What the Cards have in Lindley

Posted by Darren Urban on May 4, 2012 – 10:28 am

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.

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30 Responses to “What the Cards have in Lindley”

  1. By garrett on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    I like him.

  2. By Paul H on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    Good points Darren about Ryan. Focus in Flag should be all on Kevin and John for the battle at QB. Ryan can lay low and learn for a season or two. Glad you brought up DeMarco. He’s my sleeper for a big camp this fall. All eyes will be on M. Floyd as it should but DeMarco will have a off season this year to really make a showing.

  3. By Andy on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    Is a draft review podcast in the works?


  4. By Darren Urban on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    Andy —

    RE: Podcast

    We are efforting to get the crew together.

  5. By azwildbird9 on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    what are the odds of getting DRC back?

  6. By Darren Urban on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    azwildbird —

    RE: DRC

    He’s under contract with the Eagles.

  7. By Jesse Robles on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    Hopefully it works out, but I am with you, I think we can get a pretty good QB out of him in a couple of years.

  8. By rdixon50 on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    I miss DRC’s toenail polish!

  9. By Eric Y on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t know what it is, but as a fan I like Bartel. He’s looked really good (in pre-season) before and seems to have a strong locker room presence. I remember watching him on the sidelines and for a third string guy he seems very involved in the”action”. I could be completely wrong, but that’s the sense I get through all the cardinals media. I guess what I’m saying is that there is something that (as a fan) I like about Bartel. I can’t, but can anyone recall a time we we had 4 QBs on the roster? Is it even heard of? What’s Bartel’s contract like?

  10. By Darren Urban on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    Eric Y —

    RE: Bartel

    The problem is having four QBs. There just aren’t enough reps to get everyone work, especially if the fourth one is a rookie project. I just don’t see it.

  11. By Andy on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks Darren.

    azwildbird9: I was one of DRC’s biggest proponents, but his lack of focus really has hampered how good he well he has played. I think he has HOF-type talent, but his mind isn’t HOF. If he had PP’s mindset, he’d be lights out…

  12. By TradeKolb on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    Take the best offer before the deadline.

  13. By CZarr on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    I definitely agree with your assessment of King’s statement… It seems ridiculous, especially after watching the tape of Lindley. Obviously I’m not watching all 22, nor am I a scout, but his accuracy left a lot to be desired in my opinion and he has a tendency to stare down receivers.

    Then again, the quarterback evaluation and handling for the last few years has certainly left me scratching my head on occasion…

  14. By cardsalltheway on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    “But Darren, you’ll say, the Cards just did it with Max Hall and John Skelton in 2010…,”

    Bzzz, we’ll say we just did it with Matt, Derek, AND Max in 2010 ~ three QB’s not two.

    “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.”

    You forget so quickly that Ken W. named Matt as “Our Guy” going into OTA’s and preseason when suddenly Ken W. pulled a 180 turn. So before the 180, Matt must’ve already “convinced the coaches” he was the “right guy” given the “Our Guy” statement. The question is…after the “Our Guy” statement what could’ve went so wrong? Don’t put anything past Ken W. to mess up our QB situation and it doesn’t matter that Richard Bartel “isn’t going to give up his roster spot.” Ken W. can simply make another one of his questionable subjective preseason decisions that Lindley’s “Our Guy.”

    “…we know coach Ken Whisenhunt would rather not play rookies too soon…”

    Which means Bobby Massie won’t be there yet on the right side to block for K. Kolb and Levi Brown will still be there on the left side:(

    A quick Lindley jump over R. Bartel would seem like only a blip(not to me) to most Cardinal fans/coaches and given K. Kolb’s inability to stay healthy in the past, this is all too likely…Hence Sports Illustrated’s Peter King report.

    The Houston Texans lost two QB’s in a matter of only two weeks just last year and I’m sure there are other teams that have done the same as well. Are there any other 2011 examples? In Dec. 2010, the Cowboys quickly lost Romo and Jon Kitna to give way for their 3rd stringer Stephen McGee ~ Cardinal fans should be well aware of both circumstances.

    Does Richard Bartel have one of his college WR teammates to throw to? I didn’t think so! The deck is already stacked against R. Bartel. I don’t think the Cardinals top brass would mind giving a very warm welcome and big pat-on-the back to our new QB coach by promoting R. Lindley over R. Bartel.

    “I can’t see that as anything but ridiculous…”

    Hardly, I’ve seen crazier things happen at the Cardinals QB spot in the recent past with Ken W. and 7 million ain’t nothing for most NFL teams including the Cardinals, especially to save face.

  15. By cardsalltheway on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    “Bzzz, we’ll say we just did it with Matt, Derek, AND Max in 2010 ~ three QB’s not two.”
    I see you were speaking of only rookie QB’s, fine. It’s just that we went through at least 5 QB’s in 2010, four of which played during the regular season.

  16. By Rufus on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    That’s too bad for Bartel. He never got the shot that Skelton and Max Hall did and now his days as a Cardinal are numbered.

  17. By Deployed Cards Fan on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    I like the battle for the QB spot on the horizon. And whomever wins the spot, will have done so rightfully, considering they will have had a full offseason work, an extra game in the preseason, great depth at the O-line, and a new toy at the #2 wideout (if Floyd gets it). Either way, both Kolb and Skelton will (hopefully) be better than they were last season. If so, Mr Urban, do you think the #2 QB could possibly be traded?

  18. By Darren Urban on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    Deployed –

    RE: trade

    No I don’t expect that.

  19. By Frustrated on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    Thank you for your effort of keeping us informed during the draft. Do you think that LIndley PS material or that he has a real chance to make the final roster? However it turns out best of luck to him.

  20. By Darren Urban on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    Frustrated —

    RE: Lindley

    No idea. That’s what the offseason is for. As I have said before, not sure he clears waivers to be on PS.

  21. By Sotonic on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    Whatever happens between Lindley and Bartel this season–it’s the number 3 QBs! From some of the comments on here and especially the backing of Bartel you would think he was one of the more important players on the team. Obviously he hasn’t convinced the coaches and they doubt he’ll challenge Skelton for the No. 2 spot, so they brought someone else in to see if he can do that. A challenge for Bartel means a challenge or Skelton means pressure on Kolb–doesn’t that seem like a good thing? To see what we’ve really got in these QBs?

  22. By Eazy E on May 6, 2012 | Reply

    Who knows? I don’t know about midseason, but wow, that is a HUGE statement to make for a Peter King, just not another reporter blabbering. I do believe Kolb will get beaten out by Skelton though. All 3 guys would have to be doing terrible most likely or injured God forbid for Ryan to play though like Darren said including Bartel perhaps.

  23. By johnnybluenose on May 6, 2012 | Reply

    except for pre-season games bartel has hardly played for us yet he seems to have been a solid citizen and good teammate from all accounts. unless there is a serious injury to our top two guys it is pretty much a given that bartel gets released. i hope it happens early enough for him to be picked up by someone else. he has been around the block a few times, that’s for sure. interestingly enough, bartel was worked out by the patriots coming out of college and was stongly considered by them. ultimately the patriots used a sixth round to pick a kid named brady and the rest, as they say, is history. i wonder if bartel ever wonders how his career would have turned out if it was him the patriots had turned to when bledsoe went down that sunday so many years ago. and, a comment about our quarterbacks having to work on their footwork. they have been playing the position since the age of ten and have received all kinds of coaching and practice and games ever since. should they not gotten this yet? this kind of reminds me of tiger woods continually changing his swing and changing coaches. how has that worked for you, tiger? bubba watson has never had a lesson. he lets his talent and golf sense speak for him. i think our quarterbacks should already have mechanics that work for them by this point. i don’t think philip rivers looks great throwing the ball but he seems to get the job done. let’s teach our guys the offence we want to run and get them and our receivers on the same page and worry a bit less on their footwork. in my opinion anyhow. and darren, is “efforting” a real word or are you taking liberties with the language? just wondering.

  24. By Darren Urban on May 6, 2012 | Reply

    Johnnybluenose –

    RE: efforting

    I’m taking liberties. But it fits.

  25. By Mike Ellingboe on May 6, 2012 | Reply


    Considering he’s never come close to winning the starting jobs in QB depleted situations in Cleveland, Washington, and as much as I hate to say it, here, I’d hope he’s isn’t delusional enough to think he was a victim of circumstance to Tom Brady and the Super Bowl history he’s led them on. The thought that comes to my mind is how differently we’d view the Patriots and Belichick if they had gone that route.

    Like most pro QB’s, the mechanical struggles our guys have had are more to do with the offense they’re being asked to run, and where the ball needs to be in the typical 3-4 second time span they have to determine it. Even the most mechanically sound QB looks really awkward when their original read is taken away and the second one isn’t identified in time. On a separate note, not that I care about Golf but I’d be hesitant to favorably compare a guy who just recently won his first Grand Slam event to a guy who is at 14. I agree with the premise I think you’re getting at (paralysis of analysis), but when we’re talking about the complexities of any pro event we’re probably fooling ourselves with that kind of oversimplification.

  26. By cardinal_1113 on May 6, 2012 | Reply

    How are Ryan Lindley and Demarco Sampson going to work into the offense if the Cardinals are heavily relying on Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Larry Fitzgerald and the other young talented receivers like Floyd and Doucet?

  27. By Cobra on May 6, 2012 | Reply

    @ johnnybluenose:

    Nice to see you and cardsalltheway have found spellcheck. 1-The problem is, you give Darren hell about one word he used to express his thought. 2- Most of us don’t want to read your comments as long as a book. 3-Who gives a damn about Tiger Woods. 4-You missed a word on spellcheck. The correct spelling is offense, not offence. I bet your nose is red about now, if not brown, HA.

  28. By Darren Urban on May 7, 2012 | Reply

    Cobra —

    RE: johnnybluenose

    Bluenose is Canadian, which is why he would spell — correctly — offense with a c. Let’s try not to start battles when we don’t need to start them.

  29. By Cobra on May 7, 2012 | Reply

    @ Darren,

    You’re right, my apologies to johnnybluenose.

  30. By Scott H on May 7, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, please…there are two D-words you know I don’t want to hear again. Ever. One is Derek. The other is Donavan. Can we agree to this? One is a very dark chapter that we would all rather forget. The other would have been a very dark chapter that we can only be thankful never happened. These things are best not spoken of anymore.

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