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11-12-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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Links, links, links, links.

By the way, any other Miami Heat haters out there who are laughing their asses off about them being 5-4 right now?

Whiz on defense, Haggans back, Beanie still sidelined
Coach Ken Whisenhunt wasn’t going to unload on his defense when talking about the unit Thursday, although he did acknowledge he thought they would have been more consistent then they have been. The defense has been unable to close the last three games, first allowing a stumbling Seattle offense three long drives late when the Cards were trying to rally, and then surrendering fourth-quarter leads against Tampa Bay and Minnesota. "That has been a disappointment this year, that we have not been more consistent defensively," he said. "That was an area we thought would be a strength. At times, you have seen what that is. It’s hard for me to complain with the turnovers they have created and the scores off of that, so I have to temper what I say. But as far as consistently be the defense we have seen at times — for a stretch against Seattle, for a stretch against Tampa, even for a stretch against Minnesota — that’s what we need to see more of."

The Risk And Reward Of Stephens-Howling
Exactly how high can you rate a college running back on your draft board when he didn’t even start? When he didn’t even return kicks? When he stood a shade taller than 5-foot-6?

A food drive, Tillman scholars and golf
A few Cardinals-relating happenings you can get involved with: - Cardinals midseason report card: Special teams and coaching
Coaches tend to emphasize the importance of special teams, explaining how they can be the difference in a ballgame. Never has that been truer than in the first eight games of the 2010 season for the Cardinals, whose return game has been both a blessing and a curse. Though not graded, the Cardinals' ability to block kicks has been huge, as it has given them a chance in a couple of games. - Cardinals look for share of first place against Seahawks
A possible share of first place in the NFC West is on the line Sunday for the Arizona Cardinals when the Seattle Seahawks visit University of Phoenix Stadium.

Arizona Cardinals defense perplexing through one half of the season
Through the first half of the season, the Cardinals defense has perplexed coaches, fans and players with its stunning successes and stupefying collapses, often within the same afternoon. That was never more apparent than last week in Minneapolis when the Cardinals controlled the Vikings for three quarters, then gave up 250 yards and 17 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Arizona Cardinals' Clark Haggans back at practice
Outside linebacker Clark Haggans returned to practice Thursday after missing two games with a groin injury and pronounced himself ready to play Sunday against Seattle. Coach Ken Whisenhunt wouldn't go that far, but he's anxious for Haggans to return to the starting lineup. blogs - Kent Somers - Haggans returns; Beanie still out
Running back Beanie Wells (knee) and inside linebacker Paris Lenon (ankle) remained out. The Cardinals are hopeful that both can do something in practice Friday. We've seen, however, that missing two days of practice drastically diminishes Wells' playing time. That's what happened last week and he had only one carry in the game. Lenon, on the other hand, is a 9-year veteran who is able to play despite missing time, Whisenhunt said. "He's probably one of the sharpest guys on our defense," Whisenhunt said. "Making the calls, making the adjustments, he's been very good with that. Has not made very many mistakes at all. Having learned two positions now, because he has to play the Mike and the Will, I have great confidence that if he can play, it (missing practice) won't be an issue."

Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks scouting report, prediction
Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks scouting report, prediction, Kent Somers previews Sunday's pivotal NFC West contest in Glendale. Can the Cardinals rebound from the disaster in Minnesota? blogs - Kent Somers - Learning on the job
Ken Whisenhunt often talks about the need to be patient with young players. Mistakes are going to be made. Lessons will be learned, at least coaches hope that's the case.

Slicing and dicing: These stats enticing - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Back to the chart. It looks at when Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson has been most successful, when he has been so-so and when he has struggled, based on my charting and excluding clock-stopping spike plays. Anderson has some rough second-down numbers. He has completed only 2 of 13 passes for 23 yards and an interception on second down from standard early down personnel groups ("21" personnel with two backs and one tight end, "12" personnel with one back and two tight ends). But he has completed 6 of 7 second-down passes for 58 yards from "20" personnel, four of them to LaRod Stephens-Howling. There were times last season when I thought the Cardinals forced Stephens-Howling onto the field, but Stephens-Howling has obviously grown into the role.

The Big Red Rage with Wilson and Doucet
WR Early Doucet joins the Big Red Rage with Adrian Wilson, Paul Calvisi, and Ron Wolfley.

Warner on Life After Football - Fox Sports Arizona
Live scores, in-depth player and team news, sports videos, rumors, stats, schedules, fantasy games, standings for the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, NCAA Football, Basketball and more on FSN

Cardinals Thank Veterans

They Can’t Lose ‘Em All: Predictions For Arizona’s Home Football Weekend - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Well, last week they finally did it; they completed the reverse-trifecta. Every single major football team within the state of Arizona lost on the road. One bizarre defeat on an extra point return, one miracle comeback by a football legend, and one soul-crushing massacre. Just another weekend in the Valley baby. - Who will win the NFC West?
Sports 620 KTAR's radio hosts were asked, who will win the NFC West? Why will they win the division? Here are their answers.

Cardinals need defense to start performing
Through eight games, the only Bill Davis-themed memorabilia drawing interest from Cardinals fans are effigies and piñatas. blogs - Kent Somers - Friday injury report
Running back Beanie Wells participated in a portion of practice on Friday, and his status for Sunday's game will be much like it was last week. That means he will be a game-time decision, and look for Tim Hightower to start.

Offensive line has taken loads of criticism
It’s a mystery why anyone wants to be an offensive lineman in the NFL. Besides the obvious – the potential to make a lot of money and being encouraged to tip the scales in excess of 300 pounds – offensive linemen are some of the most scrutinized players in the league, yet the accolades are few and far between.

Cardinals report (11.10): Golden opportunity in NFC West
Although the Cardinals have a record of just 3-5 and have lost three consecutive games, Sunday’s contest against Seattle can revive hope for a successful season. A win against the Seahawks could put the Cardinals back into a tie for first in the NFC West and back on track to contend for a division title.

NFC West Penalty Watch: Up and down - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The weekly NFC West Penalty Watch is back with a twist.

The emergency kicker
Injuries happen. Sometimes, even to kickers. Last week, two teams — the Lions and Patriots — were forced to use emergency kickers because their guys got injured. And surprisingly, it wasn’t the punter. The Patriots used wide receiver Wes Welker (who made an extra point) while the Lions went with rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, all 307 pounds of him. Suh does have a background playing soccer and actually looked decent in his form, although he clanged an extra point off the right upright (and it cost the Lions, because they ended up going to overtime after the missing point and lost). The Cardinals aren’t going to turn to punter Ben Graham in that situation, because he doesn’t have a soccer background, having grown up kicking in Australian Rules Football. So if anything did happen to kicker Jay Feely, it would be running back Tim Hightower, who has proven many times on the practice field he could be an adequate sub.

A quartet of questionable
The Cardinals worked with everyone at practice Friday as promised, leaving four players listed as questionable for Sunday’s game: LB Clark Haggans (groin), LB Paris Lenon (ankle), RB Beanie Wells (knee) and DT Darnell Dockett (shoulder). I’d expect all four have a good chance of being active, but coach Ken Whisenhunt has a difficult decisions to make with his 45 men against the Seahawks. blogs - Bob Young - There is a chill upon us in Valley sports
Never mind what the weather forecasters say. You can't trust them anyway. Believe The Heat Index when we tell you this could be the coldest winter in the Valley since The Blizzard of 2003. - Wild weekend in store for NFC West
If you thought the NFC West has been an interesting exercise in mediocrity through nine weeks of the NFL season, just you wait. Things could get even more convoluted after Week 10.

Congrats on that frustrating defeat, coach - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals' dominance against the Seattle Seahawks in recent seasons brought embarrassment for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck on more than one level. When the Seahawks beat Arizona last month, Hasselbeck mistakenly congratulated Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt at midfield, something he had come to do almost by habit. "It was like a programmed response," Hasselbeck told reporters Thursday. "It was like I was used to saying that to him. It was just an accident."

Former New York Jets hostess Jenn Sterger talks to NFL about text messages from Brett Favre - ESPN
The woman who allegedly received lewd photos and inappropriate text messages from Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre met with NFL investigators for three hours Thursday at an undisclosed location in New York City.

Page 2 updates NFL logos to reflect their performance through the first half of the season - ESPN
It's that time again ... where Page 2 examines the NFL logos and gives them the ol' makeover routine. With half the season under our belt, we suggest new team logos to better reflect truth in advertising:

Players' union rejects NFL's health care proposal - NFL -
The players union has rejected a proposal from the NFL on long-term care for former players, saying the supplemental policy would exclude too many of them.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre reiterates this will be last season - ESPN
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre said this would be his last season at a news conference in August. "I can promise you this: Not that I have ever set out as a goal to play 20 years, it's 20 years and I'm done. This is the last year of my contract," he said when the season began. But, perhaps because Favre has made a habit of changing his mind, the NFL Network asked the question again Thursday. Will Favre return to play in 2011?

Chad Pennington, Jason Garrett need to make quick impact - Peter King -
Pressure is on Pennington, Garrett; plus 10 things to watch for Sunday

Matt Ryan vs. Joe Flacco kicks off Quarterback Week in the NFL - Don Banks -
Welcome to Quarterback Week in the NFL, as if every week in Roger Goodell's league isn't QB-centric in some form or fashion.

Browns' Marcus Benard not practicing one day after fainting - NFL -
Browns linebacker Marcus Benard sat out practice on Friday, one day after fainting in Cleveland's locker room.

DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Tyrell Sutton out for Panthers - NFL -
The Carolina Panthers are down to fourth-string running back Mike Goodson for Sunday's game at Tampa Bay. DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Tyrell Sutton all missed practice again Friday with injuries and won't play against the Buccaneers. Goodson will be promoted to starter for the NFL's 26th-ranked rushing unit.

New York Giants WR Steve Smith out at least Sunday with injury - ESPN New York
New York Giants wide receiver Steve Smith won't play in Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys and could miss more time because of a pectoral injury. An MRI revealed that the injury is a partial tear of the muscle. It will need rest but no surgery.

The Miami Heat Lose Again: So What's Wrong In South Beach? -
After Thursday night's loss to the Boston Celtics, it's time to take a step back and look at the Miami Heat. And laugh. Because it may too early to write off Miami, but remember all the rallies? The predictions? When Chris Bosh was considered part of the greatest trio ever?

Jaguars lose Aaron Kampman for the season | ProFootballTalk
In only eight games, Aaron Kampman had transformed himself into the leader of the Jaguars defense, not to mention their best defensive lineman.

Lockout talk sends mixed messages - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
The excitement-filled emails flood my inbox like New York Giants pass rushers descending upon Jay Cutler, each message more triumphant and upbeat than the next.

Brett Favre tells NFL Network in interview that he is not coming back for 2011 season
Brett Favre, who has made it practically an annual game of whether he will retire or not each season, told the NFL Network Thursday night he will not play in 2011.

Roddy White admits to pass interference on game-winning play | ProFootballTalk
On one hand, a penalty is a penalty only if a penalty is called. On the other hand, if a guy admits to a committing a penalty that wasn’t called, plenty of people will think it was a penalty.

Week 10 Friday 10-pack | ProFootballTalk
It’s Week 10. It’s Friday. It’s time for the 10-pack. We could say more. Or we could just get to the 10 takes for the upcoming weekend of action.

Ravens vs. Falcons - Recap - November 11, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Having a squandered a 13-point lead, Matty Ice and his favorite receiver looked at each on the sideline and knew what they had to do. Take it to the end zone.