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5-11-11: Bird Droppings - Faneca, Kolb's Trade Value

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Time for some more links as the Lockout continues, we get some more stuff on Faneca's retirement, some interviews with Acho who appears to be pretty popular already amongst the fans and a look at the trade value for Kevin Kolb along with much more including the ruling on the Fiesta Bowl.

Cardinals News:

Faneca Retires
Whisenhunt says football was "calling" for nine-time Pro Bowl guard

Word From the Birds Blog - Going out on your own terms
The Cardinals wanted guard Alan Faneca to return in 2011, but he chose to retire (already losing almost 60 pounds this offseason). It’s an option most NFL players don’t get. Assistant head coach Russ Grimm went on Sports 620 KTAR and mentioned he too could have come back for one final season during his Hall-of-Fame career with the Redskins but went the same route as Faneca, deciding he simply couldn’t play at the level he wanted to play at any longer. (Then again, sometimes guys go out when they are still playing at that level. Jim Brown, Barry Sanders and a certain quarterback that shall go unmentioned around these parts).

Cardinals draft pick Acho was 'shocked' he wasn't taken earlier -
If you ask Arizona Cardinal draft pick Sam Acho when he thought he was going to get drafted his answer might surprise you. No, not necessarily because the University of Texas product thinks too highly of himself, but rather because of what a few NFL scouts and coaches told him leading up to the draft.

Russ Grimm says Cardinals must be able to run the ball -
The Arizona Cardinals ran for the fewest yards of anyone in the NFL last season, tallying just 1,388 over the course of 16 games. So, it should come as no surprise that Russ Grimm, assistant head coach and offensive line coach, feels the team needs to improve on the ground.

An Arizona Cardinal guaranteed to be playing in July -
While guys like Reggie Bush and Reshad Mendenhall are spending their free time due to the lockout ruining their reputations via Twitter and Chad Ochocinco is spending it riding bulls, one Arizona Cardinal has decided to do something a little more productive. In a month that he'd usually be reporting to Flagstaff for training camp, Cards punter Ben Graham will be in Austria. He won't be there on vacation or to sight see though.

Acho ready to play for defensive coach with Steelers ties -
Arizona Cardinals fourth round draft pick Sam Acho referred to the Cardinals as the "perfect team" when talking to The Bud Light Morning Rush -- ESPN radio in Austin, Texas. Acho is excited and ready to get his professional career underway. Of course one would expect a rookie to be excited. Acho has specific reasons, though not your typical generic answer.

Setting a trade value for quarterback Kevin Kolb
Quarterback Michael Vick's backup had a promising future. A few months shy of his 26th birthday, the backup was coveted even though he had started only two games in three years and had as many touchdown passes in his career as interceptions (6). He had no future with his current team, not as long as Vick was playing well, and in a league full of teams desperate for quarterbacks, it made sense to trade him before his contract expired. So the Falcons sent Matt Schaub to Houston. The teams swapped first-round picks, with Atlanta going from 10th to eighth, and the Falcons received a second round selection that year (2007) and another in 2008. Before the deal was finalized, the Texans agreed to an 8-year, $48 million deal with Schaub. That was four years ago, a month before the 2007 draft, but the trade could serve as a template whenever the Cardinals are allowed to call the Eagles about Kevin Kolb.

Grimm: Send Faneca to Hall of Fame - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Russ Grimm knows a Hall of Fame offensive lineman when he sees one. Grimm, the Arizona Cardinals assistant coach and 2010 Hall of Fame inductee, sees one in recently retired guard Alan Faneca. blogs - Kent Somers - Replacing Alan Faneca
Alan Faneca's retirement announcement on Tuesday did not surprise the Cardinals. Faneca said near the end of the season that he would contemplate making his 13th NFL season his last. Then several weeks ago, coach Ken Whisenhunt's wife Alice bumped into the Faneca family and noticed that Alan had lost some weight. Turns out, Faneca was on his way to a massive weight loss. He was 313 pounds at his last weigh-in as a Cardinals. On Tuesday, he told me he was down to 255. Faneca said he always intended to lose weight after football, and he got an early start, figuring he could re-gain it if he decided to play. In the end, Faneca retired because there were other things he wanted to do. In 13 seasons, he has accomplished a lot. He was voted into nine Pro Bowls, won a Super Bowl ring with the Steelers, made a lot of friends and a ton of money.

Arizona Cardinals' player workouts include Green Bay Packers' Greg Jennings
Packers receiver Greg Jennings came to Arizona to work out this week for three reasons: Larry, Jerry and sun. He found two of the three in attendance Tuesday. Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, a close friend, was out of town. But former NFL receivers coach Jerry Sullivan and perfect weather were there, and Jennings took advantage.

Arizona Sports:

Fiesta Bowl remains in BCS, must pay $1 million fine
The Fiesta Bowl will remain in the prestigious Bowl Championship Series, but it will be fined $1 million for financial improprieties and for allowing employees to make illegal campaign contributions, a special BCS committee has decided. "I think the message is, they have cleaned house and addressed their problems. We are satisfied with the reforms they have taken, and they have focused on improving the management of the bowl," BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock told The Arizona Republic today.

Cody Ross' RBI single lifts San Francisco Giants past Arizona Diamondbacks
Cody Ross hit a game-ending RBI single in the ninth inning, Tim Lincecum pitched another gem and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 Tuesday night for their fourth straight victory.

(Ian Kennedy was also pretty awesome in this game even though the blurb doesn't mention it, neither does ESPN or anyone else in the media for some reason....)

Glendale poised to OK $25 million more for Coyotes
The Glendale City Council appeared ready to agree late Tuesday to pay the National Hockey League up to an additional $25 million so the Phoenix Coyotes could stay another year in the desert.

Phoenix Suns' Grant Hill snubbed by coaches for defense honor
There are worse ways to learn about an NBA All-Defensive snub than while enjoying your wife's birthday at the White House. Suns forward Grant Hill was left off the coaches' All-Defensive first and second teams despite hard campaigning from his coach, Alvin Gentry.

ASU football: Two more games to be shown on ESPN
ESPN has picked two Arizona State football games for national telecast this fall. The Sun Devils' Sept. 24 home game against USC will be shown by either ESPN or ESPN2 and will kick off at 7:15 p.m. Also, ASU's final home game of the season, originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 26, has been shifted to Friday, Nov. 25 and will start at 8:15 p.m. It will be on ESPN.

ESPN networks to air at least four Arizona Wildcats football games in 2011
The Arizona Wildcats football team, whose five-game losing streak to end last season all came on the ESPN/ABC family of networks, is slated for at least four 2011 games on those networks.

Best ASU, Arizona sports teams from the Pac-10 era
Here's our Pick-10 of the best UA and ASU teams since 1978 listed chronologically. Which do you believe was the best?

NFL News:

Announcer Gus Johnson named voice of college football for Fox
Broadcaster Gus Johnson, known for his exciting calls during NCAA Tournament games and NFL games on CBS, has a new home. Fox Sports Media Group named Johnson its lead play-by-play announcer for its college football coverage and men's basketball on the Big Ten Network. Johnson will partner with Fox Sports football analyst Charles Davis to form the lead college-football broadcast team. news: Thanks for the memories, Gus Johnson! Here's to many more!
The Gus Johnson moments are on the move, from CBS Sports to FOX Sports, and that means it's time to take a look back at some of the excitable broadcaster's most memorable calls. Johnson's style has made him a fan favorite for calling NFL and basketball games because he gets caught up in the action, just like the rest of us.

A much closer look at 2011 NFL draft - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A look at all 35 NFC West draft choices, listed by how early they were drafted in relation to other players at their specific positions:

One team is skeptical about Kevin Kolb -
How much would you pay for a young NFL quarterback who's been named NFC Offensive Player of the Week multiple times? If you're the Miami Dolphins, apparently nothing. The Miami Herald is reporting that the Dolphins aren't interested in the Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Kevin Kolb. Especially not at the reported asking price.

Bernard Hopkins rips McNabb, says he’s not black but "got a suntan" | ProFootballTalk
Boxer Bernard Hopkins, a Philadelphia native and longtime Eagles fan, is continuing his bizarre campaign of slamming former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb every chance he gets. And this time Hopkins added an element of race to his usual criticisms. According to, Hopkins described McNabb as not black enough.

Marvin Lewis: If Palmer comes back, he would be the starting QB | ProFootballTalk
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has operated this offseason like Carson Palmer has already retired. He echoed that stance in a conference call with fans on Wednesday, but acknowledged that there’s another possible scenario.