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With QB, Streak, One Week At A Time

Posted Nov 26, 2012

While Cardinals monitor Kolb, Lindley to start in New York

Quarterback Ryan Lindley will get another start in New York as the Cardinals try and snap their losing streak.

The quarterback situation, yet again, was center stage for the Cardinals Monday as coach Ken Whisenhunt discussed his plans heading into the next game on the road against the Jets.

The quarterback problems, however, aren’t the sole issue with his team, Whisenhunt emphasized.

“There are a lot of reasons we have not played the way we wanted to play, especially over the last seven games,” Whisenhunt said Monday, after the Cards fell to the Rams to lose a seventh straight game.

“Whenever you have change at any position there is always something that you lose and we have had a lot of turnover,” Whisenhunt added. “We have had a lot of injuries, but nobody cares. They expect you to have success.

“This is about winning. If you don’t win games, it’s tough.”

The injury storyline touched the Cardinals yet again Monday with the news starting center Lyle Sendlein is out for the season after tearing the MCL in his left knee. Rich Ohrnberger will replace him, and will snap the ball – in the short term, at least for the upcoming trip to New York – to rookie Ryan Lindley.

Whisenhunt said he’d keep Lindley as his starting quarterback, because while Kevin Kolb did return to limited practice work last week, his health remains a significant question mark. Whisenhunt would not go so far as to say Kolb will definitely start when healthy.

“Until he’s healthy, I don’t know where we are (at quarterback),” Whisenhunt said.

Lindley showed enough Sunday, Whisenhunt said, to keep him in the lineup and not go back to John Skelton at this point. Even with an interception returned for a touchdown, Lindley’s play in the first half – 17 points, three scoring drives, more than 200 yards of offense – impressed Whisenhunt.

The second half, littered with three interceptions and no scoring production, did not.

Whisenhunt said he and the coaches sat down with Lindley to go over the good and bad. “There was nobody who was more torn up about what happened than he was,” Whisenhunt said. “You can’t give the game away with mistakes like that, but you understand with a young player … they make mistakes and sometimes they aren’t magnified like they are with a quarterback.”

Added running back Beanie Wells, “Yesterday was a learning experience for him. He’s a rookie, and it takes time in this league to find a niche.”

Whisenhunt is hoping Lindley can find that niche sooner rather than later. Not surprisingly, the team could use a win at this point just to relieve the pressure building with a losing streak.

The final five games of the season break down with three road trips in difficult places to play (Seattle and San Francisco, in addition to New York) and home games against a probable playoff team (Chicago) and a preseason pick as a playoff team (Detroit).

“The mentality, the confidence, none of those things are down,” cornerback Patrick Peterson said. “We’re just not winning the one-on-one battles and making enough plays.”

That doesn’t make the results any easier with which to deal. Whisenhunt reiterated that talk of his future “is part of the job.” It doesn’t figure to subside without a win.

“There’s a lot of speculation about everything and I think you have to have thick skin,” he said. “You are constantly analyzing (what you’re doing) and trying to improve.”

Whisenhunt talked in even tones Monday, and even allowed himself a chuckle or two. He continues to praises the work ethic of his team, and continues to believe it will get better, no matter how things look.

“I understand the fans’ frustration and disappointment,” Whisenhunt said. “We’ve set the bar high by having the success we have had, and we aren’t living up to that right now.”

EXTRA POINTS

Whisenhunt said he expects defensive end Calais Campbell to play Sunday against the Jets, and said tight end Todd Heap “is just about to the point where he can play now” coming off his knee injury.

 

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