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8-17-11: Bird Droppings - Training Camp Updates

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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Time for some more links as we move closer to the Cardinals next Preseason game on Friday.

Also some stuff on the news that came out on Monday about all of the illegal benefits being given to players while they were at Miami for college, including former Cardinal Antrel Rolle and current Cardinal Calais Campbell.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Fitz's Spectacular Catches
Pro Bowl receiver has turned the amazing into his routine

Arizona Cardinals QBs share Texas bond
f the Super Bowl were replaced by a game of "Survivor," the Cardinals already would own the trophy. Two of their top three quarterbacks enjoy killing wild boars with hunting knives. "It's an adrenaline rush," backup Rich Bartel said. "Once my hands started making me a little bit of money, I stopped doing it," starter Kevin Kolb said. Welcome to a new era of Cardinals football. The cerebral mushiness of Derek Anderson and Matt Leinart has been replaced by a Texas twang, a Darwinian edge and a 10-inch Bowie knife.

NFL -- Arizona Cardinals an improving team - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals' rebuilding project looks solid so far, John Clayton writes.

Word From the Birds Blog - Whiz talks about developing receivers
The subject of wide receivers came up again today with coach Ken Whisenhunt. Obviously this has been a constant topic during camp, although it’s been clear the Cards want to look at their young receivers and have faith in them. In fact, if there was any uncertainty of that, the idea that veteran Chansi Stuckey might have a hard time making this team with Andre Roberts, Early Doucet, Stephen Williams and right now, Max Komar and rookie DeMarco Sampson ahead of him speaks loudly to the situation. Whisenhunt also spoke bluntly about it too.

Cardinals seem fine with their wide receivers -
Cardinals fans, it may be time to get used to the idea of hearing the names Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts, Early Doucet, Chansi Stuckey, Stephen Williams and DeMarco Sampson, as they are likely to be the receivers catching passes from Cardinals quarterbacks this year. While many have been hoping to see the Cardinals acquire a veteran wideout to pair with Fitzgerald, Ken Whisenhunt has maintained his confidence in his young-but-unproven group.

Cardinals rookie Sherman passing the test in training camp -
When the Arizona Cardinals selected fullback Anthony Sherman in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft they got themselves a true fullback who likes to hit people. Sherman has done plenty of that in camp and, as he told Sports 620 KTAR's Doug and Wolf, he expected pretty much everything that's been thrown at him -- on the field.

Horton will help, but players make the difference -
Ray Horton is not Bill Davis, and that might be a good thing. Not to knock Davis, the Cardinals' defensive coordinator the last two seasons, but Arizona rarely stopped anyone during his tenure. "The Arizona Cardinals, last year, we all were privy to it, we were witness of their futility," Sports 620 KTAR's Ron Wolfley said. "They just could not stop anybody." The stats would agree with Wolf.

Worried about Larry Fitzgerald's contract? Just listen to the man -
Maybe I should be worried about Larry Fitzgerald. With the news reported by ESPN Monday (and every other media outlet three years ago), alerting the world to the fact that, without a contract extension, the Pro Bowler will be a free agent upon the conclusion of the 2011 season was discussed ad nauseam. While the Cardinals are trying to work out a deal, it is the player who holds all the leverage, once again. The Cardinals went through a similar scenario in 2008, finally agreeing to an extension that gave the receiver pretty much everything he wanted - including a guarantee that the franchise tag would not be used on him once his contract expired. And yet, I'm not concerned.

Arizona Cardinals' individual game tickets go on sale Saturday
Tickets to Cardinals individual games will go on sale to the general public Saturday morning.

Rules may hamper Arizona Cardinals kickoff returners
The NFL's new kickoff rules, which include moving the ball up 5 yards to the 35-yard line, don't seem to favor the Cardinals. They have one of the better kick returners in the game, LaRod Stephens-Howling, and first-round draft pick Patrick Peterson was successful doing it in college. The change is expected to result in more touchbacks, giving fewer opportunities for returns. Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt isn't against the rule change because it's designed to reduce injuries.

Still Many Happy Returns?
Notebook: Stephens-Howling wary of new kickoff rules

Simulation gives Arizona Cardinals 7 wins . . . NFC West title
First the bookies dissed the Cardinals. Now it's a computer model.

Single-Game Tickets Going On Sale
General public can purchase beginning Saturday

Word From the Birds Blog - A night at Coconino
The Cardinals held their one night practice of camp at Coconino High School. It was a little different than the ones of last season. With only a few days before the next preseason game, coach Ken Whisenhunt didn’t do a live goal line session at the end. In fact, there was no tackling. The practice ended with a series of plays starting at the 10-yard line with first-and-goal, but it was tough to tell exactly what would have happened — linebacker Clark Haggans was particularly vocal in protesting where the ball was spotted. blogs - Kent Somers - Breaking down the receivers
I wrote a piece on Monday about the receivers behind Larry Fitzgerald on the depth chart, and unfortunately didn't have space to include the views of assistant John McNulty, who coaches the position. No one works with these guys more, and McNulty had some interesting observations. I thought his comments about Stephen Williams were especially revealing. blogs - Kent Somers - A quiet evening in Northern Arizona
The Cardinals' only night practice of training camp was uneventful, other than the minor stir caused by the small snake on the sideline opposite the bleachers. No one was hurt, either by the practice or by the snake, which was relocated by security. A few notes and observations:

Word From the Birds Blog - Fitz’s contract and no franchise tag
Suddenly it became big news again that the Cardinals can’t use the franchise tag on wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald if his contract expires after this season. But that’s always been part of the equation. The Cardinals knew it, obviously, from the time they signed Fitz to the last deal. Originally, the clause was supposed to allow Fitz to be tagged, but that if he was, he had to be paid $23 million for one season. That wasn’t allowed after the NFL reviewed the contract, since franchise tag numbers are set ahead of time based on previous years’ salaries of the top players at the position.

Soaring expectations for Kolb-led Cardinals - NFC West Blog - ESPN
ESPN's John Clayton envisions Larry Fitzgerald approaching 115 receptions and the Arizona Cardinals improving by about three victories with Kevin Kolb as the team's new quarterback.

Cardinals Daily: Catching Up with Peterson
Video Gallery -

Whisenhunt Gives an Update from Training Camp
Video Gallery -

Arizona Sports News:

Lyle Overbay lifts Arizona Diamondbacks past Philadelphia Phillies
Lyle Overbay was washing his car in the driveway of his suburban Seattle home Friday night when the call came telling him he had been rescued from baseball limbo. Four days later, there he was rifling the go-ahead double off the best pitcher in baseball, who plays for the best team in baseball, helping his new club to its major-league-leading 35th come-from-behind victory. Yeah, for this team, in this season, that chain of events sounds about right. Defined by their improbability, the Diamondbacks added another chapter to what is beginning to feel like pulp fiction, rallying in the ninth inning Tuesday for a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in front of a stunned, silent crowd of 45,742.

NFL News:

The best and worst of the rookie quarterbacks after one week - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
With one full week of the preseason in the books, every rookie quarterback in the league has had their chance to go out and take their first pop quiz. Very few aced it, but hey, that's a really tough quiz.

NFL delays supplemental draft; no decision on Terrelle Pryor - ESPN
The supplemental draft originally scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed, an NFL official confirmed to ESPN.

Checking in from St. Louis Rams camp - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A few thoughts between the morning walk-through and full afternoon practice at St. Louis Rams training camp:

League postpones supplemental draft | ProFootballTalk
And now the process of jerking around Terrelle Pryor has resulted in the jerking around of the rest of the supplemental draft pool.

Alex Smith creating "separation" from Colin Kaepernick | ProFootballTalk
Just a few days after saying the 49ers quarterback position wasn’t "clear cut" 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday that Alex Smith is starting to pull away from rookie Colin Kaepernick.

49ers Two-A-Day: Regrets on Hasselbeck - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Mike Golic learned his lesson picking the San Francisco 49ers to reach the Super Bowl last season.

NCAA wants help from NFL | ProFootballTalk
The unfolding mess at the University of Miami, where football players allegedly received cash and other benefits from a booster who is now in prison for fraud and money laundering, has ensnared several players who are now in the NFL. And the NCAA is hoping the NFL will help it prevent the next such scandal.

Hester, Wilfork among players named in Miami mess | ProFootballTalk
The Miami Hurricanes football program appears to be in serious trouble after a Yahoo Sports investigation revealing a booster’s role in a wide variety of NCAA violations. Unsurprisingly, several of the allegations involve current NFL players.

Renegade Miami football booster spells out illicit benefits to players - Investigations - Yahoo! Sports
Nevin Shapiro, a convicted Ponzi schemer, details the cash, gifts and other favors he says he lavished on a slew of players from 2002-2010. - Investigations news

Nevin Shapiro, Former Miami Football Booster, Details 'Thousands Of Impermissible Benefits' -
According to a report, the NCAA is investigating the University of Miami over allegations made by a former booster who is currently in prison.