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11-23-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Bartel's Journey

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(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Time for some links, including a look at Bartel's journey into the NFL as he gets his first touchdown pass in garbage time last Sunday during whatever that loss was.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Serving At The Holidays
Cards take turn at the annual "Feed The Hungry" dinner in Phoenix

Arizona Cardinals QB Rich Bartel's TD pass caps long journey
It's fitting that the ball Cardinals quarterback Rich Bartel threw for his first NFL touchdown pass took a circuitous route to Sunday's game in San Francisco. A "K Ball," for use by kickers only, somehow was included in the Cardinals' ball bag and found its way into the game in the fourth quarter. A few seconds after receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught the deflected ball for a 23-yard touchdown, he handed it to Bartel, who had waited almost five seasons to get it. "They're going to payroll deduct me to paint it," Bartel said, smiling. "I think that's standard NFL rules. I'll take it." Like the football, Bartel took a unique path to reach Sunday's game.

Outside the huddle: Arizona Cardinals tight end Todd Heap
Each week, The Republic spotlights a Cardinals player for a series of on-the-spot, off-beat questions.

Re-Focused: Cardinals @ 49ers, Week 11 |
Arizona – Three Performances of Note

Word From the Birds Blog - Dan Williams to IR; Talley returns and PS moves
After breaking his arm Sunday, nose tackle Dan Williams was officially put on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season. To replace him on the roster, the Cardinals promoted defensive end Ronald Talley from the practice squad.

NFC West Stock Watch - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Falling: John Skelton, Cardinals quarterback. This feels like a late hit -- piling on. Skelton took enough criticism from coach Ken Whisenhunt following the Cardinals' 23-7 defeat at San Francisco. But if we're going to list NFC West players whose stock fell in Week 10, Skelton has to rank at the top. He completed 6 of 19 passes for 99 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions before Whisenhunt benched him to start the fourth quarter. A strong performance from Skelton against the 49ers would have put pressure on Whisenhunt to stick with the second-year passer a while longer.

Word From the Birds Blog - Back in San Fran, Bartel gets his first
Rich Bartel had been stewing about it since January, when he got in his first NFL game and had Larry Fitzgerald down the field on a double-move and couldn’t complete the bomb. He thought he was going to have a touchdown on that play. He thought about that Sunday, when, once again, he came in in relief of John Skelton in San Francisco. This time, the quarterback was able to hook up with Fitzgerald for what was finally his first NFL touchdown pass. "It was ironic the way it worked out," Bartel said.

49ers’ Goldson says he "lost it" when he punched Cardinals’ Doucet | ProFootballTalk
San Francisco safety Dashon Goldson was ejected from Sunday’s game for punching Arizona receiver Early Doucet, and he has acknowledged — after having some time to cool down — that throwing a punch on the football field was not a wise move.

Where NFC West teams rank: Week 11 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Arizona Cardinals (lost vs. 49ers): on defense, fell three spots in rushing yards allowed per game, fell four spots in sacks per pass attempt, rose three spots in red zone touchdown percentage allowed; on offense, fell five spots in yards per game, fell six spots in NFL passer rating, dropped nine spots in fewest giveaways.

Clemons honored, Campbell next in line? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Seattle Seahawks' Chris Clemons is the NFC's top defensive player from Week 11 after using the St. Louis Rams' injury problems to his advantage Sunday. Next in line: the Arizona Cardinals' Calais Campbell, who sometimes dominates against regular starters and has experience picking on backups.

Arizona Sports News:

Phoenix Coyotes, forward Kyle Turris agree to two-year deal
The Coyotes and Kyle Turris agreed to a reported two-year deal Tuesday. General Manager Don Maloney was happy to have the holdout saga end. "We are pleased to agree to terms with Kyle on a multi-year contract," Maloney said in a team release. "Kyle is a top, young player who will make us a better team." Turris, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward, was a 2007 first-round pick (No. 3 overall) of the Coyotes and appeared in 65 regular-season games last year.

Pressure is on ASU's Lisa Love after UA's big hire
A man in the stands came dressed as Santa Claus. A headline in the local paper read, "Wildcats Get Rich." It's a joyous time in Tucson, where Christmas comes before Thanksgiving. "Why not us?" Rich Rodriguez, new football coach, crowed at his pep-rally news conference Tuesday. "Why can't we win it all?" The McKale Center crowd cheered, mostly in disbelief. Up north, the Sun Devils shudder, aware that this is a defining moment in their boisterous rivalry. The scales have been tipped. The University of Arizona has Sean Miller, a mini-Mike Krzyzewski, and merely the best young basketball coach in the business. It has former Sun Devil Greg Byrne, an athletic director who is aggressive, smart and swings for the fences. And four days after sucker-punching ASU's season with a 31-27 win at Sun Devil Stadium, the Wildcats parlayed that momentum into the unveiling of Rodriguez, the perfect replacement for Mike Stoops.

Rich Rodriguez introduced as Arizona Wildcats football coach
For the past few weeks, Rich Rodriguez kept hearing from people who had talked to Arizona Athletic Director Greg Byrne. Byrne was pursuing a football coaching hire with a scientist's diligence. He talked to NCAA officials, conference figures, school administrators, coaches at all levels and, Rodriguez joked, the coach's first-grade teacher. The most-telling words came from a plane seat next to Byrne.

NFL News:

Kyle Orton Waived By Denver Broncos -
The Broncos have officially moved on from the Kyle Orton era by deciding to waive the quarterback on Tuesday.

Andrew Luck Sweepstakes: Where Seattle Seahawks And Miami Dolphins Fans Wonder What Went Wrong -
After eleven weeks of the 2011 NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts have taken a commanding lead for the No. 1 overall pick. We look at how things changed though for the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins.

Long-Shot NFL Playoff Picture: Make-Believe For The Mathematically Living -
11 weeks into the NFL season, only one team has been mathematically eliminated. Teams such as the Rams, Vikings, and Panthers are still technically alive. Here, we plot out the ridiculous methods by which they can reach the postseason.

Kyle Orton? NFC West remembers that guy - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Three NFC West teams went into the most recent NFL offseason with unsettled quarterback situations. Among the potential options: acquiring veteran Kyle Orton from the Denver Broncos. It never happened, but Orton's viability is worth revisiting now that the Broncos are releasing him. A few considerations:

2011 NFC West game changers: Week 11 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Let's face it, there wasn't much drama in the NFC West during Week 11.

NFL Power Rankings Week 12: Packers Remain Packers; Ravens Resurface -
SB Nation's NFL power rankings for Week 12 sees a familiar team at top in the unbeaten Packers and a familiar team at the bottom with the winless Colts.

Orton pushed for release after Cutler injury | ProFootballTalk
It’s no coincidence that Kyle Orton was cut by the Broncos soon after Jay Cutler’s injury in Chicago. Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that Orton’s agent pushed for the release after they saw Cutler needed surgery on his thumb. Orton reportedly has "let it be known" that the Bears are one of the teams he’d like to play for. We wouldn’t be surprised if Orton’s agent got an indication on Sunday from the Bears that the interest was mutual.

Tebow to Plummer: I’ll take every opportunity to praise the Lord | ProFootballTalk
Former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer recently offered a critique of current Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, not because of the way Tebow plays the game but because of the way Tebow expresses his religious beliefs before, during and after every game. Today Tebow responded.

Josh Scobee calls DeSean Jackson "punk," starts Twitter feud | ProFootballTalk
Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee and Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson have engaged in a war of words on Twitter.

Jake Plummer implies Mike Shanahan put him in a box - DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post
When I posted Jake Plummer’s critical comments about Mike Shanahan earlier this week, a bunch of people found it distasteful, and asked if I will now obsessively post every negative thing any former Shanahan player says about their former coach. So, to those readers, I give you this. It's Jake Plummer, talking to Fox Sports Arizona during the Arizona-Arizona State game. Reporter Jody Jackson asked Plummer whether he misses being in the NFL, and the former quarterback answered like this. news: Rejuvenated Leinart confident about guiding Texans rest of way
The first name is the same, and the Houston Texans say not much else is changing, either. Matt Leinart practiced for the first time as the Texans' starting quarterback on Monday, with Matt Schaub likely out for the season with a right foot injury. The Texans (7-3) are coming off a bye week and play at Jacksonville (3-7) on Sunday. Leinart has been anxiously awaiting a chance to start again ever since he was demoted in Arizona in 2008 in favor of Kurt Warner. He signed with the Texans after the Cardinals released him in September 2010.

Adventures in Officiating: What’s a defender supposed to do? - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
You've seen it through the season — a receiver will hit the middle of the field on any kind of crossing pattern, and the quarterback will throw him right into an oncoming defender. Said defender poleaxes Mr. Receiver because there's no way he can stop quickly enough to avoid contact, and the official drops a flag and nails the defender for a personal foul because he hit a defenseless receiver. But if Mr. Quarterback throws Mr. Receiver into the defender's path, and there's no way for the defender to stop in time, what is the defender supposed to do?