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3-24-11: Bird Droppings - Gabbert, A-Dub's Injury, Beanie's Elusiveness

Your links for today, including stuff on the Cardinal's visit with Blaine Gabbert, and update from Coach Whiz on Adrian Wilson's injury, the elusiveness of Beanie Wells (or lack thereof) last season, a Draft Watch from ESPN covering the NFC West, how high Kevin Kolb's trade value can rise and last nights win by the Suns.

Arizona Cardinals owners attend Blaine Gabbert's private workout, source says - ESPN
Arizona Cardinals owners Bill and Michael Bidwill were part of a team contingent at a private workout for quarterback Blaine Gabbert on the Missouri campus Wednesday, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Whisenhunt: Wilson 'fought the fight' - NFC West Blog - ESPN
You weren't the only one unaware how much an abductor injury contributed to Adrian Wilson's struggles during the 2010 NFL season. The Arizona Cardinals didn't know its severity, either.

Thoughts on Cardinals' date with Gabbert - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Sending an owner, team president, general manager, head coach and player personnel director onto the road for a private meeting with a top quarterback prospect sounds like overkill. There were extenuating circumstances for the Arizona Cardinals' visit with Missouri's Blaine Gabbert.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Rating Beanie Wells in 2010
Running back Beanie Wells did not have the breakout season in 2010 that the Cardinals had hoped. In fact, he regressed from his rookie year, playing in fewer games (16 to 13), gaining fewer yards overall (793 to 397) and averaging less per carry (4.5 to 3.4). Analysts at profootballfocus.com, however, don't stop there Its basic premise is to grade and record the performance of every player on every play. As part of that, analysts come up with what they call "Elusive Rating." It's a formula based on the number of ball-handling attempts by a runner, the number of forced missed tackles and yards gained after first contact.

Working From The Bottom
Quality control is the job but hopefully just the first step on the ladder up

Word From the Birds Blog - Not all Madden choices created equal
This year, EA Sports has decided to make a contest out of who will be their cover photo for this year’s version of the Madden football video game. Given the past season, I guess I assumed Aaron Rodgers was a shoo-in for Madden ’12, but no, Rodgers is just one of 32 candidates — one from every team. It’s also set up in bracket form, so we aren’t just talking about the total number of votes.

Thoughts on Cardinals' date with Gabbert - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Sending an owner, team president, general manager, head coach and player personnel director onto the road for a private meeting with a top quarterback prospect sounds like overkill. There were extenuating circumstances for the Arizona Cardinals' visit with Missouri's Blaine Gabbert.

Draft Watch: NFC West - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Arizona Cardinals Theme: Amping up the pass rush. New defensive coordinator Ray Horton has already guaranteed that the Cardinals will blitz on their first play under his watch. Why would Horton say such a thing? He's looking to establish an aggressive, blitzing mindset similar to what the Pittsburgh Steelers have established under his mentor, Dick LeBeau. To do that, the Cardinals will need to upgrade their pass rush by targeting at least one outside linebacker in the draft -- perhaps even with the fifth overall choice. Von Miller from Texas A&M comes to mind as one option. The team also expects more from youngsters O'Brien Schofield and Will Davis, coach Ken Whisenhunt said from the NFL owners meeting. To ease the transition, Horton will adapt much of the terminology used under former coordinator Bill Davis. Both favor 3-4 schemes.

Chat wrap: Lockout threatens Kolb trade - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Aarron- Waukesha, Wisconsin [via mobile]: Hey Mike, who do you think the Cardinals should take, Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton? I think Newton has more raw talent, but we do need a QB who can be accurate. Your thoughts?

Ken Whisenhunt says he didn’t know how hurt Adrian Wilson was | ProFootballTalk
When Adrian Wilson revealed after the season that he needed surgery to repair an abductor injury that had bothered him all year, it was a surprise: Wilson hadn’t talked about the injury during the season, hadn’t missed games or even practices and hadn’t been listed on the team’s injury report. Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt says the news of Wilson’s surgery came as a surprise to him, too.

Bidwills hit the road for Blaine Gabbert | ProFootballTalk
Silva is going to have to come up with a new category for his visits/workout tracker: NFL owner private visits.

NFL.com news: Missouri QB Gabbert works out for Cardinals, who pick fifth
Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert held a private workout with the Arizona Cardinals at his school Wednesday, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The Cardinals own the fifth overall pick in next month's NFL draft and are considered to be in the market for a quarterback after fielding three different starters -- Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton -- during a 5-11 season.

Phoenix Suns rally to top Toronto Raptors
With backup point guard Aaron Brooks leading the way with 25 points, the Suns found enough left in the tank to dig out of a 13-point second-half hole and beat the Raptors 114-106.

ASU football begins quest for Pac-12 prominence
The quest has begun. To break a three-season bowl-less streak. To make Arizona State a contender in the first season of the Pac-12.

Top 10 kick return touchdowns of 2010 | National Football Post
23. That’s the number of kickoffs that were returned for touchdowns during the 2010 regular season. But after the NFL announced on Tuesday that kickoffs would be moved from the 30 to the 35-yard line, fans, analysts and players alike expressed concern over one of the most exciting elements of the game being hit with a serious limitation.

How high will Kolb's value get before the draft? | National Football Post
We shouldn’t be surprised that the offseason value of Kevin Kolb is starting to rise. As I wrote on Tuesday, teams are split when it comes to grading the overall skill set of the Eagles’ backup QB, but with so many clubs is need of a No.1 at the position, he becomes a real option.