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8-18-11: Bird Droppings - Training Camp Updates

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Time for some links on training camp, including an update on Larry Fitzgeralds contract situation from Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Kevin Kolb finally comfortable with Arizona Cardinals' offense - ESPN
New quarterback Kevin Kolb says he is finally comfortable with the Arizona Cardinals' offense and looks forward to putting his newfound knowledge to a stern test when the team travels to Green Bay to face the NFL champion Packers. blogs - Kent Somers - Learning the language
The hardest part of learning a new offense is understanding the different verbiage, and Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb admitted there are times he reverts back to his four seasons with the Eagles. "I find myself when I'm watching film, I might lean over to Larry (Fitzgerald) and say, 'hey, we ought to just run a pirate behind this,'" Kolb said. "And he'll say, 'A pirate?' And I'm like, 'oh, yeah, an under (route).' "It takes time to do that. And the only way to do that is to be thrown in the fire." Although he's practiced for only two weeks, Kolb said he is speaking the Cardinals language most of the time now. The offensive systems of the Eagles and Cardinals are different, but they could be greater, Kolb said.

Arizona Cardinals NT Dan Williams vows to fix weight issues
When the Cardinals drafted Dan Williams in the first round last year, they thought they were getting the rare nose tackle who wouldn't struggle with weight or stamina. Instead, Williams has had problems with both in his first two seasons. "I'll be the first one to say, I didn't work out like a John Lott workout," said Williams, referring to the Cardinals' strength and conditioning coach. "I should have done more. Next year, I'll know the proper steps and I'll put this behind me." Williams said he reported to training camp at 334 pounds, six more than his prescribed weight. He has struggled with endurance, too, quickly getting winded at the 7,000-feet elevation.

Arizona Cardinals' competition at cornerback wide open
It's been more than a year since Cardinals cornerback A.J. Jefferson spent time wondering why he wasn't taken in the 2010 NFL draft. He's not devoting many waking moments now worrying how long it will be before coach Ken Whisenhunt replaces him with Patrick Peterson, the fifth overall pick this year. "He (Whisenhunt) told me I just had to compete and that I had an opportunity," Jefferson said. "I've just got to make the most of it." That Jefferson is the starting left cornerback, even for now, is an indication of the upheaval at the position for the Cardinals.

Kevin Kolb gives the Cardinals a quarterback to rely on again - Jim Trotter -
Kevin Kolb has reinvigorated a team dejected by last year's poor QB play Expect Larry Fitzgerald to get a new deal with the Cards before the season starts With a favorable schedule, the Cards should be back in the playoff hunt

The Arizona Cardinals are officially on the clock to re-sign Larry Fitzgerald -
For the last six months there have been two storylines that have dominated when it comes to the Arizona Cardinals. Will they find a franchise quarterback and can they sign Larry Fitzgerald to a contract extension? It seems like they've answered the first -- at least in some people's minds -- and a resolution to the second may be right around the corner. Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter was at Cards camp in Flagstaff earlier this week and he found out some very interesting information as it pertains to the team's Pro Bowl receiver.

Word From the Birds Blog - Sturdivant’s got to speak up
The walkthrough was sparsely attended by fans, so it was even easier to hear the chatter on the field. That included linebackers coach Matt Raich, who was watching his charges from the offensive backfield when at one point he bellowed at rookie inside linebacker Quan Sturdivant, "I need to hear you back here!" Sturdivant was calling the pre-snap signals. He wasn’t doing it loudly enough.

Win or lose, Kevin Kolb just wants to learn -
Coming away with a win or loss isn't what concerns quarterback Kevin Kolb heading into Friday's preseason matchup with the Green Bay Packers. "It's a nice way to test ourselves," Kolb said. "Win or lose or domination on either side of the ball, it's not going to tell us what were going to be like as a team, it may just indicate the direction that we're going." Kolb's main goal is to gain experience in a system that he's only spent two weeks in.

Packers are a good team, test for Arizona Cardinals -
There are preseason games, and there are preseason games. The Arizona Cardinals, winners of their first exhibition game of the season last week, will face a stiff test Friday when they head to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers. You know, the Super Bowl champion Packers.

Carter Fits The Middle
Notebook: Rookie works backup nose tackle; Acho takes right-side reps

Whisenhunt expects Kolb to see more playing time against Green Bay -
As the Arizona Cardinals head to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers on Friday, coach Ken Whisenhunt is expecting quarterback Kevin Kolb to get an increase in playing time. "He'll play a little bit more than he did last week but I don't know how much more, so into the second quarter potentially," said Whisenhunt after practice on Wednesday.

Beanie Wells coming on strong in Cardinals camp -
With the departure of Tim Hightower to the Redskins, it's time for Beanie Wells to prove he was worthy of the Cardinals top pick in the 2009 draft. Wells, who has battled inconsistency and injuries in his two seasons, looks likes he's running with "quickness and authority" according to ESPN's John Clayton.

Kevin Kolb says Andre Roberts has been tearing it up in practice -
It appears fans and media members may be the only ones not comfortable with Cardinals receivers who aren't named Larry Fitzgerald. Usually it has been Ken Whisenhunt shrugging off the idea of adding another veteran to the group, but now the team's quarterback has chimed in as well. Kolb, who has the task of completing passes to said receivers, tweeted, "Our Z receiver, [Andre Roberts], has been tearing it up in practice. Get to know him this year." Cardinals fans and opponents likely will get to know the second-year pro, as he will have ample opportunity to make plays with all the attention defenses will give Larry Fitzgerald.

Expect the Cardinals to run a lot this season -
The Arizona Cardinals, in 2010, ran the football less than anyone in the NFL, gaining the fewest yards out of all 32 teams. Expect that to change in 2011.

Word From the Birds Blog - Colledge returns to Green Bay
Dozens of free agents switch teams every year in the NFL. But only a select few are leaving the Super Bowl champions, like new Cardinals guard Daryn Colledge did. A couple of months ago Colledge got his Super Bowl ring, knowing there was a chance he’d be leaving (the one bonus of the lockout — no one had officially "left" the team yet, unlike a normal offseason timeline) and he admitted returning there for Friday’s preseason game will create some emotions.

Word From the Birds Blog - Kolb’s learning curve
Kevin Kolb was blunt: He has no doubt he will understand the offense and be comfortable with it by the time the Cardinals host Carolina in the regular-season opener. But the quarterback isn’t to that point. Not yet.

Larry Fitzgerald says he’s "not too far away" from extension | ProFootballTalk
A monster contract extension for Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald appears to be on the way. Fitzgerald told Jim Trotter of that the two sides are "not too far away" from completing a new deal.

QBR: Kolb, Bradford and the NFC West - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Watching Sam Bradford fire passes across the St. Louis Rams' practice field has affirmed his status in my mind as the most promising quarterback in the NFC West. There's much to like about the Arizona Cardinals' Kevin Kolb based on first impressions.

Arizona Sports News:

Cliff Lee, Wilson Valdez lead Philadelphia Phillies past Arizona Diamondbacks
Cliff Lee threw seven impressive innings, Wilson Valdez hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat Arizona 9-2 Wednesday night to snap the Diamondbacks' seven-game winning streak.

National media taking notice of the Diamondbacks
One year after losing 97 games, the Diamondbacks are having quite an improbable season, and the national media is starting to take notice. The Diamondbacks are coming off a stunning 3-2 comeback win in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, scoring two runs off 2010 Cy Young winner Roy Halladay in the 9th inning, to move to 3.5 games ahead of the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.

NFL News:

Miami scandal has deep and massive ties to current NFL players - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
We have the names of the current NFL players after the jump; we'd recommend listening to Charles' recent take on Yahoo! Sports Radio while you read it, and checking out the article for the full litany. Prepare to be amazed, kids — if you were able to field a team of alleged Miami violators, you'd have quite the Pro Bowl squad.

Jeremy Maclin of Philadelphia Eagles doesn't have cancer, cleared to return to team - ESPN
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has been deemed healthy and cleared to start returning to football activities following a frightening offseason ailment, team trainer Rick Burkholder said Wednesday.

Terrelle Pryor eligible for NFL but must sit first five games - ESPN
The NFL declared former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor eligible for the supplemental draft Thursday but ruled that he will not be able to play in the first five games of the 2011 season after he signs a contract.

49ers sign UFL quarterback, but it’s not Daunte Culpepper | ProFootballTalk
Josh McCown is San Francisco’s new No. 3 quarterback, according to Matt Maiocco of Last a member of the UFL’s Hartford Colonials, McCown has started 31 games in eight seasons in the NFL with four different teams. He was last with the Panthers in the NFL from 2008-2009.

Culpepper diversion fun while it lasted - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The San Francisco 49ers weren't going to land the next hot prospect in their quest to find a veteran quarterback for the No. 3 role. Signing 32-year-old Josh McCown gives them a player with 32 regular-season starts and a direct connection to the 49ers' staff through quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst. McCown and Chryst were with Carolina together for the past two seasons.

Ndamukong Suh of Detroit Lions fined $20K for slamming Andy Dalton of Cincinnati Bengals - ESPN
Detroit Lions defensive end Ndamukong Suh has been fined $20,000 by the NFL for a hit on Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton.

Terrell Owens 'way ahead of schedule' in surgery rehab - ESPN
Free-agent receiver Terrell Owens told earlier this week that he's ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation from surgery to repair a torn ACL and hopes to contribute to an NFL team early in the 2011 season.

New York Jets razz 'pretty boy' Mark Sanchez for GQ photos - ESPN New York
March Sanchez is being razzed by teammates over the article on him in GQ.

Maclin had lymphoma scare | ProFootballTalk
After weeks of ambiguity regarding the health of Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin, there finally is some clarity, both for him and his family. Maclin tells Jay Glazer of that the third-year receiver has been cleared after undergoing tests for lymphoma.

Lions fans won’t get to welcome back Matt Millen | ProFootballTalk
When the 2011 regular-season schedule came out, one of the first games I circled on the schedule lands on Monday, October 10. Chicago at Detroit. It marks the return of long-suffering Lions to Monday Night Football. And it also entailed (or so we thought at the time) the return of Matt Millen to Motown.

Goodell suspended Pryor with approval of NFLPA | ProFootballTalk
It’s still not clear how Commissioner Roger Goodell had the ability to suspend former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor for five games based on "decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft." The NFLPA appears to be on board with the penalty. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFLPA agreed with the intended approach.

NFL says Vick wasn’t steered to Philadelphia | ProFootballTalk
In a new interview with GQ, Eagles quarterback Mike Vick says he wanted to play for the Bills or the Bengals, and that he was steered to Philadelphia. The league denies that Vick was steered anywhere.