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10-28-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Off To Baltimore

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Are you happy? (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
Are you happy? (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Time for todays links as the Cardinals get ready to fly off to Baltimore.

One link from KTAR has an interesting interview with Ron Jaworski where he says the problems are caused by either bad coaching or dumb players. You be the judge.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Kevin Kolb's next steps with Arizona Cardinals
In his Monday press conference, coach Ken Whisenhunt blamed poor footwork as the primary reason for quarterback Kevin Kolb's accuracy problems over the past few games. For example, with proper fundamentals, Whisenhunt said, Kolb would have completed the deep pass to tight end Rob Housler.

Word From the Birds Blog - The always bumpy quest to find a quarterback
Thanks to some obvious rhyming and a "can’t miss" quarterback prospect, the phrase "Suck for Luck" has become all the rage among the fan bases of poor teams this season in the NFL. It’s catchy to a point, although for all the reasons expected, it’s never true. Sure, there are going to be bad teams and someone indeed will be bad enough to end up with the No. 1 pick, but there are never players who are thinking about who their team might draft the following April. If you are on that bad of a team, sweeping changes usually come to the roster anyway — so there is no reason to do anything but play hard and try to win. If someone is seen dogging in on video, who’s going to want them going forward?

What could be holding back Kevin Kolb - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The excitement in Kevin Kolb's voice at Arizona Cardinals training camp revealed an enthusiasm for the new offense he was learning. The Cardinals' offense was unlike the one Kolb learned in Philadelphia. That posed challenges in the short term, but Kolb was ultimately looking forward to running a system based on different principles -- one that ultimately could let a quarterback reach another level. In general, West Coast systems focus on running the same plays from different formations with more precision than the defense can handle. The Cardinals' system focuses more on matching route concepts to specific coverages. It's more about exploiting specific holes in a defense on a play-to-play basis. Additional chances to attack matchups come at the expense of preset rhythm for the quarterback.

Youth served? Rookie gets bigger chance - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A few notes on how the Arizona Cardinals use their defensive personnel, followed by an ESPN Stats & Information chart with playing-time percentages:

Chat wrap: If the Seahawks could re-draft - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Mike from the Philippines asks whether the Arizona Cardinals, if given the chance, would draft quarterback Andrew Luck or a top left tackle such as USC's Matt Kalil.

Jaworski on Cardinals: 'It's either poor coaching or dumb players' -
When an NFL team starts a season 1-5, there's plenty of blame to be spread around. Fans have mostly sprinkled that blame among the quarterback, the offensive line, the coaching, the lack of pass rush and the play of the secondary. ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Ron Jaworski breaks it down in an even more elementary manner.

Dockett sounds off? Cardinal talks defense -
Darnell Dockett is not having a particularly good season. A Pro Bowl talent, Dockett has recorded just 18 tackles and half a sack this season, failing to really make any kind of impact that would show up on the stat sheet. While some have argued Dockett's play can be attributed to the contract extension he signed before last season, others say it's the defense that is holding him back. The veteran has admitted at times that the system has been tough to learn, always maintaining that he was going to figure it out and get going. But has he finally had enough of being a square peg being forced into a round hole, given that his job is not to attack but rather hold up linemen so the linebackers can make plays?

Waiting On Wells, Alfonso Prepares
Notebook: Smith ready if needed; Backup linebackers to play more

Can the Cardinals end their road woes in Baltimore?
The Cardinals have lost 10 consecutive games away from home, with their last road victory coming in St. Louis in the 2010 season opener. They haven't played well at home in that stretch, either, and have an overall record of 6-16 the past two seasons. The Cardinals are following the same routine on the road as they did in 2009 when they went 6-2, so it's hard to blame anything other than poor play for their recent road woes.

Finding Big Plays In A Small Package
Stephens-Howling hoping 73-yard touchdown sparks his season

Young LBs starting to catch on -
The Arizona Cardinals' defensive depth chart features one of the oldest linebacking units in the league. Starters Joey Porter, Clark Haggans and Paris Lenon are all 34 years of age. Lenon leads the team with 38 total tackles, but Porter and Haggans, who are called upon to provide a pass rush in Ray Horton's 3-4 defensive scheme, have combined for 2 quarterback sacks in the Cardinals' first six games. That lack of production, plus age and the team's 1-5 start might mean more playing time for some of the younger linebackers on the Arizona roster. On Thursday, head coach Ken Whisenhunt commented on the development of young outside linebackers Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield.

Peterson is one of a few struggling first round picks -
The Cardinals secondary has been a sore spot so far this season, which was to be expected with the amount of youth being forced to play. However, most probably expected first-round pick Patrick Peterson to be a little better than he has, as the fifth- overall selection has recorded 32 tackles and one interception while being burned for big passes on multiple occasions. So, if you think Peterson is struggling, you're right.

Word From the Birds Blog - Fitz’s yards per catch climbs
There is little doubt the Cardinals have been trying all season to get the ball to Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and they would still like to get it to him more often. But for all the talk of having a second receiver to stretch the field for the Cards, the quest to get Fitzgerald down the field has worked so far this season.

710ESPN audio: NFC West Week 8 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The way NFL officials are penalizing seemingly legal hits -- think Clay Matthews' form tackle on Christian Ponder -- led off my latest conversation with 710ESPN Seattle. We discussed the NFC West as well.

Big Red Rage - Rhodes and Stephens-Howling
LaRod Stephens-Howling joined Paul Calvisi, Ron Wolfley, and Kerry Rhodes to talk about the Cardinals upcoming match-up with the Baltimore Ravens.

Cards Daily - Catching up with Acho
Damien Anderson talks with rookie OLB Sam Acho about his progress in his first season.

Video: Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens early preview
The Arizona Republic's Kent Somers talks about the Cardinals' road game on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.


Arizona Sports News:

Coyotes' offense clicks in home win against Devils
Five percent. That's the amount of extra effort coach Dave Tippett was looking for from his players after a jolting loss 48 hours earlier. The Coyotes gave that effort and a little more, as they scored a 5-3 win over the Devils on Thursday night at Arena. Martin Hanzal and Ray Whitney scored third-period goals for the Coyotes. It was a welcome win for the Coyotes, who fumbled away a late lead Tuesday night and lost in a shootout.

Upton named NL All-Star by Sporting News -
The honors continue to pour in for Arizona Diamondbacks' right fielder Justin Upton, who Thursday was named to the Sporting News National League All- Star team .

NFL News:

The NFL Loves Los Angeles, Again -
The NFL is coming back to Los Angeles sooner rather than later. The only questions left to ask are which current team will relocate and where will they play once they arrive.

Colts' Jeff Saturday Calls Out SB Nation's Stampede Blue - From Our Editors -
Following the Indianapolis Colts' historic 62-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints, our Colts blog, Stampede Blue, looked at some comments made by center Jeff Saturday. Specifically, Saturday said that the Colts were "out-coached", among others things, including out-played. Stampede Blue had this to say about Saturday's comments:

Terrell Owens 911 Call Audio Suggests Possible Suicide Attempt -
Several weeks ago TMZ reported that an ambulance was called to the home of free agent Terrell Owens for reasons that were unknown. Physically, we know Owens is now fine as he conducted a public workout for NFL teams earlier this week. But TMZ now has audio of the 911 call and his assistant, the woman who called 911, indicated on the call that Owens took some pills and she believed it was a suicide attempt by the 37-year old receiver.

Reggie Bush: "We stink." Teammate: "He stinks." Bush: "I do stink." | ProFootballTalk
Reggie Bush was involved in what could have become a war of words in the Dolphins’ locker room this week when he said the team stinks — except that when a teammate retorted that Bush stinks, Bush agreed with that assessment.

Tim Tebow Is A Fan Of Tebowing - From Our Editors -
Tim Tebow is aware of this new-found phenomenon called Tebowing, which is either meant to make fun of him or honor him. Not sure which it is, but planking has been replaced by Tebowing, at least for the next week or so. It's basically the same thing -- anyone, anywhere, with anything going on around them can Tebow by dropping to a knee, lowering their head and placing their fist on their own forehead.

Andrew Luck Sweepstakes: Riling Up Miami Dolphins Players -
After seven 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.

San Diego Chargers LG Kris Dielman Reportedly Suffers Seizure On Team Flight -
San Diego Chargers left guard Kris Dielman reportedly suffered a seizure on the team flight home from New York last weekend. news: Raiders' Palmer faced Chiefs with knowledge of 15 plays
If you were surprised to see Carson Palmer make his Raiders debut last Sunday, you can only imagine how he felt.

Todd Haley Channels His Outer Bill Belichick - From Our Editors -
You might be wondering why Todd Haley has looked so disheveled on the sidelines lately. You might even be thinking it's due to stress. After all, it's been a tough season for Haley and the Kansas City Chiefs. As it turns out, Haley's look is carefully planned and has its roots in superstition

Leigh Bodden Released By New England Patriots, According To Report -
The Patriots released 30-year old cornerback Leigh Bodden, according to a report. The Patriots have not yet confirmed the move.