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6-7-11: Bird Droppings - Kolb Debate, Fitz's New Action Figure

Good morning, again I'm getting this up a lot earlier than I normally would because I want to watch the E3 presentation Nintendo is doing, and I'm pretty hyped up about hearing some details on the new console they are going to release.

For todays batch of links, there are quite a few of them that debate if Kolb is worth the risk or not, and there is also something on the new figurine that Todd McFarlane made based on Larry Fitzgerald. And if you want to see why McNabb didn't work out in Washington, check out the piece on the bottom of the page about how obsessive compulsive Kyle Shanahan is.

Cardinals News:

GMs say Kolb not worth a first round pick - ArizonaSports.com
Kevin Kolb is about as popular with QB starved teams around the NFL as Lady Gaga in a steak dress would be to a group of rabid dogs. Is he worth all that attention, excitement and the lofty price tag that comes along with him though? That was the question the Boston Globe posed to seven general managers and player personnel executives from around the NFL. Their answers might surprise you (unless you already hate the idea of Kolb).

Cardinals can contend without franchise QB - ArizonaSports.com
Although the Cardinals are in desperate need of a quarterback, ESPN's Mike Sando does not think the team needs a franchise quarterback to win the NFC West. The Arizona quarterback debate, which seems to revolve around Kevin Kolb and Kyle Orton, is something the Cardinals need to settle as soon as the lockout is ended. For the Cardinals to have any success in the 2011-12 season, the offense needs to work with their new quarterback as soon as possible.

Larry Fitzgerald ready to be immortalized for the second time - ArizonaSports.com
Even if the NFL lockout continues well into the fall, you'll still be able to see Larry Fitzgerald in his home red Arizona Cardinals uniform in Glendale. That's because there will be a new SportsPicks figurine of the receiver available at Todd McFarlane's store in Westgate starting this September.

Kolb has more potential than QBs drafted in 2011 - ArizonaSports.com
The Boston Globe on Monday polled seven anonymous NFL general managers and player personnel people about how much they'd be willing to give up for Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Kevin Kolb. Of those seven ‘experts', six said they wouldn't give up a first round pick for him. It was a report that got Sports 620 KTAR's Ron Wolfley fired up.

Lockout is playing games with Kevin Kolb's value - ArizonaSports.com
First he's the next great quarterback, needing only an opportunity to show his stuff. Then, suddenly, he's overrated, a mediocre-at-best signal caller who crumbles under pressure and can't complete a deep ball. Trying to determine Kevin Kolb's value during the lockout has been like Derek Anderson trying to be an NFL quarterback: an exercise in futility. While Eagles coach Andy Reid has been heaping praise on his 26-year-old backup, others around the NFL are saying the QB is not worth the first round pick he's likely going to command. Where does the truth lie?

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Protecting the passer, 2010
Offensive lines usually draw an unfair amount of blame when pass protection fails. Game circumstances, protection calls, the blocking ability of running backs and tight ends and quarterback play also play a part. All of those were factors in the Cardinals breakdowns last season. Profootballfocus.com has an intriguing look at how well teams protected the passer in 2010, and the diligent folks there will have more on the subject as the week progresses. According to their findings, the Cardinals ranked 22nd in pressure per pass play percentage (39.25). Without some context, this statistic can be misleading. Seattle, for instance, finished first with a 28.29 percentage. Chicago, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh were last, and all three teams had excellent records.

Word From the Birds Blog - Fitz immortalized McFarlane-style – again
Earlier this year, comic book/toy tycoon Todd McFarlane — whose offices are just down the street from the Cardinals’ Tempe complex — hosted Cardinals wide receiver Steve Breaston for a visit. It was a natural, because Breaston is such a huge comic book fan. What is also natural is McFarlane’s SportsPicks line of figurines delving back into the market of another Cardinals’ wideout. So here on azcardinals.com, we unveil for the first time publicly a photo of the McFarlane’s latest Larry Fitzgerald figure, one of Fitz running downfield and moving the ball from his right to his left hand (don’t want to get stripped by a defender, after all).

Mike Williams' success against Cardinals - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Seattle Seahawks' Mike Williams caught 22 of his 65 receptions last season against a certain NFC West rival. That team, the Arizona Cardinals, subsequently used the fifth pick in the 2011 NFL draft for a cornerback, Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals presumably would have drafted Peterson regardless, but if any receiver they faced in 2010 justified the decision, it had to be Williams. He owned Arizona.

Arizona Sports News:

ASU softball's offense pounds Florida in NCAA softball championship opener
Arizona State isn't ready to take its foot off the pedal. Not while a powerful Florida team still has life. ASU exploded for a 14-4 win over Florida in the first game of the Women's College World Series best-of-three final series Monday night.

Arizona Diamondbacks pick UCLA ace Trevor Bauer with No. 3 pick and Oklahoma high school ace Archie Bradley No. 7 in MLB draft
With an unprecedented opportunity in Monday's draft - and one they hope never to have again - the Diamondbacks used their top picks to add two more high-end pitchers, apparently not letting price tags get in the way of selecting whom they considered the best players available. In landing UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer with the No. 3 pick and Oklahoma high school right-hander Archie Bradley at No. 7, the Diamondbacks added two more potential front-end starters to a farm system that already boasts pitching depth.

Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers making all the right moves
Kevin Towers is not a pretentious guy. He wears blue jeans and cowboy boots and believes what his eyes and gut tell him. So after being named the Diamondbacks' general manager last September and spending a couple of weeks with the team, it was obvious to Towers what had to be done. Fix the bullpen. Cut down on the strikeouts. Improve the bench. And, of course, change the culture inside a clubhouse that had grown far too comfortable with losing. Sixty games into the season, Towers is 4 for 4.

Arizona Diamondbacks Confident They Can Sign Picks Trevor Bauer And Archie Bradley - SB Nation Arizona
The Arizona Diamondbacks front office couldn't repress their smiles just moments after drafting two right-handed pitches with the third and seventh overall picks in the 2011 MLB Draft. Trevor Bauer, a junior from UCLA, comes to the D-backs with incredible numbers. Archie Bradley, a two-sport start from Oklahoma is equally considered an impact prospect.

NFL News:

Ex-New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress released from prison - ESPN New York
In his first precious moments as a free man again, Plaxico Burress embraced his wife and cradled his two young kids after being released from prison for serving nearly two years on a gun charge. In the kind of heartfelt emotion that can only come from being away from family for so long, Burress soaked up the reunion with his loved ones. He looked like a giddy kid, even finding a few touching minutes to play with his two dogs.

Plaxico Burress can use the experiences of Michael Vick, Ben Roethlisberger and Donte Stallworth in his post-prison life. - ESPN
Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger both survived image-crushing incidents and are thriving again in the NFL. But a new life in football is going to be difficult for Plaxico Burress, who will be released from prison Monday.

NFL: McNabb to Minnesota might make sense - ESPN
Donovan McNabb needs a new team, and Minnesota might make sense, writes John Clayton in his latest mailbag.

NFL coaches caught in the labor crossfire - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Those unsightly, overly tight shorts seen on football coaches over the years should have a new name: amicus briefs. Unfortunately for the rest of us, coaches did not reject those violators of style as strongly as they have attacked a legal document purportedly filed on their behalf.

Reggie Bush situation costs USC 2004 title | ProFootballTalk
In April 2006, when we first caught wind of rumors involving Reggie Bush’s family getting rent-free housing with the understanding that the money would be made back — and then some — via the representation of Bush as an NFL player, we had a feeling it would cause plenty of problems for Bush and for USC. We had no idea the process would take so long that, by the time a conclusion was reached, no one would really care.

Michael Crabtree not sold on Alex Smith as San Francisco 49ers' quarterback - ESPN
Even though he is a free agent, Alex Smith has been endorsed by coach Jim Harbaugh as the San Francisco 49ers quarterback. Receiver Michael Crabtree apparently isn't convinced Smith deserves the job.

NFL owners ask court to dismiss players' antitrust lawsuit - ESPN
As the labor battle between NFL owners and players moved from the bargaining table to the courtroom, judges at each stop have urged both sides to reach an agreement before they have to issue significant rulings.

Kyle Shanahan emerges as a full-blown control freak | ProFootballTalk
In the NFL, where the "N" often stands for "nepotism," characteristics like, say, being a hard-headed, full-blowb control freak often skip a generation. That’s not the case for the Shanahans, where the son is emerging to be as rampantly obsessive-compulsive as the father. If not more.