The focus in the Arizona Cardinals' training camp is on the battle between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton for the starting quarterback position on the . Lost in the shuffle is the man who will make a start before the end of the season—Ryan Lindley.
Yes, Ryan Lindley will be the starter in Arizona by the end of the season. History dictates it will happen.
In each of the last 10 seasons, the Arizona Cardinals have had at least two quarterbacks get game action. There's definitely a trend of multiple quarterbacks taking snaps under center and I expect Lindley to see some snaps under center this season.
The road to being a starter will be a little more difficult but it is doable. Here's how.
Unless the offensive line starts to show some cohesion quickly, either Kolb or Skelton will get hurt somehow. Kolb isn't good when it comes to rolling out of the pocket and eluding pressure. He's already been slammed hard to the turf in the preseason and it wouldn't be a shock to see it happen again.
After Kolb succumbs to the rush, Skelton is the only obstacle between Lindley and an NFL start.
Last season, Skelton was the beneficiary of some great defensive play in the second half of the season. The defense held the opposition to 20 points or fewer in seven of the last nine games. Each of those games under 20 points was a win for the Cardinals.
When Arizona allowed 22 points or more, they were 0-7 last season. They went 8-1 when allowing 21 points or fewer.
The Arizona defense has a razor-thin margin for error. Judging by how they've looked so far in the preseason, they look like the defense is going to allow 22 or more. It won't be Skelton's fault, but he'll be the fall guy.
Yes, Richard Bartel is still in the mix but is more likely to find himself competing for the third spot during camp. The Cardinal defense won't be forgiving but with 5-11 seeming more plausible to Arizona, a third quarterback named Ryan Lindley gets the start late in the season.