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12-4-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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Todays links.

Kurt Warner to be in FOX Broadcast booth for game featuring his former teams - Phoenix arizona cardinals |
Future Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner will once again be in the broadcast booth for FOX television this Sunday when the Cardinals face the St. Louis Rams. Warner is familiar with both teams having led each to a Super Bowl appearance. Earlier this year, the former quarterback who retired after last season, made his FOX debut when Arizona upset the New Orleans Saints.

Grooming A Quarterback
Sam Bradford went No. 1. John Skelton went 154 picks later.

Developing Daryl Washington
It’s a question that’s difficult to answer, because the hypothetical always is: Had Gerald Hayes not been hurt to start the season, would rookie linebacker Daryl Washington not have played as much this season? The second-round pick shined in the preseason and started from the outset with Hayes sidelined, but his impact was minimal and after Hayes returned, Washington’s role has grown on special teams and been lessened on defense.

A pair of Cardinals fined $30,000 for hits to the head | ProFootballTalk
Well, paranoid Steelers supporters can’t say their team is the only one that has to pay fines for hits to the head too.

If Whisenhunt lost another top assistant - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Russ Grimm's name keeps surfacing in connection to the Carolina Panthers' expected coaching vacancy. That make sense because Grimm played for the Washington Redskins when Panthers general manager Marty Hurney covered the team as a reporter. Grimm ranks as the Arizona Cardinals' most prominent assistant coach, overseeing the offensive line and coordinating the running game. He is also assistant head coach. Losing Grimm after losing offensive coordinator Todd Haley to the Kansas City Chiefs would further weaken Ken Whisenhunt's staff in Arizona. blogs - Kent Somers - A Friday buffet of notes
Finding a quarterback and someone to rush the passer will be major priorities for the Cardinals tis off-season. The problems at quarterback are well documented, but it's obvious the Cardinals need an elite pass rusher. "We haven't won some of the one on one matchups," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "I think it hurts us in coverage because the quarterback has more time. It's been one of the hard things for us defensively this season." The Cardinals have 21 sacks. Last year they had 43.

Has Coach Ken Whisenhunt Lost the Arizona Cardinals Locker Room? | Bleacher Report
Everyone would agree the Arizona Cardinals are a bad football team. One of the worst, if not the worst, in all of football. Before the season started, Ken Whisenhut said this Arizona Cardinals football team was the most talented roster he’d had since arriving in Arizona. So what happened? Fans and pundits alike have pointed to the losses of Warner, Dansby, Boldin and Rolle as the catalyst for the implosion we see before us, but that doesn't tell the whole story. There has been serious slippage in play across the board. Slippage significant enough that the losses of those players can’t explain the whole story.

Friday before the Rams
I am sure optimism isn’t warranted until it’s earned, and the way Sam Bradford has been playing the Rams have to be feeling confident. I mean, they might have been a crucial Steve Breaston strip away from beating the Cards the first time, and that was Bradford’s first NFL start, not his 13th. But this team isn’t going winless the rest of the way. They just aren’t, no matter what funk they are in. Is this the weekend to snap it? Is the way they seem to have rallied around Derek Anderson after his version of the Monday Night Meltdown translate? (Oh, I am imagining the comments below already). The Rams haven’t won back-to-back road games since 2007. The Cards have beaten the Rams eight straight times.

Arizona Cardinals impressed with progress of St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford
The Cardinals were impressed with Rams quarterback Sam Bradford in September, and that was after they intercepted three of his passes in a victory on opening day. Three months later, they rave even more about the first pick in last April's draft.

Video Gallery
First Look - The Ken Whisenhunt Show - Week 13

Video Gallery
Wolf's Building The Game Plan - Week 13

Channing Frye scores 29, leads Phoenix Suns to 105-97 win vs. Indiana Pacers
Steve Nash wanted fire. Alvin Gentry wanted defense. Suns fans want a winning team. Everyone got their wishes Friday night, when the Suns followed a Thursday win in Oakland by looking fresh with a defensively strong second half in a 105-97 win at US Airways Center.

NFL: Cards' loss to 49ers quite costly - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The NFL has levied $30,000 in fines against two Arizona Cardinals for their actions during a 27-6 defeat to the San Franisco 49ers on Monday night. Tackle Jeremy Bridges received a $20,000 fine for his latest personal-foul penalty (this one for hitting an opponent unnecessarily in the head). Officials flagged him for a personal foul in Week 17 last season and again in the postseason. The penalty Monday night stemmed from the roundhouse slap/punch Bridges delivered on the back of Takeo Spikes' helmet during an interception return late in the third quarter. The league said Bridges' penalty Monday night was his fifth for unnecessary roughness since the start of the 2009 season. The records I have show fewer. I'm going to double-check the information. Bridges' teammate, linebacker Clark Haggans, drew a $10,000 fine for unnecessary roughness. Penalty records since 2001 show Haggans with three for roughing the passer, two for unnecessary roughness and one for a 15-yard facemask, plus the most recent roughness penalty, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Haggains delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit on 49ers fullback Moran Norris while teammate Joey Porter made a tackle.

Final Word: NFC West - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Feeding Fitz. The Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald leads the NFL in wide receiver targets with 124, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Of the 50 wideouts with the most targets, however, Fitzgerald ranks 48th in percentage caught. His percentage has fallen from 63.8 last season with Kurt Warner as his primary quarterback to 47.5 percent this season. Of those 50 most-targeted wideouts this season, the five with the highest percentages of passes caught play with top quarterbacks. They are: Austin Collie (Peyton Manning), Danny Amendola (Sam Bradford), Wes Welker (Tom Brady), Marques Colston (Drew Brees) and Roddy White (Matt Ryan).

Kurt Warner calls the NFC West "pretty hard to watch’ | ProFootballTalk
Kurt Warner gets paid to watch the NFC West, but he feels the same way that many fans out there do. The level of play is sometimes difficult to stomach.

Russ Grimm could coach Panthers in 2011 | ProFootballTalk
The Carolina Panthers are 1-10 and head coach John Fox’s contract expires after this season, so it’s not too early to start talking about who might coach the Panthers in 2011. And Adam Schefter of ESPN reports, citing two NFL sources, that talk is already centering on Cardinals assistant head coach Russ Grimm as a strong candidate to replace Fox.

The first official "Will Favre play in 2011?" story of 2010 | ProFootballTalk
Earlier this year, we were told that the Vikings firmly believed that quarterback Brett Favre will play two more years. In deciding to return for 2010, Favre made it clear — and has since reiterated — that he’s indeed finished. But is he? Favre "retired" in 2008 and in 2009. (In 2010, he knew not to bother.) Tom Pelissero of now shares some interesting, though in hindsight fairly obvious, comments from an unnamed NFC scout, who believes that there will still be a demand for Favre’s services.

Roethlisberger’s foot was broken years ago | ProFootballTalk
The Steelers felt compelled to contradict a report about the broken bone in Roethlisberger’s foot, and we continue to learn more about the injury. Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Roethlisberger actually suffered the broken bone seven or eight years ago. It wasn’t recognized until after the Steelers loss to the Patriots, during which he appeared to aggravate the injury.

Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid bothered by late hits on Michael Vick - ESPN
The number of late hits quarterback Michael Vick has taken this season has ruffled the Philadelphia Eagles to the point that they are in the process of making the NFL aware of their concerns, sources tell ESPN's Sal Paolantonio.

Jets safety Jim Leonhard out for year with broken leg - NFL -
The New York Jets might be without their defensive quarterback for the rest of the season.

Jake Delhomme will start for Browns against Dolphins - NFL -
Cleveland Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme will start Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Coach Eric Mangini said Friday that with rookie Colt McCoy still out with a sprained ankle, Delhomme will make his second straight start. Delhomme, who missed eight games with a high ankle sprain, had an uneven performance last week against Carolina, his former team.

Ravens-Steelers rivalry, NFL Week 13's 10 things to watch - Peter King -
When the Steelers and Ravens met in Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship two years ago, I covered the game for Sports Illustrated, and I saw Phil Simms taking a break from his CBS broadcast duties at halftime of what had been one of the most violent games in any sport that I'd ever seen. Simms, it seems, agreed.

Did Peyton Hillis hit on Josh McDaniels’ wife? | ReadAndReact
Could that really be why McDaniels’ has seemingly hated Hillis since the two were both in Denver together? Its that why the brash young head coach was so eager to jettison such a talented running back from his team without ever letting him see the field? That’s the word on the street according to Mark Schlereth and Alfred Williams, who claimed on 104.3 the Fan earlier this week that it has long been common knowledge around the Broncos organization. Apparently, the story goes that Hillis – who is a single bachelor about town – made the moves on McDaniels wife, Laura, shortly after they got to Denver. It’s unclear whether or not Peyton actually knew who he was hitting on, but regardless, McDaniels supposedly got wind of it, and that was it for Hillis.