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1-27-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - More Coaching Confusion

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The best story in this one is something that compiles the stats of how much the defense really improved in the second half of the year. We also have more confusion with what is going to happen with the coaching staff after the Bucs brought in Schiano.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Word From the Birds Blog - Improved defense by the numbers
Everyone could see how the Cards’ defense improved the second half of the season, especially since it was the defense that was the backbone of the final 7-2 record down the stretch. But I’ve been asked about actually statistical proof, and there was that too. Breaking down the defense into their NFL rankings from Weeks 1-8 (when the Cards played seven games and were 1-6) and then from Weeks 9-17 (the aforementioned 7-2 finish) shows a stark contrast:

Word From the Birds Blog - Whether Tampa’s move can affect Cards
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired — seemingly out of the blue — Rutgers coach Greg Schiano to be their next head coach, the Cardinals suddenly had a chance to be affected. Maybe.

Mailbag: All eyes on Peyton Manning - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Dan from Portland asks why few people seem to be connecting Manning to the Seattle Seahawks. He thinks Kolb should get another chance in Arizona. He thinks Alex Smith should be the starter in San Francisco. And he sees Sam Bradford as the quarterback in St. Louis. Doesn't that leave Seattle as the most logical destination among NFC West teams? blogs - Kent Somers - Will there be another Cardinals staff opening?
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano is the new coach in Tampa Bay, and his hiring could have an impact on the Cardinals staff.

2011: Best of Patrick Peterson
Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson impressed in all areas of the game during his rookie year, most notably on special teams. Peterson tied an NFL single-season record with four punt return touchdowns.

Top Defensive "Wow" Moments 2011
Cast your vote for the top defensive "wow" moment of 2011 by using the fan poll on the right side of the homepage on

Arizona Sports News:

Arizona basketball hits 15 three-pointers in rout of Washington State
Arizona coach Sean Miller says he has a "really inconsistent" 3-point shooting team. When they are good, they are very good. When they are bad, they are awful. Thursday was a good night. Arizona (14-7, 5-3) made a season-best 15 of 26 3s while rolling over Washington State 85-61, one of the Wildcats' most dominant performances of the season. Just five days earlier, Arizona was 3 of 20 on 3s in a one-point loss at Colorado.

ASU basketball can't hold halftime lead in loss
After Saturday's loss at Utah, Arizona State junior Carrick Felix said the Sun Devils pretty much had hit rock bottom. If that's the case, the Sun Devils showed improvement Thursday night against Washington at Wells Fargo Arena, even if it didn't produce a victory. ASU started strong and battled for 40 minutes before falling 60-54 to the Huskies.

NFL News:

Grading The NFL Coaching Hires, From Jeff Fisher To Greg Schiano -
There were seven open NFL coaching jobs this season and all have now been filled. Which teams made the best, and worst, hires?

Peyton Manning And The Worst Goodbye Party Ever -
While the NFL world descends on Indianapolis for the Super Bowl, Peyton Manning looks like he's on the way out. If this is how it ends for Manning, Jim Irsay, and the Colts, the lesson is hard to ignore.

Colts Owner Doesn't Care For Some Of Peyton Manning's Comments -
Earlier in the week Peyton Manning did an interview with Bob Kravitz of the Indy Star that gained a lot of attention because Manning indicated that the Indianapolis Colts facility is "not a real good environment" right now and he's "not in a very good place for healing". The reaction by most folks is that Manning is bracing for the possibility that he may not be playing for the Colts next year.

Peyton Manning Responds To Colts Owner Jim Irsay's Comments -
The situation in Indianapolis took a turn for the worse, or weird, on Thursday as Colts owner Jim Irsay spoke about Peyton Manning and what may come next. Irsay openly criticized how Manning has handled the situation, saying the long-time quarterback should've kept his comments in-house and not disrespected the Horseshoe.

Kyle Williams Receives A Thoughtful Letter From A Seven-Year-Old - From Our Editors -
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams felt the full force of an angry fanbase after earning the goat label in Sunday's NFC Championship. It was Williams who fumbled twice, leading to a touchdown in regulation and the game-winning field goal in overtime. Following the game, fans took to Twitter and lit up Williams with death threats and even more pointless nonsense in a ridiculous moment of irrationality.

Rob Gronkowski: Still Injured, Still Speaking Spanish - From Our Editors -
Rob Gronkowski did not practice on Thursday while dealing with his injured ankle. This is normal and with the Super Bowl still over a week away, there's no need for Patriots fans to panic. And there's good news, as well: It seems Gronkowski is using his down time to learn even more Spanish!