What they're saying in Arizona

September, 13, 2012
9/13/12
10:30
AM ET
Cardinals-based links from Arizona and around the Web:

1. Defense can earn respect against Patriots. Mike Sando of ESPN.com credits the Cardinals' defense for its work in the season opener against the Seahawks, before adding that the Patriots will be a much greater challenge. Sando provides statistical data on the Cardinals' defense, before concluding, "Limiting Brady and the Patriots would secure for Arizona's defense the respect it deserves."

2. Kolb tries to block out the noise. Since being acquired by the Cardinals and paid a big-money contract, quarterback Kevin Kolb has been under scrutiny, including being booed in the fourth quarter of the season opener. Kolb, who is projected to start Sunday after John Skelton injured his ankle in the opener, is coming off a strong relief performance, writes Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic.

3. Veterans backed Kolb. Jim Trotter of SI.com notes that veteran safety Adrian Wilson and defensive lineman Darnell Dockett have been big Kolb supporters. Said Dockett: "When you have leaders and captains down on you, it takes away all of your confidence. I wanted to be one of those guys who supported him even at his lowest, because when that time came for him to play again, even if others didn't believe in him, he could look at certain leaders and certain playmakers and know that they've got his back. That means a lot."

4. Skelton held out of practice. Bob Baum of The Associated Press reports that quarterback John Skelton didn't practice Wednesday, and president Michael Bidwell said in a radio interview that Kolb will start Sunday in New England. Bidwell's remarks seemed to catch coach Ken Whisenhunt off guard. "He said that?" Whisenhunt said, according to the AP piece. "I think we've still got some days until we play. I know he was excited by the way Kevin played, and deservedly so. Kevin did a nice job."

5. Tight end evolution. The Cardinals drafted tight end Rob Housler in the third round of the 2011 draft, pairing him with Todd Heap. The hope was to create matchup issues for opponents, which the Patriots have done with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com writes.

6. Fitzgerald talks Patriots. In a video posted on FoxSportsArizona.com, Jill Arrington talks with receiver Larry Fitzgerald about the challenges of facing the Patriots. Fitzgerald praises the Patriots before saying, "Any given Sunday, anybody can be beat. We have a lot of belief in our team and the guys we have in the room."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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