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8-13-11: Bird Droppings - More Raiders Aftermath

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Not much to report today except some more assessments of the first Preseason game. Unfortunately the Rattlers lost the Arena Bowl on the final play of the game so there is some bad news for Arizona sports. In other news, former Cardinal Tim Hightower looked good in his debut with Washington and it looks like he will get to start over there so good for him.

Also, the game against the Raiders will be re-aired on FSNAZ at 12:30 PM Arizona time. For those of you having issues with NFL.com's preseason subscription deal, there you go.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Perspective needed after preseason win by Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals coaches can reflect upon Thursday night's first preseason game through two lenses. One view will drive them crazy; the other will give them comfort. As expected, there were mistakes everywhere. In the business, they are known as MEs - mental errors. For coaches who had nothing to do during the lockout but study video, they can be maddening. But for a team that had practiced five days together before the first game, miscues were expected. Viewed through that filter, the Cardinals' performance in the 24-18 victory over the Raiders pleased coach Ken Whisenhunt.

Arizona Cardinals post-game evaluations
I didn't get a chance to ask coach Ken Whisenhunt about every player on the roster, but here are his opinions of how a few guys played on Thursday night.

Whisenhunt saw positives in preseason opener - ArizonaSports.com
The final score really doesn't matter. Sure, the Cardinals beat the Raiders 24-18 in the preseason opener Thursday night, but because it was just that -- preseason -- coming out with a win wasn't the top objective. No, the Cardinals wanted to execute their assignments and come away healthy and, save for Todd Heap's sprained left thumb, did a pretty good job of accomplishing both tasks.

Word From the Birds Blog - The day after with Whiz
There are things to work on, and that didn’t change for Ken Whisenhunt from Thursday night to Friday afternoon. When he looked at one play, for example, that ended up being a Beanie Wells run for "six or seven" yards. In reality, Whisenhunt said, a tight end moved to the wrong side of the formation and let a defender come off the edge clean. Beanie made it work.

Cardinals backs off and running - ArizonaSports.com
Beanie Wells got the start in Thursday night's preseason opener and, well, let's just say he had a solid, if unspectacular night. Wells tallied 22 yards on six carries, including a nice 15-yard run, but failed to score on four tries from the Raiders' eight yard line. But, as is typical of the preseason, stats don't always tell the story of whether or not someone had a good night. Especially with regards to a back's blocking.

Cardinals O-line has ups and downs in preseason opener - ArizonaSports.com
Things didn't start so well for the offensive line. Kevin Kolb was forced to scramble a couple times and there wasn't much room for Beanie Wells to run.

On whether Cardinals should add a WR - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt has downplayed the team's need for a No. 2 wide receiver. The team did consider adding Braylon Edwards, who landed in San Francisco. And the Cardinals were also reportedly interested in Buffalo Bills wide receiver Lee Evans, who was traded to the Baltimore Ravens. How aggressively should Arizona pursue a wideout?

Cardinals have to address No. 2 receiver spot if they hope to be contenders - ArizonaSports.com
The Arizona Cardinals have only had a handful of practices and have only played one preseason game. That doesn't mean it's too early to dissect the roster to try and figure out exactly what they need to be a true playoff contender (alright, maybe it's a little early but this kind of talk is what we love about sports). Sports 620 KTAR's Doug Franz thinks there is one position that will hold the Cardinals back more than any other this season.

How did Kevin Kolb look to a former NFL player? - ArizonaSports.com
Fans have their opinions on the how Kevin Kolb looked in his first game as an Arizona Cardinal and so does the media, but what about a former NFL player? Former Cardinal fullback and Pro Bowler Ron Wolfley weighed in with his observations on Kolb's performance Friday morning.

You can cross Lee Evans off the Arizona Cardinals' list - ArizonaSports.com
Well, Cardinals fans will have to find a new receiver to obsess about. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Buffalo wide out Lee Evans is on the move but he won't be relocating to the desert.

Arizona Sports News:

Arizona Diamondbacks defeat NY Mets, extend lead in NL West
Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy didn't deliver a spotless effort in Friday's meeting with the New York Mets to kick off a three-game series, but it didn't matter. There wasn't a situation that frazzled or interrupted the rhythm Kennedy has been cruising along for the past five weeks. Whether he had runners in scoring position and nobody out or issued a few more walks than usual, Kennedy always found a way to maneuver out of the jam. That's likely why Friday's 4-3 win in front of 25,701 at Chase Field was his seventh consecutive victory, the longest-active streak in the Majors.

Jacksonville Sharks defeat Arizona Rattlers on final play of ArenaBowl
Considering the way they'd had been playing defense during the playoffs, if the Rattlers knew before Friday night's ArenaBowl that they would score 70 points, they would have asked to size up rings. But they were battling 17-year veteran Aaron Garcia, who began his career in Arizona, who had never won a championship, who had two seconds left to sink the hearts of most of the 14,320 in attendance and make for a storybook ending. Backpedaling under pressure, Garcia waited as the final two seconds ticked off before finding Jeron Harvey wide open in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown that gave the Jacksonville Sharks a 73-70 victory in ArenaBowl XXIV at US Airways Center.

LA Sparks edge Phoenix Mercury in overtime
Rookie Jantel Lavender scored a season-high 25 points and grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Sparks to a 93-90 overtime win over the Mercury on Friday night.

Arizona Diamondbacks' Xavier Nady breaks hand
Diamondbacks first baseman Xavier Nady left after the second inning of Friday's game with the New York Mets with a fractured left hand after getting hit by a pitch.

Arizona State defensive coordinator Craig Bray: Vontaze Burfict can be as good as he wants to be
I stopped Arizona State defensive coordinator Craig Bray this week to discuss the defense's performance through the first two weeks of camp. At one point, the conversation turned to Vontaze Burfict and the preseason attention the middle linebacker has received.

NFL News:

Baltimore Ravens land Lee Evans in deal with Buffalo Bills, source says - ESPN
The Buffalo Bills have traded receiver Lee Evans to the Baltimore Ravens, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Friday. The Bills will get a fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft from Baltimore.

What we learned: Preseason night No. 2 | ProFootballTalk
You guys liked our recap of the first night of preseason games so much, we’re going to make it a regular feature.

Josh Cribbs not happy with new kickoff rule | ProFootballTalk
We noticed during Thursday night’s preseason games that the new rule moving kickoffs to the 35-yard line resulted in a lot of touchbacks. One of the best kickoff returners in the NFL noticed, too, and he wasn’t happy about it.

Survival mode: Saints hammer Alex Smith - NFC West Blog - ESPN
So much for emphasizing player safety. Alex Smith, making his first exhibition start under a labor agreement featuring added protections for players, took a brutal pounding Friday night.

Three things revisited: 49ers-Saints - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The 49ers and the Saints played their first preseason game last night. Here are some notes about some of the 49ers' rookies and gameplay.

On whether early schedule dooms Rams - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Jeremy from Stuart, Fla., thinks the St. Louis Rams could lose seven of their first eight regular-season games thanks to a rough schedule. He wonders whether that opens the door for the San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC West.

Packers make their White House visit, Obama wants Rodgers on the Bears | ProFootballTalk
Bears fan Barack Obama welcomed the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers to the White House on Friday, and in his comments congratulating the team, he made special mention of Charles Woodson and Aaron Rodgers.

NFL Game Recaps:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Kansas City Chiefs - Recap - August 12, 2011 - ESPN
Raheem Morris stood at the podium deep inside Arrowhead Stadium, looked straight into the camera and let a slight smile creep across his face. The third-year head coach was asked whether he could find something wrong with the performance that his Tampa Bay Buccaneers put in during their preseason opener Friday night, a 25-0 blitzing on the road against the defending AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs. Morris resigned himself to the fact he couldn't, at least not yet.

San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints - Recap - August 12, 2011 - ESPN
Mark Ingram had a spinning, tackle-breaking touchdown run in his NFL debut, and the New Orleans Saints defeated the San Francisco 49ers 24-3 in the preseason opener for both teams on Friday night. Ingram's 14-yard scoring run highlighted a performance in which the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama carried six times for 23 yards.

Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons - Recap - August 12, 2011 - ESPN
Linebacker Karlos Dansby hopes the Miami Dolphins can build some momentum after winning their preseason opener. "I want to turn the tide this year, and we're on the way, I think," Dansby said. "Tonight, I hope we set the tone for the entire season. It's all about wins, man." Phillip Livas scored on a 75-yard punt return in the third quarter to help Miami overcome a difficult start by quarterback Chad Henne in the Dolphins' 28-23 preseason victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Friday night.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Detroit Lions - Recap - August 12, 2011 - ESPN
Matthew Stafford hopes his first exhibition game was a preview of what's to come this season. He was effective and finished the game without an injury. Stafford threw touchdown passes on his two drives and the Detroit Lions went on to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 34-3 Friday night.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Redskins - Recap - August 12, 2011 - ESPN
Rex Grossman's opening statement in his case to become the Washington Redskins' starting quarterback began in the shadow of his own goal posts. On his first play, he dropped back into the end zone and hit Santana Moss over the middle for a 16-yard gain. Soon, Grossman was 5 for 5 against one of the best defenses in the NFL, moving with the team without a hitch until the drive finally stalled at the Pittsburgh 10. Hoping to gain an early edge over an injured John Beck, Grossman completed 19 of 26 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown Friday night in the Redskins' 16-7 win over the Steelers in the preseason opener for both teams.