The offseason began for the Arizona Cardinals, and head coach Brice Arians spoke to the media one final time. Players had their exit interviews and they also spoke with the press. Lots of reflecting and lots of optimism.
Here are your morning links.
Cardinals Blogs | Palmer’s Hall of Fame jersey, and some notes
We here at azcardinals.com are grinding away to post some day-after-season content, but here are some quick notes on a relatively news-less day-after following locker room availability and Bruce Arians’ final presser — news-less for sure compared to this time last season:
Notes: Cards have decisions; Washington's off-field issue; Abraham's big year
The players share their thoughts on the end of the 2013 season
Ten wins leaves team optimistic for 2014, but some pieces will be different
Here are five storylines to watch as the offseason gets underway:
Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss and 49ers reporter Bill Williamson discuss the state of their teams after Sunday's game.
An improving defense that was the NFL's toughest to run against gives the Cardinals a solid starting point for 2014.
"There are so many," he conceded. "When you try to pin them down to one…I will always remember the opening kickoff in St. Louis."
A restricted free agent, Ballard said he has no real preference on where he plays, as long as he gets to. "If that's here, great, if it's not, we'll just see what happens," he said. "But I've enjoyed my time here. All I want to do is play. I sat at home for 10 weeks and didn't do anything, so I'll do whatever I have to."
There was no sense of relief that the season was over or dread over what was possibly to come.
And the players themselves aren't the only ones reaping the benefits of, and getting recognition for, a great season. Their leader, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, is becoming an increasingly hot head coach candidate, with more than five such jobs expected to open over the course of the offseason.
"No, I just have to make those kicks," Feely said when asked about his two misses. "There's no excuse. No reason not to."
Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville can be penciled in as the No. 1 pick in the draft (for now), but after that the draft is wide open. How many quarterbacks will go in the top 10, and how far could defensive end Jadeveon Clowney slip?
The Buccaneers have moved on from their head coach.
Sung to the tune of Billy Joels "Piano Man." H/T to Weird Al Yankovic (R- California)
Jim Schwartz has been fired by the Detroit Lions.
Shanahan finished 24-3 in his tenure in D.C.
As expected, Leslie Frazier has been fired as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings
Some teams are still in the hunt, but these organizations are looking ahead to the draft in the hopes of building towards 2014.
Chip Kelly and Nick Foles will get their first taste of the postseason, while the Packers and 49ers will face off for the third time in a year.
There may have been an officiating mistake made at the end of regulation when Kansas City missed a potential game-winning field goal against San Diego on Sunday.
Frazier went 21-32-1 in his four-year tenure with the team.
Three teams are looking at Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to fill their vacancies.
The Browns fired first-year head coach Rob Chudzinski on Sunday night.
The best receiver in football will be going under the knife to get fixed up before the 2014 campaign.