Cardinals know QB Lindley tipping off Chargers
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Cardinals are downplaying it, but there’s no doubt that the San Diego Chargers have a practice squad quarterback with a whole lot of information about Arizona coach Bruce Arians’ team.
After all, Ryan Lindley spent all of last season and this preseason with the Cardinals.
Arizona cut Lindley a week ago, and the Chargers picked up the ex-San Diego State quarterback as a practice squad addition over the weekend.
The Cardinals are home against San Diego in their season opener next Monday night, and Arians is well aware that Lindley can provide some knowledge of the coach’s system. Lindley had the playbook for the last 18 months.
Arizona got an ex-Charger, too. Outside linebacker Thomas Keiser signed with the Cardinals after San Diego released him last week.
It’s hardly a fair exchange, as far as information goes.
“I think Ryan probably knows a whole lot more about both sides of the ball than Tom does,” Arians said. “He (Keiser) knows how to rush the passer. I don’t know what he’s going to tell me about Philip’s (Rivers) offense, but Ryan knows a lot about both sides of the ball.”
Arians, speaking after the Cardinals practiced Tuesday following four days off, said there are things that can be altered to minimize the impact of Lindley’s knowledge.
“We always change things anytime there’s a known thing,” the coach said, “when somebody has something or somebody coached with somebody before, then you change some things.”
Quarterback Carson Palmer, however, said “we’re not going to change a whole lot.”
“We do a lot,” Palmer said, “so it’s tough to get a bead on exactly what we are trying to do in a certain formation or a certain personnel group.”
Still, Palmer acknowledged, “they might have a bead on a thing here or there.”
“But we have to stick with our rules,” he said, “and stick with what we have been doing and what we have been working on and we will be fine.”
Keiser, who had 4½ sacks for the Chargers last season, said he doesn’t know why he fell out of favor in San Diego.
“I wish I knew,” he said. “Coming into the offseason with San Diego I thought I earned the right to compete for a certain job in the sub pass-rush package. So that was kind of my thought I went in with. But when I showed up I was third- or fourth-string on everything as soon as I walked in the doors. So I knew from that point I wasn’t really in a position where they were counting on me to be around.”
Keiser was one of two defensive players picked up by the Cardinals after teams’ roster cuts.
Arizona quickly nabbed defensive lineman Tommy Kelly after he was released by New England. Kelly adds depth along a line that will be without defensive tackle Darnell Dockett for the season.
“I know what I can do on the field,” Kelly said. “I’m just trying to learn the defense as quickly I can. ”
Arians announced the team captains as voted on by the players: offense-Palmer, defense-Calais Campbell, and special teams-punter Dave Zastudil and former Pro Bowl special teamer Lorenzo Alexander.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Palmer said, “as good of an honor as you can get in this game, being elected by your teammates and your peers. I don’t take it lightly. I understand what it entails.”
The Cardinals and Chargers are in the unusual position of playing each other twice over a 12-day span. The Chargers beat Arizona 12-9 in the teams’ preseason finale in San Diego last Thursday night. But that contest was played without any game planning by either squad. The game was played by reserves, many of whom didn’t survive the roster cuts.
“There was nothing to be found about schemes in that game,” Arians said. “It was just personnel — their young guys against our young guys — and it was not a pretty sight.”
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