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2-25-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Combine

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 Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

More NFL Combine stuff, Arizona Cardinals news, and other assorted goodies for you.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Coaches: NFC West going to be a struggle in 2012
Go ahead, call the NFC West soft. You might just get punched in the nose. That was the sentiment expressed Friday by a couple of coaches in the division. Asked if the division would become more physical now that Jeff Fisher was coach of the Rams, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said: "I think it's independent of that; I think it's already headed that way. It's all based on how we (the division) play this year."

Cardinals expect to address offensive line
The Cardinals haven't drafted an offensive lineman above the fifth round since 2007, and didn't take one at all the past two years. So, coach Ken Whisenhunt was asked at the NFL scouting combine this week, what are the odds of making it three consecutive years without selecting one? "Probably about as good as you killing us for not doing that," Whisenhunt quipped. The Cardinals are expected to address their offensive line through both free agency and the draft.

Tackling Expectations
The ends of the offensive line aren't easy to find

Assessing the Arizona Cardinals need for a wide receiver
Last year, the Cardinals allowed receiver Steve Breaston to leave via free agency because they had serious questions about how his troublesome knee would hold up in the long term. That opened up a starting job, which ultimately was filled by Andre Roberts. The team was criticized for not making a bold move to pick up another wideout. A lot of names were tossed out there, including Braylon Edwards, Malcolm Floyd, Lee Evans, etc. Coaches, however, didn't view the position as a great need. The club pursued Edwards, who ultimately signed with the 49ers and produced little there. Coaches remain higher on Roberts that fans do, judging by the feedback I receive. Roberts started every game, caught 51 passes for 586 yards and two touchdowns. Early Doucet, the third receiver, posted better numbers. Evaluating Roberts becomes a chicken-and-egg argument. Would Roberts have been more productive with better quarterback play? Or would the quarterbacks have been better had Roberts been open more?

Word From the Birds Blog - Whiz interested in Cards playing Hall game
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he’d be interested in playing in the Hall of Fame game in Canton to kick off the NFL preseason. The game is scheduled for Aug. 5. It’s not something he’d want to do every year, but a fifth preseason game right now wouldn’t be bad, especially when you’re trying to get as much work as possible for quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and John Skelton. (Whiz didn’t say it, but given that there is less on-field work allowed by the CBA this offseason, I’m sure an extra game and a few more days of training camp isn’t bad either.)

Word From the Birds Blog - To re-sign or to not re-sign?
It was tough not to notice the two-year contract Packers tight end Jermichael Finley signed yesterday in the context of free agents, potential free agents and the landscape of the NFL over the next couple of years. It was an odd choice for a young player, doing just a two-year deal, but it speaks to the potential of the new TV contract in 2014 — when, in this instance, Finley’s deal is up — and the spike in the salary cap that is expected. That’s going to be one of the underlying factors as teams try to sign players to long-term contracts over the next couple of seasons. It’s very possible it is/will be a factor in the Cards’ talks with defensive end Calais Campbell. On a more basic level, any player that has gotten to this point will be tempted to hit the market rather than get a new contract done before March 13. It can’t hurt, right? Well, maybe.

Whisenhunt, Graves Combine Presser
Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves meet the media at the 2012 Combine in Indianapolis.

Arizona Sports News:

Suns' Markieff Morris finishes with 12 points in Rising Stars Challenge
The Suns drafted Markieff Morris for his rebounding and defense. The Rising Stars Challenge was not the venue for either Friday night at Amway Center. The NFL Pro Bowl and NBA celebrity game now look stronger defensively after Morris' Team Shaq lost 146-133 to Team Chuck in a game pitting rookies and sophomores drafted by Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley.

Coyotes' Mike Smith outperforming Flyers' Ilya Bryzgalov
Conventional wisdom, when applied to the Coyotes the past three seasons, has been an exercise in futility. The latest gem was that the overachieving team coached by Dave Tippett would be unable to overcome the loss of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov with journeyman Mike Smith. Wrong again.

NFL Combine: For Brock Osweiler, Shorter Is Better -
In Day 3 of the 2012 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, there have already been a pair of interesting revelations regarding quarterback height.

Brock Osweilier Is Not That Tall, Nothing Is Real Anymore - From Our Editors -
Former Arizona St. Sun Devils quarterback Brock Osweiler is 6'6 and 7/8 inches tall. He is not 6'8, as we were told all year long. A nation's college football announcers: all liars. A drinking game everyone independently conjured over the course of a season: ruined. But most importantly, all future relentless broadcaster fluff has already lost a measure of trust.

NFL News:

Would I let my kid play football? -
Recently on the Doug & Wolf Show we had the opportunity to simulcast with Mac & Gaydos on Newstalk 92.3 KTAR. We discussed the merits of letting your son play tackle football as concussion concerns intensify. Playing football is and always has been a dangerous proposition. It involves risk. It's a dangerous sport and concussions are a serious matter from youth football coordinators to the commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell.

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine Look At The Prospects -
Here's a pre-Combine mock draft for everyone, before 40-yard dashes and vertical leaps screw the whole thing up.

NFL Combine: Alshon Jeffery Comes In At 216 Pounds -
South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was the subject of much buzz during the offseason, as rumors poured in that he was letting himself go. One report in January even relayed news that the wideout had ballooned up to an uncomfortable 249 pounds.

Andrew Luck Weighs In At The NFL Combine -
Two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up and the agreed-upon No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Andrew Luck, arrived in Indianapolis on Thursday for the 2012 NFL Combine. The Stanford Cardinal quarterback spent the day checking in and getting accumulated, but will spend Friday undergoing medical examinations, psychological testing and interviews.

Robert Griffin III Comes In Over 6'2 At NFL Combine Measurements -
Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III arrived in Indianapolis on Thursday, along with the other quarterbacks who were invited to the 2012 NFL Combine. Their first day at the event consisted mostly of registration and pre-screenings, but on Friday morning they got down to brass tacks. The second batch of groups will have their measurements taken and undergo medical and psychological testing throughout the day on Friday.

LaRon Landry responds to critics, says he weighs 223 - DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post
After photos of the Redskins safety ran wild on the Internet, Landry says he’s ‘hater proof.’

McNabb says he just wants to compete | ProFootballTalk
Free-agent quarterback Donovan McNabb has been available to be signed by any team for more than two months. But no one has signed him, and no one seems to be interested in signing him. McNabb joined Sports Radio 610 in Houston recently to discuss his plans for a sport that seems to have no plans for him.

Former NFL safety charged with murder | ProFootballTalk
There has been a murder in Savannah. Allegedly. Actually, it was in Stone Mountain, allegedly, and the suspect spent three years in the NFL. Glenn Sharpe, 27, is accused of shooting a man to death on February 2, according to