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12-30-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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Some links for you as we get close to the end of 2010.

Arizona Cardinals' rivalry with San Francisco 49ers dampened
The NFL schedules divisional games in the final week of the season in the hope that competition for playoff berths and seedings provide additional drama. But that process sometimes produces some hazardous waste, such as the Cardinals' game at San Francisco on Sunday. The only tangible element in this episode of the rivalry is draft position. The winner of the game certainly isn't going to brag about winning six games instead of five.

Arizona Cardinals facing another interim coach
For the third time in four weeks, the Cardinals will play an opponent with an interim head coach at the controls. This time, it's Jim Tomsula, who was elevated from defensive line coach after the San Francisco 49ers fired Mike Singletary.

Roberts' Long Journey
There were times, with the temperature pushing 100 in the summer, that John Skelton was throwing passes to Andre Roberts at the Cardinals’ facility just to break each other into NFL life.

Facing a Season Of Change
Coaches keep changing and the Cardinals have seen the before-and-after more than any other team in the league. blogs - Kent Somers - Fitz was in a fog
Receiver Larry Fitzgerald can't recall much of last Saturday's victory over the Cowboys, especially the final minutes. Fitzgerald suffered a blow to the head on the final series, and on television he appeared to be dazed, holding his head and blinking to focus. Before his reception on fourth-and-15, Fitzgerald appeared perplexed and rookie receiver Andre Roberts told him the play. "I don't remember much of that game to be honest with you," Fitzgerald said. "The play before I took a shot and I was a little bit out of it. I knew I had to run up the seam, saw the ball and knew I had to make a play."

Video Gallery
Whisenhunt, Skelton on developement

Video Gallery
Leach: Cards NFL Man of the Year

Video Gallery
Intel Kids Camp

Cardinals Underground Podcast (SF Preview)
Paul Calvisi, Darren Urban, and Ron Wolfley review the Cowboys game and preview the 49ers game.

NFL Videos: Cardinals' Top 5 Home Moments
Michelle Beisner counts down the most memorable moments at home in the Arizona Cardinals' history.

Phoenix Coyotes score a season high, end Los Angeles Kings win streak
No. 1: Show up. That was the key item on the Coyotes' agenda Wednesday night, 24 hours after a stinging loss in which coach Dave Tippett said several players had been "non-existent" in the past 10 games. They showed up in force against the Los Angeles Kings, playing a high-energy game and grabbing a 6-3 victory in front of 15,153 at Arena. The six goals marked a season high.

Phoenix Suns fall to Philadelphia 76ers 123-110 despite Vince Carter's debut
It has been a given for more than six years that the Suns were better than most NBA teams. That no longer is the case after they lost to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday and dropped a season-worst fourth consecutive game Wednesday by falling 123-110 to the Philadelphia 76ers at US Airways Center.

No. 14 Oklahoma Cowboys stomp Arizona for record 11th win
Arizona lost its fifth straight game Wednesday night and, in the process, gained something far worse than any defeat: a reputation. For the second consecutive year, the UA was outmatched by a Big 12 Conference team in a bowl game that could have vaulted the Wildcats to the next level. And for the second straight year, it wasn't close.

Arizona Cardinals 2010 Year in Review: Top 10 Moments | Bleacher Report
It has been quite the up and down year for the Cardinals hasn't it?

A Recap of the Arizona Cardinals 1st Round Picks of the Past Decade | Bleacher Report
Each year the draft is great to watch. So many young players finally taking a step closer to reaching their goal of playing in the NFL. But as time progresses, we often forget who exactly was taken in the first round, and who wasn't. Let's take a look at The Arizona Cardinals first round picks from the past ten years.

Following up: NFC West team needs - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. shared his thoughts on NFC West team needs earlier in the week. Quite a few people responded with their own thoughts, some of them contradictory. I singled out a few of the stronger responses and asked Williamson to respond so we could advance the conversation.

Converting 4th with "out of it" Fitz
I knew Fitz didn’t look right. As I noted late Saturday night (Sunday morning) while writing my "aftermath" and watching the tape of the just completed Cards-Cowboys game, it looked like Larry Fitzgerald had taken a head shot (maybe helmet-to-helmet) on the first down play of that last drive. Originally, I thought Fitz had made a catch, but he dropped it, and the video showed him shaking his head and blinking his eyes after the hit. Turns out, Fitz indeed felt it. "I don’t remember much from the end of the game, to be honest with you," Fitzgerald said. "I took a shot and I was a little bit out of it." (Side comment in today’s concussion-concerned NFL: Yikes.) Fitz never came out of the game. I’m guessing he never said anything. A couple plays later, rookie Andre Roberts was the one telling Fitz where to go on fourth-and-15, one of the most important plays of the Cardinals’ season. blogs - Kent Somers - Under the hood with QBs
When Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson were the top two quarterbacks for the Cardinals, we heard a lot about how both needed to work on their throwing mechanics, which involved footwork. Coaches stressed it in off-season practices and in training camp. And while throwing mechanics are important, the best quarterbacks make plays under imperfect conditions, when they can't set their feet and when they have to adjust their arm angles. That's one thing John Skelton has been able to do in a few instances the past few weeks

Arizona Cardinals Injury Report: People Are Getting Healthy - SB Nation Arizona
The Cardinals are pretty healthy in their last week of the season.

2011 Pro Bowl: Cardinals' Adrian Wilson In, Kerry Rhodes Snubbed - SB Nation Arizona
Pro Bowl rosters were announced Tuesday. Adrian Wilson of the Arizona was selected to start, while Kerry Rhodes was snubbed.

A dreary final Wednesday
It was the last Wednesday practice of the season today, and during it came a fairly steady rainfall. Afterward, some boisterous freestyle rap battles (Do not mess with Rex Hadnot).

NFL Power Rankings Week 17 - National Football League - ESPN
The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons are our experts' unanimous picks for the top two berths in the latest edition of ESPN's NFL Power Rankings.

Power Rankings: How the voters voted - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The New England Patriots remained the unanimous No. 1 choice in's NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 17. The Patriots have never ranked lower than 10th this season. Only three teams -- Buffalo, Baltimore and Detroit -- have seen narrower fluctuations in their standing since our 2010 rankings debuted in late April.

Source: San Francisco 49ers to get Bill Parcells' advice on future - ESPN
San Francisco 49ers president Jed York intends to contact Miami Dolphins consultant Bill Parcells this week for his opinion on San Francisco vice president of player personnel Trent Baalke, according to a league source.

Hurt Mark Sanchez practices, looks like New York Jets starter - ESPN New York
Jets coach Rex Ryan, the king of candor, resorted to Belichick-like secrecy Wednesday with regard to his decision on quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Ryan: "No way" Sanchez plays entire game | ProFootballTalk
Jets coach Rex Ryan doesn’t know if his quarterback Mark Sanchez will play at all Sunday against the Bills, but he’s sure that Sanchez won’t play all four quarters.

Chris Johnson thinks "it’s bogus" he’s not in the Pro Bowl | ProFootballTalk
Last year, Chris Johnson was generally recognized as the best running back in football. This year, Pro Bowl voters didn’t even select Johnson as one of the three best running backs in the AFC.

Brandon Lloyd: McDaniels might still be here if he started Tebow | ProFootballTalk
Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd is a Josh McDaniels guy. In an interview with 104.3 The Fan in Denver, he said he loved "McDaniels to death" and that he’s a "hell of a coach." Lloyd was asked if he thinks McDaniels might still be around if he went to Tim Tebow at quarterback before he was fired.

Brandon Lloyd offers a very professional f-bomb to ex-teams - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
If you've already put together a list of your favorite inappropriate quotes of 2010, I'm sorry, but you're going to have to make room at the top. Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd has chimed in with a late entry.

Chiefs, Rams lead Missouri football revival - Peter King -
Mailbag questions on the Lions, punting and the NFL coach of the year

Dallas Cowboys' Roy Williams: Coordinators make stars - ESPN Dallas
Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams wants to remain with Dallas, but his contract (he's owed $20.4 million the next three seasons) and his lack of production (just 36 catches this year) could end his time with the team.

Forte keys revived Bears offense | ProFootballTalk
Matt Forte is no Gayle Sayers or Walter Payton, but Forte has accomplished something even those Bears greats never did. Forte is certainly not Marshall Faulk, but once again a pass-catching running back is the engine to a Mike Martz offense. When no one was looking, the Bears offense tightened up their offensive line and got dangerous. They’ve averaged 28 points-per-game over the last five weeks. Jay Cutler has 16 touchdowns and only seven picks since the team’s bye week.

Tucker Carlson’s idiocy had its intended effect | ProFootballTalk
I was traveling home from the New York blizzard and Philly non-blizzard Wednesday when MDS posted a blurb regarding Tucker Carlson’s outlandish comments regarding Eagles quarterback Mike Vick.