Seven consecutive losses are the product of complete uncertainty at the quarterback position, where Ryan Lindley will make his third straight start Sunday against the Jets. Coach Ken Whisenhunt insists the untested rookie gives Arizona the best chance to win today.
"That's what our focus is," Whisenhunt told KTAR-FM in Phoenix, via SportsRadioInterviews.com.
"We're trying to win now and we're doing everything we can to win games. And when you talk about Ryan and where he is, you're talking about what you've seen of him in the limited amount of times that we've seen him play -- what he's done in practice, how he handled himself in preseason, how he handled himself the week before in the game against Atlanta. Thereâs a lot of things that go into that."
Lindley has the chips stacked against him. Arizona's O-line has left a stream of injured signal-callers all over the field. The Cardinals have struggled to establish the run, and ace receiver Larry Fitzgerald can't do it alone. Isolating the play of the quarterback, NFL Films guru Greg Cosell sees areas of concern in Lindley's early work.
"Lindley's issues are going to be two things as he progresses," Cosell said on Thursday's "NFL Matchup Podcast." "We know he's scattershot with his accuracy. That's No. 1. If that doesn't improve, he will never be anything more than an average player. And No. 2, is progression reading. Now, that can be learned -- and he's way too early, he's not at that point yet -- but at some point you have to see progress in that, and, we'll see, because that's an issue right now."
Cosell praised how the "ball comes out really well" on Lindley's throws, but we've also seen an array of terrible decisions over the past few weeks. It's too early to make any concrete observations on a newbie passer in a fractured offense, but Whisenhunt's declarations about winning "now" are beginning to fall on deaf ears in the desert.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.