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11-18-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Fitz Working To Improve

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  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Time for some more links, including people being impressed by Skelton, and the work Fitz is putting in to get even better than he is now.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Fitzgerald's Downfield Plays
Notebook: Cards work with Beanie's knee; SF QB Smith rejuvenated

Sizing Up Washington
Linebacker getting bigger, but speed provides giant impact

Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald still learning on the job
Larry Fitzgerald asks coaches and teammates. He asks opponents, relatives, friends, acquaintances and anyone else he thinks knows something about football. What are you seeing when you watch me? It's a question motivated by desire, not vanity. Sure, Fitzgerald wants his eye-black applied just so, the braids flowing out of the back of the helmet to look just right, the Cardinals uniform to fit perfectly. But a mirror can tell him if those things are in order. What he wants to know from you, if you know football, is how he can improve.

Cardinals' Beanie Wells eager to face 49ers' run defense
Running back Beanie Wells knows all about the 49ers' impressive run defense. He knows it hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 31 consecutive games. He knows it hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown all season. "And I'm excited to face them because of that," he said. "They're a good football team and I want to go out there and give them my best. When you go against a good defense like that, you always want to step your game up a little bit more." The way Wells sees it, a couple of big runs early against San Francisco will help set the tone for a big game by him.

Word From the Birds Blog - Fitzgerald’s growth off the field
Once upon a time, Larry Fitzgerald would run off the field as soon as the final second ticked off the clock. He would race to the locker room and shower before the head coach would even gather up his players for the post-game speech, and most times leave before the head coach was done with his post-game press conference with the media. "If I did my job, I didn’t really have much to talk about," Fitzgerald said.

Skelton continues to impress ESPN's Ron Jaworski -
The Cardinals may not have a QB controversy, but they certainly have something to think about. "When you see a guy in only his second year and the inexperience that John has," ESPN's Ron Jaworski told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo, "to make some of the plays he made - tremendous." Jaworski, who said Skelton has matured in his second NFL season, pointed to one of Skelton's touchdown passes to Larry Fitzgerald as a sign that the QB is doing a great job with "eye manipulation."

Skelton preparing differently with starter title -
Being named the started clearly had an impact on Arizona Cardinals backup quarterback John Skelton, who has won two straight games under the center. But what is he doing differently to prepare as a starter?

Frustrated by injury, Kolb is nearing return -
Kevin Kolb is tired of being injured. He's tired of being unable to practice with his team and wants to get back on the field. "I didn't expect to take this long," he said of the recovery. "My injuries have either been a broken bone or the concussion, which is pretty straightforward on the recovery time, so this is a little bit frustrating for me." Kolb said he is glad the team has won the last two with him out of the lineup, but that every day is bringing him closer to the field. In fact, he practiced some Wednesday. blogs - Kent Somers - Fitzgerald on revolutionizing the receiver position
In the course of gathering information for a story, I had an interesting conversation on Wednesday with Larry Fitzgerald about the wide receiver position. As one of the Hall of Fame selectors, I know the difficulty that lies ahead in judging the worthiness of receivers. In fact, we've already started to see it. The game has changed. Passing numbers have exploded, and some of the receivers who will be retiring in the next 5 to 10 years will have crazy statistics, including Fitzgerald.

Comfort zones: John Skelton vs. Kevin Kolb - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Injuries, opposing defenses and game situations influence receiving totals from week to week. So do quarterback changes. The chart shows reception and yardage totals for Arizona Cardinals players in each of their quarterback's past two games. John Skelton is coming off games against St. Louis and Philadelphia. Kevin Kolb played most recently against Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Skelton faced easier competition and won both games, making clutch plays in fourth quarters. Toe and foot injuries continue to sideline Kolb. I would expect him to resume as the starter when healthy -- unless Skelton leads Arizona past 8-1 San Francisco in Week 11.

Word From the Birds Blog - Horton’s hair story
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton wears cornrows normally, although when the team got off the plane when it got back from Philadelphia, I noticed Horton had released his fairly prestigious hair from its everyday trappings. It was hard not to notice it again Thursday, as Horton, 51, coached practice with his hair fanned out like he was lost in the 1970s.

Word From the Birds Blog - "A little ways away" for Kolb, and other notes
Coach Ken Whisenhunt isn’t making any announcements on his starting quarterback, but he acknowledged that Kevin Kolb remained limited and "is probably still a little ways away from playing." That seems to open the door for John Skelton Sunday in San Francisco (not that there was a lot of reason to think otherwise anyway).

Kolb doesn’t look close to returning for the Cardinals | ProFootballTalk
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt isn’t saying much about his quarterback "controversy" because he doesn’t have to. Kevin Kolb isn’t ready to return to the field. John Skelton will have more time to display his wares.

Mornhinweg says Kolb’s knowledge had no effect on game | ProFootballTalk
After Sunday’s unexpected 21-17 win by the Cardinals over the Eagles, former Philly and current Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb said that he was able to spot some of the offensive play calls, and that he yelled out what was coming to his new defensive teammates. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, whose ignominious career as the head coach of the Lions was highlighted by winning the toss in sudden-death overtime and choosing to kick, claims that Kolb was unable to crack any code.

Big opportunities for NFC West pass-rushers - NFC West Blog - ESPN
49ers LT Joe Staley vs. the Cardinals. Arizona' Calais Campbell has been dominant at times lately. He will not match up with Staley exclusively, but their matchup is one to watch. Campbell has 2.5 sacks and an interception in the Cardinals' last three games.

Chat wrap: Trap game for the 49ers? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Mike Sando: Let's start with this one Sunday against a Cardinals team that has won its last two games, has shown an ability to strike down the field, is getting better pressure on opposing quarterbacks and has the ability to score on special teams. I've been wondering if the 49ers would have an off game, or a game where the other team surprises them. Has not really happened yet. Do not think it is likely to happen, but with a Thanksgiving game against Baltimore on the horizon, it's possible.

Cards Daily - One on One with Fitz
Damien Anderson takes a moment with franchise receiver Larry Fitzgerald to see what makes him great.

Video: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers early preview
The Arizona Republic's Kent Somers talks about the Cardinals' divisional road game on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Big Red Rage - Rhodes and Skelton
QB John Skelton joined Paul Calvisi, Ron Wolfley, and Kerry Rhodes to talk about the Cardinals big win against the Eagles and the upcoming match-up with the 49ers

Arizona Sports News:

Late goal lifts Flyers over Mike Smith, Coyotes
Ilya Bryzgalov needed a big boost at the end to get the victory he badly wanted against his former team. Matt Read knocked in a rebound with 18.6 seconds left to make a winner out Bryzgalov and lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 2-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night.

Arizona Wildcats basketball pulls away from St. John's in 2K Sports Classic
Two young teams in an early-season matchup that could go a long way to determining how things will go for them in March. Both coaches were happy. Solomon Hill had 15 points to lead No. 15 Arizona to a roller coaster 81-72 victory over St. John's on Thursday night in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.

NFL News:

Jets can no longer hide Mark Sanchez | ProFootballTalk
The headlines from Thursday night’s game will be about Tim Tebow. They should be about the lack of progress by the Jets offense in year three of the Mark Sanchez era.

ANIMATED: Rex Ryan Left Completely Befuddled By Tim Tebow, Broncos - From Our Editors -
The New York Jets held a late 13-10 lead over the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football and had the Broncos pinned deep on their 5-yard line. On the very first play, the Jets nearly picked up a safety on a wide receiver screen to Eddie Royal. Tebow engineered a 95-yard touchdown drive however. Of course he did, right? He's Tim Tebow. He marched right down the field on a combination of short throws and tough rushing yards. Celebration and frustration gifs after the jump.

NFL Videos: Chance for redemption
Matt Leinart's career 7-10 record as a starter leaves a lot to be desired, but will a chance in Houston be exactly what he needs to turn his career around? Kurt Warner discusses Leinart's opportunity.

After starting 0-7, Dolphins talking about ending up 9-7 | ProFootballTalk
The Miami Dolphins are talking about the playoffs. Seriously.

Sam Bradford disappointed in sophomore season | ProFootballTalk
St. Louis has won two of their last three games, but the offense has yet to get rolling. No team has scored fewer points than the Rams. Not the Colts. Not the Browns. Not even the Blaine Gabbert-led Jaguars.

Former Packer Johnny Jolly Sentenced To Six Years In Prison -
Former Packers DL Johnny Jolly was sentenced to six years in prison after violating the terms of his parole.