Ryan Lindley Will be a Starter, Just Not in 2012
By Scott Allen
This will not be 2010 all over again. The Arizona Cardinals will not be starting a quarterback deemed a “project” at any point in 2012. The only way that happens is if both John Skelton and Kevin Kolb both go out the same week and the Cards have not had a chance to get another veteran into their system fast enough. That being said, sixth-round draft pick Ryan Lindley from San Diego State, will most likely be a starter at some point. He has the skills.
The problem for the Cardinals in 2010 was that they had no veteran quarterback capable of taking over the reins after they released Matt Leinart. Derek Anderson was thought to be that guy, at least by Cards brass. He turned out to be nothing more than a guy working for the United States Postal Air Mail service. That led to having to play Max Hall and John Skelton. Both were considered projects, Skelton even more so. Turns out of course, Skelton was the much better quarterback equipped to play in an NFL-style game.
Lindley can air it out. He threw 20 touchdowns in his senior season and only eight interceptions. That was without his good receivers that left before him. Still threw for 2,740 yards. He threw for 3,830 yards in his junior year.
Still, Lindley will be a project. I know experts have said he can start in this league. Maybe so, but not 2012. As much as I know people would rather see the corpse of Steve McNair than the live body of Kevin Kolb out there pitching footballs to Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, fact is, Kolb is an NFL quarterback and is the best option. Skelton, who took that “project” moniker off after the 2010 season thanks to his trial by fire behind center, still has a lot to learn. Skelton could end up being the starter in 2012. Not Lindley.
So, before you go and start calling for Lindley once the Cards go 1-5 to start the season, just remember back to 2010. It wasn’t pretty. Just stay the course. Lindley will get his shot in probably 2-3 years.