4-21-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Tillman Run

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Time for todays links as we go into the weekend and the day of the Pat Tillman run.

Also, more NFL Draft stuff.

Arizona Cardinals News:

When They Don't Call Your Name
Sendlein represents the other side of draft emotions

Graves: Cards repairing relationship with Kolb - ArizonaSports.com
It's been over a month since the Peyton Manning saga ended for the Cardinals, and general manager Rod Graves still feels there is mending to be done with quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Cardinals GM Rod Graves won't 'fall in love' with any draft prospect - ArizonaSports.com
Cardinals general manager Rod Graves knows better than to "fall in love" with a player just before the NFL Draft. "I stay away from falling in love with one player," Graves told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Thursday. "I think the process, as you very well know, if I have fallen in love with him you can rest assured that there are many others out there that have fallen in love with him too. "There's too many opportunities for my heart to be broken that way." So, Graves said he and the Cardinals will simply stick to the strategy of creating a draft board and selecting the best available player, regardless of need.

Pat Tillman's widow starts new chapter
During the extensive coverage that followed Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan, it was the face of his widow, Marie, that often stayed with us. There was grace in her stoicism but profound sadness, too, as her grief played out on a national stage. How would she move forward? One part of the answer lies amid a crowd of tens of thousands of people who will inundate Tempe on Saturday.

Word From the Birds Blog | Remembering Tillman
My wife asked me last night, in the course of a conversation, if Pat Tillman and Larry Fitzgerald had ever been teammates. No, I told her. Tillman was killed the day before Fitz was drafted by the Cardinals. Obviously draft time jars some Tillman memories. So too does the fact Pat’s Run — the annual 4.2-mile jaunt around and in Sun Devil Stadium, which sold out with an astounding 28,000 people this year — will be tomorrow. I’m taking part for the seventh straight year, part of a group of us from the Cards that includes coach Ken Whisenhunt.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Need a boost for Pat's run, or anything else?
Tomorrow's Pat's Run sold out last week, so it's too late to register. To me, however, it doesn't mean you can't participate in some way. One day this week, run, walk, crawl or whatever. My goal in running is not so much to remember Pat Tillman, although that's nice, but to acknowledge what he and others have done.

When character concerns can be overrated - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Seattle Seahawks fans know their team once avoided at almost any cost NFL draft prospects with known issues reflecting poorly on the players' character. That was the emphasis of former general manager Tim Ruskell, who drove home the message in a letter he sent to players following his 2005 hiring. "We must be held accountable for our own actions, year round," the letter read. A study conducted by a Hamilton College economics student shows Ruskell backed up his words. The study covered 2005-09, the years Ruskell worked for Seattle, and it identified the Seahawks as the only team to draft no players with known off-field issues (suspensions, arrests, etc.). The NFC West-rival Arizona Cardinals used a league-high 27 percent of their draft choices on such players during the period in question, the study found. The San Francisco 49ers ranked tied for third at 20 percent.

Arizona Sports News:

Arizona Diamondbacks shut down by Atlanta Braves again
Where is the spark? The Diamondbacks, nagged by injuries and unable to get the all-around solid performance that carried them to the National League West title a season ago, fell flat again Friday night. Mystified by Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy, the Diamondbacks were drubbed 9-1, suffering their fourth loss in a row in front of 27,761 at Chase Field. This came a night after the Braves scored a 10-2 win. The Braves, who opened the season with four consecutive losses, have won nine of their past 10, scoring 79 runs.

Vontaze Burfict: Draft me and you get a great middle linebacker | ProFootballTalk
With the NFL draft starting in six days, Vontaze Burfict knows he needs to change perceptions about him.

NFL News:

Evidence piling up against early kickoffs - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Bravo to Jim Harbaugh and the 2011 San Francisco 49ers for proving West Coast teams could flourish against a schedule packed with dreaded 10 a.m. PT kickoffs. The 49ers went 5-0 in those games, including 4-0 when those games were in the Eastern time zone. That was a monumental achievement, but also an aberration for all but the very best Western teams, notably the great 49ers teams of decades past. After hammering on this issue for years out of a sense of Western duty, it's great to know backup has arrived. Scott Kacsmar's piece for Cold, Hard Football Facts takes the research to another level, demonstrating more convincingly the disadvantage Western teams face heading East.

Note To NFL Teams: Draft Players Who've Been Arrested - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
The NFL Draft is approaching, and teams all over the NFL will have tough decisions to make. And, according to a professor who recently conducted a study on the NFL Draft, "If you're on the fence about a player and worried about his criminal record, the data says take a chance." Today is 4/20, for instance.

Ryan Grant, Tim Hightower Visit The Patriots - SBNation.com
Ryan Grant and Tim Hightower visited the New England Patriots on Friday. The Pats are looking for help in their offensive backfield after losing BenJarvus Green-Ellis in free agency.

Clay Matthews says he’ll never get over loss to the Giants | ProFootballTalk
Three months after losing to the Giants in the playoffs, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews says he’s not over that loss — and doesn’t think he ever will be.

Robert Griffin III Has Character Issues Now, And The NFL Ruins Everything - SBNation.com
Surprise! RG3's a terrible person, say a couple of NFL scouts, so disregard everything you've learned from three years of watching him. The NFL has spoken.

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