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1-21-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Haley Watch

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Time for some more links as we wait for the NFC/AFC Championship games and to see where Haley will wind up.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Rising In The West
Cards' division may finally be emerging

Word From the Birds Blog - Versus the final four
It’s an inevitable comparison, especially when the NFL gets down to a Final Four and the team you cover (or root for, in the case of a fan) isn’t one of those four: How exactly did Team Whomever fare against those left? The Cardinals had four games against three of the teams, sporting a 1-3 record. They split with the 49ers, of course, playing poorly (especially on offense) in San Francisco and then dramatically holding off the division champs in Arizona (in the only one of the last five home games of the season that didn’t go to overtime). The losses to the Ravens and Giants, of course, were the two most painful of the season. In both cases the Cardinals probably should have won given the circumstances, with a 24-3 lead in Baltimore late in the first half in the first case and a 10-point lead with less than five minutes left at home in the second.

Analyst: Cardinals' Roberts possible breakout WR -
It's no secret the Arizona Cardinals would greatly benefit from having a solid No. 2 wide receiver opposite the explosive Larry Fitzgerald. While a lot of people believe the Cardinals need to find a second receiver elsewhere -- either in the NFL draft or via free agency -- ESPN Insider Chris Sprow thinks the team already has that guy, if the quarterback play improves.

XTRA910 audio: On those sizzling Giants - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Cardinals and Haley: Bickley's column suggesting the Cardinals should make a push for Todd Haley with less regard for short-term staff dynamics made compelling points, I thought. That's not to say Arizona should push for Haley at all costs. I just thought Bickley raised a valid point in saying the Cardinals' offense hasn't been good enough lately to justify staying the course just because it's the comfortable thing to do. To be fair, though, the team did fire quarterbacks coach Chris Miller, so it's not like the team is standing pat entirely.

Mailbag: Yes, Falcons WR ripped Alex Smith - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Travis from Scottsdale, Ariz., asks whether the 49ers' success with Smith puts pressure on Ken Whisenhunt and the Cardinals to better handle the quarterback situation. He wonders whether Matt Leinart could have succeeded with the coaching Smith has gotten.

Arizona Sports News:

Marcin Gortat leads Phoenix Suns past Boston Celtics
The Suns just needed to visit some NBA arenas where league opponents can actually win or the tenants are playing bad basketball. The Suns' five-game losing streak has been followed by a two-game road win streak after the Suns grinded out another ugly win, 79-71 on Friday against the Celtics at TD Garden. Like the Knicks, who the Suns defeated Wednesday night in New York, the Celtics (5-9) are struggling. And Boston was without point guard Rajon Rondo because of an injured wrist.

Daniel Hudson: Arizona Diamondbacks 'hungry' for more
A month from Saturday, Diamondbacks pitchers and catchers begin their spring-training workouts. For many, the preparation started months ago.

NFL News:

Dolphins Set To Hire Green Bay OC Joe Philbin As New Head Coach, According To Reports -
The Dolphins coaching search appears to be over. Multiple outlets are reporting that Green Bay OC Joe Philbin will become the new head coach of the Fins.

With Peyton Manning news, Rob Lowe learned the power of Twitter | ProFootballTalk
All of us were surprised that the actor Rob Lowe was attempting to break major NFL news on Twitter this week by writing that he’s heard Peyton Manning will retire. And Lowe was surprised by how many people reacted to his tweet.

Joe Flacco Caught Skateboarding Days Before AFC Championship Game - From Our Editors -
Days before the Baltimore Ravens meet the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, quarterback Joe Flacco was spotted riding a skateboard on his driveway.

Vernon Davis Is Ready To Celebrate The NFC Championship - From Our Editors -
San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is feeling pretty good about his team's chances to win the NFC Championship game on Sunday. In fact, Davis is feeling confident enough in the 49ers' ability to beat the New York Giants that he's already selling tickets to his NFC Championship after party.

New York, San Francisco Mayors Make A Bet On Giants Vs. 49ers Game - From Our Editors -
The mayors from San Francisco and New York are starting to talk a little trash. As is tradition in some cities, the New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee have made a bet on Sunday's NFC Championship game between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers.