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12-9-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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Some links for the day after another frustrating loss in the world of Arizona sports after the Suns couldn't beat the Grizzlies in overtime.

There is also a little link after the jump from that mentions how Leinart is doing in Houston.

Quarterback Unknown
John Skelton and Richard Bartel split the quarterback practice repetitions Wednesday for the Cardinals because, well, there was no one else.

Cardinals fans dreaming of the future
By December, the NFL is divided into four camps: the contenders, the playoff hopefuls, the mediocre and the draft dreamers. It’s obvious that the 3-9 Cardinals are in that final group, but mention the idea of sacrificing the remainder of the season to coach Ken Whisenhunt and you might as well tell him you’re eloping with his daughter. "We have an obligation to our fans and to our team to put them in the best position to win," he said. Translation: We’re not going to tank the season just so we can get a higher draft pick.

Arizona Cardinals QB John Skelton offers some intrigue
First, let's clarify who John Skelton isn't. He is not Jim Dray, the Cardinals tight end who has been confused with the rookie quarterback. "I guess I see the resemblance," Skelton said. "But my hairline is holding up better." He is definitely not kidnapping suspect John Skelton, who is making national headlines for his possible role in the disappearance of his three sons in Michigan. "Definitely no relation," the quarterback said. He is a strong candidate to start Sunday's game against Denver at University of Phoenix Stadium. Though some fans might be just a little too giddy about this news, it is, at the very least, intriguing. blogs - Kent Somers - Reading between the lines
Coach Ken Whisenhunt rarely criticizes a player publicly, but if you listen closely to what he says, or sometimes doesn't say, he often provides some solid clues about his opinions. At the end of his press conference today with reporters, Whisenhunt was asked consecutive questions about nose tackle Dan Williams and defensive end Calais Campbell. Maybe I'm reading too much into his words, but the difference in his answers was striking, I thought. - Hightower sees Skelton as a very composed player
The Arizona Cardinals have gone through a multitude of changes this season particularly at the quarterback position and players are beginning to expect changes during games. Most NFL players would be ecstatic to get an opportunity to play their first season; however, teammates of rookie quarterback John Skelton have noticed he is a very composed player. Cardinal's running back Tim Hightower acknowledged how calm the first year QB was even after being thrown into a game he was not expected play.

Arizona Cardinals QB choice up in air
A week ago, Richard Bartel was hunting wild hogs in Texas and John Skelton was rooting around for a few snaps at Cardinals practice. On Sunday, one of them could be starting his first NFL game. Or, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt could continue to play Derek Anderson, provided Anderson is cleared to return after suffering a concussion last week. With those sterling options before him, Whisenhunt has made the prudent decision to wait to name a starter.

Broncos game — and perhaps season — a sellout
The game Sunday between the Cardinals and Broncos has been officially announced as a sellout, making the Cardinals 52-for-52 at University of Phoenix Stadium on sellouts, assuring that the game won’t be blacked out on local television and, perhaps most significantly, virtually means the Cards will be blackout-free in 2010. The only home game remaining after Sunday is Christmas with the Dallas Cowboys, and any game with Dallas — regardless of records — is basically a lock to be a sellout.

NFC West: Injury situations that matter - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Arizona: A concussion continues to sideline veteran quarterback Derek Anderson. The team hasn't committed to him as its starter even if healthy enough to start. John Skelton figures to play one way or another. I have a hard time believing the Cardinals would send the newly signed Richard Bartel onto the field after one week of practices, but it wouldn't be the first time someone misread the quarterback situation in Arizona. On defense, Darnell Dockett (shoulder) and Greg Toler (foot) participated fully in practice Wedneday. Dockett looked healthier against St. Louis, a big boost for Arizona on defense. Receiver Steve Breaston (knee) was among six players limited Wednesday.

Where NFC West ranks in Pro Bowl votes - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The St. Louis Rams lead the NFC West, but they joined the Carolina Panthers as the only NFL teams without a player in the top five at his position in updated fan balloting for the Pro Bowl.

Better late than never for this Cardinal - NFC West Blog - ESPN
More evidence that Pro Bowl balloting among fans might not line up with actual player performances: The Arizona Cardinals' Ben Graham, described as "average at best" during a recent team-wide analysis, leads all punters in fan voting.

Video Gallery
Whis on QB's; Skelton, Bartel on getting reps

Cardinals Underground Podcast (DEN Preview)
Paul Calvisi, Darren Urban, and Ron Wolfley take a look at the upcoming match-up with Denver and more!

Phoenix Suns fall short to Memphis Grizzlies at home
Play well. Play hard. And you will play. No matter how many times Suns coach Alvin Gentry sent that message, nothing did it better than how the Suns lost to Memphis on Wednesday night at US Airways Center. The Suns made three quarters of forgettable basketball go away by having their bench dominate the fourth quarter, erasing a 14-point deficit to get to overtime before losing 104-98.

Madden 11 Roster Update #15 Details |
The post NFL week 13 roster update for Madden 11 is slated to go out as usual on Friday.

On hog hunting and seeing Tebow
Richard Bartel was at home in Gonzales, Texas, when the Cardinals called. When asked what he was doing waiting for a team to call, he said he was hog-hunting. One media member was wondering if that was a euphemism for something like off-road racing or something. Nope. The new Cardinals’ QB was actually tracking down and taking out hogs. There are javelinas in Texas, Bartel said, but these were wild hogs. "Bigger, slower, and they don’t have the tusks," Bartel said, "but they are still dangerous." Bartel doesn’t use guns. Too dangerous for his dogs, who come along. Nope. This is about coming up on a hog from behind, grabbing his hind legs and then, with a knife, … well, you can fill in the blanks. "Hopefully none of you (media) guys are animal rights activists," Bartel said. The hogs will have to wait for now. Bartel is too busy playing football.

How I See It: NFC West Stock Watch - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Cardinals CB. The Cardinals expected more from their young Pro Bowl cornerback. Rodgers-Cromartie expected more as well. He has been critical of his own play. His stock fell further Sunday when officials flagged Rodgers-Cromartie for a procedural penalty. Rodgers-Cromartie had drawn an interference penalty deep down the field while working as a wide receiver. The penalties offset, depriving the Cardinals of a long gain. - Espo: Can Cards and Suns get a do over?
I, like many fans, wish that the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Suns could get a do over on their offseason moves. The Cardinals' decision not to find a suitable replacement for Kurt Warner combined with the Suns' decision to let Amar'e Stoudemire leave for New York has left quite a noticeable stench in the Valley.

Arizona Cardinals: Fire Rod Graves, Get a Real QB, Two Things That Won't Happen | Bleacher Report
After reading an article by Jack London, the featured columnist for the Arizona Cardinals, 5 Reasons For Hope In The Desert I decided not to leave a comment on his article. Instead, I thought I would write my comment here, as an article. I want to bang home one point, and touch on the other.

The Cards Could Use a Full House: Holes That Need to Be Addressed for Next Year | Bleacher Report
The Arizona Cardinals are 3-9 and the season is realistically lost. It's time to start looking at the holes that need to be addressed and how to fill those holes, whether through the draft or free agency.

Arizona Cardinals Injury Report, Week 14: Derek Anderson Still Out, Punter Leads Pro Bowl Votes - SB Nation Arizona
No changes with quarterbacks or decisions about who will start, but some actions speak volumes more than a coach's words. Also, a possible Pro Bowl player for Arizona.

In praise of Money Mike
It’s safe to say coach Ken Whisenhunt isn’t effusive with his praise of players. Just as he is loathe to criticize much publicly (yesterday, he declined to say much about Calais Campbell’s disappointing season) he also doesn’t compliment too much. When he does go there, you take notice. So I noticed this week when someone asked him about the play of cornerback Michael Adams of late. Adams clearly has some talent, although he is far from a prototype, standing 5-foot-7 and a man who has been picked on in the past when in coverage. (And also a player who has been picked on by fans who aren’t believers in his effectiveness). But the coach came out strongly in Adams’ corner.

Quick look at offensive efficiency - NFC West Blog - ESPN
NFC West offenses have settled into a familiar rhythm this season. One, two, three -- punt! One, two, three -- punt! Alas, the division's four offenses rank among the NFL's top eight in most three-and-out possessions, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Thanks to Paul Kuharsky of the AFC South blog for sharing the numbers he broke out in a related item Thursday.

Cardinals report (12.08): Broncos a question mark with new coach
On a seven-game losing streak, it’s difficult to find a team worse off than the Cardinals, but Denver might fit the bill. The Broncos boast the same record as Arizona (3-9) and fired head coach Josh McDaniels earlier this week. Former running backs coach Eric Studesville was named interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Despite the obvious shortcomings that come with a midseason coaching change, the uncertainly of an interim coach can be difficult for opposing teams to prepare for. news: Uprising of newcomers leaves faltering playoff teams in the dust
With Derek Anderson and Max Hall down and out, and John Skelton set to start for Arizona against Denver on Sunday, I can't help but wonder what is up with former Cardinals first-round pick Matt Leinart. Well, as much as we'd like to say he'd be better than anything Arizona has right now -- I've said it, and I'm still saying it -- he's still Houston's third-team quarterback. Leinart is not in Matt Schaub's league, but he's still sitting behind Dan Orlovsky. That shouldn't be taken as a slight. Orlovsky was in the system well before Leinart arrived after getting cut at the end of preseason, and Orlovsky knew how to run Houston's offense. Leinart barely does, since he spends all of every practice running scout team.

NFL concussion committee hears from helmet makers - NFL -
Commissioner Roger Goodell was planning to briefly stop by the hotel where the NFL's head, neck and spine medical committee met Wednesday to hear from equipment makers, researchers, the military and NASCAR about how to improve helmet safety and cut down on concussions. Goodell wound up listening in for a few hours.

Chiefs' Matt Cassel has appendectomy; status unclear - NFL -
Quarterback Matt Cassel, a key reason the Kansas City Chiefs have emerged as contenders and lead the AFC West late in the season, underwent an appendectomy on Wednesday.

Jimmy Clausen has Andrew Luck in his rear-view mirror | ProFootballTalk
The Carolina Panthers have the worst record in the NFL, and there’s already talk that they’ll use the first pick in the 2011 NFL draft to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. If they do, that would mean this year’s second-round pick, Jimmy Clausen, isn’t the quarterback of the franchise’s future. Fortunately for Clausen, he has the opportunity to win a couple games over the final four games of the season and prevent the Panthers from having the league’s worst record. And he says that’s his goal.

Peyton Manning's recent struggles analyzed by Ron Jaworski - Don Banks -
As if this season in the NFL hasn't been peculiar enough, we've arrived at Week 14 with seemingly half the league wondering whether the slumping Peyton Manning deserves the milk-carton treatment: Have you seen this quarterback?

Jay Cutler complains about turf at Soldier Field | ProFootballTalk
Two weeks ago, the Philadelphia Eagles slipped and slid and skidded all over the turf at Soldier Field, to the delight of the team that plays there eight times per year. So with the league’s most efficient, quick-strike offense coming to town on Sunday, why is Bears quarterback Jay Cutler complaining about the quality of the turf at Soldier Field?

The right fit for Rams, Sam Bradford - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Two No. 1 overall draft choices will start at quarterback for NFC West teams in Week 14. One of them, Alex Smith of the San Francisco 49ers, has lived the classic cautionary tale for quarterbacks drafted in the first round. Organizational instability, bad luck, sometimes shaky supporting personnel and occasionally unhealthy relationships with head coaches have marked his NFL career. The other top pick, Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams, spends each Tuesday night meeting personally with his head coach for strategy sessions. He enjoys the full support and counsel of Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson, a player Bradford identified Wednesday as possessing the most commanding presence he has encountered in a locker room.

Urban Meyer stepping down at Florida Gators - ESPN
Urban Meyer is stepping down as football coach at Florida, the school's athletic director announced Wednesday. "I fully grasp the sacrifices my 24/7 profession has demanded of me, and I know it is time to put my focus on my family and life away from the field," Meyer said. "I will profoundly miss coming to campus every day to coach this team, but I will always be a Gator at heart," he said.

Former New England Patriots kicker John Smith forever linked to John Lennon - ESPN
There were three seconds left in the game, score tied at 13, and million of viewers watching "Monday Night Football" as New England Patriots kicker John Smith trotted onto the Orange Bowl field 30 years ago. For those who remember the next few moments of that night, Dec. 8, 1980, Smith and the game itself have become historical and cultural markers overshadowed by but forever connected to Howard Cosell's announcement that John Lennon had been shot and killed.