What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Comments Share D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away If a player’s college career is his resume, pre-draft visits are the NFL’s version of job interviews. They are a chance for teams to get to know a player and take a closer look at who they are, what they think and how they react under the pressure of answering questions that could cost them millions.While it isn’t an exact science, these visits can be a very good indicator of who a team is and isn’t interested in. Like any good company, you wouldn’t think an NFL team would hire someone with a large salary without ‘kicking the tires’ at least once on a player and understanding who they are face-to-face. Then again, with each passing year the NFL Draft more and more resembles a high stakes game of poker where bluffing is just part of the territory. Two names the Arizona Cardinals don’t appear to have much interest in based on this theory are Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley and Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.According to a report in the Houston Chronicle, Fairley is set to visit with eight of the top 10 teams in next month’s NFL draft. One of those two teams is the Cards.In a report on NFL.com, they have Dareus meeting with seven of the top 10 teams, once again with the Cards as one of the teams abstaining. The news shouldn’t come as a complete surprise after the Cardinals spent their first round pick in 2010 on defensive tackle Dan Williams and have Darnell Dockett, Alan Branch and Gabe Watson on the roster but it does cross another few names of the list of possibilities for the team in Round 1.For those of you keeping score at home, if you believe numerous reports, you can cross Fairley, Dareus and Cam Newton off the list of possible No. 5 picks for the Cards.
Top Stories Starting Sunday in Atlanta.“When you’re on the field and you lose a game, you want to make sure you bounce back the next week and I mean, you just have a little more desire, a little more chip on your shoulder,” he said. “But for the most part, we don’t have to do anything special. Just play football, play with energy and play with good technique and discipline, and we’re a tough team to beat.”Things to Watch ForDoes the record belie the talent?The Falcons are a strange team in that they are 4-7 but tied for first in the NFC South. To a man, everyone on the Cardinals offered plenty of respect for their opponent, saying the record is not indicative of the talent on the roster. But do they really believe it?Who will be there to catch the ball?Each team could be without a key receiver Sunday, as Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald is listed as “questionable” after practicing on a limited basis Friday and Atlanta’s Roddy White has the same designation after not practicing at all during the week. Fitzgerald leads the Cardinals in receptions and receiving yards while White is second on his team in both categories.Not much of a test for the run D? Need more from the QBFor the most part, when called upon this season, Drew Stanton looked like someone who could lead the Cardinals to the playoffs. Last Sunday in Seattle, however, he looked more like a backup quarterback. Asked how much of the offensive struggles he places on Stanton, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said, “None.”But that does not mean he can’t get better.“I think sometimes I could have tried to stay in the pocket a little bit more, a half second trying to just reset my feet as opposed to getting out and trying to push the ball down the field, and trying to be more accurate underneath, obviously, with Dre (Andre Ellington), giving him a chance to catch and run and some other things,” Stanton said of his performance in Seattle. “It was difficult. Obviously, it’s a great defense going up there, and they presented a lot of problems like we thought they would. Cognizant of some of the things I’m going to try to improve on this week, and focus on that.”Sacks, sacks and more sacksMuch was made of the Cardinals’ inability to get after the quarterback through the first eight games, in which they tallied just eight sacks. They have 17 over the last three games, however, with Campbell and second-year pro Alex Okafor leading the way with six apiece. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Right now, Arizona is 9-2 and holds a 1.5 game lead over the Seahawks in the NFC West, as well as a one-game lead over Green Bay for the NFC’s best record. While the loss in Seattle did nothing to help their record, it’s possible they could have gained something from it. After all, while the Cardinals have kept the right mentality all season, focusing on one game at a time and treating the next game as the most important game of the season, losing can help a team refocus. “I think sometimes when you win, especially when you put like six, seven wins together like we were doing, you can overlook some of the small things,” linebacker and captain Lorenzo Alexander said. “Often times when you win, that’s what happens. When you lose, every little detail is kind of examined and re-examined. So I think it’s good at some point to do it now versus later so we can correct those things and get back on the winning streak and end the season the right way and have a chance to get into the playoffs.”That’s not to say the Cardinals wanted to lose or even that they will surely be better off for it. Calais Campbell, another captain, said it’s tough to win as many games in a row as Arizona did, so eventually there could be a lapse, but as long as they keep “respecting the process” things will be fine. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact “At this point in the year, they’re getting a lot more familiar with each other,” defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said about his players and why the numbers are rising. “They do come in bunches, and we just keep working at it.” Finally, a big backThe Cardinals have been looking for a big, short-yardage back ever since losing Jonathan Dwyer, and may have found one in veteran Michael Bush. Signed early in the week, it’s possible he will be active Sunday with a handful of packages and plays for him to run. A little more CoopLast week, guard Jonathan Cooper was on the field for five offensive snaps. The team liked having him in at tight end, giving them an extra blocker. That’s something that the team may turn to more in the future.“He did pretty good last week, he did pretty good,” offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said. “I was proud of him. The biggest thing with him is, I tell him, ‘When your time comes, just make sure you’re ready, because you don’t want to fail.’ He’s getting closer and we’ll see what happens as far if he’ll be out there at tight end again.” Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Just two years ago, the Cardinals at one point lost nine in a row, four of which were by seven points or less. There is often a fine line between winning and losing in the NFL, and being on the wrong side of it can have disastrous implications. While no one would expect this Cardinals team to start stacking losses, until they get back into the win column, it will remain a possibility. Head coach Bruce Arians has often stressed the importance of not losing back-to-back games, adding it’s up to the team’s leaders to make sure everyone has the right mindset going forward. Last season, Arizona lost consecutive games just once — in Weeks 6 and 7, against the San Francisco 49ers and the Seahawks.“They come to work and keep it a daily process,” he said. “The Seattle game is over with. To me, it was a month ago. It’s that far in the rearview mirror already, and you’re always ahead coming to work getting ready for what you control. You don’t control that game anymore. You control today.”“Always, especially when you lose one ballgame, the main focus is not to drop two,” cornerback and captain Patrick Peterson said, pointing to the team’s division lead. “We want to make sure we keep that distance between us and our opponents in our division. Our main focus is to definitely not drop two games.” The Cardinals have now gone 21 games without allowing a 100-yard rusher, and don’t figure to get much of a test from Steven Jackson, whose highest single-game rushing total this season is 81 yards. In fact, after facing off with the likes of Marshawn Lynch, DeMarco Murray and LeSean McCoy over the last handful of games, Jackson may seem like a walk in the park.Oh offense, where art though?Arizona has gone seven quarters without a touchdown. When asked about it early in the week, Bruce Arians said he wasn’t overly concerned because the team has had its chances, but just shot itself in the foot too many times. While true, continued struggles in Atlanta — which comes in ranked 31st against the pass and 23rd against the run — would be moderate cause for concern.Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin thinks the offense is not far off, though. “To me, we’ve got to; we’re too far to turn back. We know where we’re headed and we know what’s coming. We can’t turn back,” he said. “We’re on a mission, and in order for us to deliver on that mission, offensively we’ve got to do a better job. I told the guys the other day, defensively they’re holding up their end of the bargain, we’ve got to hold up ours too.” TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals won six consecutive games before dropping last week’s contest to the Seattle Seahawks 19-3.Now, the goal is to not let that losing “streak” reach two.“Some of us have learned how easy it is to snowball a bunch of losses,” center Lyle Sendlein said. “In saying that, it’s just as easy to stack up wins when you have that confidence, and that’s why you don’t want to lose two in a row.”
Top Stories The Arizona Cardinals selected hometown kid and Texas A&M wide receiver Christian Kirk in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday.Kirk checks all the boxes of being a local product from Saguaro High School, filling an immediate need as a pass-catcher and potential returner all while being a high-rated choice in the mid-second round.That led to the nearly unanimous approval of the selection on Twitter. WR Christian Kirk of Texas A&M was just selected by the Cardinals in the 2nd round (47th overall).Kirk was the Cardinals High School Player of the Week in 2014 (Wk 1) while playing at Saguaro HS. pic.twitter.com/620DSl9jtZ— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) April 28, 2018 A lot of names taken tonight. You all are going to feel me, trust me.— Christian Kirk (@ChristianDavon2) April 27, 2018 – / 97 If A&M receiver/returner Christian Kirk falls into the 2nd round — as many project he will — some team will get a hell of a football player for a bargain.— Olin Buchanan (@olinbuchanan) April 27, 2018 The @AZCardinals get the perfect complement to Larry Fitzgerald in Christian Kirk. He was drafted a little later than expected but he is a rock-solid route runner and “catch-and-run” specialist. Kirk will make an immediate impact as a WR2/WR3 in AZ. #NFLDraft— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) April 28, 2018There’s also the local angle on Kirk, who is a Valley native. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Going home @ChristianDavon2 congrats my brotha you deserve it all #GigEm 3 Comments Share Christian Kirk comes home to the Cards. GREAT value. Mature beyond his years. Nifty return guy too. Josh Rosen will love him.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) April 28, 2018 Christian Kirk on being drafted by the Cardinals: “I’m a valley kid born and raised.. when I got that phone call it was so surreal.”— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) April 28, 2018 Texas A&M wide receiver Christian Kirk jumps before running the 40-yard dash during the NFL football scouting combine, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) The #AZCardinals take at No. 47 a local product, #TAMU’s Christian Kirk. GMs loved him, character-wise. “Off the charts.” “I’ll take 53 of him.” On and on. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Congratulations to Saguaro alum Christian Kirk – DRAFTED by the Arizona Cardinals!— Gridiron Arizona (@gridironarizona) April 28, 2018First-round choice Josh Rosen made headlines Thursday for saying teams that passed on him will regret it and Rosen will be pleased to know that Kirk shares the same type of mentality. — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 28, 2018 — Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) April 28, 2018
6 Comments Share The love story told in the Oscar-nominated film “A Star Is Born” isn’t so unlike a love story yet to be written here in the desert.OK, so maybe there’s not a lot of threads to connect Bradley Cooper’s movie with the Arizona Cardinals — not yet anyway.But with the Oscars coming this Sunday and the film expected to take home some hardware after being nominated for a handful of honors, 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Jarrett Carlen and Luke Lapinski decided to dazzle us with a rendition of the movie’s hit song, “Shallow.” Playing Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen and coach Kliff Kingsbury, respectively, it’s likewise about a connection between two passionate humans and the discovery of talent.Related Links98.7 FM listeners tell their favorite stories of meeting the famousFrom the first lyrics (“Tell me something, Josh. Are you unhappy after every loss?”) to the emotional climax (“When the games are played, using the Air Raid, no one can stop us now”), Cardinals fans will surely feel the emotion of this parody. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
INDIANAPOLIS – Josh Rosen is having a bad offseason. His car was badly damaged in an accident. His Instagram account was hacked. And his potential successor just won the NFL Combine.Former Oklahoma star Kyler Murray officially stands over 5-foot-10. He weighed in at 207 pounds. He’s halfway to the No. 1 pick, earning millions of dollars on Thursday without breaking a sweat. His measurements represent a gold mine for the Cardinals. There are great reasons to draft Murray. He is the quarterback that Kliff Kingsbury covets most. And if you’re going to stray this far out of the box, hiring a 39-year old who failed in college and carries zero NFL coaching experience, why not go all the way?Keep in mind: The new trend if the NFL isn’t just the acceptance of non-traditional quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield. It’s the synergy created when pairing them with innovative, play-calling head coaches.Related LinksWhen and where to watch the NFL Combine’s on-field workoutsCombine tidbits: For Cardinals and others, it’s still about the D-lineKyler Murray weighs in, helps stock at the NFL Draft CombineThis is not a matter of giving up on Rosen. It’s simply drafting someone better, more athletic, with a higher ceiling, a standout pocket passer with speed comparable to Michael Vick. In all likelihood, his running ability won’t be quantified until Murray stages his own workout for NFL scouts, and that will be the day he cements his status as the best player in the draft.For now, there’s a strong belief that Murray added a lot of false weight before stepping on the NFL’s official scale, which would clearly sabotage his performance in the Scouting Combine’s 40-yard dash. It speaks volumes that Murray might’ve been forced to chug water just to break stereotypes and prove he’s capable of running a NFL offense. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo FILE – In this Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws during an NCAA college football game against UCLA, in Norman, Okla. Murray was named a Heisman Trophy finalist on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File) Gruden was asked about the allure of trading for the No. 1 pick, and said the following:“It’s very attractive. You know, it’s why we’re here, trying to measure every possibility.”Murray’s height and weight are the dominant storylines of the Scouting Combine, but his story represents something even bigger. He could become the NFL’s version of Steve Nash and Steph Curry, undersized NBA stars who inspired a generation of younger players who suddenly believed that size was no longer an impediment.Murray could do the same for thousands of young football quarterbacks who are loaded with ability but vertically challenged. He can be a pioneer because he doesn’t look like a football player. He looks like us.Granted, the Cardinals are in the business of winning football games, not blazing trails. But they took a risk on Kingsbury and they should double down with Murray, a player who will shine because of his size, not in spite of his size.He will be more than a quarterback. He will be a classic underdog. The kind with a lot of bite.Reach Bickley at email@example.com. Listen to Bickley & Marotta weekdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. Top Stories 68 Comments Share Either way, television analyst Charles Davis ran into a close friend of Murray’s who confirmed those suspicions, saying, “I don’t think he’ll ever weigh that again.”“He doesn’t need to be at 207 to play in the NFL,” Davis said. “His gifts are speed, quickness, elusiveness and vision. Don’t take those gifts away.”The surprising twist in Murray’s size and stature shocked most of the NFL community on Thursday, and it will benefit the Cardinals most if they choose not to draft him. Most 5-foot-10 quarterbacks would be instantly discarded. With Murray, the measurement is acceptable because it’s only a half-inch shorter than Seattle star Russell Wilson, an elite talent who has started 125 consecutive games. And it benefits the Cardinals because it will increase the amount of teams interested in drafting Murray, possibly creating a feeding frenzy that turns into a bidding war.The Raiders are an obvious candidate. Like Kingsbury, Oakland head coach Jon Gruden has raved about Murray’s transcendent ability. The Raiders could make an attractive offer, including two first-round picks (No. 4 and No. 24 overall), along with a later-round selection. It would be an offer hard to refuse in Arizona, where serious upgrades are needed at wide receiver and the offensive line.
Go back to the e-newsletter >A luxury service for bespoke Latin American travels is now available to the Australian market. Travel agents with discerning clients looking for new and authentic experiences can call upon DB Americas – an expert, on-the-ground destination management company which designs unique itineraries covering all areas of Central and South America – showcasing the region’s diverse historical, cultural and natural experiences.The Australian-run, South-American-based company sources, contracts and packages the best of Latin America’s luxury travel products and offers access to innovative experiences and products that have not traditionally been explored. It also offers truly flexible, complex itineraries and has the ability to adjust arrangements at any time, even as the clients are travelling.Director Seng Wing Chong commented: “With two Australians at its helm, DB Americas understands the ethos of the Australian market. In recent years we have seen significant interest in travel to Latin America from Australia and we see huge potential growth in Australian travellers seeking new and authentic luxury experiences in the region.”DB Americas is focused on providing access to exclusive and authentic experiences that go beyond standard itineraries of the region. Managing Director, Edward Fokin, and his team have personally experienced the majority of the destinations and providers that they work with.“As our team is on the ground, we are able to quickly identify the latest products and experiences and bring them to the Australian market more effectively and efficiently,” Mr Fokin added. “We’re able to offer bespoke, comprehensive itineraries specific to each client’s requirements; we see ourselves as a concierge service for Australian travel agents handling discerning clients travelling to our region.”DB Americas’ highly customised, experiential itineraries are often multi-destinational and feature iconic destinations and lesser-known luxe hideaways in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Cuba, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico and Antarctica, as well as El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay and the parts of the Caribbean.The company offers competitive pricing for the region’s best products, on-the-ground service and 24-hour support for its clients.Go back to the e-newsletter >
Go back to the e-newsletterLuxury travel buyers from across the globe are preparing to do business at the fourth ILTM Africa event, which will take place in Cape Town from 4 – 6 April 2016, in the midst of an exciting period of growth for the African hotel industry.The 2015 African Tourism Monitor Report, an extensive report into Africa’s travel and tourism industry produced by the African Development Bank Group states “tourism continues to be one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic sectors of Africa’s economy.”This time of growth shows no sign of abating – an analysis of deal signing activity by intended opening year reports that over 35,000 new rooms in 210 new hotels are already planned to open in Africa by 2018, with further deals expected.Alison Gilmore, Director of the ILTM Portfolio says: “Africa is proving to be the growth story of the 21st century – the variety of beautiful locations available to the luxury traveller throughout the continent is huge. As more hotels are developed, this story of success for African tourism is only going to continue. Now is the time for the African luxury travel industry to connect with the world’s best international Africa specialist agents during this time of growth and we are delighted to welcome the very best at this year’s ILTM Africa.”ILTM Africa is a unique, invitation only, Africa focused luxury travel business event, offering one-to-one meetings between African exhibitors and buyers from across the world. All buyers and exhibitors are required to follow a strict accreditation process in order to participate.Arvind Amersey, Safari Africa, a buyer travelling to ILTM Africa 2016 says: “ILTM Africa is the premier international event where the best properties and companies in Africa are represented. Safari Africa is one of the leaders in luxury Africa travel out of India and ILTM Africa gives us the perfect platform to connect with the leading luxury companies in this continent.”Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania and the Seychelles were all cited as specific regions where ILTM 2016 buyers are looking to place business. High end suppliers from all destinations are represented at ILTM Africa with exhibitors including The H Resort at Beau Vallon Beach (Seychelles), Naturally Namibia (Namibia), Alex Walker Safaris (Tanzania) and Etali Safari Lodge (South Africa).Go back to the e-newsletter
Go back to the e-newsletterCrown Towers Perth has set the benchmark in luxurious experiences since launching on 1 December 2016, so it’s no surprise that to celebrate its first birthday, the hotel group has taken this to the next level – and added a unique twist.On 1 December, Perth’s premier destination hotel showcased the ultimate luxury leisure destination in a ‘Live-in Luxury Art Installation’ taking place inside its lobby.As part of the installation, the hotel group plucked an unsuspecting couple off the streets of Perth to deliver the ultimate money can’t buy experience for them – all taking place inside a live art installation that had them enjoy the very best experiences Crown Towers has to offer in real-time.For the voyeur in all of us, passersby and other hotel guests were able to witness the couple in situ living and sleeping in the lobby, enjoying everything from champagne to luxurious caviar spa treatments, five-star dining and the most decadent cocktails right through to being tucked up in bed with a hot chocolate.In its first year alone the hotel has popped over 31,000 bottles of champagne and shucked almost 46,000 oysters, and has set a new benchmark in luxury accommodation not only in WA but in Australia. In its first 12 months of operation, Crown Towers has won over 10 awards at several of Australia’s best hospitality and tourism awards.According to executive general manager Crown Perth Hotels, Andrew Cairns, the installation was a fun, quirky way to bring to life what sets Crown Towers apart as a hotel brand – its unparalleled luxury and experiences.“Crown Towers is known the world over as the pinnacle of luxury. We’ve had a great first year here in Perth and have been amazed at how much the city has embraced and fallen in love with it,” Cairns said. “Crown Towers Perth has truly redefined the standard for high-end accommodation in market and what better way to celebrate that than by bringing to life some of those experiences in a fun way.”Go back to the e-newsletter