Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley completed 31-of-52 passes for 312 yards and four interceptions in his first NFL start Sunday, which came in a 31-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams.
Two of the interceptions were returned for touchdowns, and while there were some positive moments, Lindley very much showed he is a work-in-progress as far as being ready to lead an NFL team.
However, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said Monday if Kevin Kolb is unable to return from his injury Sunday, the former San Diego State signal caller will once again get the nod.
“We stay with Ryan,” the coach said. “Let’s start the thing off by saying you can’t have those interceptions, but in the first half I thought that he did a really nice job.
“He moved in the pocket, was decisive, managed it, made some good throws.”
Whisenhunt pointed to the team’s three scoring drives in the first 30 minutes of football, which saw the Cardinals take a 17-14 lead into the intermission.
“I felt that we did a lot of good things,” he said.
Things went south in the second half, though, as the Rams dialed up the pressure and made Lindley try to beat them with his arm.
That he couldn’t Sunday is understandable, and the coach said no one was more upset about the mistakes than the quarterback himself.
“One of the things that you have to learn about a quarterback is that when you get into those heat of the moment type things how you’ve got to respond,” Whisenhunt said.
The mistakes, the coach added, are just part of the growing pains, and it is important to see what Lindley does in a real game compared to just working in practice.
“You understand with a young player,” he said. “Look, we’ve got a lot of young players that are playing. They make mistakes.
“Sometimes they’re not magnified like they are with the quarterback because he’s got the ball, and that’s what he’s got to understand.”