5-12-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Rookies Get To Work

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Time for todays links as Calais Campbell spoke to the media about his new deal and the rookies started their work with the coaches.

Arizona Cardinals News:

First Day For Floyd
Top pick, along with fellow rookies, feeling their way around minicamp

Campbell Wants To Improve
Despite new $55 million deal, defensive end expects to get better

Arizona Cardinals rookies get 1st taste of NFL action
Cardinals rookies went through their first practice as professionals Friday, and accordingly, miracles were neither expected nor produced. "They get a gold star if they can line up right today," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. There were two practices Friday, two more scheduled for Saturday and another Sunday. The idea is to teach the 47 players in attendance, mostly rookies, enough that they can compete for jobs when the entire team begins practicing in a few weeks.

Arizona Cardinals lock up DE Calais Campbell with reported 5-year, $55 mil deal
Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell wore "the best suit I got" to a news conference in his honor Friday. But most any ensemble would have matched his large smile. Campbell has been smiling since the day the Cardinals drafted him in the second round in 2008. But the grin grew a bit Friday after Campbell signed a five-year deal that NFL sources say is worth $55 million, including $31 million guaranteed. The $11 million a year average makes Campbell the third-highest paid player on the Cardinals, behind receiver Larry Fitzgerald ($16.1 million) and quarterback Kevin Kolb ($12.4 million). With Campbell's signing, the Cardinals locked up one of their best players and freed about $5 million in cap space.

Arizona Cardinals lock up DE Calais Campbell with reported 5-year, $55 mil deal
Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell wore "the best suit I got" to a news conference in his honor Friday. But most any ensemble would have matched his large smile. Campbell has been smiling since the day the Cardinals drafted him in the second round in 2008. But the grin grew a bit Friday after Campbell signed a five-year deal that NFL sources say is worth $55 million, including $31 million guaranteed. The $11 million a year average makes Campbell the third-highest paid player on the Cardinals, behind receiver Larry Fitzgerald ($16.1 million) and quarterback Kevin Kolb ($12.4 million). With Campbell's signing, the Cardinals locked up one of their best players and freed about $5 million in cap space.

Word From the Birds Blog | Rookies take the field for the first time
One practice in — and with just rookies — it’s impossible to know what will happen with any of them. "It was interesting," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "The enthusiasm was great, the effort was great. I didn’t know quite what they were doing all the time." But it was clear Whisenhunt was enjoying the idea of being back on the field, in a totally teaching aspect, knowing that games are months away. That part of his job was lost last year with the lockout. "It makes you appreciate being on the field again," Whisenhunt said.

Word From the Birds Blog | Massie and looking the part
The first thing that strikes you about Bobby Massie is that he is big but not sloppy. So often rookie offensive linemen come in and they don’t look the part. Not yet. But Massie, who stands 6-foot-6 (scouting assistant Josh Scobey, below, had to use a mini-ladder to measure him yesterday) carries his 316 pounds well. In some ways, he doesn’t look like an offensive lineman, and when I mentioned that to him, he just smiled.

Resetting Cardinals' defense with Campbell - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A few considerations on the Arizona Cardinals' defense after the team reached agreement with franchise player Calais Campbell on a five-year contract:

Arizona Cardinals strength coach John Lott to test rookies at minicamp
Officially, Cardinals rookies will be going through a football minicamp Friday through Sunday. But indoctrination would be an accurate description, too. In addition to lessons taught on boards in the classroom and through drills on the field, there will be an immersion program on what it takes to make an NFL roster, and to stay there. "I want them to walk out of here knowing they have done nothing in the National Football League," strength and conditioning coach John Lott said. "It's like, 'What you've done in the past, I'm happy for you. (But) Christmas is over. Mom's vacuuming where the tree used to be.' " The raspy-voiced Lott, who likes to joke that he didn't get that way from singing, is just getting started.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - One rookie practice down
"Well, it was interesting." That's how coach Ken Whisenhunt described the first of five rookie minicamp practices. It's hard to draw many conclusions besides that. Coaches were happy when everyone lined up correctly.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - A John Lott workout
No, as the title of the blog suggest, I didn't work out with John Lott. I did interview the Cardinals strength and conditioning coach the other day, a process that pretty much is comprised of me turning on tape record, Lott putting his feet up on the counter and talking. Here's a portion of what he said:

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - First impressions
Some impressions from the first two practices of minicamp:

Newly-signed Campbell still wants to improve - ArizonaSports.com
Calais Campbell is happy the business of his contract has been taken care of. The 25-year-old defensive lineman and the Cardinals agreed to a five-year contract, ensuring the emerging star remains in the Valley until at least 2016. He couldn't be more pleased.

Cards CB Fleming unfazed about new scheme - ArizonaSports.com
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jamell Fleming is not worried about adjusting to the team's defensive system. The Cardinals' third-round draft pick exudes the utmost confidence when discussing the experience and knowledge he brings from Oklahoma and doesn't expect the learning curve to be too steep.

Cardinals' Whisenhunt relishes time with rookies - ArizonaSports.com
Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt thoroughly enjoys the teaching element of the game of football. So, when the veteran coach held his first practice of the season Friday -- with rookies only -- the feeling on the field was special.

Cards' Floyd encouraged after first minicamp workout - ArizonaSports.com
The Arizona Cardinals got their initial look at highly-touted first-round draft pick Michael Floyd at the inaugural rookie minicamp Friday.

Cards, Campbell Announce Contract
The Arizona Cardinals and Calais Campbell held a press conference to announce a new five-year contract for the defensive end.

Floyd Hits the Field
Cardinals top pick Michael Floyd hit the field for the first time as a pro.

Arizona Sports News:

Arizona Diamondbacks end skid, defeat San Francisco Giants in series opener
For the first four innings of Friday's game against the San Francisco Giants, it looked like the Diamondbacks again were going to succumb to their seasonlong bugaboo of not being able to hit with runners in scoring position. But that all changed in the fifth inning, and the timely hits enabled Arizona to snap a season-high tying five-game losing streak and beat the Giants 5-1 at Chase Field in front of 35,792. The offensive surge - the Diamondbacks had been held to two runs or less in three of their last four games - made a winner of rookie left-hander Patrick Corbin, who gave up a solo homer to outfielder Melky Cabrera in the first inning and then completely shut the Giants down, allowing just three hits in seven innings of work.

Brock Osweiler participates in first camp with Denver Broncos
He's a big, raw Denver Broncos quarterback with throwing issues who worked with UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone on his own time to fix flaws. Sound familiar? While Tim Tebow's messy mechanics needed tons of work, Brock Osweiler needs more tweaks than anything, and he worked this offseason with Mazzone, who was his offensive coordinator at Arizona State and also served as Tebow's throwing coach. The Broncos' second-round draft pick took the field at Dove Valley for the first time Friday, participating in the team's three-day rookie minicamp. Although his right elbow at times dropped below his shoulder and winged out a bit, the 6-foot-8 quarterback showed he's making plenty of progress in capitalizing on his superior size.

Bengals' Marvin Lewis: Vontaze Burfict starting from scratch
NFL rookie minicamps begin today, which means former Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who went undrafted in last month's NFL draft, gets his first opportunity to start proving people wrong. Not long after the draft, Burfict signed a free-agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Vontaze Burfict: "I have a big chip on my shoulder" | ProFootballTalk
The opening of rookie minicamp in Cincinnati today meant the first opportunity to see undrafted free agent Vontaze Burfict in a Bengals uniform. It also meant an opportunity to hear Burfict, and he said getting passed over in the NFL draft made him more motivated than ever. "Not being picked, going undrafted I have a big chip on my shoulder and I’m ready to hit somebody," Burfict told Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

James Harden named NBA's Sixth Man of the Year
Former ASU standout James Harden on Thursday, as widely expected, was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year.

NFL News:

Vince Young, Buffalo Bills Agree To 1-Year Contract - SBNation.com
Vince Young is headed to Buffalo after singing a one-year contract with the Bills. Young, who spent last season as the backup quarterback in Philadelphia, singed a one-year contract with a base salary of $2 million according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. Young can earn an additional $1 million in incentives. Last week, Young traveled to Buffalo to workout for the Bills.

1st Round Pick A.J. Jenkins Out Of Shape, According To Reports - SBNation.com
Twenty-one NFL teams are participating in minicamps for their rookies, undrafted free agents and unsigned invites this weekend, including the San Francisco 49ers. Things may not be going exactly as the team by the bay had hoped, however. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reported that many of the rookies participating in the 49ers minicamp on Friday were slowing down by mid-session, including first-round pick wide receiver A.J. Jenkins. Barrows said that head coach Jim Harbaugh "definitely wasn't impressed" by this lack of stamina.

Rodgers on ideal center: All about butt height and sweat - NFL.com
What makes an ideal starting center in the NFL? We would put strength, agility, intelligence, and durability on the top of our list of attributes. But we have never played quarterback in the NFL and don't really know. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks for different qualities.

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