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12-17-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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Your news for today, the 49ers got toasted by the Chargers making the NFC West look even more pathetic, Donovan McNabb was benched for Sexy Rexy in Washington, and I attended a basketball game for my old school (McClintock) where they pulverized Apache Junction 72-29 in a game that was aired on COX 7.

Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely feels the spotlight
"Jay Feely 22, Denver Broncos 3." That's what the CBS crew put up on the television screen at one point during the Cardinals' game this past Sunday and the image continues to fascinate.

An Emotional Recovery
Hightower's best game -- and season -- crystallized by ability to respond - Cardinals defense starting to jell as unit
While much of the recent talk surrounding the Arizona Cardinals has centered around new quarterback John Skelton, the team's defense has quietly begun to get it together. "The last two weeks we played the way that we could of played all year. Individually and collectively as a defense getting to where we want to be, it's getting there," said Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes.

Fun in the rain
It’s not what anyone in Minnesota or Chicago or Green Bay is dealing with, but there was a little poor weather for the Cardinals’ practice Thursday (and it’s relative — coach Ken Whisenhunt was still wearing shorts) as the rain came down at a steady clip. Which, all things considered, isn’t a bad turn of events. Some rain is forecast for Charlotte this weekend, and while it isn’t supposed to come down Sunday, dealing with a wet field is something useful. "We get something positive out of today’s work," Whisenhunt said. Every once in a while, Whisenhunt likes the idea it’ll rain during the week. Sunny every day seems nice and "I’m not going to complain." But, he added, "At some point we’re going to need to play in it so it’s good to get work in it today."

Arizona Cardinals cause fantasy football controversy
A friend pointed out that there is a controversy brewing in the fantasy-football universe involving our own Arizona Cardinals. Remember when Daryl Washington started celebrating too soon and was stripped of the ball by Lance Ball of the Broncos before scoring on an interception, but Darnell Dockett recovered the fumble for a touchdown? If you had the Arizona defense and thought that was a defensive touchdown in your fantasy league, you might want to double check.

Under the microscope: 15 little things - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Fifteen little things I noticed while watching NFC West teams play in Week 14:

Video Gallery
Whis on Beanie, weather and Anderson

The Big Red Rage with Wilson and Williams
Dan Williams joins the Big Red Rage with Adrian Wilson, Paul Calvisi, and Ron Wolfley!

Phoenix Coyotes blow lead, fall to New York Rangers in shootout
On a night when backup goalies were on display -- on the ice and on the bench -- Martin Biron pulled out a win that no one could've seen coming in the opening minutes. Subbing for No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist, Biron shook off two early goals and held the New York Rangers in it against the Phoenix Coyotes long enough to skate off with a 4-3 victory in a shootout Thursday.

Madden 11 Roster Update #16 Details |
The post NFL week 14 roster update for Madden 11, scheduled to release as usual on Friday, turns out to be much more extensive than last week’s.

Washington Redskins to bench Donovan McNabb for Rex Grossman vs. Dallas Cowboys, reports say - ESPN
The Washington Redskins have decided to start Rex Grossman over Donovan McNabb at quarterback in Dallas on Sunday just a month after signing McNabb to a much-ballyhooed contract extension, according to local media reports, which cited anonymous sources.

Former Fordham quarterback John Skelton continues to prove critics wrong in the NFL with Cardinals
If there's an eighth block of granite, it might be this big, strong-armed Texan, who ended up at Fordham because everyone in the Southwest ignored him. "I thought all along that John would be a better pro than Tim Tebow," Fordham coach Tom Masella was saying the other day. "John is suited to the pro game. He's 6-foot-6 and can throw the ball. I know this, John is not fazed by too many things and he loves to compete. Is he ready to play? Probably not as much as they'd like - but he did an awful lot of nice things out there Sunday and I'm sure he can build on those."

Tim v Beanie, round one
A beautiful day at University of Phoenix Stadium. The sun is shining (which you can see, so it was before the Rams game a couple weeks ago) and the team’s top two running backs decide to sprint 40 yards. Side by side at the same time. Most call this a race. Now that the "event" has hit Youtube, not so much, at least not for Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells after Hightower nips Wells at the end.

John Skelton Bona Fide Arizona Cardinals Starter? 5 Reasons To Feel Good | Bleacher Report
Following injuries to Derek Anderson, and backup Max Hall, the Arizona Cardinals handed fifth round pick John Skelton the reigns for Week 14 against the Broncos. And while most fans left the game feeling positive about Skelton, a few, including Greg Esposito of Sports 620 KTAR were quick to point out that we have been here before, with Max Hall's first win against the Saints. His article, Skelton's first start an awful lot like Hall's pointed out the similarities between Skelton and Hall, and brought a lot of fans back down to earth. In this slideshow, we will take a look at why Skelton has given the fans a lot more to be excited by than either Hall of Anderson has in 2010.

Darnell Dockett: Why He's One of the Best Entertainers in the NFL | Bleacher Report
Darnell Dockett is a Pro Bowl defender for the Arizona Cardinals. The former third-round pick out of Florida State has 28 career sacks from his defensive line position and lives in opponent's backfields. He and Adrian Wilson are the leaders of the Cardinal defense. However, Dockett's talents don't end on the field.

New York Jets' Sal Alosi shows the NFL is full of dirty little secrets
Sweetness is just a nickname in football. Sneak into meeting rooms across the NFL, and you'll find a league full of desperate men and dirty little secrets. Take the Jets' Sal Alosi, the assistant coach suspended for tripping an opposing player during Sunday's loss to the Dolphins. Reports have surfaced that Alosi ordered four inactive players to help form a wall of unflinching muscle, ready to impede any Miami player who stepped over the white line. Who thinks of this stuff? blogs - Kent Somers - Rainy days and Thursday
It's not often that it rains during a Cardinals practice, and whenever it does, coach Ken Whisenhunt gives beat writers (well, me) grief for seeking shelter. Whisenhunt said it's good for the Cardinals to practice in the elements once in awhile. It's supposed to be stormy in Charlotte later this week but it's expected to clear out by Sunday. Quarterback Derek Anderson remains out with a concussion. Anderson has not been cleared because he experiences headaches whenever he exerts himself. To be cleared, a player has to be symptom free for 24 hours after a certain amount of activity. Anderson has declined comment.

2010 NFL Draft redux has Dez Bryant to Raiders - Don Banks -
Mid-December means it's almost time to go into full-blown review mode in terms of 2010, and we always get that process started by looking back at last April's NFL Draft with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight. This is our seventh annual redraft of the first round, and as always our attempt is to divine how things should have unfolded based on what we know now. Remember, rookie-season production carries more weight than potential or projection in our redraft. And honesty compels me to add one thing this year: The teams at the very top of the draft did excellent work. There's little reason to quibble with their choices.

Kansas City Chiefs' Matt Cassel limited in practice, status vs. St. Louis Rams uncertain - ESPN
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel was limited in practice Thursday and his availability for Sunday's game at St. Louis remained unclear. Cassel underwent an emergency appendectomy Dec. 8. He missed last week's game at San Diego, a 31-0 loss that trimmed the Chiefs' lead over the Chargers to one game in the AFC West. Kansas City coach Todd Haley says Cassel and backup Brodie Croyle were both being prepared as possible starters against the Rams.

Denver Broncos' Tim Tebow takes most snaps in practice as injured starter Kyle Orton sits out - ESPN
The debate over whether Tim Tebow is ready for this might just be moot. Tebow is getting more snaps at practice with starter Kyle Orton nursing bruised ribs and the rookie might even get his first extended action of the season -- if not his first start -- when the Denver Broncos visit the Oakland Raiders this weekend.

Report: Rex Grossman to start over McNabb | ProFootballTalk
After a week filled with rumors and denials in Washington, it appears that Mike Shanahan really has decided to go with the nuclear option at quarterback: Rex Grossman. Kelli Johnson of Comcast Sportsnet in Washington reports that Grossman will get the call Sunday in Dallas over Donovan McNabb. She’s told the Redskins locker room is "divided and guys are extremely upset."

49ers vs. Chargers - Recap - December 16, 2010 - NFL - Football -
The San Diego Chargers have regained their December swagger, thanks to Vincent Jackson 's return and a smash-mouth defense.