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12-18-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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One more day until the legendary rematch between the Cardinals and the Panthers. Hopefully Nash is okay after the neck injury he suffered in the Suns game last night too.

Defensive Change Without Change
Recent renaissance of sorts comes despite few adjustments

Finishing before the trip
The Cards are flying out today for their Carolina road trip, to be better acclimated for the early kickoff and the vaunted "East Coast" game which dominated the storylines back in 2008 — basically, up until the point the Cards went to Carolina in the playoffs and won.

Arizona Cardinals have trouble holding on to the ball this season
There are numerous ways to quantify the Cardinals' passing game woes: completion percentage (last in NFL), average yards gained (31st in NFL), points scored (tied for 26th) and overall record (4-9). The problems at quarterback have been well chronicled, but the Cardinals also have had more dropped passes (12.7 percent of attempts) than any other team.

Quieting the McNabb-to-Arizona speculation before it starts | ProFootballTalk
Deion Sanders — who I think is oddly underrated as an analyst on NFL Network — had one of the best takes on the Donovan McNabb mess via Twitter Friday. "Replacing McNabb with Grossman is like replacing Beyonce in Destiny’s Child with Macy Gray," Sanders wrote. "She can sang but it ain’t Beyonce." His next item was a little less on target: "You heard it from Prime 1st," Sanders wrote. "McNaab to Arizona. Back to the crib and you will be wanted and needed and you inherit 2 good backs and rec[eiver]."

NFC West could inspire playoff re-seeding | ProFootballTalk
It usually takes an attention-grabbing event to change the NFL rulebook. Last year’s Saints-Vikings NFC Championship helped change the overtime rules, at least for the playoffs. Falcons president and co-chair of the NFL Competition Committee Rich McKay hopes that the current state of the NFC West forces the league to change its playoff seeding methods starting in 2011.

Final Word: NFC West - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Returning to Carolina. The Arizona Cardinals have set a franchise record with nine return touchdowns. The Carolina Panthers have allowed five return touchdowns this season. Only Cincinnati (eight), San Diego (six) and Minnesota (six) have allowed more. The Cardinals' Adrian Wilson might be due for one. He has watched teammate and fellow safety Kerry Rhodes score two return touchdowns this season. If Wilson is going to get one, where better than in his native North Carolina? blogs - Kent Somers - Jumping to McConclusions
It's usually February before the Donovan McNabb to the Cardinals speculation begins, but his benching this weekend changed the timetable apparently. Deion Sanders tweeted that McNabb would end up in Arizona, and Deion said we should all remember where we heard it first. I don't remember where I heard it first but it was two or three years ago, not Friday.

Friday before the Panthers
We’re in the air on the way to Carolina for this edition of "Friday before." Derek Anderson missed a second straight week of practices, so – barring something unforeseen – the Cardinals will have two QBs Sunday: John Skelton, and backup Richard Bartel.

Video Gallery
Wolf's Building The Game Plan - Week 15

Video Gallery
First Look - The Ken Whisenhunt Show - Week 15

NFL Videos: Week 15: Cardinals vs. Panthers Preview
A preview of the Week 15 matchup between the Cardinals and the Panthers.

Phoenix Suns lose Steve Nash early before falling to Dallas Mavericks 106-91
This Suns road trip already had potential to be like a Griswold family vacation with stops over four days in Dallas, Oklahoma City and San Antonio, three of the West's top five teams. Losing Steve Nash in the first five minutes of the trip's first game would make you want to turn the plane around. - Quick Facts: Arizona vs. Carolina
The Arizona Cardinals will be taking on the Carolina Panthers with John Skelton making his second start at quarterback. - Espo: Cards-Panthers game brings back memories
The game is a reminder of a time that, at least for this season, has passed. A time when head coach Ken Whisenhunt and the Cards were the talk of the town and were grabbing headlines across the country. See, the last time the Cardinals took the field at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte it was a cold Saturday evening in early January 2009. They had just come off a wild victory in the first-round of the playoffs against the Atlanta Falcons and were big underdogs against the 12-4 Panthers who were coming off a first-round bye.

NFL Week 15 Picks Against The Spread: Ravens-Saints And Jets-Steelers Headline Leave Us Puzzled - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Our experts give their NFL Week 15 picks against the spread with extra focus on three games.

McNabb and the Hasselbeck exit strategy - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Donovan McNabb's reported benching as the Washington Redskins' starting quarterback comes after his team fell from contention in the NFC East race. The move would make less sense if the Redskins found themselves in the Seattle Seahawks' position: fighting for a playoff spot (despite a losing record). news: Redskins' McNabb benched; Grossman to start vs. Cowboys
Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan told reporters Friday that Rex Grossman will start Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, and six-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb has been benched for the remainder of the season, barring injury. The shocking move isn't sitting well with the players.

Official: Field not too hard, will be ready for MNF's Chicago Bears-Minnesota Vikings game - ESPN
A University of Minnesota official says the playing field at TCF Bank Stadium is fairly soft despite frigid temperatures and he's confident it will be ready for Monday night's Minnesota Vikings-Chicago Bears game. The Vikings home game had to be moved to the stadium after the Metrodome's roof buckled under snow last weekend.

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers doubtful; Matt Flynn prepped to play - ESPN
The Green Bay Packers have listed quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who suffered his second concussion of the season last week, as doubtful for Sunday night's game against the New England Patriots.

Matt Cassel of Kansas City Chiefs questionable, but hopeful, to face St. Louis Rams - ESPN
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel had his most extensive practice in the past three days Friday and remains hopeful of playing Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.

Troy Polamalu of Pittsburgh doubtful against New York Jets with ankle injury - ESPN
Steelers safety Troy Polamalu (ankle) is listed as doubtful for Sunday' game against the Jets.

Michael Vick of Philadelphia Eagles traces career renewal to Atlanta Falcons' failed 2006 - ESPN
Michael Vick says he knows distinctly when he decided to change his preparation as a quarterback, a renewed discipline that would feed this season's Pro Bowl-caliber effort. But it doesn't trace to his time in prison or his season as a backup for Donovan McNabb with the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick says it became apparent in 2006 after the Atlanta Falcons missed the playoffs that it was time to rethink things.

Shanahans pull another fast one, bench McNabb - NFC East Blog - ESPN
Well at least Mike and Kyle Shanahan know how to keep things interesting. By this time last season, the Redskins were simply playing out the string under lame-duck coach Jim Zorn. On Friday morning, news broke that the Redskins had once again benched starting quarterback Donovan McNabb, this time for good.

Donovan McNabb will become a third-string quarterback | ProFootballTalk
Just when you think the Redskins quarterback situation couldn’t get any more ridiculous, coach Mike Shanahan has found a new way to "disrespect" Donovan McNabb. John Beck will pass McNabb on the depth chart on the depth chart next week, in addition to Rex Grossman. McNabb will be the backup Sunday, then slide into a No. 3 role.

McNabb’s agent tees off on benching | ProFootballTalk
Though the tea leaves have been in place since Sunday, when FOX’s Jay Glazer first reported that Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb could be benched for Rex Grossman, coach Mike Shanahan’s decision to flip the switch from franchise quarterback to a guy with the accuracy of a sawed-off shotgun who has been bouncing around the league since losing his job in Chicago is a stunner.

Week 15 Friday 10-pack | ProFootballTalk
With three weeks left in the 2010 regular season and 23 teams still alive for the postseason, there are plenty of story lines going into Week 15.

McNabb benched for Grossman, Redskins players furious - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
The ongoing soap opera in Washington took another twist on Friday as the Redskins announced that their $40 million quarterback, Donovan McNabb, will be benched for Sunday's game in favor of Rex Grossman. It was just eight months ago that McNabb was hailed as the team's savior following a trade from Philadelphia and only 32 days since he signed that massive contract extension to stay in Washington. Now, he's a third-string quarterback, playing behind a guy who's started one game in the past three seasons and a 29-year old who has thrown one touchdown pass in his NFL career.

The Cowboys are excited for Rex Grossman’s promotion | ProFootballTalk
The news that Rex Grossman would start at quarterback Sunday for the Redskins caused howls in Washington, but a far different reaction in Dallas where Grossman would be playing. "Everybody started smiling," Dallas defensive end Jason Hatcher said via Rick Maese of the Washington Post. "We were pretty happy about the news. . . . We’ll take Rex over McNabb any day."

McNabb’s benching could cost him up to $93,000 | ProFootballTalk
Some have speculated that the Redskins benched quarterback Donovan McNabb in order to avoid the upgrading of the fourth-round pick they owe the Eagles in 2011 to a third-rounder. There’s a belief that the 2011 selection becomes a third-round pick if McNabb takes at least 70 percent of the snaps.