spots up for grabs. The NFL didn't make any changes this year and Week 17 includes only divisional games. One of these games will be flexed to the Sunday night game, which will be the last game of the 2012 regular season.

Memory Loss, Head Trauma An Acceptable Risk For Dominic Raiola - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
Lions center Dominic Raiola has made his peace with an uncomfortable truth about the NFL and the game of football itself: it has serious physical consequences for those who play the game. Raiola told the Detroit News that memory loss, concussions and all the other risks that come with the game are an acceptable price to pay.

Schedule sets up for Sanchez to struggle early | ProFootballTalk
Mark Sanchez will head into the regular season as the Jets’ starting quarterback. But the entire NFL world will be watching for any signs that the Jets could turn to Tim Tebow to take Sanchez’s place. And the Jets’ early schedule isn’t great for Sanchez’s chances of getting off to a good start.

Maurice Jones-Drew Among Those Missing From Jaguars Workouts - SBNation.com
The Jacksonville Jaguars begin voluntary workouts on Tuesday, but running back Maurice Jones-Drew won't be there.

PHOTO: Isaac Redman Models New Steelers Throwback Jersey - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
Amid the all the buzz about the 2012 NFL schedule being released on Tuesday, a honey of a story somehow slipped past the Internet hivemind. With all the workers swarming to cover the latest news about "Monday Night Football" and how many prime-time games will feature Peyton Manning, they nearly flew right past a delightful sweet morsel of information: the Pittsburgh Steelers have released a picture of their new 80th anniversary throwback jerseys for 2012.

Minnesota Vikings Stadium Proposal Fails Vote In State Legislature - SBNation.com
A compromise plan to subsidize a $1 billion Minnesota Vikings stadium project was dealt a serious blow on Monday.

NFL Draft: How Well Do Teams Draft At Skill Positions? - SBNation.com
Your dream scenario, if you're an NFL team: you find Tom Brady in the sixth round. Your nightmare scenario: your No. 1 pick ends up being JaMarcus Russell. Do teams draft well at skill positions? Here's how they did in the 2000s.

Saints' Roman Harper And Will Smith 'Featured Prominently' In Bounty Investigation - SBNation.com
The New Orleans Saints coaches and front office staff have been penalized for their roles in the bounty situation, but now the NFL is going to begin investigating the actual players involved. Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma is bracing for a suspension and was the only player named, but according to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network, two other Saints players may be facing harsh penalties.

Sean Payton Can't Talk To Saints During Suspension, According To Report - SBNation.com
The NFL suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton for a full year for his role in the bounty program. Obviously Payton cannot coach the team during the 2012 NFL season, but he also cannot have any contact with the organization, coaches or players while serving his suspension according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.

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