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3-22-11: Bird Droppings - Kickoffs And Quarterbacks

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Time for some links, including news on the Kickoff changes, the possibility of a Kevin Kolb trade, the Bengals saying they won't trade Carson Palmer, and much more.

Also a quick note, for the last two weeks I did not have class, so it was easier to get these up earlier in the day. Now, I have class four days a week (Tuesday through Friday) in the mornings, and I normally get lunch after class ends. So I might not always get these up as early as I would like to, but I will get them up as soon as I can log onto the Internet.

NFL votes to change rules for kickoffs, replay - ESPN
NFL owners voted Tuesday to move kickoffs up to the 35-yard line starting next season but touchbacks will remain at the 20-yard line. Teams also can continue to use two-men wedges.

Whisenhunt draws Rams-Steelers parallel - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The 2010 Arizona Cardinals didn't play well enough around their young quarterbacks to get the most from them. Their division rivals from St. Louis fared better along those lines. And with Sam Bradford under center for the Rams, there was greater potential to realize.

Whisenhunt: Rules won't stop returners - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The NFL will decide Tuesday whether to change rules for kickoffs in the name of player safety. Four key changes are under consideration, but it's not clear whether any or all of them will pass. The changes would facilitate touchbacks, but Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt suspects top returners will find a way to produce anyway.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Kicking rule changes around with Jay Feely
NFL owners today approved modifications to kickoff rules, moving the kickoff up from the 35-yard line from the 30. Touchbacks will still be brought out to the 20-yard line. I reached Cardinals kicker Jay Feely to get his opinion on the changes.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Kicking it around with Coach Ken Whisenhunt
I touched base briefly with coach Ken Whisenhunt, who declined to comment on reports that the team has expressed interest in trading for Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb. Whisenhunt said "it's fair to say" the Cardinals are looking at "a number of different scenarios" when it comes to addressing the quarterback position.

Word From the Birds Blog " More from Michael Bidwill "
It’s not as if team president Michael Bidwill has been hiding or trying to stay in the background of late, but I wanted to touch on a couple of the comments Bidwill made today during an interview Monday night on Sirius NFL Radio.

NFC West teams back kickoff changes - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Two teams with dynamic kickoff returners voted against an NFL rules proposal that could limit returns. NFC West teams were not among them even though Seattle's Leon Washington and Arizona's LaRod Stephens-Howling could suffer from its passage.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Bengals' Mike Brown says he won't trade Carson Palmer
Bengals owner Mike Brown reiterated that he has no plans to grant quarterback Carson Palmer's desire to be traded, according to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Trades, Free Agency, QBs? Aisle 5
One of the great things about my neighborhood is the Ace Hardware store just round the corner. It's a small place, but it always seems to have everything I need, although my handyman skills are as limited as my athletic ones. Screws, paint, Wiffle Balls, inflatable Christmas displays, this place has everything. That store popped in my head this morning as I thought of possible topics for the blog. So after a long two-paragraph introduction, here are some notes items, some of which you didn't even know you needed.

Source: Arizona expressing most interest in Kolb
What exactly can the Eagles get for Kevin Kolb? According to Peter King of SI.com, one team is willing to offer a first-round pick for Kolb. A league source has told CSN's Derrick Gunn that a number of teams have made significant offers for Kolb. The source wouldn’t confirm or deny whether a first-round pick was offered. Another league source said that the Arizona Cardinals have expressed the most interest in Kolb.

Word From the Birds Blog " Hoping Dan’s the man "
While there is plenty of debate over who the Cardinals will take in the first round of the 2011 draft, the hope is that the first pick of the 2010 draft — nose tackle Dan Williams — will develop into the anchor of the 3-4 front the Cards so desperately need. And there’s at least one place that seems bullish on that possibility after what Williams showed as a rookie.

Word From the Birds Blog " Again with the quarterbacks "
We can say there is nothing going on NFL-wise right now as the labor issues remain unsolved, but the speculation hasn’t stopped, especially when it comes to the most important position on the field. And since the Cards are searching for a quarterback, it’s not a surprise that when SI’s Peter King weighs in on the various possible veteran quarterback moves around the league, the Cards are part of the discussion.

2011 NFL Draft: Whisenhunt, Newton, QBs - NFC West Blog - ESPN
NFL draft watchers perked up when a certain head coach made specific requests during Cam Newton's recent workout for scouts. Ken Whisenhunt was that coach. His Arizona Cardinals pick fifth overall. They definitely need a quarterback. What was Whisenhunt hoping to find out?

Bradford vs. Fitzgerald; Willis vs. 12th Man - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Thoughts on NFC West candidates to grace the "Madden 12" cover based on voting through ESPN.com:

Video Gallery
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Eagles talk up "aggressive market" for Kolb; open to dealing him after draft | ProFootballTalk
The Eagles have made it clear over the last few days they are ready to trade Kevin Kolb. A prolonged work stoppage won’t necessarily change that plan.

Lawrence Taylor sentenced to 6 years' probation - ESPN New York
Lawrence Taylor was sentenced to six years probation in a sexual misconduct case.

Carolina Panthers evaluating 'about 8 guys' for No. 1 - ESPN
With the top pick in the draft, the Carolina Panthers are leaning toward, well, who knows?

NFL prospect tier rankings | National Football Post
Tier rankings is a tool used by decision makers come draft day to keep them from reaching on need over talent. It allows them to stay focused on the best prospects available, easily cluing them in on just how much of a talent drop there would be between the best player on their board and the best player at the position(s) they need. Therefore, below is a look at the NFP’s rankings split up into tiers.

Brandon Meriweather lawyer: New England Patriots player not shooter - ESPN Boston
The lawyer for New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather said Monday that he has delivered witness statements that show his client should not be a suspect in a shooting.

NFL to judge: No grounds to stop lockout - ESPN
The NFL asked a federal judge Monday to keep its lockout in place, saying there are no legal grounds to stop it while accusing the players of trying to manipulate the law with a bogus antitrust lawsuit.

2011 NFL Draft: A.J. Green vs. Julio Jones - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Not all that long ago, the St. Louis Rams could match wide receivers with any team in the league. They had Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt and a running back, Marshall Faulk, who could challenge defenses as a wideout. Times have changed.

NFL kickoff rules change would aid safety, but coaches may fight it - Don Banks - SI.com
The NFL is proposing moving kickoffs to 35-yard line and touchbacks to the 25 In theory, the rules would lessen the number of returns and keep players safer Those opposed to the change say violent collisions will still happen on kickoffs

Bill Belichick speaks out against kickoff changes; other coaches agree | ProFootballTalk
Patriots coach Bill Belichick isn’t always expansive with his comments to the media, but he’s not afraid to criticize proposed NFL rule changes that threaten to change the game he loves. "I don’t like idea of eliminating the kickoff from the game," Belichick said via Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. "It’s one of the most exciting plays in football."

Buccaneers could be headed for Hard Knocks | ProFootballTalk
Raheem Morris may not break out as many f-bombs as Rex Ryan, but he’s always entertaining in front of a microphone. And it looks like Morris could wind up wearing a microphone for much of the summer.