Bird Droppings: Notes and News From the Arizona Cardinals Nest

Scott Z BradyCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2009

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Calais Campbell #93 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on against the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Steelers won 27-23. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

He’s So Special

Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell was announced as this week’s NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance Sunday against the Jaguars in steamy Jacksonville.

Campbell (essentially) won the award for his crucial game-changing blocked field goal early in the second quarter, when the game was still close. It was “game changing” in that his block not only prevented the Jags from closing the gap to 10-6, but in that it was caught out of the air by safety Antrel Rolle and returned for a touchdown.

That gave the Cardinals a 17-3 lead that Jacksonville couldn’t recover from.

What’s interesting here is that Rolle didn’t get the award for the touchdown return, an 83-yard gem that put all the momentum on the Cardinals' side. But Rolle’s not-so-special miscues on two other plays (punt returns) would have eclipsed the TD in terms of being special teams "Player of the Week" status.

As for my postgame suggestion that Warner potentially receive NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, he probably would have if 49ers RB Frank Gore didn't explode with two touchdowns for over 75 yards each.

Gore won the award this week. Kurt gets to keep his NFL record, however

Marcus Needs a Twitter Sitter

There were mumblings about Cardinals All-Pro WR Larry Fitzgerald’s being upset at the number of balls coming his way in Glendale last week when he was spotted on TV in an animated "discussion" with fellow Pro Bowl quarterback Kurt Warner in the waning moments of the first half against the 49ers.

At the time, Fitz had an un-customary one reception, and the Cardinals offense was ...well, sputtering. 

That "news" kind of died its own slow death as the week went along.

But Fitz’s little brother, Marcus, casually threw gas on what was left of the smoldering embers Sunday when he started Tweeting Larry’s perceived dissatisfaction, again, with the number of balls coming his way.

It seems that during the game, Marcus sent out a tweet referring to Warner as an “old f*cking man.” Not cool.

But it was his tweet after the game that got the ball rolling in this perceived discontent between the two teammates.

“Just got off the phone with my brother. he’s happy about the win. But PISSED he didn’t get the ball thrown 2 him much!” is what now has the Internet all a-buzz.

My take on this mini-uproar is as follows. Larry is a competitive guy. You can’t reach his level of greatness without having that competitive fire. He wants the ball every down. Not in that "Just gimme the damn ball" kind of way. But in a professional way.

Fitzgerald is no Diva. We don’t have a potential Terrell Owens situation on this team, or between these two. I don’t see Larry exploding on the sidelines, or whining in the media, as T.O. did to...well, name everyone that gets paid to throw him the ball.

You can keep Warner off the list of guys like Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, or Tony Romo, QB’s that were on the wet side of a self absorbed wide receivers' tongue lashings.

My guess would be that Larry said how happy he was with the huge win, and maybe confided to his brother that he wished he was more involved than his four receptions would indicate.

I’m more than a little sure that Larry didn’t want or expect Marcus to tell the world how “PISSED” Fitz was following the team's first win of 2009.

Fitz and Warner will forever be linked in Cardinals/NFL lore for their record shattering postseason in 2008. They genuinely like and respect each other. And its obvious that Kurt wants to get Fitz the ball. I see no problems here.

While Fitzgerald didn’t catch as many as he’d have liked to on Sunday in Jacksonville, you can be sure he’ll be at his typical numbers at seasons end.

I’m also quite sure that Fitz will take wins over personal stats, anytime.

Its clear that Larry needs to to get his little brother to ick-snay on the eammate-ashing-bay on Tweets. Or he could be forced to get Marcus a Twitter Sitter.

Stat Attack!

The Cardinals have eight sacks as a team after two games. After picking up four in the opener against San Francisco, they added another four Sunday in Jacksonville.

Bert Berry leads the team with two, while Darnell Dockett, Karlos Dansby, Calais Campbell, Chike Okeafor, Antrel Rolle, and Clark Haggins have one each.

They have also forced six fumbles. Adrian Wilson, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Dansby, Haggins, Dockett and Rolle all have one apiece.

Kick returner LaRod Stephens-Howling is doing quite well returning kickoffs so far this year. Thus far, he has five returns for 113 yards (22.6 avg). His longest thus far is 30 yards, but it won’t be long before he breaks one and takes it to the house.

The Cardinals were just 2-for-13 on third down conversions last week. They are 6-for-23 on the season. That needs to improve.

Offensively, the team ranks 10th in the NFL in points (23.5 avg), 15th in total yards (341 avg), seventh in passing yards (266 avg) and 25th in rushing yards (79 avg).

Beanie Wells is tied for the league lead in fumbles with two.

Sunday’s sellout against the Indianapolis Colts will mark the 35th straight sellout since the team moved to UoP Stadium.

Final Note

Interesting story/debate by Kyle Strittholt called Give Beanie Wells the Rock.

Check it out and comment!


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