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2-1-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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More stuff for today, including a little update on the Defensive Coordinator search. - Cardinals have big plans for top four 2010 draft picks
While the Cardinals have only just begun to formulate their plans for the upcoming draft, team insiders believe the team will be counting on significant contributions in 2011 from their top four picks in last year's draft. "(First-round NT Dan) Williams definitely will start, with Gabe Watson a free agent and Bryan Robinson probably retiring," one insider told PFW. "(Second-round ILB Daryl) Washington probably will start, while (fourth-round OLB O'Brien) Schofield is 50-50 (to start)." As for third-round WR Andre Roberts, who showed steady improvement afer a very shaky start in training camp, we hear he has a good shot at becoming the team's slot receiver, with durability issues and potential free agency clouding the future of fellow WRs Steve Breaston and Early Doucet. "They need all four of those guys to come through in a big way," the insider said. "They all play positions that really lack depth at the moment."

Off the edge
By the time I arrived to cover the Cardinals full-time, Simeon Rice’s best Cardinals’ season was behind him, with 16½ sacks in 1999. I was in place just in time for a contract dispute and "Don’t-tell-Mike-Jurecki-come-talk-to-me!" from then-GM Bob Ferguson. Rice had only 7½ sacks in 2000 and then left as a free agent. Since then, finding a difference-making pass rusher hasn’t been easy for the Cardinals.

Larry Fitzgerald TD Catch In Pro Bowl Bittersweet For Cardinals Fans - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Larry Fitzgerald had a somewhat quiet Pro Bowl game Sunday. He wasn't targeted much, but was part of an NFC squad that jumped out to a 42-0 lead en route to a 55-41 victory over the AFC. He did, though, find his way t the endzone. His sole catch was a 25-yard grab from Matt Ryan to put the NFC up 35-0. It was one of his patented jump ball in the endzone scores.

At the Super Bowl, DC subject comes up
I am not at the Super Bowl. But thanks to Twitter, it’s easy to monitor some people who are there and are talking to some of the assistant coaches who have been floated as potential defensive coordinator targets for the Cardinals. Since coach Ken Whisenhunt hasn’t talked to any of these people yet — he can’t even ask for permission to do so until after the season — these potentials are just guesswork. But it’s educated guesswork.

Arizona Cardinals owners buy Tom's Tavern
Tom's Tavern, a landmark downtown Phoenix restaurant that had been on the brink of closing, has a new owner dedicated to keeping it open and preserving its identity.

Media day highlights: Keith Butler, etc. - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Keith Butler, linebackers coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, could be a prime candidate to become defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals. It's unclear whether the Steelers will let Arizona interview Butler following the Super Bowl, but Butler cleared up one misconception about his current situation. Butler said his contract does not include a clause identifying him as the Steelers' next coordinator. Butler expressed gratitude to the Steelers for increasing his pay substantially during his last negotiation. He said he had no idea whether he would be heading to Arizona. He said the Pittsburgh job appeals because the organization knows how to acquire suitable talent.

Dockett reflects on the season
Dockett reflects on the season

Top Game-Changing Plays 2010
Top Game-Changing Plays 2010

NFC West coaches and finding right balance - NFC West Blog - ESPN
New head coaches sometimes "lay down the law" to take control of their teams.

Draft hindsight: Aaron Rodgers and beyond - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Green Bay players making Super Bowl media appearances Monday -- Rodgers, Donald Driver, A.J. Hawk, Greg Jennings, Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson -- all qualify for analysis and reflection. Let's take a look at them through NFC West lenses, beginning in chronological order:

Draft hindsight: Big Ben and beyond - NFC West Blog - ESPN
to examine a Super Bowl team's featured players -- in this case, the ones made available Monday -- with an emphasis on draft status and the decisions NFC West teams made in the same rounds. Not every team held a choice in every featured round.

49ers: Condolences to ex-QB Shaun Hill - NFC West Blog - ESPN
For a year or two, fans of the San Francisco 49ers passionately debated whether Shaun Hill or Alex Smith should have started at quarterback for the team. All can agree on this: Condolences go out to Hill and his family after Hill's father, Ted, died Saturday at age 60 from injuries suffered during a fall from a rooftop.

Kurt Warner's Super Bowl Advice - ESPN Video - ESPN
ESPN Video: Kurt Warner talks about his Super Bowl experience and makes his prediction

Even the NFL can’t avoid recognizing the Pro Bowl is a dud | ProFootballTalk
The reviews are in: This year’s Pro Bowl was worse than usual. The game contained all of the drama of an episode of Two and a Half Men. Even the usually sober-minded folks at the Associated Press couldn’t help but rip the game a new one. Since the NFL doesn’t have their own writers recap the game, was forced to display said hatchet piece prominently on their website.

Source: Cincinnati Bengals fire O-coordinator Bob Bratkowski - ESPN
With their offense seemingly in disarray, the Cincinnati Bengals fired offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski, a team source told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.

Chicago mayoral candidate Gery Chico wants a Super Bowl in Chicago - ESPN Chicago
Chicago mayoral candidate Gery Chico, who trails Rahm Emanuel and Carol Moseley in the polls, said if he's elected, he'll work toward bringing the Super Bowl to Chicago.

Packers, Steelers, Roger Goodell in spotlight as Super Bowl nears - Peter King -
Calm before the Super Bowl storm calls for chilly temperatures in Texas Knocking down the myth of an East Coast bias in Hall of Fame voting Making sense of the Jeff Fisher departure, plus Ten Things I Think I Think

Davis, Vick top list of most disliked in sports - Yahoo! Sports
E-Poll surveyed more than 1,000 adults on their attitudes toward sports figures currently active as players, coaches, owners or commentators. All were ranked on the combined percentages of respondents who answered "Dislike Somewhat," "Dislike," or "Dislike a Lot," to each sports figure.

Troy Polamalu of Pittsburgh Steelers wins AP Defensive Player of the Year - ESPN
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu has been named the AP Defensive Player of the Year.

Roethlisberger in the Super Bowl: a bad thing for the NFL? - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
On TMZ Monday, actor Jeremy Piven can be seen griping about the Super Bowl XLV matchup. He would have preferred Jets vs. Bears, and goes on to lament a matchup he labels as "Rapist-berger vs. Cheeseheads."

Super Bowl Halftime Shows, The Black Eyed Peas, And The Wardrobe Malfunction That Changed It All -
It was maybe the most memorable moment in Super Bowl history, but it had nothing to do with football. On the seven year anniversary of Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" at Super Bowl 38, let's relive the madness, and where it's gotten us.

Rodgers gets advice from Starr, Warner, Young — but not Favre | ProFootballTalk
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was effusive in his gratitude today as he talked about three Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks who have helped him in his preparation for his own first Super Bowl. But he offered just a one-word answer when asked whether he has spoken this week to his Super Bowl-winning Green Bay predecessor.

Leiweke on downtown L.A. stadium: "If you build it, they will come" | ProFootballTalk
In a CNBC interview conducted in conjunction with the announcement of the 30-year, $700 million naming-rights deal between AEG and Farmers Insurance, Tim Leiweke of AEG summed up the prospect of a downtown L.A. stadium attracting an NFL team.

Ines Sainz creates a stir at Super Bowl Media Day | ProFootballTalk
Ines Sainz, the TV Azteca reporter who was the subject of "unprofessional conduct" when she visited the Jets’ facilities, was back to covering the NFL today as part of Super Bowl Media Day.

Hines Ward blasts league’s handling of concussions | ProFootballTalk
Media Day has barely begun, and the best sound bite perhaps was provided by one of the players before the thing even started.