Reminder: The discussion between Revenge of the Birds and Niners Nation about the Cardinals/49ers rivalry will be held here next Monday.
A long time before the Niners
We reported the exchange between the Cardinals Darnell Docket and the 49ers Vernon Davis yesterday. With each passing week till the season begins, the Cardinals/49ers rivalry continues to grow. From Darren Urban: "The history between the teams since they became NFC West brethren has been interesting, to say the least, building on a rivalry. There was the Pearl Harbor Day disaster for the Cards in 2003, when a 50-14 loss in San Francisco was crystallized on Josh McCown’s backwards pass to tackle L.J. Shelton in his own end zone. There was the Niners’ "Cardinals-and-14″ record in 2004, when their only two wins were identical, backbreaking 31-28 overtime victories against Arizona. There was the 31-14 Cards’ demolition (after a 14-0 deficit) of the Niners in Mexico City in 2005 in front of a then-record 103,467 fans. There was the Cards’ sweep of San Fran in an otherwise forgettable 2006 season that ended Denny Green’s tenure. There have been "Monday Night Football" clashes each of the last three seasons and the crushing 37-31 OT home loss for the Cards in 2007."
Cardinals-49ers rivalry intensifying - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Mike Sando adds more fuel to the fire by posting more tweets between Dockett and Davis.
Who loves Joey?
Darren Urban talks about Joey Porter and the fact that Clark Haggans mother is his biggest fan: "Haggans said his mom used to go to sports bars (because she didn’t have a satellite NFL package) to watch the Steelers when he and Porter were there. "She used to hear a lot of flak (about Porter), ‘He’s mean, it seems like he is a crazy dude,’ " Haggans said. "She would overhear people and she’d stick up for Joey, saying, ‘He’s not like that. He’s more misunderstood.’ "
The Third Time For Porter, Haggans
Urban also talks about Haggans and Porter being teammates for the third time: "For the third time, Porter and Haggans are teammates. They met playing together at Colorado State University. They were each drafted – a year apart – by the Pittsburgh Steelers, spending seven seasons together. And now, after Porter signed a free-agent deal with the Cardinals in March, the two 33-year-olds have been reunited in Arizona."
Returning From Disaster
Urban also talks about recovering from ACL injuries with such Cardinals as Stephen Spach and O'Brien Schofield: "Ripping up a knee still isn’t great news. It’s mentally draining and rehabilitation is difficult. Returning, however, is all but assumed anymore. Advances in both the surgery and the rehab helped get Spach, who underwent surgery days after getting hurt and was back on the field during training camp, playing in preseason games."
Pondering voluntary work
Urban provides his thoughts on "voluntary" workouts: "I was thinking about it today when I read the story about Albert Haynesworth staying away from Redskins’ work, and how his teammates reacted. I thought about it some more when I noticed Darnell Dockett — who famously had been scarce the last couple of offseasons during voluntary work — once again taking part with John Lott today. I think back to every player I’ve talked to over the years about the voluntary nature of the voluntary workouts. Technically true, but there are so many reasons why the pull is there for the players to show — at least some of the time."
Predicting NFC West with, without Warner - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Mike Sando reveals a simulation of the NFC West results for 2010: "The simulations showed the 2010 Cardinals winning the division title 76.1 percent of the time if Warner had not retired, with the 49ers winning 22.9 percent of the time. The Seahawks and Rams had virtually no chance with Warner part of the equation. Taking away Warner made San Francisco the division winner 73.5 percent of the time while opening the door slightly for Seattle as a dark horse candidate. The Rams' chances also improved without Warner, although the simulator had them winning less than 1 percent of the time even with Warner retired."
Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt likes offensive changes
Kent Somers finishes up by discussing the Cardinals offense, beginning with Matt Leinart: "Several factors make this a pivotal season for Leinart: He turned 27 on Tuesday. It's his fifth year, and in 2011 his salary increases by $5 million, and he could earn a $5 million roster bonus. If Leinart proves himself this season, the Cardinals likely would want to restructure his contract. If Leinart fails, he would not return, at least not at that pay grade."