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1-11-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Waiting On Haley

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 (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
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Time for todays links as Haley Watch and the rest of the speculation we have going on continues.

Arizona Cardinals News:

For Starters, An Improved Offense
Cards looking for more consistency as they plan for 2012

Word From the Birds Blog - Haley visits Jets
As expected, Todd Haley is exploring other potential assistant coaching options, with the rumored talk with the Jets happening today. About the same time Haley’s name popped up with the Cards was a concept in which he and former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano — with whom Haley coached with the Cowboys, with both developing as coaches under Bill Parcells — would be co-offensive coordinators. Haley would handle the passing game, Sparano the running game. suggests Haley could also be named assistant head coach (although that combo, with Rex Ryan as head coach, seems like a lot of, ahem, personality at the top of the flow chart). It’s odd, though, that another ESPN reporter (Chris Mortensen) said yesterday Sparano would be named offensive coordinator. Haley will have some choices, it sounds like. Whether they are the choices he was hoping for, that could be another matter entirely.

A few thoughts on Todd Haley's prospects - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A few quick thoughts on Adam Schefter's note about former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley, a potential candidate to rejoin the Arizona Cardinals, first considering an opportunity with the New York Jets:

Word From the Birds Blog - It doesn’t take much
I suppose that, in the end, it’s good for me that one little spark can set off a wildfire of speculation. I keep thinking of the person tossing away a match in the middle of a dry forest. First came the Peyton Manning craziness, which frankly, isn’t even worth discussing. Get back to me when Manning is cleared to play football. And if the Colts cut him. If the first happens, I don’t think the second does. But again, it’s a match in the forest. On a lesser scale, there was speculation out of Cleveland that, if the Cards were to cut Kevin Kolb, Kolb would jump on the Browns’ radar because of the ties Kolb has to the Browns’ West Coast offense, head coach Pat Shurmur and top personnel guy Tom Heckert. But again, a moot point. Kolb isn’t going anywhere, despite such a brushfire of conjecture.

From STL: Horton blew the Rams away in interview -
Ray Horton did a great job in his first year as the Arizona Cardinals' defensive coordinator. Credited with molding an underachieving unit into one that practically carried the Cardinals to an 8-8 season, Horton is one of the reasons Valley fans are excited about the future of their NFL team. Word leaked last week that Horton was interviewing with the St. Louis Rams about their vacancy at head coach, though, and apparently the 41-year-old impressed.

Hines Ward could leave Pittsburgh, is Arizona an option? -
Pittsburgh-West could be adding another member next season. "Anyone who thinks Hines Ward will retire hasn't been around him much," Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette writes. "He plans to play in 2012, whether it's with the Steelers or somewhere else." According to ESPN's NFL rumors page, that somewhere else could be Arizona, and Steelers may decide to part ways with veteran wideout Hines Ward this offseason, and it would not come as a shock to see the Cardinals express interest in the former Pro Bowler.

Report: Browns May Have Interest In Kevin Kolb | SI Tracking Blog – Tracking the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and NCAA On Twitter
The Cleveland Browns reportedly could have interest in quarterback Kevin Kolb should he become available this offseason, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Toasted: The 10 worst CB games from the past four seasons |
Bryant McFadden, GB @ ARZ, 2009 WC: 184 yards on 10 receptions

Best of Wired - 2011
We take you inside the action with our "Best of Wired" segment. Experience the sound and fury of NFL Football!

Arizona Sports News:

Phoenix Suns come undone in 4th against Los Angeles Lakers
The Suns had survived Kobe Bryant's deluge of scoring and their starting wings' inability to score. A Channing Frye 3-pointer had the Suns within one point of the Los Angeles Lakers with 6:14 to go in Tuesday night's game at Staples Center. It was closing time, and Bryant shut it down, scoring eight points on a 10-0 Lakers run that sent them to a 99-83 victory. Bryant, playing with a torn right wrist ligament, scored 48 points on 18-of-31 shooting for his eighth career 40-point game against the Suns. Suns small forward Grant Hill had been on a six-game run of stopping opponents' top scorers, but he could not contain Bryant and struggled mightily with his offense on a 1-for-12 shooting night.

Derek Stepan lifts NHL-best New York Rangers over Phoenix Coyotes in SO
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was just about to skate off with New York down to its last shootout chance against the Phoenix Coyotes. Then he realized sharpshooter Marion Gaborik was poised at center ice. Gaborik didn't disappoint, scoring to keep the shootout going and leading to Derek Stepan's sixth-round game-winner to lift the Rangers past the Coyotes 2-1 for their fifth straight win and 10th in 11 games.

NFL News:

Hue Jackson Fired As Oakland Raiders Head Coach -
The Raiders have fired Hue Jackson as head coach, according to a report.. He took over the post last year when Tom Cable was fired.

Mike Mularkey Hired As Jaguars Head Coach, According To Report -
The Jacksonville Jaguars head coaching search is over as they will hire Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, according to a report.

Brian Schottenheimer, New York Jets Decide To Part Ways -
Brian Schottenheimer will not be back in New York after he resigned as the Jets offensive coordinator.

Mark Sanchez Is A Baby, And The Jets Want Peyton Manning - From Our Editors -
Should the Jets trade for Peyton Manning if he's healthy this offseason? "Hell yeah," said one player speaking anonymous. But that was only the beginning. It's one thing to state the obvious--Peyton Manning would be an upgrade for the Jets, just like he'd be an upgrade for 27 or 28 other teams. It's something else to completely destroy your own QB in the process. Here are the three most damning quotes from a Wednesday item in the New York Daily News, all from anonymous Jets sources.

Alex Smith: I don’t care how my yardage compares to Drew Brees | ProFootballTalk
San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith was asked this week whether he has any hope of passing for as many yards as New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees when the teams meet on Saturday. Smith said he’s not the least bit worried about that.

Todd Haley could join Jets’ staff | ProFootballTalk
With Tony Sparano set to become the Jets’ offensive coordinator, and with the earlier reports saying Sparano and former Chiefs head coach Todd Haley could join some coaching staff as a package deal, does that mean Haley is on his way to New York?

League should close the McDaniels Loophole | ProFootballTalk
Eyebrows have been raised, in Denver and beyond, regarding the ability of the Patriots to hire former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels as an offensive assistant. The Pats, coincidentally or otherwise, announced the move within 30 minutes or so after the Broncos beat the Steelers, setting up a prime-time Saturday night game between Denver and New England. The move obviously complies with current NFL rules; otherwise, the NFL never would have allowed it. The broader question is whether NFL rules should allow it.

The Teams Who Should Have Signed Brett Favre In 2011: A Statistical Study -
This season, Brett Favre took a one-year break from the NFL. Herein, we take a look at how well he would have played in 2011, and we find that several teams would have been better off to sign him. Gee whiz. Sure would have been great.

In the end, Hue’s own words did him in | ProFootballTalk
Though Raiders coach Hue Jackson could have survived in the job if G.M. Reggie McKenzie had desired to keep him, McKenzie’s chances of keeping Hue took a major blow after Jackson openly talked about assuming more authority over the team.

Unnamed Jets sources say they want Peyton, not Sanchez | ProFootballTalk
Even with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer out (even though coach Rex Ryan said he’d be back unless he becomes a head coach), some Jets players want to see more changes on offense. As Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News explains it, "several key Jets players and members of the organization" have concerns regarding the ability of quarterback Mark Sanchez to do the job.