So the questions began yesterday, asking me my thoughts on Sports Illustrated’s Peter King saying that sixth-round draft pick Ryan Lindley — the second of two sixth-round picks, mind you — not only had a better chance to make an impact as a rookie than guys like Miami’s Ryan Tannehill or Seattle’s Russell Wilson, but could be playing by midseason. I know Peter a little and respect him greatly as a reporter. I wouldn’t be shocked if someone from the Cards whispered in his ear how much they like Lindley’s potential. But to be playing by midseason? I can’t see that as anything but ridiculous — barring injuries.
But Darren, you’ll say, the Cards just did it with Max Hall and John Skelton in 2010, and you would have said the same thing about those guys in May that year. Which is true. But I will argue 2010 and the Hall situation is precisely one of the reasons Lindley won’t play. Hall wasn’t ready, but the Cards had nowhere to turn once Derek Anderson failed.
This year, the Cards have two guys who they can go to in Skelton and Kevin Kolb. Neither, I believe, is in the place of Matt Leinart, who had already had multiple chances to convince the coaches he was the right choice and never did win them over. There is a little matter of the $7 million bonus the Cards just gave Kolb, which you don’t do and then dump a guy (which is what it would take for Lindley to be in a spot to play.) And there is also the circumstances of both Lindley’s rookie status — we know coach Ken Whisenhunt would rather not play rookies too soon — and where the season would have to be to create a Lindley opportunity. The Cards would have to be 1-7 or 0-8, I believe, and have not one but two QBs to be terrible for Lindley to get a shot. I just don’t see that happening.
(He’s got to beat out Richard Bartel for a roster spot too. Bartel isn’t going to just give it up.)
So what do the Cards have in Lindley? Football-wise, they have a big, strong pocket passer with potential. It may even be better in the locker room, at least according to his former college receiver and new Cardinals teammate DeMarco Sampson (pictured below with Lindley.)
“Just having him on the team, it’s selfish, but those last two seasons at San Diego State, he helped me a lot, having me stop all the partying, keeping me on the straight and narrow,” Sampson said. “He’s an uplifting guy. He’s a great teammate. He’ll never try to tear anyone down.
“He has a lot to learn, but he’s a good listener. He takes criticism well. He’s all upside to me. I’m biased I know, but he’s the type of guy you want on your team. I’m willing to put money on, if they wanted him to play receiver, he’d try it to help the team.”
There are reasons to like Lindley and what he can be. But you take a guy in the sixth round to sit, learn and develop. Not to play right away.
Tags: DeMarco Sampson, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Rich Bartel, Ryan Lindley
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