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5-31-11: Bird Droppings - Beanie Defends Jim Tressel

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As we near the end of May, the typical Quarterback speculation is included in these links. For those of you who are tired of hearing about Kevin Kolb and how he is going to be wearing Cardinal red this fall, I also have some stuff about Beanie Wells coming to the defense of his former coach at Ohio State who resigned after the scandal involving trading memorabilia for tattoos, cars, and drugs. I also have a thing from ESPN looking at the top offensive players in the NFL who are not Quarterbacks, and Larry Fitzgerald made the list.

Cardinals News:

Beanie Wells rides to Jim Tressel's defense - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals' running game should perk up this season if Beanie Wells revisits the hard-charging form he flashed during his rookie season two years ago. The passion Wells showed Monday in defending his former college coach wouldn't hurt, either.

Video: Wells makes case against NCAA - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals' Beanie Wells joined ESPN's First Take to expand upon comments he made via Twitter following Jim Tressel's resignation as Ohio State coach. Wells gives his former college coach a pass regarding the scandal that led to Tressel's downfall, claiming Tressel was protecting his players.

Word From the Birds Blog - Talking more Kolb
What’d I miss? I know of one thing: Kevin Kolb showed up to some of the workouts Eagles players were having, so naturally, he was asked about being traded. And the quarterback said what would be expected, that he wants to be a starter and he wished he already knew where he’d be playing in 2011. No, nothing really is different from the last time I talked about Kolb. Or the time before that. There is little question, as in the dead of this offseason Kolb continues to be dissected over and over, there is a immovable object/irresistible force feel to Kolb’s situation, whenever it plays out. Take the Cards, for instance. We all know they need a quarterback, and while it’s impossible to know what they a) are willing to give up for a QB right now and b) think about the worth of Kolb, it’s fair to think they will consider Kolb heavily. In theory, the Eagles are dealing from a certain position of strength there, with the Cards or an other team. They don’t have to trade Kolb, after all. blogs - Kent Somers - Back to work
I returned to work today after a couple of weeks off and found, to no surprise, nothing changed. At least from a football standpoint. The lockout lives. A group of Cardinals players continue to work out at ASU. The biggest Cardinals "news" continues to center on speculation about the acquisition of a quarterback. I put "news" in quotations because there is no news. The Cardinals are interested in a handful of QBs but can't act on that interest. That's been true throughout most of 2011.

Hey Cardinals: When it comes to Kevin Kolb, just say no -
Kevin Kolb appears to be the favorite, not only to become the Cardinals next starting quarterback but also in the minds of Cards fans in general. With so many options out there - some of which have Pro Bowls and 20+ TD seasons on their resumes, I can't help but wonder why that is.

Ranking NFC West's top offensive players - NFC West Blog - ESPN's offseason NFL Power Rankings continue later Tuesday with a look at the 10 best offensive players among non-quarterbacks heading into the 2011 season. Paul Kuharsky will have the story on his AFC South blog. My ballot will take into account the way I ranked running backs, tight ends and wide receivers earlier in the series (see chart). A few NFC West thoughts after revisiting past rankings:

Poll: NFC West offensive star power - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald finished fourth in voting for the best offensive players who aren't quarterbacks. The St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson appeared on one ballot, mine, while no other NFC West players drew mention. Building upon an earlier item, I'd like to narrow the focus by considering a specific question, as presented in the poll.

Arizona Sports News:

Arizona Diamondbacks rout Florida Marlins in series opener
We saw how the Diamondbacks could feast on the guppies of the National League. But how would they respond when the fish got a lot bigger? Turns out, they simply turned up the heat on the frying pan and did some home cooking. Upon returning from a successful 6-1 trip that ended with a three-game sweep of the lowly Houston Astros, the Diamondbacks continued to sizzle with a 15-4 rout Monday of the Florida Marlins at Chase Field. A Memorial Day crowd of 23,465 welcomed the Diamondbacks back to Phoenix for an important three-game series against a Marlins team that was 30-21 and just two games out of first in the National League East.

Arizona Diamondbacks set record on path to first place in NL West
The Diamondbacks not only took a big step toward turning their season around as they moved into first place in the National League West, they also set a major-league record. They became the first team in history to gain sole possession of first place in their league or division (since 1969) during May after entering the month with a deficit of at least 6 1/2 games. Manager Kirk Gibson said the recent road trip (6-1), which began with a 12-4 drubbing in Colorado, was "great." He was happy that many players contributed but senses the team can keep getting better.

ESPN analyst says D-backs looking to deal -
Thanks to manager Kirk Gibson the Arizona Diamondbacks have been more aggressive on the field this season and it's paying off in the standings. They may also become more aggressive than they have been in years off it this season too, thanks to general manager Kevin Towers. ESPN's Buster Olney, via Twitter, said that he expects the D-backs to be buyers rather than sellers this summer.

NFL News:

Power Rankings: Top 10 offensive players - AFC South Blog - ESPN’s NFL writers rank the top 10 offensive players (non-quarterbacks) in the league today.

NFLPA* plans a rookie symposium of its own | ProFootballTalk
A week after the rookie symposium became the first casualty of the NFL lockout, the NFLPA* has decided to host its own version of the annual event. Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that the event will take place June 28-29 in Washington, D.C.

Freddie Mitchell warns Kevin Kolb about Andy Reid | ProFootballTalk
Eagles backup quarterback Kevin Kolb is hoping Andy Reid will trade him to a place where he can start. Former Eagles receiver Freddie Mitchell is telling Kolb not to trust Reid to do what’s best for anyone other than Reid. In an interview with WIP in Philadelphia, Mitchell laughed and said, "Yeah, OK" when asked about a report that Reid promised Kolb, "I’ll do what’s best for you."

NFL sends 49ers memo about Alex Smith talk | ProFootballTalk
We’ve touched upon the odd circumstances surrounding the 49ers and Alex Smith more than once this offseason. Even though Smith is a free agent, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh gave Smith a playbook and expects Smith to be the team’s starting quarterback. The NFL stepped in, thinking this all was a little awkward to be out in the public.

Sports Illustrated investigation on Jim Tressel, Ohio State - - Magazine
Since 2002 at least 28 OSU players are alleged to have traded or sold memorabilia Ex-Buckeye tells SI he and 'at least 20 others' swapped memorabilia for tattoos Source tells SI that four Ohio State players traded memorabilia for marijuana