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9-21-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Practice Squad Update

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Time for some links with today looking at the Defense and some of the Practice Squad moves.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Word From the Birds Blog - Butler done for season, Talley brought up
As expected, the season for cornerback Crezdon Butler is over. Butler dislocated his ankle last week at practice, and the Cardinals put him on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season. To fill Butler’s roster spot, the Cardinals are bringing back defensive lineman Ronald Talley from the practice squad. Talley’s practice squad is expected to be filled by Wednesday.

Arizona Cardinals' defense not in panic mode, yet
The Cardinals' complex in Tempe occupies 14.7 acres and includes a "94,000-square foot state-of-the-art facility," according to the team's media guide. Not one square foot of the former cotton field was devoted to a panic room, although two weeks into the season, the offices of the defensive coaches on the third floor might resemble one. The Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins gained so much ground that it was tempting to measure their totals in acres, not yards. The Cardinals have yielded 932 yards in two games against offenses that won't remind anyone of the New England Patriots or Green Bay Packers. We can't say we weren't warned.

Word From the Birds Blog - Practice squad pick, Dockett’s life, Wright’s work
To follow up on the Cardinals’ roster moves from yesterday, the team filled its empty practice squad spot this morning by signing safety Mark LeGree to the practice squad. LeGree was a fifth-round pick of the Seahawks — coincidentally, the Cards’ opponent this week — before being cut at the end of training camp. LeGree played at Appalachian State (a friend who is also an alum likes to needle me by calling it the "real ASU") and had 22 interceptions over four seasons and 53 games.

Beanie Wells' physical running vs. Seattle - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals knew they were going to need a breakthrough season from Beanie Wells after trading Tim Hightower and placing Ryan Williams on injured reserve. Wells, the Cardinals' first-round choice in 2009, has delivered through two games as the team's starting running back. Wells has 183 yards, two touchdowns and a 5.7-yard average. It's early to start making projections, but at his current pace, Wells would finish the season with 1,464 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns.

Cardinals are 'good enough' to win a bad enough division -
Two games into the NFL season, the NFC West is a combined 2-6, a record that would likely be worse had the Seahawks and 49ers not played each other in Week 1. In fact, the division is so bad -- once again -- that mediocrity may take the crown, and while many thought the Rams would come out on top, that doesn't appear to be the case anymore.

Run or pass, Cardinals just need to move the chains -
Ken Whisenhunt and the Cardinals are taking some heat this week for avoiding the running game in Sunday's loss to Washington. The Cardinals ran the ball just three times in the first half -- and 15 for the game -- in losing 22-21. To make matters worse, the Cardinals ran the ball just one time after taking a 21-13 lead, electing to take to the air in an effort to gain first downs and kill the clock. Bad move?

Cardinals suffering under new defensive system -
NFL teams didn't have the benefit of mini-camps and OTA's this offseason due to the lockout leaving teams scrambling to pick up new systems when training camps opened in September. The Arizona Cardinals are struggling mightily on defense adjusting to Ray Horton's new system. After two games, Arizona's defense is ranked 29th in the league giving up an average of 466 yards of total yardage a game. The team looks like it will try making some adjustments this week to make the transition easier on the players.

Outside the huddle: Cardinals tight end Jeff King
Each week, The Republic spotlights a Cardinals player for a series of on-the-spot, offbeat questions.

Jason Wright passes up NFL contract to attend business school - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
In late December, Jason Wright reached a career crossroad, one flush with two amazing opportunities. Down one path was a full scholarship to the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business that would prepare him to empower inner-city children, perhaps someday allowing him to open a charter school. Down a second path was a contract with the Arizona Cardinals - worth more than $1 million a season - that would financially help his family and continue the dream of many to play in the country's most popular sport.

NFC West Stock Watch - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Rising: Beanie Wells, Cardinals running back. The Cardinals got their ground game going in the second half against Washington, with Wells leading the way. This was as physical as Wells has run in some time and exactly what Arizona needs from him. Wells had 93 yards rushing on only 14 carries and was in position for much bigger numbers if Arizona's defense could have gotten off the field more readily.

2011 NFC West power rankings: Week 3 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Seattle Seahawks rank 32nd in our power rankings heading into Week 3 even though the Kansas City Chiefs received two additional last-place votes. All five voters ranked Seattle between 30th and 32nd. The Chiefs drew a No. 24 vote from Ashley Fox to go with three last-place votes and one No. 31 vote. As a result, the Chiefs' average ranking (30.2) was slightly higher than the 30.8 for Seattle. I went with the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams and Seattle, in that order. But I'll probably pick the Seahawks to win at home against the Cardinals in Week 3 based on home-field advantage and Arizona's defensive struggles. One or two quick thoughts per NFC West team:

Week 3 Live Chat
Check out the Q and A with's Darren Urban

Milk and Cookies with John Skelton
Cardinals QB John Skelton read to students at Navarette Elementary School as part of the SRP and Safeway Milk and Cookies program. The Milk and Cookies program is designed to promote literacy throughout Valley elementary schools.

Cards Daily - King Size Impact
QB Kevin Kolb has spread the ball to many targets early in the 2011 season. Perhaps the most surprising of those targets is TE Jeff King. Commonly referred to as the Cardinals blocking tight end, King has shown that he can add another dimension to the Cardinals offense.

Arizona Sports News:

Diamondbacks inch closer to NL West title despite loss
Their starting pitcher did not have his best stuff, they could not take full advantage of opportunities, and they were staring at a defeat. And in the dugout, manager Kirk Gibson was devising schemes and strategy. It seemed like the perfect scenario for the Diamondbacks to get yet another improbable victory. This time, however, they could not find the last-second magic - but they did find a silver lining in the loss to one of the poorer teams in baseball. Despite a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in front of 30,114 at Chase Field on Tuesday night, the Diamondbacks' magic number to clinch the National League West was reduced to three, as the San Francisco Giants dropped a 2-1 decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Buffalo Bills' Ryan Fitzpatrick a real heads-up player
Ryan Fitzpatrick's football career started with a coin flip. The summer before his junior year at Gilbert's Highland High, Fitzpatrick was engaged in a quarterback duel with a senior who had transferred to the school. The senior was 6 feet 4 inches tall, blond with a strong arm and big ambitions. Fitzpatrick was growing, but he was still a gangly kid, all hands and feet, and just two years removed from being a 5-foot-4-inch, 120-pound freshman. Then-coach Mike Reardon decided that both quarterbacks would play in the first game but he was unsure who should start. So he flipped a coin. Fitzpatrick called heads. The coin obliged.

NFL News:

Madden NFL 12 Week Two Upcoming Roster Update Discussion |
It’s still very early in the NFL season but certain trends have already begun to emerge and individual players have either reestablished themselves coming off last season or are showing signs of breaking out. While there probably won’t be many huge ratings swings in this week’s Madden NFL 12 roster update it should be setting up for that time which justifiably is nearing.

NFL Week 2, Best And Worst Plays: From Fat Guy Interception To 1.8 Passer Rating -
From Vince Wilfork's interception to Luke McCown's 1.8 passer rating, here are the top five best and worst plays from Week 2 of the 2011 NFL season.

Blaine Gabbert Is Jaguars Starting Quarterback, According To Report -
The Blaine Gabbert Era will begin in Jacksonville this weekend as the Jaguars have decided the rookie will replace Luke McCown as the team's starting quarterback, Alfie Crow of SB Nation's Big Cat Country reports. Gabbert saw his first NFL action this past week when he relieved McCown after the starter threw four interceptions to the New York Jets.

Domenik Hixon Injury: Giants WR Headed To Injured Reserve -
The hits keep on coming for the New York Giants as the team announces that WR Domenik Hixon will miss the rest of the 2011 season with a torn ACL. This is the second consecutive year he's missed the season with an ACL injury.

No Discipline From NFL For Giants Fake Injuries -
New York Giants safety Deon Grant will not be disciplined by the NFL for faking an injury in the first quarter of his team’s Monday Night Football game with the St. Louis Rams, according to the New York Daily News.

Michael Vick Injury Update: Eagles QB Could Play Sunday, According To Team -
Michael Vick's injury on Sunday Night Football looked like it could keep him out for an extended amount of time, especially when he the television cameras caught the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback spitting up blood on the way to the sideline. The latest updates indicate that he might not even miss a week's worth of action and could play the Eagles' Week 3 game against the New York Giants if he passes the NFL-mandated concussion tests.

Tony Romo Injury: Cowboys Not Sure If QB Will Play Vs. Redskins -
Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo suffered a fracture rib and a punctured lung in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers and, even though he came out shortly, he returned to finish the game. The status of Romo for Week 3, however, is in doubt.

Terrell Owens Heads To Korea For Knee Treatment -
Terrell Owens is hoping to return to the NFL after he had surgery earlier in the summer to repair a torn ACL. Generally, an injury like that would keep you out an entire season but T.O., despite his age (35), has always kept himself in great shape and returned from injury quicker than expected. He previously said he wanted to return by the first month of the season but, for now, he's still working on rehabbing his knee and he's doing that in Korea. The Korea Times reports that Owens is visiting the Chaum Anti-Aging Center in Korea and will be undergoing some sort of stem cell therapy.

Roscoe Parrish Injury: Buffalo Bills WR Headed To Injured Reserve -
Roscoe Parrish injured his ankle in Sunday's win over the Raiders and will reportedly miss the rest of the season.

Lovie Smith needs to rein in Mike Martz’s play calling | ProFootballTalk
In Sunday’s loss to the Saints, Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz called 52 passes and 11 runs. Bears coach Lovie Smith says that’s a problem.

Quick fix for the faking of injuries | ProFootballTalk
Football players have been faking injuries since long before Rodney Dangerfield suffered a "broken arm" while golfing. MDS took a great look at the Giants’ chicanery on Monday night, with two players pretending that they’ve fallen and they can’t get up at a time when the Rams had the New York defense on its heels with a no-huddle offense.

Power Rankings: How the voters voted - NFC West Blog - ESPN
More than a few Buffalo Bills fans wanted to know what it would take for voters to give their team a little respect in ESPN's NFL Power Rankings. "Please tell me why you and your friends that do the power rankings have the Bills ranked below the Chiefs when the Bills went into Arrowhead and won by 34 points," Mike from Coal Valley, Ill., wrote last week. "I just really would like some sort of explanation." We've got one for you, Mike: We were wrong, but now we're right -- at least for a week.