Every single week, NFL give the best spin possible for every game. This week is no different for the Arizona Cardinals, but the questions this week are about quarterback Ryan Lindley, who will start for Arizona on Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks.
The constant theme? They are in capable hands in Lindley, a player who was cut before the season started and only returned because of injury.
Bruce Arians told the media on Wednesday "I don't think there's any doubt" Lindley can handle the spotlight of Sunday Night Football, the defending champs, a fantastic Seattle defense and a division title on the line.
"He was calm as a cucumber out there the other night and it doesn't get any bigger than that one," the head coach said. "When you have time to prepare, it's easier than when you're just thrown out there in a very critical game, and he played admirably. I thought he was obviously very, very prepared for that ball game."
Lindley is a "meticulous preparation guy," according to Arians. According to Larry Fitzgerald, Lindley is "a really cerebral young man" who "works extremely hard."
Most importantly, Lindley "really doesn't" give Arians any areas in which he is concerned.
Cardinals fans probably have burned into their memory images of Lindley's rookie season in 2012, when he threw seven interceptions and not a single touchdown pass. Janoris Jenkins returned two interceptions for touchdowns.
But Lindley said it is "like night and day" now. He is "a completely different person" two years removed from that experience. He has learned a ton from Arians, Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton and even Philip Rivers when he was on the Chargers practice squad.
The arm talent is there. Both Arians and Fitz have said Lindley "can make all the throws." Some are even things of beauty. The back shoulder throw he had to John Brown was a pretty a throw as you get. Brown just was unable to come down inbounds.
Clearly the Cardinals had not intended on having Lindley start a game this season. But Arians kept him around all last season for a reason. He was the one quarterback who didn't get sent out of town when Arians was hired. Arians has said on numerous occasions how difficult it was to let Lindley go this year. Now we get to see where he is at.
I said on our recent Revenge of the Birds Radio podcast that Lindley is a completely different player than in 2012. He is in a completely different offense. There is more talent around him this year. The offensive line isn't a joke. They have had a running game. Remembering 2012 is useless. We have to throw that season out the window.
Arizona has not needed elite QB play to win games. Lindley doesn't have to throw for 350 yards and three TDs to be a success. If he can complete over 50 percent of his passes and throw more TDs than INTs, Arizona will be a position to win the game.
The Cardinals obviously trust Lindley enough. Do you? Do you expect anything out of the young QB?
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