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10-29-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - The Day Before

  (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
(Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Time for some links to start off this morning of College Football.

Also, congrats to the St. Louis Cardinals for winning the World Series last night. Now if only the Football Cardinals could start winning again...

(I didn't really care who won, but I would have preferred the Rangers because it would be their first time winning it)

Arizona Cardinals News:

Housler Making Name For Himself
Notebook: Cornerbacks wary of Boldin talk; Sherman shows off hands

One For The Road
Cardinals seeking to snap losing streak in Baltimore

Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens - scouting report
Kent Somers breaks down Sunday's Week 8 matchup between the Cardinals and Ravens in Baltimore.

Heap thanks fans in Baltimore - ArizonaSports.com
Arizona Cardinals tight end Todd Heap may not play Sunday in Baltimore, a city where he spent the first ten years of his career. But that fact didn't stop Heap from delivering a heartfelt thank you to the fans that bellowed "Heeeeeeaaappp" every time he caught a ball at M&T Bank Stadium. Heap purchased a full-page ad in The Baltimore Sun to express his gratitude in advance of Sunday's game.

Word From the Birds Blog - Friday before the Ravens
The question was about quarterback Kevin Kolb taking "heat" – or too much of it – given the way the first six games had gone. Coach Ken Whisenhunt shook his head, although his answer wasn’t just about Kolb.

Arizona Cardinals younger linebackers starting to make mark
The Cardinals entered the season with the same starting four linebackers as last year, but with three reserves now assuming larger roles, that could change in the coming weeks. Stewart Bradley, O'Brien Schofield and Sam Acho played more snaps last week against the Steelers than in any previous game this year. That trend likely will continue Sunday against the Ravens.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - That's a lot of losing
Running back Beanie Wells did more in practice on Friday than he did Thursday, and he will test his sore knee before Sunday's game to see if he can play. If he does play, my hunch is that he doesn't carry the full load for the Cardinals. I bet the team tries to limit his work. Tight end Todd Heap will test his hamstring before the game. It wouldn't surprise me if Heap played a limited role in the red zone and third down situations. Ken Whisenhunt said as much on Thursday. Outside linebacker Joey Porter has a chronic knee problem that's causing him to miss practice time. Porter missed two days of work this week after missing a day a week for much of the season. He is listed as questionable for Sunday's game and will be a game-day decision. Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield can play Porter's spot, but given recent substitution patterns, I'd say Acho is more likely to get the nod.

Cardinals prepare for Baltimore's passing attack - ArizonaSports.com
Cardinals fans should be familiar with one of the Ravens top two receivers, but one they may not know could pose just as much of a challenge. Anquan Boldin -- the receiver fans should know -- and Torrey Smith are the Ravens' top two targets this season. Each play a different style that could potentially cause problems for the Cardinals secondary. Cornerback AJ Jefferson says Smith uses his speed while Boldin will play a more physical style of game. The gameplan to prevent the receivers from running free is to jam them at the line.

Cardinals defense not taking Ravens offense lightly - ArizonaSports.com
Don't worry if you missed Monday night's matchup featuring the Ravens and Jaguars because, well, you didn't miss much. Simply put, the game wasn't exactly a gridiron classic. The contest featured one touchdown, four field goals and a final score of 12-7 in favor of the Jaguars. The Ravens offense looked dismal Monday night, finishing with a total of 146 yards and only 11 first downs. Baltimore's offense could be the break the Cardinals defense needs to boost their morale, but players aren't taking the Ravens lightly after the team's bad offensive performance.

Word From the Birds Blog - Beanie, Heap game-day decisions in Baltimore
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said RB Beanie Wells was indeed able to do more work on his sore knee Friday, and with both he and TE Todd Heap (hamstring) "progressing," they will be part of the group of players that will be game-day decisions for the Cardinals. Included in that will be LB Joey Porter, who is dealing with a chronic knee issue. They are among six players — WR Early Doucet (quadricep), WR DeMarco Sampson (hamstring) and TE Jim Dray (pectoral) as well — who are officially questionable for Sunday’s game in Baltimore. S Kerry Rhodes (foot) is obviously out. CB Michael Adams (hand) is probable.

Final Word: NFC West - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Fraying around the edges: The 95-yard touchdown pass Arizona allowed to Mike Wallace last week followed a pattern for the Cardinals. Wallace caught the ball outside the yard-line numbers, where cornerbacks often find themselves without much help. Arizona is allowing 67.0 percent completions and 9.8 yards per attempt on passes outside the numbers, contributing to a league-worst 95.6 Total QBR on these throws, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Ravens' offense has struggled on outside throws in recent weeks, but that could be about to change.

NFC West Penalty Watch: Okung improves - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Arizona's Patrick Peterson is trending with five penalties over the past thee games. He had three against Pittsburgh in Week 7, including one when he memorably jumped offsides, then tried to call timeout before incurring the penalty. Hey, it was worth a try.

XTRA910 audio: NFC West Week 8 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Gushing over coach Jim Harbaugh and the 5-1 San Francisco 49ers, though well-earned, is enjoyed safely with perspective. Harbaugh would agree. He's been preaching humility and a blue-collar approach designed to ward off complacency. It's working beautifully, by all accounts. Dan Bickley asked for details during my weekly Friday conversation with XTRA Sports 910 AM in Phoenix, pointing specifically to the Frederick P. Soft character Harbaugh has invoked. I gave an overview of Mr. Soft's purpose before finally deciding the gushing over Harbaugh was approaching genuflection. Harbaugh has worked wonders with the 49ers, no question, but the NFL has a way of humbling everyone eventually. "We read those stories about Arizona a couple years ago, too, and how Ken Whisenhunt had all the answers," I replied, sounding a bit testy late in the week. "No one has all the answers, and the 49ers aren't going to win five out of six games forever."

Arizona Sports News:

LeBron James hoping for Steve Nash to join him in Miami? - ArizonaSports.com
Last offseason LeBron James was able to convince Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to join him in Miami. Will Steve Nash be next? James, who is either bored, playing GM or both, sent out a tweet Thursday that got the NBA world abuzz.

NFL News:

Ryan Fitzpatrick Agrees To $59 Million Extension With Bills - SBNation.com
The Buffalo Bills tabbed Ryan Fitzpatrick the quarterback of the future when they signed him to a reported six-year contract extension worth up to $59 million total.

Sam Bradford Injury: Rams QB Is Ruled Out For Week 8 - SBNation.com
Sam Bradford will miss his second consecutive game with a high ankle sprain, head coach Steve Spagnuolo announced. The St. Louis Rams will start A.J. Feeley in his place once again.

Chris Harris Claimed Off Waiver Wire By Detroit Lions - SBNation.com
The Chicago Bears released veteran safety Chris Harris earlier this week and, after the trade deadline, all players released hit the waiver wire which means every NFL team has a shot at claiming them. According to ESPN, the Detroit Lions claimed Harris off waivers.

If Someone Injures Every Single Cowboys QB, Dez Could Be Pretty Fun - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
Just sayin, you guys. From Matt Bowen's Cowboys-Eagles preview at National Football Post: "During my career (when we matched up with Vick and the Falcons), we would use a DB, WR or kick returner to play some scout team quarterback to get a look at an athlete under center. The Cowboys solution this week? Let WR Dez Bryant run the scout team offense."

McGahee fined $7,500 for breaking hand on Smith’s facemask | ProFootballTalk
Broncos running back Willis McGahee may have had the costliest stiff arm in NFL history on Sunday.

Urban Meyer: Alex Smith, Tim Tebow got blamed for bad teams | ProFootballTalk
Urban Meyer coached 49ers quarterback Alex Smith at Utah and Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow at Florida, and after watching them have their ups and downs in the NFL, Meyer has come to one conclusion: When Smith and Tebow have been criticized, the criticism really ought to go to their teams.

"Horsing around" with Flacco leaves Harbaugh with cut under eye | ProFootballTalk
Ravens P.R. guru Kevin Byrne has a blog on the team’s official website. The latest entry contains an interesting revelation regarding a recent encounter between coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco.