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7-16-11: Bird Droppings - Quarterbacks, Lockout

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As we move another day closer to the end of the lockout (and it seems like within the next couple of days everything will be done), here are some links.

A lot of these are about the Quarterbacks. Urban took a look at how much is likely to change, there is a little thing from the Rich Eisen podcast where Jim Mora Jr. mentioned that Whiz told him there are four quarterbacks he is interested in during the USO tour they were on (no names, sorry), and there is an interview with Kurt Warner where he seems to imply that one of the reasons Leinart was cut was because that the way he plays doesn't fit the way the offense ran under Kurt Warner, and that Whiz wants someone who can run the same kind of pass happy offense that Whiz ran with him.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Looking At The Quarterbacks
A lot has happened to the Cards at quarterback since Kurt Warner decided to retire in January of 2010.

Is Coach Whiz trying to make every QB Kurt Warner? -
When Kurt Warner left the Cardinals it was assumed Matt Leinart would take over under center. Having been with the team for four seasons, the previous two watching and learning from the future hall of famer, it appeared that the time was right for the former Heisman Trophy winner to get his chance. But, then again, it was obvious Leinart did not have the same skills as his predecessor. Warner was accurate but a statue, Leinart was able to move around in the pocket. Both were accurate (Warner moreso), though the prevailing thought was that the Cardinals would focus more on the ground game anyway, meaning Leinart wouldn't have to chuck the ball around 35 times a game. Then it all fell apart.

Word From the Birds Blog - Revisionist History: A playoff pounding in Dallas
When all that noise cropped up around the Cardinals in January of 2009 – the stuff about that team being the worst in playoff history, etc., etc., — I remember thinking, "This team is better than the last Cardinal playoff team." Turned out both squads ended up shocking the world. Back in 1998, it might have been an even bigger deal.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback hype is leading fans to disappointment -
For months I've heard more about Kevin Kolb, Kyle Orton and Matt Hasselbeck than a stay-at-home-mom has heard about Jennifer Aniston's dating life and the Casey Anthony trial combined. Every analyst, talking head and former scout has pitched me on why one of the three quarterbacks is the answer to the Cardinals' million dollar quarterback question. All the conjecture, rumors and tireless banter has created an excitement for the season and the future that I can't quite comprehend.

Word From the Birds Blog - A solid start for Whiz in Tahoe
As the offseason comes to an end (really, it looks like it’s for real), coach Ken Whisenhunt, on one of his final weekend’s off, is taking his annual crack at the Amercian Century Championship celebrity golf tournament up in Tahoe.

NFL - Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions will be 2011's most improved teams - ESPN
Why Adam Schefter believe the Cardinals and the Lions will be vastly improved over last season.

Rich Eisen Podcast: Plaxico Burress, Jim Mora and Michelle Beadle | Rich Eisen – NFL Network
Features Jim Mora mentioning that Ken Whisenhunt is interested in four Quarterbacks (Kevin Kolb, Kyle Orton, Marc Bulger, and Carson Palmer is my guess).

Series History - St. Louis Rams
Video Gallery -

Arizona Sports News:

Diamondbacks can't finish late rally, lose to Dodgers to open second half
The Diamondbacks have a favorable home schedule the second half of the season - which only means something if they can take advantage of it. It was something they could not do Friday night. They staged a late rally, but it wasn't enough, and the Dodgers escaped with a 6-4 victory in front of 24,966 at Chase Field.

Phoenix Mercury win their sixth consecutive game
After 6-foot-6 center Kara Braxton hit a 3-pointer, just her third 3-pointer and sixth attempt of the season, in the middle of the first quarter, it looked like one of those nights for the Mercury. Throw it up, and change the scoreboard. But it was not to be. The Mercury struggled to keep their lead for much of the game before a late second-half surge sealed a 78-64 victory over the Washington Mystics on Friday night in front of 9,075 at US Airways Center.

Arizona Diamondbacks to recall right-hander Barry Enright for starting rotation
The Diamondbacks will recall right-handed pitcher Barry Enright from Reno, and he will start Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers at Chase Field, bumping left-hander Zach Duke from the starting rotation.

Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith eager for new opportunity
Taking a backward step sometimes can propel a player. For Mike Smith, a demotion to the minors helped save his career.

Diamondbacks draftee Trevor Bauer wins Golden Spikes Award
UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer has won the Golden Spikes Award as the top amateur baseball player. The award was announced Friday by the U.S. Baseball Federation.

NFL News:

2011 NFL lockout: Talks recessed after owners give in on free agency - ESPN
After progress on a wide range of issues this week, the NFL and players took a break late Friday afternoon after talks came to a halt over a free-agency rule, a source with direct knowledge of the talks said.

Almost nothing can derail a deal now | ProFootballTalk
As another week of negotiations comes to an end, all signs are that a deal between the NFL and its players is so close that those in the room can practically taste it.

There’s still a minor reason to be mildly concerned | ProFootballTalk
With the new labor deal looking even more inevitable than ever, and with all signs pointing to an agreement coming by Tuesday at the latest, there’s reason to be at least a little concerned until the two sides apply their Herbie Hancocks to the settlement documents. The owners, for example, are concerned that NFLPA* lawyers Jeffrey Kessler and/or Jim Quinn will make a Hail Mary effort to blow up the talks, focusing on an issue that was overlooked or underestimated during the negotiations and trying to pump it a dealbreaker.

Owners give up right of first refusal idea | ProFootballTalk
All along, PFT has advanced the idea that the owners’ idea about obtaining the right of first refusal with for three free agents this year made little sense and was something the players should refuse. It looks like the owners have given up on the idea too.

It’s casual Saturday at the labor talks | ProFootballTalk
We would love it if there was a lot of breaking news on the labor front this Saturday. That would likely mean good things were happening. It’s more likely that we won’t have a lot of exciting information to pass along as the lawyers meet to work out the details of the upcoming CBA. For example: We can tell you that talks have re-started Saturday between lawyers for both sides, although things are a little more casual.

Players seek reduction in training camp contact | ProFootballTalk
So what is still left to figure out in the labor dispute? Both sides sound confident a deal is on the way, but the two sides still need to figure out settlements in the remaining Brady antitrust case and TV money case. Speaking on ESPN Saturday, Chris Mortensen also indicated that players "won’t give in" on the remaining player health and safety issues still on the table.

Animosity over 18-game season becomes a distant memory | ProFootballTalk
With major issues including a revenue split and a rookie wage scale reportedly worked out, and the NFL lockout apparently almost over, it’s worth noting one frequent topic of pre-lockout conversation that never became a major issue: The 18-game season.

NFL says Hall of Fame Game isn’t canceled | ProFootballTalk
Yesterday’s report that the Hall of Fame Game has been canceled is being denied by the NFL.

All in the family: NFC West free agency - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Mike Sando decides to make this post in where he creates a scenario that includes the Rams poaching on other NFC West free agents. Two Cardinals players make the list. Click the link to read why these six guys could make a huge difference in St. Louis.

Audio: Actual football on NFL horizon? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Talking through options for free agency and beyond in the NFC West felt more fun Friday than it did when the NFL lockout was grinding on without hope on the horizon.

O.C.’s Leinart calls on famous friends for good cause | leinart, foundation, famous - Sports - The Orange County Register
Of all the perks associated with being a famous athlete, calling on your friends for a good cause might mean the most to Matt Leinart. The former Mater Dei and USC quarterback enlisted the help of athletes and celebrities from movies and TV to raise money for his foundation Thursday night at Lucky Strike in Hollywood. ADVERTISEMENT While the count hasn't been finalized, a spokesperson for the foundation estimated the iRenew Matt Leinart 5th Annual Charity Bowling Tournament would raise more than $50,000. Leinart's foundation helps children and runs the Urban Youth Football League for kids from Santa Ana and inner-city Los Angeles.