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8-16-11: Bird Droppings - Training Camp Updates

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(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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More updates as camp moves along, including an interview with Whiz on why the Cardinals didn't get Lee Evans.

Also, after watching our most divisive former Cardinal Matt Leinart on Monday Night Football last night, I'd say that he had an okay game. Looked good in the second quarter when he came in, but in the second half he seemed to go into a slump. Pretty much the opposite of what Greg McElroy did with the Jets (bad start, good finish) He also still has his tendency to throw mostly short passes, but as long as you can score points I don't care if it is being done by throwing bombs or checking it down.

Your thoughts if you saw him play last night?

Arizona Cardinals News:

Horton pays his dues to become Arizona coordinator -
Ray Horton has the credentials to prove what kind of man he is. This is, after all, the guy who just before leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers' coaching staff virtually gave his 1999 Mercedes convertible to a cafeteria worker. Correct that. He sold the car for $20. "I wasn't going to give it to the guy," Horton said before the team practiced on Monday. "I'm not crazy." He's also not always Mr. Nice Guy in his new job as defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals.

A Quarterback Who Can Move
Notebook: Kolb's mobility can help, but he isn't necessarily running QB

In Line Behind Kolb
Cards' backup QBs battling on depth chart, for roster spots

Horton pays his dues to become Arizona coordinator -
Ray Horton has the credentials to prove what kind of man he is. This is, after all, the guy who just before leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers' coaching staff virtually gave his 1999 Mercedes convertible to a cafeteria worker. Correct that. He sold the car for $20. "I wasn't going to give it to the guy," Horton said before the team practiced on Monday. "I'm not crazy." He's also not always Mr. Nice Guy in his new job as defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals. blogs - Kent Somers - A highlight of a practice
The Cardinals practiced for just 90 minutes or so Sunday afternoon, but coach Ken Whisenhunt called it one of the best sessions the team has had in his four-plus seasons in Arizona. The team returned from Oakland early Friday morning, so Whisenhunt gave his players the rest of that day off and Saturday off. With the rest, there was no excuse to have a poor practice and the Cardinals didn't.

Arizona Cardinals see no reason to panic at WR
The Cardinals' receiving corps is comprised of Larry Fitzgerald and a bunch of guys whose family members probably won't take them until the late rounds of their fantasy drafts. Fitzgerald has 613 career receptions. The next seven receivers on the depth chart have 204, and Chansi Stuckey has half those. Fitzgerald has 65 touchdowns. Total for everyone else: nine, led by Stuckey's five. So it's no wonder the Cardinals' No. 2 receiver position has drawn as much focus as the weather in training camp.

Why Cardinals passed on Lee Evans - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Coach Ken Whisenhunt offered a football education Monday during a wide-ranging interview with XTRA910 radio in Phoenix. His explanation as to why the Arizona Cardinals did not pursue receiver Lee Evans by trade was terrific. Basically, Larry Fitzgerald's presence made Evans a questionable fit.

Arizona Cardinals have cap space to re-sign Larry Fitzgerald
The Arizona Cardinals are about $13.2 million under the salary cap, giving them ample room to re-sign receiver Larry Fitzgerald without making any adjustments.

Cam Newton could open NFL career against Cardinals -
He ended his college career here, so it's a perfect place to start his professional career. Number one overall draft pick Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers open their season against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 11. If the analysts have anything to say about it, Newton will make his NFL starting debut in Glendale.

Word From the Birds Blog - Conditioning Deuce, and after practice
Guard Deuce Lutui didn’t practice this afternoon. He spent the time with strength and conditioning coach John Lott, conditioning. That’s what coach Ken Whisenhunt said afterward. He didn’t once mention Lutui’s weight, but said it was an effort to get Deuce into proper condition to play football. Considering Lutui’s weight situation, however, it doesn’t seem to bode well for that battle. There is little question Lutui is a very good football player. But Whisenhunt just said when Lutui showed up the Cards wouldn’t have a lot of patience when it came to Deuce getting into shape. This may be a tangible example of that.

Fitzgerald says Kolb can take team 'where we all want to go' -
Larry Fitzgerald has not been shy about praising the guy who will be throwing him the ball this season. Whether it's his accuracy, leadership or the fact that he has worked hard to learn the offense in a limited amount of time, you get the sense that if Kolb tells people he puts his heart and soul into the game, he means it. The team, and Fitzgerald, notice that.

Fitzgerald says Cardinals have makings of a 'special backfield' -
The Cardinals' running game hasn't been anything worth writing home about since the team moved to the desert, but that could change this season. Arizona enters the season with Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams and LaRod Stephens-Howling atop the depth chart, each bringing a different skill to the table. Combined, Larry Fitzgerald thinks the group will do big things.

Good training camp does not guarantee success for Cardinals -
All things considered, the Arizona Cardinals are having a good training camp. Since the team's first practice on July 30th up until now, the team has had to integrate new players, learn a new scheme on defense, all while preparing for games. Oh, and they didn't have new acquisitions for the first few days of camp. Things have gone well for the team, but head coach Ken Whisenhunt does not want people to assume that a good camp will lead to a better season.

Kevin Kolb can run, even if nobody wants him to -
Kevin Kolb dropped back to pass, saw the pressure and took off running. Fifteen yards later, the new Cards QB had the team's first first down of the preseason. Kolb ran again three plays later, showing an aspect of his game many didn't realize he had.

Larry Fitzgerald reiterates desire to stay in Arizona -
The question will linger until he either signs a contract extension or leaves the Valley, but once again Larry Fitzgerald confirmed that the Arizona Cardinals are his first choice with regards to where he will be playing football next season.

Sources -- Larry Fitzgerald of Arizona Cardinals could become free agent - ESPN
Arizona Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald's deal includes a clause that prevents the Cardinals from slapping their franchise tag on him after this season, according to two sources who have reviewed the contract. This means that if Fitzgerald is not signed to an extension before his contract expires at the end of this season, he would have the ability to leave Arizona in the off-season, without any restrictions.

Cardinals, Fitzgerald working on a new deal | ProFootballTalk
The return of ESPN’s Monday Night Football means the return of ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown. Which means that Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will be sharing nuggets of info with us two or three times every Monday night. Here’s one that isn’t really news, but it’s worth highlighting.

Kolb was good, but 'don't build a church' yet -
In camp for a couple weeks, nary a bad word has been said about Kevin Kolb. Add in a successful preseason debut, one in which he completed 4 of 7 passes for 68 yards, the praise has continued to flow. "It's one preseason game," Sports 620 KTAR's Ron Wolfley said on the Doug and Wolf show. "Don't build a church. One game. Chill." Wolf says Kolb played well -- which he did -- but wants people to put everything into perspective. It's probably a good idea.

ESPN Insider: Kolb is throwing the ball better than he ever has -
The thoughts from the national media on Kevin Kolb have been mixed at best since the Cardinals acquired the young quarterback. One guy who has been in his corner from the beginning is ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton. After watching Arizona practice on Sunday, his opinion on Arizona's new signal caller hasn't changed. It's become even more positive.

Cardinals readying Kevin Kolb for Week 1 -
At the very least, Kevin Kolb looked like an NFL quarterback in the preseason opener last Thursday. Completing 4 of 7 passes for 68 yards, Kolb found Larry Fitzgerald often enough to make you think he's getting the hang of the offense. Still, there is a lot of work ahead of the signal caller if he is to be ready for the team's Week 1 date with Carolina.

Stewart Bradley and Arizona's pass rush - NFC West Blog - ESPN
No linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles has finished a season with more than 2.5 sacks since 2006. Only one, Akeem Jordan, has picked off more than one pass in a season during that span. Jordan had two in 2009. As much as linebacker Stewart Bradley enjoyed his time with the Eagles, it's easy to understand why he bolted for a 3-4 defense once becoming an unrestricted free agent this offseason. "Linebackers are more featured in this system," Bradley said when I caught up with him at Cardinals training camp last week. Bradley, who signed a five-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, projects as the likely starter at inside linebacker next to Daryl Washington. Incumbent Paris Lenon remains the starter for now.

Word From the Birds Blog - The attitude works for Whiz
Coach Ken Whisenhunt talked about how intense the practice was yesterday afternoon. Earlier, during our newest podcast Ron Wolfley was talking about how he was impressed because normally the first practice back after a couple of days off can be sluggish or lethargic. Sunday was certainly anything but that. "The challenge is to maintain that intensity." Quarterback Kevin Kolb echoed that, talking about how crisp the work was but that the Cards "have to keep pressing."

Word From the Birds Blog - Two truths and a lie
New defensive coordinator Ray Horton lost a lot by not getting to work with his players this offseason, but it wasn’t just about teaching schemes and getting on-field reps. Horton also lost a chance to get to know the players, always a key when you are a coach — knowing what it takes to motivate a guy. So every night at meetings, Horton picks three players to stand up and announce three statements about themselves. Two are true. One is false. The rest of the group has to pick out the false statement.

Daryn Colledge disappointed Packers didn’t invite him to White House | ProFootballTalk
Most of the Packers visited the White House last week to meet with President Barack Obama. The 2011 Packers. At least one member of the 2010 team isn’t thrilled with the Packers’ decision to leave players from last year’s team behind. "It’s a disappointing fact that they didn’t even call guys that helped win to see if they wanted to join them," Cardinals guard Daryn Colledge said, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. "They said it was a logistics thing, but I believe I had the day off."

Cardinals Daily: Coming Together
Video Gallery -

Cardinals Underground - Camp Judgement
Paul Calvisi, Ron Wolfley, and Darren Urban talk about the Cardinals preseason debut at Oakland, current camp battles, and the upcoming trip to Green Bay.

Arizona Sports News:

Arizona Diamondbacks, Archie Bradley beat deadline
The Diamondbacks said all along they were confident they would be able to sign first-round pick Archie Bradley. They also said they expected negotiations to go down to the wire. That's exactly how it played out as the Diamondbacks and Bradley hammered out a deal just before Monday night's signing deadline that will keep the high school right-hander from pursuing a college football career at Oklahoma.

Sun Devils couldn't survive the off-season -
ASU has had the worst off-season in college football for any team who hasn't done anything wrong.

NFL News:

What we learned: Texans 20, Jets 16 | ProFootballTalk
We’ve already recapped what we learned from all the preseason games on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Let’s wrap up the first week of the preseason with a look at Monday Night’s action.

Eleven NFC West quarterbacks in focus - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The San Francisco 49ers were the only NFC West team to play just two quarterbacks in their first preseason game. They are the only team in the division looking for a third quarterback. How much quarterbacks play during preseason can mean more than how well they seem to play under what are often unusual circumstances with little application to the regular season.

Niners won’t be signing Culpepper, yet | ProFootballTalk
Despite indications that the San Francisco 49ers are prepared to sign quarterback Daunte Culpepper to a one-year deal, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the move won’t be made immediately. Per the source, it could happen within the next week or so.

Raiders’ coin-toss procedures are in preseason form | ProFootballTalk
Several of you asked us on Friday why the Raiders kicked off to start each half of their preseason opener on Thursday. Peter King of has the details in his Monday Morning Quarterback column.

New York Jets' Mark Sanchez: 'I wanted to fight' coach Rex Ryan - ESPN New York
March Sanchez told GQ that he was ready to fight Rex Ryan when the coach wanted to limit his practice time with the first unit last season.

Buffalo Bills release '09 first-rounder Aaron Maybin - ESPN
The Buffalo Bills released former first-round pick Aaron Maybin.

Top RB money not enough for Chris Johnson of Tennessee Titans, sources say - ESPN
The Tennessee Titans' contract stalemate with holdout running back Chris Johnson shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

Quarterback power rankings: Aaron Rodgers debuts at No. 1 -
The Huddle debuts its quarterback power rankings and installs Aaron Rodgers ahead of mainstays Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning.

NFL Game Recaps:

New York Jets vs. Houston Texans - Recap - August 15, 2011 - ESPN
Chris Ogbonnaya made the most of his opportunity in Houston's preseason opener, with virtually every other Texans running back hobbled by injuries. Ogbonnaya caught a touchdown pass from Matt Leinart and ran for the winning score in the fourth quarter of the Texans' 20-16 win over the New York Jets on Monday night.