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4-13-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Friday The 13th

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Not much to report on this Unlucky Friday, just waiting for the offseason workouts to begin and the NFL Draft.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Word From the Birds Blog | Official offseason work around the corner
The Cardinals can finally begin their offseason strength and conditioning program Monday, a date pushed back three weeks or so from what it used to be because of the new collective bargaining agreement. I’m sure it drives John Lott crazy to have waited this long, but this is the NFL world in which we live, at least for the next 10 years. Some thoughts on where the Cardinals are when the workouts begin:

What could have been for Kirk Gibson in the NFL?
We're accustomed to seeing Kirk Gibson in a Diamondbacks uniform, but imagine him wearing a football helmet with a Cardinal on it. It could have happened. An All-America football player at Michigan State, Gibson was drafted by the football Cardinals in the seventh round in 1979. Gibson never signed with the Cardinals because he had committed the year before to playing baseball for the Tigers. The Cardinals had a prosperous draft anyway, selecting running back Ottis Anderson, tackle Joe Bostic and receiver Roy Green that year.

Pre-Draft Live Chat

Arizona Sports News:

Phoenix Coyotes win in overtime to earn Game 1 victory over Chicago Blackhawks
Overtime hockey hasn't been kind to the Coyotes faithful. The last time this team saw extra time in the playoffs was May 4, 1999, when a 1-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game7 foiled the Coyotes' attempt to win its first playoff series since 1987 when the team was in Winnipeg. Although there had been many chances since then to persevere to the second round, none had materialized, and that overtime loss had always been a symbol for how close the team has come yet how tough it's been to cross that hurdle. But Thursday night's meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals was perhaps a turning point in a history that hasn't had many shining playoff moments. Despite coughing up a late lead to send the game to overtime, the Coyotes rallied to earn a 3-2 victory in front of 17,138 at Arena. The Coyotes lead the best-of-seven series 1-0.

Ian Kennedy pitches Arizona Diamondbacks to series win over San Diego Padres
There are few things Kirk Gibson seems to enjoy more as a manager than a well-manufactured run, and so it was understandably troubling for him to watch his lineup struggle to score in ways other than the long ball in the season's first five games. It was easy to overlook as the Diamondbacks won their first four games, but the day after their first loss of the season, their lack of timely hitting was on Gibson's mind during his pregame chat with reporters. He'll be feeling a little better about things Friday morning. The Diamondbacks took advantage of a pair of Padres miscues and came through with just enough key hits to escape Petco Park with a 3-1 victory Thursday night, riding six solid innings from right-hander Ian Kennedy to run their record to 5-1.

ESPN's Jon Gruden: ASU's Brock Osweiler, Arizona's Nick Foles need time to develop
Former NFL coach Jon Gruden, now an ESPN analyst, held a teleconference Wednesday to discuss the quarterbacks in this month's NFL draft. He touched upon Arizona State's Brock Osweiler and Arizona's Nick Foles. Gruden recently sat down with Osweiler and Foles for his "Gruden's QB Camp" show on ESPN:

Former Phoenix Suns PG Goran Dragic thriving with Houston Rockets
When the Suns visited Goran Dragic this season in early February, their former point guard had settled nicely into the role of backup point guard in Houston and recaptured his form of two years ago. "It's the Year of the Dragon, you know," Dragic said then, referring to the Chinese calendar and his Phoenix-originated nickname. Even he had no idea how true that would be. When Kyle Lowry went out because of a bacterial infection five weeks ago, it appeared Houston might drop out of the playoff race. Dragic kept the Rockets in it -- and his former team out of it.

NFL News:

Hill and McCoy back, but LB need persists - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Leroy Hill's return to the Seattle Seahawks on a one-year deal means two-thirds of the team's 2011 starting linebackers are in place. It does not alleviate the need to address the position in the draft.

Coaching hot seats in April? A few thoughts - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Exhale, NFC West head coaches. ESPN's Trent Dilfer, Mel Kiper Jr. and Chris Mortensen did not mention your names in the video above when discussing which coaches face the most pressure in 2012. I'll do the honors for them, ranking NFC West coaches by which ones should be feeling the most heat this year:

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Complete First Round From SB Nation Bloggers -
SB Nation's NFL bloggers have completed the first round of their 2012 NFL mock draft.

Joe Vitt Named Saints Interim Coach During Sean Payton's Suspension -
The New Orleans Saints have officially announced their plans to replace head coach Sean Payton during his season-long suspension. Joe Vitt, the team's assistant head coach, will serve as the interim head coach during the 2012 season, the Saints announced in a press release on Thursday.

Aaron Kromer Expected To Replace Joe Vitt, Who Is Replacing Sean Payton -
The New Orleans Saints on Thursday officially announced that assistant head coach Joe Vitt will become the interim coach while Sean Payton is suspended for the entire 2012 season. The question that move immediately brought was who would become the next interim coach for Vitt, who is suspended the first six games of the season. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer is expected to become the interim head coach in Vitt's six-game absence. Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael was also considered a possibility.

Andy Reid Tactful, Vince Young Gullible - From Our Editors -
Vince Young will not be playing for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012. The oft-maligned quarterback will be testing the waters of free agency, searching for a new team and a new town to call home. Eagles head coach Andy Reid apparently told Young that the Eagles can't keep him because, well, he's just too darn good! No, really. That's the reason the Eagles gave Young. Andy Reid may just be the most caring and thoughtful coach in all of sports. Read the full comment after the jump.

Thomas not sad to see Tebow go: "I wasn’t getting no balls" | ProFootballTalk
Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas raced 80 yards with a Tim Tebow pass in overtime against the Steelers to score one of the biggest touchdowns of the year in the NFL. It would also prove to be Tebow’s last pass in Denver as a Bronco, and Thomas doesn’t feel bad about that.

Brian Billick offers a cautionary tale on JaMarcus Russell | ProFootballTalk
Few teams have drafted as well as the Ravens in recent years. But in a reminder of just how hard it is to get draft evaluations right every time, the former coach of the Ravens said this morning that one of the biggest draft busts in history was also the player the Ravens liked the best.

Mike Wallace Will Not Sign RFA Tender; Teams Interested In A Trade -
A standoff is brewing between the Pittsburgh Steelers and restricted free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace. According to reports from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Wallace will not sign his RFA offer sheet and will not report to offseason activities, which are scheduled to begin next week. Adding another layer to the situation is a report that "several" teams are interested in trading for the disgruntled receiver.

HBO Wants The Atlanta Falcons For Hard Knocks -
HBO has reportedly offered the Atlanta Falcons the starring role on its NFL reality show, Hard Knocks.

Peyton Manning Says His Goodbyes To Indy Sportswriters - From Our Editors -
Even for Colts fans, who just saw the best quarterback in franchise history leave town, it's hard to find reasons to hate Peyton Manning. The latest example comes from Phil Wilson of the Indy Star:

Jabar Gaffney Goes At Lito Sheppard On Twitter, Says He Was Hacked - From Our Editors -
If you weren't paying attention to Jabar Gaffney's Twitter account on Thursday, you missed quite the show. Gaffney woke up in a foul mood on his anniversary and couldn't find his "soon-to-be ex-wife," according to the tweets. What followed was a profanity-laced rant that somehow involved Lito Sheppard, leading some to put two-and-two together, for whatever reason. And then he said he was hacked. Because of course.