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10-21-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Prep For Steelers

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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Its almost the weekend, so time for some links.

Little note, yesterday the Madden Ratings update was not posted because the only change for the Cardinals was changing Stewart Bradley's number form 97 to 52.

Arizona Cardinals News -

Two Defenses From One
Cards' scheme born from Horton's time in Pittsburgh

Sunday Is Carter Vs. Carter
Notebook: Rookie brothers face off; Wilson still leaning defense

Word From the Birds Blog - Throwing deep
One of the more popular topics with the Cards has been getting the ball to Larry Fitzgerald, a subject that comes up time and again. But an offshoot of that is the Cardinals taking shots downfield period. While the progress of quarterback Kevin Kolb has also been constantly analyzed, the gentlemen at complied a "throwing deep" list this season, checking out accuracy and other stats for QBs throwing deep (by their definition, a pass 20 yards in the air or more). Kolb has the fewest deep attempts in the NFL right now for starters. Kolb has tried only 11 deep passes this season, completing five. (And let’s be clear; throwing deep doesn’t exactly equate with win-loss record; the second-fewest attempts, 12, have come from the 49ers’ 5-1 starter Alex Smith, and he’s played in one more game than Kolb). Kolb has five completions for 205 yards, a touchdown (the bomb to Fitz in Washington) and three interceptions. The list is fun to peruse. Carolina rookie Cam Newton has already tried 43 such passes this season.

Final Word: NFC West - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Setting the tone with Beanie Wells: The violent stiff-arm Arizona's running back delivered against Minnesota demonstrated, again, what kind of runner Wells can be. The Cardinals should expect a strong effort from Wells against a Pittsburgh Steelers defense that has softened against the run. Arian Foster (155 yards), Ray Rice (107), Maurice Jones-Drew (96) and Joseph Addai (86) combined for 444 yards against the Steelers this season. Pittsburgh has allowed more yards rushing through six games this season (677) than it allowed through 10 games (630) last season. Wells is averaging 95.2 yards per game, fourth-most in the NFL. He ranks tied for second in rushing touchdowns with six despite missing one game to injury and having a bye week.

Word From the Birds Blog - Steelers game is a sellout
No surprise, but the game Sunday between the Cards and Steelers at University of Phoenix Stadium is a sellout, making the franchise 58-for-58 — including preseason and postseason games — in sellouts since moving into the building in 2006. Pittsburgh, for now, is the sellout bookends, since the first Cards’ game at UoP was a preseason game against the Steelers. blogs - Kent Somers - Counting snaps on defense
Other than cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and A.J. Jefferson, the Cardinals have not fully integrated young, or new, players into their defensive scheme. Mike Sando, who covers the NFC West for, pointed that out on Wednesday. Check out his blog entry here. Sando's numbers providing a jumping off point for a lot of conversations about the defense. These are just a few of them

Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers facing big concerns
The ties that bind the Steelers and Cardinals are so long and numerous that it takes almost as long to untangle them as it does the cables behind your television.

Cardinals, Steelers and drafting for defense - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Joey Porter played his final game for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2006 season. Clark Haggans was gone from the team a year later. The veteran outside linebackers, now 34 years old, are scheduled to start for Arizona against their former team Sunday, a reflection of how the teams have drafted for defense recently.

Playoffs? No, we're not talking about playoffs for the Cardinals -
At 1-4 the Arizona Cardinals chances of reaching the NFL playoffs are, shall we say, slim.

Is Whiz on the hot seat? -
How long does the goodwill of taking a historically bad franchise to within 157 seconds of winning a championship last? That seems to be the question a lot of people are asking when it comes to the job security of Arizona Cardinals' head coach Ken Whisenhunt. As the Cardinals prepare for a visit from the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, terms like "must win" and "hot seat" are getting thrown around. Now, do I think that Whisenhunt should be fearing for his job? No I don't. I mean no more than any other NFL coach should be fearing for his. But there are people on the other side of the fence on this topic, including former Dallas Cowboys' Vice President of player personnel Gil Brandt, now a senior analyst for

ESPN analyst says Cardinals need to form their own identity -
The idea of turning the Arizona Cardinals into Pittsburgh West has been around ever since the team hired Ken Whisenhunt to be head coach. Whether it was putting them on the coaching staff or signing some in free agency, the Cardinals sideline is littered with former Steelers. ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski, as a guest on Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo, said trying to be the Steelers is the wrong way to go for the Cardinals.

So you're saying the Cardinals have a chance against the Steelers -
The Pittsburgh Steelers are 4-2, the Arizona Cardinals 1- 4. The visitors come into the game 3.5 point favorites, with most expecting the Cardinals' losing streak to continue. But maybe not. "They absolutely have a chance," ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo.

Big Ben a hard man to bring down -
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has run for only 52 yards this season. There's eleven NFL quarterbacks who have amassed more yardage with their legs than he has. Roethlisberger has also been sacked 18 times in six games- - the 3rd highest total in the league this year. Despite those figures, Roethlisberger is still one of the most feared scramblers at the quarterback position in the NFL, especially by members of the Arizona Cardinals, who will host Big Ben and the Steelers Sunday afternoon in Glendale.

Fitzgerald: Blame the players, not Whisenhunt -
With Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt rumored to be on the hot seat, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald stepped in to say that fans should be blaming the players, not the coach.

Video: Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers preview
The Arizona Republic's Kent Somers talks about the Cardinals' home game on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Cards Daily - One on One with Beanie
Former Cardinals running back Damien Anderson got a chance to sit down with current running back Beanie Wells to ask him about his early season success.

Big Red Rage - Rhodes and Fitzgerald
Larry Fitzgerald joined Paul Calvisi, Ron Wolfley, and Kerry Rhodes to talk about the state of the Cardinals heading into the upcoming match-up with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Arizona Sports News -

Arizona Wildcats football throttles UCLA in Pac-12 contest
They still couldn't stop anything, kick between the uprights or win on national television. But enough about the UCLA Bruins. This was the Arizona Wildcats' big night. If a streaker-induced, sideline-clearing brawl was not rare enough of a sight Thursday night, the way UA played in throttling UCLA 48-12 was like seeing unicorns run across the Arizona Stadium field.

Phoenix Coyotes fall to Los Angeles Kings
No one expected the Coyotes to start the season like world beaters. More lows than highs were expected, at least until some areas of concern got smoothed out. And after six games, it's safe to say that they are a work in progress. The question is how long that progression will take. Little things too often stymie them, and their big moments are few and far between. The failure to elevate their game against elite teams is a disturbing trend but also a Catch 22: How do you accomplish that with a disparity in the talent level? That is something the Coyotes have to figure out better than they did Thursday night in a 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in front of 7,128 at Arena.

Jake Plummer: Brock Osweiler will get NFL consideration
Former Arizona State quarterback Jake Plummer visited with Brad Cesmat this week on "Big Guy on Sports" on XTRA Sports 910 AM.

NFL News -

Jerome Harrison Has Brain Tumor, According To Report -
The Lions traded Jerome Harrison shortly before the trade deadline but the trade was voided because Harrison failed a physical. Per an ESPN report, Harrison failed the physical because doctors found a brain tumor.

Jahvid Best's Injury Could End His Season, According To Report -
Will the Detroit Lions lose running back Jahvid Best for the entire 2011 season? It’s possible. Mike Freeman at reported today that people close to Best are advising him to sit out the rest of the 2011 season after sustaining his second concussion of the year.

Andrew Luck Sweepstakes: Does The Winner Face An Eli Manning Situation? -
After six weeks of the NFL season, the race for the number one pick is heating up as teams look to add franchise quarterback Andrew Luck. We break down all the contenders.

Tarvaris Jackson Injury: Early Signs Pointing To Charlie Whitehurst As Seahawks Starter -
The Seattle Seahawks haven't ruled out Tarvaris Jackson for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns but if practice reps mean anything (and they usually do) the Seahawks are preparing for Charlie Whitehurst to start. Jackson is recovering from a strained pectoral muscle and the early guess on who starts Sunday is Whitehurst.

Olin Kreutz Leaving The New Orleans Saints Team -
Veteran center Olin Kreutz is leaving the Saints because he no longer feels the passion for the game, according to his agent.

Video: 49ers' Patrick Willis on E60 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Passing along: the video accompanying Jeff Chadiha's piece on Patrick Willis. "San Francisco 49ers Patrick Willis, perhaps the best linebacker in the NFL, just bought a house. Big deal?" the caption beneath the video reads. "It is for Willis, who grew up in an abusive household bereft of what many of us take for granted -- no running water, no electricity and, worst of all, no compassion. Forced at an early age to be a leader and fend for himself and his siblings in the face of beatings and neglect by an abusive father, Willis eventually settled in with a foster family that helped turn his life around and bring him to where he is now. Finally, his mission to find a place to call home just might have ended."