Cardinals name Lindley starter vs. Seattle; Thomas should see time




Craig Morgan
154874928CP00062_Detroit_Li: GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 16: Quarterback Ryan Lindley #14 of the Arizona Cardinals against the Detroit Lions during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Lions 38-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ryan Lindley© Getty Images GLENDALE, AZ – DECEMBER 16: Quarterback Ryan Lindley #14 of the Arizona Cardinals against the Detroit Lions during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Lions 38-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ryan LindleyTEMPE, Ariz. — The Cardinals on Monday named their starting quarterback, but the backup will have a role, too, come Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians said Ryan Lindley will start against the Seattle Seahawks with the NFC West title on the line, but rookie backup Logan Thomas also will have a package designed for him.

Arians cited Lindley’s experience as the determining factor when he chose him over Thomas in a relief appearance after Drew Stanton suffered a sprained MCL and Grade II MCL sprain Thursday night against the Rams. Experience was the determining factor again this week.

“I think he’s a little bit more ready right now, having been back in the system for a while,” Arians said. “Logan is going to be a great player. Sometimes you can put guys in position to fail. I want him to succeed when he plays and he didn’t have that opportunity (when he played) in Denver (in Week 5), although he did some good things.”

Lindley was the Cardinals’ sixth-round pick in 2012 and spent two seasons with Arizona before the 2014 fourth-round pick Thomas beat him out for the third QB spot in training camp. The Cardinals re-signed Lindley off the Chargers’ practice squad when starter Carson Palmer suffered a season-ending ACL tear in the team’s first meeting with the Rams on Nov. 9. 

Lindley has appeared in seven career games, completing 93 of 181 passes (51.4 percent) for 782 yards, no TDs and seven interceptions. His career passer rating is 46.8. He wasn’t made available to the media on Monday (the starting QB normally talks on Wednesday), but Arians offered some thoughts on his new starter.

“He’s a very bright guy; he understands this offense; he’s got more than enough arm and he knows what to do with the football,” Arians said. “He knows how to protect himself as far as hots, sights and everything else.

“It was a very tough decision back in (training camp) because I didn’t want to give up on the guy, but I saw potential in Logan, too. I didn’t want to give up on him either and we were solid at one and two.”

Arians said it took Lindley a couple weeks to catch up on the playbook after he returned from San Diego. 

“They were just words,” Arians said. “He knew the concepts so it wasn’t much time.” 

Thomas admitted disappointment in not being named the starter, but he also acknowledged getting a small set of plays helps his preparation.

“It shortens down the playbook a little bit,” he said. “I know what I’ve got to do; I know my set amount of plays that I have and I can perfect them.”

Arians said all the plays both QBs will run are plays already in the playbook. Some may not have been run in games but they were used in practice. 

As for Thomas’ package, Arians admitted that some of it would take advantage of Thomas’ mobility.

“I would say his whole skill set,” Arians said. “He’s got a great arm. He’s also mobile, so yeah, there are some things without giving away the game plan.”

It is still unclear how long the Cardinals will have to employ this two-QB approach. There are varying reports on Stanton’s timetable for return. Arians pegged it between two and four weeks, which would mean Stanton would be out through the end of the regular season.

That timeframe puts enormous weight on Sunday’s game with the Seahawks. If the Cardinals beat Seattle, they clinch the NFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the NFC, which includes a first-round bye in the playoffs (and home field advantage throughout). That would mean their first playoff game would be either Jan. 10 or 11, giving Stanton a full month to heal. 

To shore up the roster, the Cardinals on Monday signed QB Jeff Mathews to the practice squad, making him available for emergency purposes in the event of another injury. Matthews is an undrafted rookie from Cornell who previously spent time with Atlanta and Indianapolis.

When asked what he told Lindley after he named him the starter, Arians said: “Go sling it, baby.”

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10 Responses to “Cardinals name Lindley starter vs. Seattle; Thomas should see time”

  1. Sage says:

    It’s an utter myth that NFL teams want most of all to win. They want many things first, including conformity.

    rex ryan could have been in the playoffs in 2012 if he’d started Tebow in any of the last three games, and he knew that. Aryans is willing to loose chances to advance in the playoffs, too, and loose he will.

  2. Bigfan says:

    I understand and agree however in this instance there is no way Tim could possibly get up to speed in a weeks time to do either himself or the team justice. Wait for the off season and see????

  3. andrea says:

    I think we are two offseasons for Tebow or is it three offseasons?

    Sage is correct – conformity matters more than winning.

    Most of the teams that have lousy records this year are the same teams that have had lousy records the last ten years or so.

    I just feel so sorry for the people who pay actual real money to attend these football games.

  4. Bigfan says:

    2013 Tim was given a shot with the Pats…here we are today with one off season under his belt and the next approaching.

  5. bubbaelvis says:

    I still can’t believe that he can’t even get a look. This isn’t about ability and I know that by simply seeing the QB’s that are getting chances. He may have a shot next season if one of the teams cleans house and gets a new GM and Coach. It doesn’t have to be Urban Meyer or Josh McDaniels although that would help. He just needs someone who is smart enough to know a winner when they see one and bold enough to hand him the ball. The 2015 QB class is not that great once you get past the top 2 or 3. I will not give up until Tim himself says he is done.

    • SB says:

      I couldn’t agree more! You’ve got to be kidding me that Lindley, Charlie Whitehurst, Jake Locker and so many others all are on rosters and got playing time and Tebow didn’t even get a single look. I really thought Arians might bring him in when Palmer first got hurt early in the season. They’d clearly be in much better shape if they had!

      But it’s completely absurd that Tebow is not on a roster and those scrubs are!

      • Brandi says:

        The price of popularity. Any GM can say anything they want. The simple fact is this. Tim Won on a Team that was in the midst of the worst losing period in its history. And everyone saw it.

        The vaunted passing %…he hit every target with the Jets. He had one throw-away, one drop and the rest completions. And everyone saw that as well. They also saw the outcry for him to get the ball and the refusal to give it to him.

        Team after Team have rejected giving him the ball and seeing if the “magic” will happen again. Meanwhile, those smirking GMs have put together Teams with QBs who can’t Win Games and have racked up atrocious records. The Cardinals are an exception. (IMO, the Patriots didn’t “reject” Tim. I said at the time I didn’t see the fit and I couldn’t see any reason other than they like Tim and he has/had a comfort level with the Coaches. But the Brady contract extension made any QB there the catastrophic safety net.)

        But across the NFL there is a large and growing list of GMs who have no good answer why they haven’t given him a shot. The primary reason continues to appear to be, they don’t have “make the fans (and media) happy” in their job descriptions. So fan and media attention is treated far, far, far too often like a nuisance. Until a GM gets fired specifically for “poor Fan and Media Relations”, I’m not sure what’s going to change.

  6. andrea says:

    The Cardinals are going to sink faster than the Titanic did.

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