6-14-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Minicamp

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Time for todays links, including a little Fanfest recap.

Anyone go? How was it? I heard the lines were huge.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Notes, observations from Cards' FanFest - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The roughly 15,000 people at University of Phoenix Stadium cheered loudest when receivers Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald snatched deep passes during the Arizona Cardinals' FanFest practice Wednesday night. While those plays were naturally favorites, the ones most significant to the Cardinals' 2012 season generated no discernible buzz. These three plays meant everything to second-year running back Ryan Williams, who was back on the field for his most extensive work since suffering a torn patella during the 2011 exhibition season.

Observations from Cardinals' early practice - NFC West Blog - ESPN
What I learned from watching the Arizona Cardinals' walk-through practice at team headquarters Wednesday:

Not to be flippant, but Cards aiming high - NFC West Blog - ESPN
You might recall Ray Horton, upon his 2011 hiring as Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator, promising to blitz on the very first play of the season. That same aggressive approach comes through more than a year later. I found out the easy way, by asking Horton, 52, what seemed like an innocuous question: How far ahead was he personally with a year of experience? Or, more broadly, what had he learned about himself and the job?

Word From the Birds Blog | Williams gets his first carries amid FanFest
I remember, once upon a time, when the Cards had their annual fan-watching-minicamp practices at Sun Devil Stadium when it was called Select-a-Seat. Those days were hot — those metal bleachers really intensified the heat — and didn’t quite have the same vibe as Wednesday night at University of Phoenix Stadium. The turnstile count was just north of 15,000 (the FanFests at the Tempe facility usually get around 5,000), an impressive turnout.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - A night in the Stadium
The Cardinals held their annual Fan Fest at University of Phoenix Stadium Wednesday night, and it appeared to be a huge success. Team officials said the crowd exceeded 15,000, according to turnstile count. By anecdotal evidence, I'd say maybe 45,000 hot dogs were consumed. They only cost $1, as did drinks.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Contract details for Floyd, Fleming
Here are contract details for the Cardinals top two picks:

Fleming Feeling Comfortable
Rookie cornerback expects to contribute right away

Arizona Cardinals confident in running back corps
His starting running back has spent more time with an athletic trainer than teammates in practice. And until Wednesday night, the backup hadn't participated in full-squad drills this off-season. So it's no wonder Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt preferred to tiptoe around a question about how his young running backs might complement each other this season. "I'm not going to talk a lot about it," Whisenhunt said, "because when I start telling you about how excited I am, then something is going to happen." If the group is healthy, here's what the Cardinals think they have.

Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt: Quarterback choice a 'process'
Ideally, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt was asked on Wednesday, would he like a quick resolution to the quarterback competition between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton? Whisenhunt couldn't resist taking the opening. "If it was up to me, I'd prefer we had a quarterback resolution two years ago," he said. "But obviously that hasn't happened." Four different quarterbacks have started games for the Cardinals since Kurt Warner retired after the 2009 season. The Cardinals won 13 games in that time.

Cardinals QB battle on national radar - ArizonaSports.com
We are not the only ones interested to see how the Kevin Kolb versus John Skelton battle plays out. The two are expected to continue their competition for the team's starting QB role all through training camp, with neither supposedly having an edge as of now. It's a situation worth keeping an eye on, that's for sure, and as Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com puts it, the Arizona job is fifth on the list of The Top Battles to Be QB1.

Arizona Cardinals DE Vonnie Holliday still has 'itch' to play
Holliday is proud that he's back for a 15th NFL season, his second with the Cardinals, after retirement crossed his mind this off-season.

Whisenhunt wanted QB resolution two years ago - ArizonaSports.com
At the first of two Arizona Cardinals minicamp practices Wednesday, John Skelton filled the role of first-team quarterback. Tuesday, it was Kevin Kolb running with the ones. The alternating between the two quarterbacks sharing first team reps has been a constant throughout the team's OTAs and minicamp practices. The competition will continue throughout training camp next month in Flagstaff as the Cardinals get ready for their season opener September 7 against Seattle at University of Phoenix Stadium. And while the quarterback competition will certainly be the main focus surrounding the team for the next two and a half months, head coach Ken Whisenhunt wishes it didn't have to be.

Arizona Cardinals looking for leaders on offense
Finding a leader on the Cardinals defense isn't hard. The tough detective work is in finding a follower in a unit that includes strong personalities and a few impressive resumes. That's not the case on offense, which features receiver Larry Fitzgerald ... and? To coach Ken Whisenhunt, however, there isn't a dearth of leadership on offense. He's confident that some already have emerged behind the scenes -- tight end Jeff King, center Lyle Sendlein, guard Daryn Colledge and tackle Levi Brown, for example -- and that others, like whoever starts at quarterback, have the character traits to do so.

Word From the Birds Blog | Gay’s potential Olympic trip
William Gay spent his Tuesday night on the internet, looking up flights. He’s hoping to go to the Olympics in August, although no, the cornerback is not some crazy two-sport star. His girlfriend, Natasha Hastings, is a track star, Olympic veteran and gold medal winner in 2008. He’d like to support her effort in the 2012 Games in England, and coach Ken Whisenhunt is open to working with Gay. It’s not a simple process, since the cornerback will be in the middle of training camp. The finals for Hastings’ events are on Aug. 5, which is the same day the Cardinals play the Saints in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. That’s a long way from London.

Word From the Birds Blog | Whiz patient with QB battle, and ‘lil Sweetness confident
There may be #CardsFanFest tonight but the Cards still had their "other" minicamp workout (a walkthrough) and then coach Ken Whisenhunt talked a little bit about his quarterback battle. No, nothing has been resolved yet. John Skelton and Kevin Kolb continue to share first-unit work. When he was asked if he is hoping he can make a decision sooner rather than later, Whisenhunt couldn’t help but let out a small smile. ""If it was up to me, I’d prefer we had a quarterback resolution two years ago. Obviously that hasn’t happened. When it happens it happens.

Arizona Sports News:

Arizona Diamondbacks offense silent in loss to Texas Rangers
Ryan Roberts sat at his locker, a towel around his waist, his head down. Reluctantly, he pulled himself out of his chair and started to talk about the play he couldn't make in the eighth inning Wednesday, the play that proved to be the difference in the Diamondbacks' 1-0 loss to the Texas Rangers. "You wish you woulda, wish you coulda," Roberts said. "At the end of the day, nobody's carrying it worse than me." Roberts couldn't handle a hard shot at third base off the bat of the Rangers' Craig Gentry, the ball caroming off his glove and into left field to allow Mike Napoli to score the game's only run and spoil an otherwise brilliant performance from Diamondbacks rookie Wade Miley. Standing about 30 feet to Roberts' right, shortstop Willie Bloomquist didn't have time to react until the ball was in left field. He called it a play that not many -- if any -- third basemen will make.

Chans Cox, Joshua Dobbs commitments give ASU a big day
Arizona State coach Todd Graham and his staff had a pretty big recruiting day Wednesday, securing 2013 commitments from Lakeside Blue Ridge linebacker Chans Cox and Alpharetta, Ga., quarterback Joshua Dobbs. They helped off-set the loss of Phoenix Brophy Prep quarterback Tyler Bruggman, who chose Washington State over the Sun Devils.

Goldwater Institute files lawsuit in Glendale's Phoenix Coyotes deal
The Goldwater Institute is suing Glendale in an attempt to invalidate last week's City Council vote to approve a $324 million lease agreement with a likely Phoenix Coyotes buyer.

NFL News:

Giants Coach 'Disappointed' Jake Ballard Is Headed To Patriots - SBNation.com
The New York Giants took an unnecessary risk this week when they waived Jake Ballard to make room for defensive tackle Rocky Bernard. The Giants didn't have to expose Ballard to the waiver wire but they did anyway and it came back to bite them when the New England Patriots, the only team ahead of the Giants on the waiver wire, claimed Ballard.

Chase Daniel's Injury Means Saints Are Down Another QB - SBNation.com
Chase Daniel broke his thumb at Saints practice this week, an injury that will keep him out until training camp.

Brian Banks Works Out For Chiefs; Seahawks' Minicamp Is Next - SBNation.com
Brian Banks worked out with the Kansas City Chiefs on Tuesday, and will join Pete Carroll at the Seattle Seahawks' minicamp on Wednesday and Thursday. The 26-year-old linebacker spent five years in prison after being falsely accused of rape. At the time, he was gearing up to accept a scholarship offer from USC as one of the top high school prospects in the country. His legal trouble intervened, but it appears now Banks will get his chance to make good on his NFL aspirations.

Brees deal is expected to "go down to the last minute" | ProFootballTalk
Despite multiple reports last week that the Saints and quarterback Drew Brees were "close" to a long-term deal that could be finalized by Monday, Monday has come and gone without a deal being done. As has Tuesday. Several more Mondays and Tuesdays will come and go before Brees and the Saints resolve their differences. Per a source with knowledge of the talks, the negotiations are expected to "go down to the last minute."

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