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12-11-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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One more day until the John Skelton era begins...

Skelton Named Starting QB
Rookie gets first chance, Bartel to back up with Anderson sidelined

Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals turn to rookie QB John Skelton - ESPN
Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt named rookie John Skelton as his starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos. Starter Derek Anderson has missed practice this week with a concussion and hasn't been cleared to play. He's listed as doubtful. Max Hall went on the injured reserve list, leaving Skelton as the only option.

Arizona Cardinals to start quarterback John Skelton
John Skelton had no difficulty handling practice this week until just minutes after Friday's workout ended. Named the starter for Sunday's game by coach Ken Whisenhunt, Skelton conducted an interview with the Cardinals Spanish broadcasting team. - History doesn't favor Cardinals versus Broncos
The Denver Broncos are the only current NFL franchise that the Arizona Cardinals have never defeated. It's a streak that has lasted through three states (Missouri, Colorado and Arizona), three name changes (St. Louis, Phoenix, Arizona Cardinals), 24 different passing leaders (including Jake Plummer and Steve Beuerlein for both teams), five different home stadiums and 20 different head coaches. Since their first meeting in 1973 the Cardinals are a dismal 0-7-1 against the Broncos and have lost by a combined score of 235-86.

Quietly, Feely's Standout Season
Jay Feely is a better kicker than he used to be. His first four years in the NFL – with Atlanta – weren’t the same as the six since, even with the Falcons’ climate-controlled dome. These days, Feely is confident every kick will go through the uprights.

Friday before the Broncos
John Skelton, starting quarterback. If you would have told me back at the beginning of August that would be the case in early December, I would have said, "Uh oh." But this is where the Cards sit, a season off the rails, record-wise, and even though coach Ken Whisenhunt was basically pushed into this situation because of circumstances, I agree with many that this is the best decision to make.

LaRod Stephens-Howling a lone bright spot in a dismal Arizona Cardinals season - Phoenix Arizona Cardinals |
In a season that very quickly got away, the Arizona Cardinals do have at least one player worthy of Pro Bowl consideration - kick returner and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling.

Video Gallery
First Look - The Ken Whisenhunt Show - Week 14

Video Gallery
Skelton to make first career start

Video Gallery
Uno A Uno Con John Skelton

Phoenix Suns start slow again, continue slide in 101-94 loss to Portland Trail Blazers
It is a good thing this Suns team was not the one playing Portland in the first round of the playoffs in April. They would be on the brink of a sweep after losing to the Trail Blazers for the third time in as many games this season Friday. The Suns' 101-94 loss to Portland on Friday at US Airways Center also put Phoenix on a three-game losing streak for the second time this season.

Ken Whisenhunt Making Ends Meet By Taking Second Head Coach Job | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
With the economy in crisis and an NFL lockout looming, Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters Monday that he had no choice but to take a position as head coach of the St. Louis Rams in order to "keep [his] head above water." "I got a wife and two kids, and college tuition certainly isn't getting any cheaper," said Whisenhunt, who added that the stress of the 1,476-mile commute—as well as poor play from Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson and the ongoing maturation process of Sam Bradford—was really starting to get to him. "At least last week both teams played each other, so I only had the one game to attend. Even then I had to come up with two different halftime speeches, and afterwards I was so tired I accidentally got on the team plane to St. Louis instead of going back to my house. But hey, at least we got the win." NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is reportedly aware of Whisenhunt's situation, but unable to take disciplinary action because he's too busy moonlighting as head of the NHL.

Former UA assistant Eric Studesville hits the big time Sunday
Eric Studesville wasn't sure whether he wanted to pursue coaching as a profession when he joined Dick Tomey's staff at the University of Arizona as a graduate assistant in 1991. A defensive back who had just finished his college career at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Studesville just knew he wanted to "hang around football." But he got so much out of that first year with the Wildcats that he decided to make coaching his life. Some 20 years later, it's led him to his first chance at being a head coach in the NFL. Earlier this week, Studesville was promoted from the Denver Broncos' running backs coach to interim head coach after owner Pat Bowlen dismissed second-year head coach Josh McDaniels.

Arizona kicker Jay Feely the Cardinals only consistent offensive threat in 2010 - Phoenix Arizona Cardinals |
Not too long ago, the Arizona Cardinals were a serious offensive threat. However, things change and the Cardinals once potent offense has struggled of late. The team has only scored one touchdown in the last three games (and that was on the last play of a 31-13 loss in Kansas City). Aside from offensive inconsistency, the only constant in the Cardinals offense has been kicker Jay Feely. Signed as a free agent this spring from the New York Jets, Feely has quietly put up strong numbers that include 21 successful PAT attempts and 15 of 16 field goal attempts. Feely’s 93.8 field goal percentage is the second-best in the NFL (Rob Bironas, 95.5%).

Arizona Cardinals vs. Denver Broncos scouting report
Arizona Cardinals vs. Denver Broncos scouting report, Kent Somers breaks down Sunday's matchup and offers his prediction.

Skelton to start for Cardinals | ProFootballTalk
The Arizona Cardinals are scraping the bottom of the barrel for starting quarterbacks. Rookie John Skelton will make the first start of his NFL career on Sunday, and Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt didn’t hide the fact that going to Skelton was a last resort. "Didn’t really have a choice," Whisenhunt said, noting that Max Hall is on injured reserve and Derek Anderson hasn’t been cleared to return from a concussion.

Denver Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox arrested for felony sexual assault
Denver Broncos rookie cornerback Perrish Cox has been arrested for investigation of felony sexual assault, police said Friday. Michelle Kivela, the public information officer for the city of Lone Tree, Colo., said Cox was arrested Thursday night following an investigation into an Oct. 28 incident and was transported to a nearby county jail.

Final Word: NFC West - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Cardinals must make a (home) stand. The Cardinals had to smile a little when they checked out their schedule heading into the season. Sure, they opened with three of four on the road, but having three in a row at home beginning Nov. 29 was going to put them in position to finish the season strong. Not quite. The Cardinals have lost the first two games of that three-game home stand, extending their overall losing streak to seven. Losing to the Denver Broncos in Week 14 would guarantee a losing home record for Arizona this season, something the Cardinals haven't experienced since going 3-5 at home in 2006.

NFL to Cards' Branch: Lay off Bradford - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The NFL has levied a $10,000 fine against Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Alan Branch for a helmet-to-helmet hit on St. Louis Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford in Week 13. The fourth-quarter hit drew a penalty for roughing the passer. This was Branch's second infraction, according to the NFL. The other came during a 2009 exhibition game.

Cardinals ownership now getting blamed for quarterback mess | ProFootballTalk
The Cardinals quarterback situation has been a disaster since training camp started through Friday’s announcement that John Skelton would start Sunday against the Broncos. Ken Whisenhunt has rightfully taken a lot of blame for the situation, but an article in the Arizona Republic Friday tried to re-direct some of the mess to Cardinals ownership. Whisenhunt reportedly wanted Marc Bulger brought aboard. - Cardinals name Skelton starter versus Denver
The mystery is over, if there really was one. Friday afternoon Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt named rookie John Skelton as the starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos. - Broncos coaching change leaves Cardinals guessing
The Denver Broncos are the only NFL franchise the Arizona Cardinals have never beaten. The Red Birds are 0-7-and-1 all-time against the team that calls the Mile High City home. Earning that first victory may prove more challenging than it seemed just a few days ago. - Espo: Is a Cards reality show the answer?
There's a million solutions that have been bandied about for the Arizona Cardinals' quarterback situation. The problem is, most of those solutions wouldn't be able to be implemented until the offseason. Like most people in my generation, I'm looking for immediate results and immediate entertainment. That's why I've concocted a plan that could provide fans with both for the rest of the 2010 season. Before we get into the solution, I have a confession to make. I'm a reality show addict.

Arizona Cardinals Prediction For Denver Broncos Tilt: Bring On The Skelton Era - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
As the losing streak is pushed to seven, is there any hope left for the struggling Arizona Cardinals? With a new quarterback (or two) in tow, the Red Birds look to get back on the winning track as the equally struggling Denver Broncos ride into town with a fresh coach and a positive outlook. Can the Cardinals rediscover their winning ways or will the Broncos live up to the trend and steamroll the home team in their own building? Let's take a look.

Mailbag: Excitement for Cards' Skelton - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Mike from Costa Mesa, Calif., writes: Hey, Sando! Yeah, I'm the "Mike from Costa Mesa" that was so high on John Skelton and that you called out when the Cardinals drafted him. I'm still high on the guy, and truly believe he will be a starting QB in the NFL before too long, but I am not convinced that he is ready to do so right now. On the other hand, it is a real mystery to me why the Cardinals would sign Richard Bartel, of all people. I mean, if they were serious about trying to win games this season, why not make an offer to the guy that Bartel was backing up, Daunte Culpepper? Help me to understand the logic here.

Cards to join dubious list if Skelton starts - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Arizona's John Skelton could become the third quarterback to start for the Cardinals this season. Six teams have already used three starters: Carolina, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, Pittsburgh and Tennessee. The 9-3 Steelers are the only one with a winning record. Nine teams have used two: Arizona, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Jacksonville, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle. Three have winning records (Bears, Jaguars, Eagles).

Jerry Jones: Tony Romo has to be best option to take Dallas Cowboys reins - ESPN Dallas
Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones is optimistic that quarterback Tony Romo will be ready to play by Christmas, but Romo's health won't be the only factor considered on whether he plays again this season. Once Romo is cleared medically to return from a broken left collarbone, the Cowboys' front office and coaching staff will determine whether the team has a better chance to win by playing its franchise quarterback or 38-year-old backup Jon Kitna.