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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Nov 29, 2012 - 3:17 pm

ESPN's Jaworski says Lindley 'has tremendous upside'

ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski saw nothing from Ryan Lindley's first career NFL start to deter him from believing the signal caller will be a good player down the road.

"I thought [his performance] was uneven, but I still believe, from what I saw on the tape, he has a very good skill set," Jaworski told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Thursday.

Jaworski noted the performance of the Arizona offensive line, which yielded just two sacks to the Rams and allowed Lindley to showcase the arm strength and velocity he's known for.

"Clearly mistakes were made," he admitted, before saying he felt the first interception should have been negated by an offsides penalty. "But he was baited on the interception; it's a trap defense which a lot of teams deploy in the NFL."

Lindley was picked off four times in the game, with two of the interceptions being returned for touchdowns. It was a performance that seemed fitting of someone who was taken in the sixth round of the NFL Draft just seven months ago, but then again, it was not as if the former San Diego State signal caller was a complete disaster.

"When I look at the full body of work, his poise in the pocket, some really good throws," Jaworski said. "Of course there were some very inaccurate throws, but with a young quarterback you're going to have to live with this."

Part of that is the struggles to read defenses and make plays when the first and second options are taken away.

That will come in time, as Jaworski said many of the mistakes he saw were correctable, including getting on the same page with the players he's throwing the ball to.

"There was a clear lack of communication and route adjustments when you look at the quarterback and the wide receivers," Jaworski said. "They have to see the field through the same eyes."

The analyst said those issues helped to confuse Lindley, which tends to happen with a young quarterback.

"You've got to correct those mistakes," he said.

Once those wrinkles get ironed out, Jaworski is confident Lindley can become a very good NFL quarterback. And that process will be hastened by the rookie getting playing time, which the analyst believes is the right thing to do at this point in the season.

"I think the guy has tremendous upside," he said. "You had to take your shot and see what you've got. He made some mistakes, no question.

"But I think the guy's got a big upside, I really do."

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