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12-28-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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Some links for today.

Cardinals quarterback John Skelton has room for improvement
There are many things Cardinals quarterback John Skelton has not done in his three starts. He has not called plays flawlessly in the huddle, completed 50 percent of his passes or always thrown to the correct receiver. But the Cardinals are 2-1 in Skelton's starts, including Saturday 27-26 victory over Dallas in the waning minutes. What Skelton has done is show enough poise, mobility and passing acumen to confirm his coaches' opinions that he can be a good NFL quarterback one day.

Meet Dumpster Dan
Nose tackle Dan Williams — along with cheerleaders and Big Red — will be meeting fans today at Berge Ford from 1-3 p.m. (that’s 460 E Auto Center Dr. in Mesa). Williams, or as Cards radio analyst Ron Wolfley likes to refer to him as, "Dumpster Dan," has come on of late to play his best football of the season. He’s a large man, but when you meet him, you’d be surprised with how friendly he is.

Arizona Cardinals rewind: What we learned in 27-26 Christmas win vs. Dallas Cowboys
Arizona Cardinals rewind: What we learned in 27-26 Christmas win vs. Dallas Cowboys, Rookie quarterback John Skelton managed the game well down the stretch, leading the Arizona Cardinals to the game-winning field goal.

Skelton's Future
Rookie progressing, but Whisenhunt waits to see at QB - Cardinals focus on finishing strong to build for 2011
The difference between 4-12 and 6-10 may not seem that big to fans, but it makes a world of difference to the coaches and players on an NFL team. Just ask Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt. While some fans and media members were calling for his team to tank the remainder of the season, Whisenhunt preached what Herm Edwards once said, "you play to win the game".

Concern For Cardinals? Unhappy Steve Breaston Channeling His Inner Anquan Boldin - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Steve Breaston has been sending some tweets that may cause concerns among Arizona Cardinal fans. Is he unhappy?

Cardinals' rookies stand out on Christmas Day -
There is no denying that the losses of Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin and Karlos Dansby hurt the Cardinals this season. The defending NFC West Champs stand at a disappointing 5-10. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt and his staff, however, are practicing a theory I've always believed in -- if you're going to struggle, you might as well play your young players to determine if there are any building blocks for the future. Arizona rookie quarterback John Skelton will get much of the glory following the Cardinals' last-second victory over the Dallas Cowboys, but in reality he was only one of various first-year players who stood out during the rare Christmas day NFL game.

The flip of 43 and 34
The Cardinals have used more of the four down linemen look the past two games in an effort to slow opposing running attacks and, more importantly, to make up for injuries at linebacker. This has caused more than a few of you out there to wonder/inquire about/insist the Cardinals switch from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3. I have mentioned before it wasn’t going to happen, but since coach Ken Whisenhunt talked about it today: "As far as making a wholesale change, that’s not something I even want to consider right now."

Losing games for higher draft pick might not pay off for Arizona Cardinals
Friend of the Heat Index Lloyd Cadle of Buckeye suggests that the Cardinals might be better off using their first-round draft pick to take a left tackle who can protect John Skelton or a veteran quarterback signed in the off-season rather than try to lose games to get Auburn star Cam Newton. We think he might be on to something.

(Please no, not Cam Newton. Bickley is an idiot.)

Video Gallery
Whisenhunt's Monday Presser

Post-presser notes from Whiz
After a day off yesterday thanks to the Saturday game, coach Ken Whisenhunt officially had his "day-after" press conference today. Nothing earth shattering. blogs - Kent Somers - Monday afternoon notes
A few quick notes after Coach Ken Whisenhunt's Monday press conference: - Espo: Cardinals' win what sports is about
Sometimes in life you are surprised. Like when a fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night, when you win money in the lottery ticket, or when you watch a romantic comedy staring Reese Witherspoon and are actually entertained (I'm still waiting for that last one to happen). Things like that just catch you completely off guard. The Arizona Cardinals Christmas night game against the Dallas Cowboys was one of those occurrences. Last week many viewed the game as a bust. I even went as far as to call it the NFL equivalent of getting socks as a gift. What I forgot to mention is they were the kind of socks that light up and somehow are inexplicably entertaining.

Mailbag: Singletary, Rams draft, more - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Shane from Los Angeles, Calif., writes: Sand-O! I have no league median to gauge this against, but I ran some numbers based on the raw data. Turns out more than half of the Cardinals' points this season have come from the defense or special teams (giving extra points and two-point conversions to the unit that scored the accompanying touchdown). Not sure what you could extrapolate from this data, but I thought it was interesting enough to send to you. Happy Holidays!

NFC West QB rankings through Week 16 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
My weekly look at where NFC West quarterbacks stand (trending arrows indicate general direction, not necessarily a change in ranking from the previous week):

Return of the note about return TDs - NFC West Blog - ESPN
One more return touchdown in Week 17 would leave the Arizona Cardinals tied with the 1998 Seattle Seahawks for the most in an NFL season. Note that previous reports had associated that record with the 2003 Seattle team; the Cardinals have subsequently updated their note. It was definitely the 1998 team. I covered that Seahawks team and remember it struggling to an 8-8 finish in Dennis Erickson's final season as head coach.

Matt Williamson's NFC West team needs - NFC West Blog - ESPN
With the regular season nearing its end, I've reached out to Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. for his thoughts on where NFC West teams should target their resources this offseason.

Breaking down draft order, 2011 schedule
With one game left — and the Cards safely out of the playoff picture — it’s a lot easier to narrow down some key portions of 2011 concerning both draft position and the schedule.

Where NFC West teams rank: Week 16 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A few highlights regarding where NFC West teams rank in various statistical categories through Week 16 (pending the postponed game between Minnesota and Philadelphia):

Jed York and the 49ers' impulsiveness - NFC West Blog - ESPN
There's no harm when a fan says he wants the head coach fired or the quarterback traded following a stupefying defeat -- or even after a particularly horrendous play. Fans react.

2010 Arizona Sports Year In Review, Part 1 - SB Nation Arizona
Another year has passed in Arizona sports history. In case you forgot any of it, we're here to remind you of both the good and the bad.

Arizona Cardinals: 10 Bold Offseason Predictions | Bleacher Report
It sure was nice to get a Christmas present like a win over the Cowboys wasn't it? Not only that, but the way the game was won was very encouraging.

Cardinals report (12.27): Reasons for optimism
Despite getting little but disappointment for most of the season, the Cardinals continue to battle and have now prevailed in two of their last three games.

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers: A Look into the Future of the NFC West | Bleacher Report
The Arizona Cardinals are set to play the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday, Jan. 2 at 2:15 MST. Going into Sunday, both teams are tied for last place in the NFC West, so what does this game mean for each team?

Arizona Cardinals Problems With Dropped Passes: What Does the Future Hold? | Bleacher Report
Dropped Passes. Just the thought of them makes coaches cringe. It’s something Arizona Cardinals head coach, Ken Whisenhunt, knows all too well.

Arizona Cardinals: 10 Best Quarterback Options for 2011 | Bleacher Report
Arizona Cardinals have a lot to fix in the off-season. They are one team with a plethora of holes and questions marks. But there is none more pressing than the one they have at quarterback.

The Seattle Seahawks And The Quest For The Worst Playoff Team Ever - From Our Editors -
Some are understandably miffed by the decision to move Sunday's Seahawks-Rams game to the nationally-televised prime-time slot. After all, there are other Week 17 games that hold playoff implications for teams with winning records.

Houston Texans fans seeking firing of Gary Kubiak organize rally - ESPN
A pair of Houston Texans fans who believe coach Gary Kubiak should be fired are organizing a rally for Sunday to make their point, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Mariucci to Favre: ‘There's nothing left to prove' - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
You know it's on the way, right? Just like a fully-packed snowball to the head, there will be the speculation that despite not passing concussion tests through Monday, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre would somehow drag himself onto the field at least one more time in the snow-postponed Vikings-Eagles game, so that a captive America could once again marvel at how much he loves the game and announcers on suto-pilot could prattle on about how he's "just havin' fun out there."

Pennsylvania Governor: Postponement proves U.S. a 'nation of wusses' - ESPN
The city of Philadelphia is set to host the NFL's first Tuesday night game in 64 years, and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (D) couldn't be more upset about it.

Week 16's five most valuable players - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
Comprehensive National Football League news, scores, standings, fantasy games, rumors, and more

Week 16's five least valuable players - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
Comprehensive National Football League news, scores, standings, fantasy games, rumors, and more

Saints vs. Falcons - Recap - December 27, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints showed the high-flying Atlanta Falcons they're not ready to give up their crown just yet. That's right, Who Dat going back to the playoffs: The reigning Super Bowl champs.