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4-8-11: Bird Droppings - Horton Interview, Looking Back On 2010 Draft Picks

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Links, including an interview with Ray Horton where he discusses a play that we all want to forget from the Super Bowl along with a play near the end of a Super Bowl he played in, some stuff on last years Draft Picks, the Cheerleader announcement video, and much more.

Word From the Birds Blog - Haunting Horton
It doesn’t take much to change the outcome of a game. Ray Horton has seen that a couple of times, in a couple of instances when it couldn’t have been on a bigger stage. In doing an interview with the Cards’ new defensive coordinator the other day, the subject of the little things – and Super Bowls – came up. Don’t forget, Horton was on the defensive staff of that Steelers’ team that beat the Cards a couple of years ago. We started talking about the interception return of linebacker James Harrison right before halftime (careful, don’t throw things at the computer screen). blogs - Kent Somers - Cardinals 2010 draft picks must come through
We'll spend the next three weeks looking ahead to the 2011 draft. But before we get immersed in that -- and I know it's too late for some -- I thought it would be interesting to look at the Cardinals 2010 class and what's expected of those players this year. It takes a few years to accurately assess the impact of an NFL team's draft picks, but the Cardinals can't afford their 2010 selections to be late bloomers. Of their seven selections, I'd say at least five will be counted upon to at least make significant contributions this year. If they don't, the Cardinals will have a difficult time bouncing back from a 5-11 season.

Cardinals: How 2010 draft picks project - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt has hit upon one theme consistently when discussing the possibilities for his team in 2011. The short version: Arizona struggled in 2010, but young players gained experience that will pay off for them, and for the team, this coming season. blogs - Kent Somers - No surprise: Cards 2011 schedule weak, based on 2010 results
For the second consecutive season the Cardinals will play the NFL's weakest schedule, based on the results of the previous season. Cardinals 2011 opponents had a winning percentage of .441 in 2010, lowest in the league, according to information produced by The Cardinals faced the weakest schedule in 2010, too, and went 5-11, so it's understandable if fans aren't weeping in joy at the news.

Don't judge the Cardinals No. 5 pick until it's made -
Three weeks from today we will be breaking down the Arizona Cardinals first round draft pick. Three weeks out and I don't know who that will be.

Team needs: Arizona Cardinals | ProFootballTalk
With the draft three weeks away, it’s time to look closer at team needs for every NFL club. We’ve already looked at the Rams, 49ers, Giants, Eagles, and Cowboys. Now up: The Cardinals.

Word From the Birds Blog - Taking the thought process wide
Took part in a mock draft (it’ll be on sooner rather than later) today and got another version of the top four. I wasn’t told who took who, but by the time my "pick" came up, these were the four gone — Cam Newton, Von Miller, Marcell Dareus and Blaine Gabbert. (That was the order listed too; it’d be interesting to see if that matches the teams. Miller to Denver? Dareus to Buffalo? Gabbert to Cincy?)

Video Gallery
Cardinals Name 2011 Cheerleaders

Phoenix Suns in transition as possible NBA lockout looms
Steve Nash can relate to Suns fans. He did not want to get caught in a franchise transition stage, either. He wanted to go for it after the Suns found their way to the conference finals last year. Void of the same chemistry and ability, the Suns came nowhere close to replicating that team's achievement and wound up with only five of the same players. But like most Suns fans, Nash is showing his loyalty and wants to remain in Phoenix despite it all. Nash is bracing for more transition and hoping for the best - but patience will be necessary.

Pat's Run still going strong at seven years
It started over beers at a BJ's Brewhouse in Chandler in the summer of 2004 when three guys put their heads together hoping to honor Pat Tillman and maybe raise a little money for a newly formed foundation.

ASU on cusp of major announcement?
For Arizona State, it's time. For what, only a few people know for sure, and those folks have been sworn to secrecy. Bring it up, and university officials quickly change the subject. Earlier this week, a reporter asked an ASU booster about the secret over the phone - and the line mysteriously went dead.

Andrew Whitworth: Lockout leads to lazy players, bad football | ProFootballTalk
We’re five months away from the scheduled start of the 2011 NFL regular season, which might seem like more than enough time to reach a labor deal and get players ready to play. But Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth, the team’s player representative, views things differently.

Vikings, Seahawks spread the word that Jake Locker worked out well | ProFootballTalk
Jake Locker has followed up his solid Pro Day effort without some "excellent" private workouts, according to Rob Rang of

Former Titans lineman dies of congestive heart failure at age 31 | ProFootballTalk
Mario Branch, an offensive tackle who spent two training camps with the Titans, has died of congestive heart failure at the age of 31.

Chat wrap: Asking the tough questions - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Shane (Los Angeles, CA): Sando, if the Cards do get Von Miller, the LB corps, which was the Achilles heel of the defense last year, should be much better with O'Brien Schofield and Daryl Washington. Depth concerns aside, shouldn't the Cards' starting defense fare much better next year? Of course, having a QB that doesn't put your defense in bad positions all year long will help also!

An initial look at 24,670 kickoff returns - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Recent rules changes affecting kickoff returns stirred debate about likely consequences.

Impact report: 2010 NFL draft choices - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Following up draft-related items from Thursday, I've put together a chart showing how many 2010 regular-season starts NFC West teams got from their rookie draft choices, by round. Some of those starts were unintended, including the four Arizona got from quarterback John Skelton. No team found an immediate, full-season starter after the second round.

Mailbag: Josh Johnson and 49ers QBs - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Josh from Redding, Calif., wonders whether the Cardinals would use the fifth overall pick for A.J. Green or Patrick Peterson if they were available, both top quarterbacks were off the board and trading down were not a realistic option.

Derrick Mason: Roger Goodell is a joke for HGH stance - ESPN
Roger Goodell said this week that the NFL will insist on HGH testing in the next labor deal. A prominent receiver said Tuesday the commissioner is a joke for the stance he's taking.

Details scarce on NFL lockout conference call - ESPN
Attorneys for NFL players and the league held a conference call Friday to discuss mediation with the federal judge currently deciding whether to lift the lockout.