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2-7-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Haley Watch Over

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Time for todays links, with the main news being that Haley Watch is over as he goes to the Steelers to take over their OC job.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Cardinals are the favorite to land Peyton Manning? -
The Arizona Cardinals are one of many teams expected to pursue Colts QB Peyton Manning once he's released by the team. Manning would be an instant upgrade over their current QBs, and if healthy would make the Cardinals immediate Super Bowl contenders. Still, they'll have to compete with everyone else for future Hall of Famer's services, with the Jets, Dolphins and Redskins being a few of the teams mentioned. Well, good news, Cardinals fans.

Attention New Orleans: Here come the Cardinals! -
I hope Ken Whisenhunt and Larry Fitzgerald like boudin, etoufee and red beans and rice. I assume Patrick Peterson already does. The Arizona Cardinals will be down on Bourbon Street at this time next year playing for the Lombardi Trophy. Yes, I'm calling my shot a year in advance.

Cardinals on Giants' level? They're not far off -
On October 2, 2011, the Arizona Cardinals lost a game they should have won. Leading 27-17 with just more than five minutes left, they had the New York Giants on the ropes, staring a 2-2 record - as well as legitimacy - in the face. Of course, we all know what happened from there. The defense caved, Victor Cruz "gave himself up" and the Giants scored a pair of touchdowns to take the lead. The Cardinals drove as far as the New York 30 with less than a minute left, but a fourth-down slant to Fitzgerald fell incomplete. Game over, Giants win. Looking back, did New York really have the look of a Super Bowl champion? Of course not. There's a reason they won just nine regular season games, as well as why they are not even close to being the favorites to win the 2013 Super Bowl.

Word From the Birds Blog - Some dates as the offseason commences
Obviously the Cardinals have already been working on offseason business for more than a month. Such is what happens when your team doesn’t make the postseason. But the final play of the Super Bowl officially ends the 2011 season and allows the whole league to turn the page. With that in mind — and knowing a new coach (probably for receivers, with receivers coach John McNulty sliding over to coach the quarterbacks) still will be hired sooner rather than later, here is a look at some of the key dates over the next few months:

Arizona Sports News:

Hot-shooting Suns race past Hawks for 2nd straight win
For a night, the Suns' quandary about how to find a bench rotation that clicks was gone. The frustration of locating the shooters of seasons past vanished. The wonder about whether the defense could be consistent for an entire game disappeared. The only thing more bewildering than how the Suns get blown out so regularly is how they can have performances such as Monday night, when all went well and they dominated a good team on its home floor. The Suns posted their best win of the season by downing the Atlanta Hawks 99-90 at Philips Arena with a balanced effort throughout -- offense, defense, starters and reserves.

Coyotes topple NHL-leading Red Wings in Glendale
No one accuses the Coyotes of being a conventional team. Going against the grain has been their calling card since Dave Tippett took over as coach three seasons ago. And Monday night, the Coyotes solidified that concept against the Detroit Red Wings, the NHL's points leader and their conqueror the past two seasons in the playoffs. The Coyotes scored a short-handed goal and ended their power-play woes, registering a 3-1 win in front of 12,687 at Arena.

NFL News:

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Final Draft Order Is Set, Colts Are On The Clock -
The Super Bowl is won, and the season is officially, finally over. Now, we can devote even more attention to the 2012 NFL draft. Our latest 2012 NFL mock draft gets us focused on April.

Todd Haley Is The Steelers Next Offensive Coordinator, According To Reports -
According to reports, the Steelers are expected to name former Chiefs coach Todd Haley their new offensive coordinator.

Super Bowl XLVI, Tom Brady, And The Confusing Pantheon Of QB Greatness -
Tom Brady had a chance to join the class of Joe Montana. Instead, it looks like he's behind Eli Manning. Who isn't as good as Peyton. Whom Brady dominated. Are you confused yet?

Super Bowl XLVI: Eli Manning And The Meaning Of 'Elite' -
Eli Manning and the New York Giants are Super Bowl champions again, and after a year of questions about what it means to be "elite", Manning finally gave everyone an answer on Sunday night.

A Spectacle Too Big To Suck: Madonna's Halftime Performance in Screencaps and GIFs - From Our Editors -
Whether it's the fault of the Black Eyed Peas or a necessary mutation of the game's largesse, the Super Bowl halftime show is less a concert than a glittering spectacle of pop music celebrity. Your opinion about Madonna's age or Nicki Minaj's artifice or the infectious awfulness of LMFAO does not matter: it was crushed under the marching feet of eighty steampunk Trojans dragging the horny grandmother of pop onto a temporary stage.

Super Bowl Commercials: The Five Best And Worst From 2012's Big Game -
Many of Sunday night's commercials were annoying, or worse, boring. But a few managed to stand out as actual worthwhile television. Here's a countdown of the five best, and five worst, ads from Super Bowl XLVI.

Gisele Upset Tom Brady's Receivers Had So Many Drops In Super Bowl XLVI -
The New England Patriots lost Super Bowl XLVI to the New York Giants 21-17 on Sunday night. The Patriots were able to move the football down the field multiple times in the game, but they did have some dropped passes that killed drives, including a late drop by wide receiver Wes Welker. Admittedly, Welker's catch would have been a great one as he lept and twisted through the air, but he just couldn't hold on to the ball.

How Not To Criticize Tom Brady For The Patriots' Super Bowl XLVI Loss -
Tom Brady's legacy may take a hit after Super Bowl XLVI. But Eric Wilbur of the Boston Globe didn't do a great job of explaining why.

Mark Herzlich Gets A Super Bowl Ring In Perhaps The Best Story Of The Game -
New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich was not active for Super Bowl 46, but he will have a Super Bowl ring waiting for him next season. Herzlich has, perhaps, the best story of any player in the game and despite not playing in the Super Bowl, it's a great finish to the season for the young man.

Tim Tebow On Politics: 'It Could Be Something In My Future' - From Our Editors -
Tim Tebow was out at the Super Bowl this week, and at one point an interviewer asked him about the future. Not with the Broncos, though. The Golf Channel's David Feherty was asking about a career in politics, and God's Favorite Quarterback answered:

Knowshon Moreno Arrested For Drunk Driving -
Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno was arrested for drunk driving last week in Denver while riding a Bentley with unfortunate vanity plate.

More Thursday Night NFL Means More Competition For College Games - From Our Editors -
As long as the NFL keeps dialing up Jaguars-Falcons for its Thursday night games, college football doesn't have a whole lot to worry about as far as its new viewing competition goes. Early in the weekend, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the league will expand its Thursday Night Football offerings to include Weeks 2 through 15 -- in 2011, there were no pro Thursday nighters after Week 1 and before Week 11.

VIDEO: Eli Manning On David Letterman, Talking About The Super Bowl - From Our Editors -
Eli Manning was on Late Night with David Letterman Monday night, where talked about the Super Bowl, his MVP award, Ahmad Bradshaw, his brother Peyton, and of course, whether he's "elite". But there's nothing more surreal than this exchange between Letterman and Eli: