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9-9-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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The NFL is FINALLY back! Tonight, the season will open with a rematch of last years NFC Championship game between the Saints and the Vikings (Over/Under: 5 attempts at taking out Brett Favre's ankle by the Saints, and 2 fumbles by Adrian Peterson?). Football is back, and now all is good in the world.

Lets get to the links.

Without Warner, We’ll Truly See if Ken Whisenhunt is a Great Coach or Not | Fanster.com - All Sports. All Phoenix.
When Kurt Warner decided to hang up his cleats, it was widely thought that Matt Leinart would be the heir apparent and take over for the future Hall-Of-Famer. Not so fast. The Cardinals went out in the offseason and brought in former Pro Bowler Derek Anderson to push Matt Leinart in training camp and he did just that. Not only did Anderson push Leinart for his starting job, but the former Browns quarterback pushed Leinart out the door, out of Arizona, and all the way to Houston.

Captains named as Rams loom
The Cardinals have their team captains for the 2010 season, based on votes of the players. Offense is WR Larry Fitzgerald and C Lyle Sendlein, defense is DT Darnell Dockett and S Adrian Wilson, and special teams are P Ben Graham and the ever-present RB Jason Wright. Sendlein is an interesting choice but it says a lot of how far the guy has come since being undrafted in 2007.

Sendlein Gets A "C"
Captains named; Beanie still resting sore knee

Unleash The D
Facing a rookie quarterback, Cardinals ready to show new-look defense

Whisenhunt's Wednesday Presser

Cardinals Underground Podcast (STL Preview)
The crew previews the season opener against the Rams.

NFC West: Injury situations that matter - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Arizona: Inside linebacker Gerald Hayes enters the season on the physically unable to perform list. The Cardinals will need rookie Daryl Washington and St. Louis Rams castoff Paris Lenon to hold up against Steven Jackson. On offense, the Cardinals might need their depth at running back. A knee injury kept Beanie Wells from practicing Wednesday. Wells plans to play. Missed practice time can be important for a young running back, especially when that running back is trying to win the coaches' trust across situations. Whether Wells practices Thursday could be important. The Cardinals can count on Tim Hightower in protection. Hightower is going to start whether or not Wells is available. Receiver Larry Fitzgerald participated fully in practice Wednesday, as promised, after using most of the exhibition season to recover from a knee injury. The Cardinals gave linebacker Joey Porter the day off, but he's expected to start.

Kurt Warner gets another job | ProFootballTalk.com
Not long ago, former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner called himself a "one-trick pony." Well, this one-trick pony now has three jobs.

NFL needs to revisit blackout policy
Blackouts are worthy of amnesiacs and utility companies, not professional sports leagues that profess fan friendliness.

Arizona Cardinals' Derek Anderson excited about chance
With a one-way ticket out of Cleveland, quarterback Derek Anderson was anxious to leave behind drama in the workplace, not reproduce it in his new work location.

NFL Videos: NFC West preview
Steve Mariucci and Kurt Warner preview the NFC West, including Kurt's take on why Matt Leinart didn't pan out in Arizona.

(Warner said that the locker room trusted Matt when he was there, and that maybe Matt just wasn't the right fit for what Whiz wanted to do with his offense)

Matt Leinart gets fresh start with Houston Texans
Matt Leinart walked into the Houston Texans' locker room Wednesday with stubble on his face and a new playbook in his hand.

The Cardinals Caught A Big Break In The NFC West - SB Nation Arizona
The real reason the Arizona Cardinals have become a legitimate NFL Franchise.

Top 50 Cards
The Sporting News has put up their annual list of the top 100 NFL players and the Cardinals have three guys in the top 50: wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is fourth in the entire league (behind Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Chris Johnson), while defensive tackle Darnell Dockett is 47th and safety Adrian Wilson is 48th (and former Card Anquan Boldin is 92nd). The 49ers, by the way, have two three on the list: linebacker Patrick Willis is 12th, running back Frank Gore is 55th and tight end Vernon Davis is 69th. Wonder if Dockett will let Davis know via Twitter. Or whether Wilson will when the teams actually play.

Divisional Prediction: NFC West | Bleacher Report
Considered the worst division in football despite sending the most NFC Champions to the Super Bowl since 2001. This year will be a changing of the guard, but not like some may think.

NFL Season Preview: Football, Why Do We Love You So? - SBNation.com
It's been exactly 214 days since the last meaningful NFL football game. And it felt even longer.

Chat wrap: Sensing optimism on Rams - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The first regular-season NFC West chat of 2010 has come and gone. Transcript here. Highlights below:

NFL Power Rankings - Top 32 NFL Football Teams - FOX Sports on MSN
19: Cardinals

PFT's Week One picks | ProFootballTalk.com
Cardinals at Rams

Florio picks the Rams, the other guy picks the Cardinals

Peter King's NFL Week 1 Game-By-Game Predictions - Peter King - SI.com
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams: I love how Darnell Dockett says he wants to now outplay his third contract in the desert. Well, this game's a great time to start. He's had sacks in three of his past five games against the Rams, and Sam Bradford will be starting his first NFL game. Better get it out quick, Sam.

KTAR.com - Doug's NFL Power Poll - Week 1
16: Arizona Cardinals

KTAR.com - Derek Anderson speaks for first time as a starter
Derek Anderson spoke for the first time since officially being named the starter at quarterback for the regular season.

Mailbag: Selling the Cardinals short? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Craig from Knoxville writes: I think alot of the experts, including yourself, are selling the Cards a little short. Remember, Kurt Warner didn't light up the Cards when he first got here. He didn't really light it up till Ken Whisenhunt took over. But the key is the Cardinals' schedule: Oakland, Kansas City, Denver, Tampa Bay, Seattle twice, St. Louis twice and San Francisco at home. That is nine games that can be won if the Cards just play decently, let alone very well. Throw in an upset or two and the Cardinals can easily get nine or 10 wins.

Arizona Cardinals chat with Kent Somers
The Arizona Republic's Cardinals reporter Kent Somers talked with readers from 2-3 p.m. Wednesday. Replay the transcript of the conversation below.

Fitzgerald healthy, ready for Cardinals opener - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Larry Fitzgerald is back in practice and, even in a knee brace, will provide new quarterback Derek Anderson a welcome big-play target when the Arizona Cardinals open the season Sunday in St. Louis.

Fans' guide to NFL labor battle - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Roger Goodell was in the midst of a leisurely training camp tour last month when the NFL commissioner began experiencing severe labor pains.

Fitz: I had nothing to do with QB change
Not that it is any surprise, but wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald insisted Wednesday he was not a factor in the Cards’ switch in quarterbacks from Matt Leinart to Derek Anderson (Coach Ken Whisenhunt had already said no players, including Fitzgerald, impacted the discussions).

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - KentSomers - Can Cardinals count on Beanie?
Determining the severity of injuries is always a tricky thing in the NFL. Teams don't reveal more than they have to and some don't even do that much.

Gambo and Ash 9-8-2010: Former Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart spoke with the media today in Houston as the newest member of the Texans.

KTAR.com - E: As clear as mud
The violent storms have passed and the sun is again shining across cities far and wide in the NFC West.

Giving Sam Bradford the best chance - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Rams' second-year head coach likes to stay involved in all areas of coaching, not just his specialty. Spagnuolo set aside an hour Tuesday for rookie quarterback Sam Bradford. The two watched Arizona Cardinals video in preparation for the regular-season opener Sunday.

No guarantees for NFL team captains - NFC West Blog - ESPN
September can be an exciting, gratifying time for those NFL players deemed significant enough to earn "captain" status, usually by vote of their peers. Enjoy it while you can, gentlemen.

Max Hall makes the most of a preseason surpise - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
There's a quarterback on the Arizona Cardinals' current roster who went undrafted, spent some time working in Iowa before he got his shot at the NFL, has a strong sense of faith, and wasn't thought by too many to have a chance at pro football success. Wait -- didn't Kurt Warner retire?

Memo To Max Hall Fans: Preseason, Like Alcohol, Can Impair Your Vision - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
There has been an awful lot of love given to the Arizona Cardinals' second string quarterback on this site and around the internet the last few weeks and somewhat deservingly so. He looked great in his preseason appearances for the team. The problem is, it was just that, preseason.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - KentSomers - Wednesday practice notes
A few quick notes before my chat begins at 2 p.m.

Two-time division champ Cardinals aren’t such a sexy pick in ‘10 | Fanster.com - All Sports. All Phoenix.
It appears that losing a bunch of key players from back-to-back NFC West champion teams holds a lot more weight than actually winning the division twice.

New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady unhurt after Boston car wreck
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was in a two-car accident near his home on Thursday morning but was unhurt and attended a walk-through practice later in the day.