For Arizona Cardinals QB Ryan Lindley, difference between 2012 and now is ‘night and day’

Dec 17, 2014, 11:52 PM | Updated: 11:52 pm
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TEMPE, Ariz. — Most Arizona Cardinals fans remember Ryan Lindley from his disastrous stint as a starter in 2012.

Called on by then-coach Ken Whisenhunt to replace an ineffective John Skelton, Lindley appeared in six games – with four starts – and completed 89-of-171 passes for 752 yards with zero touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was also sacked 12 times.

It is absolutely fair to say that Lindley, a sixth-round pick that previous April out of San Diego State, should not have been leading an NFL team that season.

At the same time, it would be unfair to assume that Lindley, now 24, has not improved as a passer since then.

“It’s night and day,” he said of the difference between him now compared to 2012. “The amount I’ve learned, and not only have I grown as a person in two years, but from these guys, from B.A., from Carson (Palmer), from Drew (Stanton), I’m a totally different person and totally different player from that point.”

The Cardinals, who will turn to Lindley this Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks and their top-ranked defense, are hoping so. Or, rather, they believe so.

There’s really no choice in the matter.

Lindley got the nod in last week’s 12-6 win over the St. Louis Rams, completing 4-of-10 passes for 30 yards in the process. It was not an effort that would ‘wow’ anyone, but at the same time, he did not come in and cost the Cardinals the game. Heading into a matchup with Seattle that could very well determine who wins the NFC West and thus, homefield advantage in the playoffs, Lindley’s responsibility will not change much.

“Just be himself,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said of what Lindley will need to do Sunday. “Just take the game plan and execute it. Throw it accurately and don’t try to be a hero and force things. But, don’t play scared; play smart.”

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For Arizona Cardinals QB Ryan Lindley, difference between 2012 and now is ‘night and day’