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7-13-11: Bird Droppings - Feely On Lockout Talks, James Harrison's Rant, More

There is a ton of stuff for you guys today, including an update from Feely on the status of the lockout talks, a look at our running back situation, someone from ESPN who said Peterson is destined to become a star in the NFL, the value of the Cardinals franchise, an interview with Whiz, PETA sending a letter to Dockett, and much more.

Also, some stuff on the man who is probably the most hated member of the Steelers on this blog, James Harrision and his interview that is causing some controversy.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Kolb -- or most other QBs -- could lead to division title for Cards - ArizonaSports.com
The NFC West is still one of the weakest divisions in football, and the Cardinals could be a QB away from returning to the top. "Yes, I will give up a first round pick for Kevin Kolb," Doug Franz said on Sports 620 KTAR's Doug and Wolf show Tuesday. "Because I think the division's so bad, that you get Kevin Kolb, you win this division and now your first round pick is in the 20s, and that's fine with me." But, Franz is confident the Cardinals could win with Kyle Orton, who will likely come cheaper than the Eagles backup.

Word From the Birds Blog - Feely cautious on status of labor talks
Cardinals kicker Jay Feely, who also serves as the team’s player representative for the players’ association, appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter today to talk about the current labor situation. The highlights? He doesn’t think any games will be missed. But "I do not think (a resolution) is as close as some people make it out to be."

Looking At The Running Backs
Veterans Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells will fight for playing time with each other and rookie Ryan Williams this season.

Patrick Peterson: Destined for stardom - ArizonaSports.com
When the Arizona Cardinals selected LSU's Patrick Peterson with the number five overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, they got themselves a player with as much potential as anyone in the draft. At 6 feet and 219 pounds, Peterson has the size to match up with the best WRs in the game. And with the ability to run a 4.3 forty-yard dash, he clearly has the speed to run with anyone. Combine those factors with a work ethic and a desire to be great, and what do you get?

Word From the Birds Blog - Cards top 30 in world’s most valuable sports teams
Forbes.com has come out with a list of the 50 most valuable sports teams in the world, and the Cardinals rank 30th, with a Forbes-estimated value of $919 million. That’s third in the NFC West, with the Seahawks at No. 25 ($989 million) and the 49ers at No. 29 ($925 million). The Rams are 40th ($779 million). Not shockingly, all 32 NFL teams made it into the top 50.

Statistics say Larry Fitzgerald is the best receiver in the NFL - ArizonaSports.com
Many people around the NFL and in media would like you to believe that the Houston Texans' Andre Johnson is the best receiver in the NFL. The statistics would indicate otherwise. According to the statistical wizards over at ProFootballFocus.com, the Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald just barely beat out Johnson for the top spot among wideouts in all of football.

Cards' Feely not as optimistic about end of lockout - ArizonaSports.com
While it may appear that the NFL lockout could be nearing its end, the Cardinals' Jay Feely isn't quite so sure. The team's player representative for the player's association, according to AZCardinals.com, told ESPN's Sportscenter, "I do not think (a resolution) is as close as some people make it out to be."

Arizona Cardinals: Worth more than you think - ArizonaSports.com
Well, the Bidwill family certainly isn't allowed to cry poor anymore.

Cardinals thought they were getting draft-day steals -- they were wrong - ArizonaSports.com
Each year the NFL Draft comes and goes, and by the time every selection is made fans and analysts alike go over the picks and determine who did the best job. One factor everyone looks at is who got the biggest "steals" of the draft. You know, players who fell in the draft, only to fall into the wide-open arms of a team that is certainly happy to get them. As it turns out, though, apparently teams aren't always as dumb as we think. Sometimes players fall for a reason.

PETA talks to Darnell Dockett - ArizonaSports.com
While media and fans may love Darnell Dockett and his new pet alligator "Nino," PETA does not feel the same. The pro-animal organization sent Dockett a letter acknowledging that he had purchased the alligator and telling him to get rid of it.

Joey Porter, Ken whisenhunt to participate in celebrity golf tournament - ArizonaSports.com
Although they cannot participate in football related activities due to the NFL lockout, a few current and former Cardinals will get together to golf. Joey Porter, Ken Whisenhunt, Steve Buerlein, Chris Chandler and Jim McMahon will all take part in the 2011 American Centurty Championship celebrity golf tournament July 14-17.

Imagine that, a 5-11 team had bad players - ArizonaSports.com
It takes a bad team to win just five games in a season, and bad teams are not usually filled with good players. So, it should really come as no surprise that the Cardinals, according to Grantland.com, had two of the 25 least valuable players in the NFL last season.

Croc files: How Whiz knows lockout bites - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Ken Whisenhunt discussed a range of substantive issues during his recent conversation with XTRA Sports 910 AM in Phoenix.

Arizona Sports News:

Milwaukee Brewers' Prince Fielder HR propels NL to consecutive All-Star wins
In time, baseball fans will forget about the All-Stars who either couldn't or wouldn't play in Phoenix. In time, the 82nd All-Star Game will be remembered for what it was, an otherwise overwhelming success. But will Prince Fielder ever forget the boos that pelted him like a stoning the past two nights at Chase Field? Yeah, probably.

Diana Taurasi's 27 points leads Phoenix Mercury
Diana Taurasi scored 27 points, including five 3-pointers, to rally the Phoenix Mercury past the Minnesota Lynx 112-105 on Wednesday.

Phoenix Suns hire Elston Turner as new defensive assistant coach
Suns coach Alvin Gentry picked the man who he nearly worked for to now work for him. Gentry confirmed his selection of Elston Turner, a head coach finalist for Phoenix in 2008, as his new defensive assistant coach, a choice that became apparent last week with Jim Boylan re-signing with Milwaukee, Don Newman opting to stay in San Antonio and Pete Myers taking a job with Golden State.

Phoenix Coyotes tab John Anderson as assistant coach
The Phoenix Coyotes signed John Anderson to a multi-year contract to serve as the team's assistant coach.

Justin Upton: 'The fans were supportive, I can't complain about that' - ArizonaSports.com
Justin Upton wanted to be in the Home Run Derby. Arizona Diamondbacks fans wanted Justin Upton to be in the Home Run Derby. As we all know, Upton was not selected to participate by Prince Fielder, who instead chose Brewers teammate Rickie Weeks. Monday evening, while both Weeks and Fielder took their cuts, the fans made it a point to voice their displeasure, booing the sluggers while chanting Upton's name. "I'm not deaf," Upton said, "I heard it."

Justin Upton: A D-back fans have rallied around - ArizonaSports.com
In a pair of All-Star at bats, Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton lined out to second base and left field, respectively. But, as the dust settles from what will be remembered as an incredible weekend in the Valley of the Sun, it is obvious that while the 23-year-old didn't get any hits Tuesday night, he's certainly become one with the local fan base.

Crowd gives Arizona Diamondbacks cheers fit for All-Stars
The chants from the night before resurfaced in Tuesday night's All-Star Game, the Chase Field crowd lyrically serenading Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton with his own name. Don't think he didn't appreciate it.

NFL News:

July 17 emerges as target for the announcement of a deal | ProFootballTalk
We’ve got no interest in breaking the news that a new labor deal has been finalized. When it happens, plenty of people will have it within minutes, and within minutes after that it will be officially announced.

NFL lockout -- Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees call for deal - ESPN
Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees say it is time for NFL owners and players to wrap up negotiations on a deal to end the league's lockout.

NFL Lockout: Five Things Every Team Needs To Do When It Ends - SBNation.com
The NFL lockout is expected to end within the next couple weeks and when it does there are five things every team will need to do to prepare for the 2011 season.

Top 15 fallout: Why Gore, but no Jackson - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The third in a series of items examining what Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. was thinking when he ranked the NFC West's 15 best players recently.

Where NFC West franchises rank - NFC West Blog - ESPN
If NFL owners cared only about money and not all the other benefits that come with their standing in the sports world, most of them would sell.

All in the family: NFC West free agency - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Smart teams build through the draft. The St. Louis Rams have done this recently, adding quarterback Sam Bradford, middle linebacker James Laurinaitis, left defensive end Chris Long, right defensive end Robert Quinn, left tackle Rodger Saffold, right tackle Jason Smith and others. A few specific needs remain. The more I look through the list of potential NFC West free agents, the more I get the sense quite a few would fit nicely with the Rams.

Metrodome roof, home of Minnesota Vikings, gets test inflation - ESPN
The Minnesota Vikings have a roof over their helmets once again.

Michael Crabtree's status as draft 'steal' - NFC West Blog - ESPN
NFC West teams swept three of the top four spots on an unfortunate Insider list featuring 10 players whose NFL careers never justified their status as draft-day steals. Matt Leinart ranked first, Andre Wadsworth ranked second and J.J. Stokes ranked fourth on a list covering the past 25 years.

Hasselbeck, Kolb and QB prospects - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Highlights and interpretations from Tim Hasselbeck's appearance Tuesday with Brock Huard and Mike Salk on 710ESPN Seattle:

How close is "close"? Making sense of where things stand | ProFootballTalk
Plenty of reports suggest that, once the NFL and the players hammer out the terms of a new rookie wage scale, which as Ross Tucker astutely observes via Twitter already is a win for the owners based on the current players’ proposal, the CBA will be, for all intents and purposes, a done deal. But then there are those scattered quotes and reports suggesting that things aren’t quite as simple as bridging a fairly narrow gap between the league’s plan and the players’ proposal for paying first-rounders in year five.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Formation Analysis: Number of WRs Part I
Today, we're going to examine how frequently offenses used various numbers of wide receivers on a given play in 2010, and how well they performed based on the number of wide receivers in the formation. (looks at what the Cardinals did last year)

Harrison Rant News:

James Harrison of Pittsburgh Steelers blasts Roger Goodell in magazine interview - ESPN
Heavily fined Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison calls NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a crook and a devil, among other insults, in a magazine article.

NFL -- James Harrison's reckless words dull his point - ESPN
In ripping Roger Goodell, James Harrison's inflammatory language overshadowed his criticism of the commissioner, Ashley Fox writes.

The James Harrison backtracking begins | ProFootballTalk
Earlier today, we wondered aloud when Steelers linebacker James Harrison would begin to offer up excuses for his inflammatory comments about Commissioner Roger Goodell and teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall.

Art Rooney, Rashard Mendenhall respond to James Harrison | ProFootballTalk
The Men’s Journal article heard around the football world (yes, that’s the first time that phrase has even been written), has already attracted a lot of responses from readers, the media, and even the NFL. Now the Steelers are ready to chime in.

Harrison rips Goodell, Big Ben, Mendenhall - AFC North Blog - ESPN
This just in: Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison ripped NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the 100th time. This time, Harrison used his strongest language to date in an explosive interview with Men's Journal magazine.

Foreshadowing Harrison's Goodell rant - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The harsh words from Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison regarding NFL commissioner Roger Goodell qualify as more than simply another hard hit from one of the league's most physical defenders.

Report: Shanahan "serious as hell" about Beck despite organizational dismay | ProFootballTalk
The offseason of John Beck has dragged on so long that we’ve had the backlash to the backlash. Columnists and teammates alike have stuck up for the guy recently, saying he deserves a chance. Of course, there are still some folks who have their doubts within the Redskins organization.