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8-22-11: Bird Droppings - Training Camp Continues

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We are now in the last week of training camp, and here are some links to start off your week as we move on to the next preseason game this weekend.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Fitzgerald deal: Eleven thoughts on No. 11 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Eleven thoughts after Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill and Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald announced a new eight-year contract agreement for Fitzgerald:

Rod Graves: 'It is very difficult to put a value on what Larry Fitzgerald means to our organization' -
The going rate for a Larry Fitzgerald appears to be eight years and $120 million, with $50 of it being guaranteed. Some will argue that's too much money for a wide receiver. Cardinals GM Rod Graves says you can't really put a price tag on a player like Fitz.

Ryan Williams is a real loss for the Cardinals -
When Ryan Williams went down with an injury Friday night in Green Bay, the excitement over what he could give the team this year went with him. Williams suffered a ruptured patellar tendon, an injury that ended his season before it really began.

Whisenhunt says signing Fitzgerald sends message to Cardinals -
Nobody will ever doubt Larry Fitzgerald's importance to the Arizona Cardinals. The team's best player, No. 11's presence makes life easier for everyone, from the QB to fellow receivers. Keeping him around for the next eight years, though, has more than just on-field ramifications.

LeBron James, meet your opposite: Larry Fitzgerald -
Unless you live under a rock -- or just don't visit enough -- you have probably heard about Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald signing a new contract with the team that will not only lock him up for years to come, but also make him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. If you lived under that rock a year ago, you also probably didn't hear about LeBron James and the Decision. But I assume you've heard about both, so I have this to say: Larry Fitzgerald, thank you for not being LeBron.

Foresight 20-20 on Hightower trade - NFC West Blog - ESPN
One of my regular Facebook correspondents, Jeremy, is an Arizona Cardinals fan I met down at University of Phoenix Stadium a couple of seasons ago. Jeremy reached out over the weekend to say the Cardinals would happily undo the Tim Hightower trade now that running back Ryan Williams is out for the season. He characterized Hightower's trade to the Washington Redskins "premature" and lamented what Arizona received in return (Vonnie Holliday and a sixth-round pick).

Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald has knack for over-the-shoulder catch
Willie Mays made the most famous over-the-shoulder catch in sports history in the 1954 World Series. Larry Fitzgerald does the football version almost daily at Cardinals training camp. With his back to the ball and a defender on his hip, Fitzgerald has become the master at looking over his shoulder, or head, locating the ball and watching it land in hands as big as turkey platters. How he does it, well, that's hard to explain. He practices it daily and makes it clear to quarterbacks exactly where he wants the ball. But if making the catch were that easy, well, Fitzgerald wouldn't be about to sign an eight-year contract worth a maximum of $120 million. news: Kolb-Fitz connection has a ways to go; Pack not quite on pace
Five things to take away from the Green Bay Packers' 28-20 preseason victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Friday night.

Fitzgerald deal looks to be real, with two exceptions | ProFootballTalk
We’ve gotten our first look at the details of the contract signed by Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, and the eight-year, $120 million contract apparently isn’t infected with any smoke and/or mirrors.

Arizona Cardinals fans' faith is finally rewarded -
'Cause I gotta have faith. 'Cause I gotta have faith-a-faith-a-faith. Those aren't just the lyrics to an annoyingly catchy George Michael song -- or for my younger readers an equally annoying Limp Bizkit remake -- those words were the mantra of Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals fans for the better part of two decades.

Arizona Sports News:

Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves blank Arizona Diamondbacks
Two rookies came through in key situations to help Atlanta's Tim Hudson beat Arizona's Josh Collmenter. Backed by a key defensive play by first baseman Freddie Freeman and two ninth-inning strikeouts by closer Craig Kimbrel with a runner on third, Hudson and the Braves beat Collmenter and the Diamondbacks 1-0 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

NFL News:

What we learned on Saturday night | ProFootballTalk
America’s favorite running segment quickly summarizing preseason games is back.

What we learned: Sunday night | ProFootballTalk
Hopefully you watched some football Sunday night. If not, we’ll let you know what you missed below.

Kickoff rule not going away during 2011 season | ProFootballTalk
I’ve yet to find anyone who can make a persuasive case for the decision to move the kickoff point from the 30 to the 35. But regardless of the touchbacks — and the five-minute bathroom breaks that come from a thin slice of leg-swing meat nestled between two slices of messages-from-our-sponsors bread — the rule won’t be changing in 2011.

Camp Confidential: St. Louis Rams - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Unfazed by the NFL lockout and energized by a new offense, Sam Bradford shatters perceptions of him as a young player scrambling to make up lost ground.

On Frank Gore's frustration with 49ers - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Frank Gore should be frustrated over his contract situation, and he is, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

San Francisco, Oakland mayors decry fan violence | ProFootballTalk
The ugly scene at Saturday night’s Raiders-49ers game, where one fan was badly beaten in a Candlestick Park restroom during the game and two fans were shot in a parking lot afterward, has the mayors of San Francisco and Oakland saying violence at sporting events cannot be tolerated.

Jed York suggests 18-game season would curb fan violence | ProFootballTalk
After his team’s preseason game with the Raiders was marred by fan violence, 49ers owner Jed York suggested that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s proposal to shorten the preseason and expand the regular season would make fans safer. York said today on KNBR (via the Sacramento Bee) that the fan violence that marred Saturday’s game at Candlestick Park is one reason to support reducing the preseason to two games and expanding the regular season to 18 games.


Report: 49ers, Raiders will no longer meet in preseason | ProFootballTalk
The fan-on-fan violence that marred Saturday’s game between the Raiders and 49ers will result in the NFL to stop scheduling the teams to play each other in the preseason.

Vince Young says "Dream Team" remark was taken out of context | ProFootballTalk
When quarterback Vince Young joined the Eagles last month, he called the club a "Dream Team." With "Dream Team" thereafter becoming the unofficial T-shirt slogan of the Eagles, Young now says his words were taken out of context. While also reiterating them.

Antwan Odom reportedly shot in the leg | ProFootballTalk
Free agent defensive end Antwan Odom was shot in the leg this morning, according to Jessica Taloney of WKRG News 5 in Mobile, Alabama.

Irsay hints at the five-letter "F" word | ProFootballTalk
The Colts typically protects information like a fat kid guards his Twinkies. With the exception of the owner. Jim Irsay has a Twitter account. And he likes to use it. On Saturday, he created a stir by suggesting that the Colts may not have quarterback Peyton Manning, who is recovering from neck surgery, at the start of the season. Now, Irsay is raising eyebrows by musing about the possibility of adding a certain 41-year-old quarterback to the roster: "Brad, I’m in Hattiesburg … is it right or left at the Firechief?"

Cam Newton appears headed for starting gig | ProFootballTalk
Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton may have left the door open for Jimmy Clausen in Carolina’s second preseason game, but Clausen didn’t take advantage. Now it looks like Newton will continue starting at quarterback for the Panthers for the foreseeable future.

Andy Dalton continues to take his lumps | ProFootballTalk
Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton’s first preseason game was pretty rough, even if his offensive coordinator Jay Gruden insists it wasn’t a total debacle. We’ll call his second start a partial debacle, although Dalton did improve as the game wore on after a very rough start.

With Gore, Niners far apart, trade request could be next | ProFootballTalk
Running back Frank Gore’s decision to conduct only a short holdout doesn’t mean he has abandoned his hope for a new long-term deal.

Poll: Which QB should start for Seahawks? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Deep breaths, Seattle Seahawks fans. No need to hyperventilate over the building quarterback competition between Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst. SportsNation A few things to take into account before exercising your SportsNation voting privileges:

NFL Game Recaps:

San Diego Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys - Recap - August 21, 2011 - ESPN
The first time Philip Rivers got the San Diego Chargers close to scoring Sunday night, he took a sack, then had a potential touchdown pass swatted by a backup safety. The next time, Rivers saw a blown coverage in the secondary and took advantage by throwing a 7-yard touchdown pass. Hey, working out the kinks is what the preseason is all about. Rivers played only three series, but got better on each drive, then hit the bench and watched his backups do the rest in San Diego's 20-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Jets - Recap - August 21, 2011 - ESPN
With one terrific touchdown catch and a few bows to the crowd, Plaxico Burress' NFL comeback was complete. The wide receiver caught three passes for 66 yards, including an over-the-shoulder 26-yarder for a touchdown, in his first game in nearly three years to help the New York Jets beat the Cincinnati Bengals 27-7 in a preseason game Sunday night.