Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 5/11/12
TEMPE, Ariz. -- After just one day of rookie mini-camp, Cardinals quarterbacks coach John McNulty cant say how his team's sixth-round draft pick, quarterback Ryan Lindley, might project in the NFL. He doesn't know if Lindley will adjust to the speed of the pro game. He doesn't know if the San Diego State product will pick up the offense well enough. And he can't predict whether Lindley will ever play a down in the NFL. But he does know one thing. "The one thing you know for sure is the guy can throw a mile," McNulty said. Lindley's "big arm," as McNulty called it, figures to make the Cardinals' quarterback situation interesting this summer, even if it is just the backup situation. No, Lindley won't be challenging Kevin Kolb for a place under center. Sports Illustrated's Peter King predicted shortly after the draft that Lindley would get a shot at starting by midseason. That's probably a presumption that Kolb can't remain healthy and backup John Skelton can't get the job done. But Lindley has to make the roster first. The 6-foot-3, 232-pound signal caller probably won't even challenge Skelton in camp for the backup job, though McNulty wouldn't rule anything out. It might be most realistic to imagine Lindley battling Rich Bartel for the third quarterback spot on the roster, but there is sufficient upside to suggest Lindley could exceed expectations. "He's a big guy with a big arm," McNulty said. "He's not intimidated by anything out here. You can just tell, with the experience he has and his demeanor, he doesn't get too off-kilter one way or the other. He's been through a lot of different things and seen a lot of different things in games." At San Diego State, Lindley started a school-record 49 straight games. To boot, those starts came in a pro-style offense. Lindley would have to do a lot in camp to trump Skelton's NFL experience, but if he can and Kolb struggles to stay healthy once again, the idea that Lindley could start a game this season starts to seem more plausible. But that's looking a ways ahead. Right now, Lindley is just trying to learn the offense and work on his biggest issue: accuracy. In college, Lindley's best completion percentage was 57.7, which came in his junior season. The problem, Lindley says, lies primarily in his footwork. "Especially at quarterback, you've got to just get your feet comfortable with the reads," Lindley said. "For me, just being on time and on rhythm is going to help me out a lot once we getting going a little more (in camp)." McNulty said Lindley seemed to grasp the Cardinals' offense well, at least for a player on his first day of running an offense thrown at him the night before. Lindley will truly be tested once the other quarterbacks are in the mix later in the month. As for the pace of things, Lindley said he had no problem getting comfortable Friday thanks to the hard and fast practice style he got used to at SDSU. And as for learning the offense, Lindley again credited SDSU and its pro-style offense, saying he mostly just needs to learn the new terminology and plays. What might Lindley have to do to earn a spot on the roster? It's a little hard to tell this early, but McNulty has a few ideas. "It's just a matter of seeing how fast he can pick our system up, watching how well he operates in the pocket," McNulty said. "I just think he has to come out with his same demeanor. He's got the talent to do it. Just take a deep breath and run the plays and he'll be fine." Lindley knows he has a lot to prove over the next month or so, but he's not worried about it. He appears confident in his ability and determined to make the most of every opportunity he gets to display his potential. If nothing else, his presence should offer a little intrigue to the quarterback situation in camp -- if not an extra competitive push to the field. "When camp comes and I get in the mix with the other three guys, you've just got to take the reps you get and go with it," Lindley said. "They're going to be limited. Four guys in camp, you're not going to be able to get everybody a ton of reps. Especially if you're a guy just coming in, you have to take advantage of whatever you get. "Right now I've just got to play and be who I am. I'm going to go out, I'm going to work hard, I'm going to do the best I can and let everything fall from there."
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