San Diego’s addition of Ryan Lindley, former quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals, appears to be a natural fit. Lindley attended San Diego State University, has starting experience in the NFL and gives the Chargers the young quarterback with a high ceiling they were looking for in Brad Sorensen. At 25-years old, the newest Charger can take time to learn the offense, but also has the capability to step in and play if the injury bug bites the Chargers.
The Cardinals also made some noise following final cuts with the addition of former Charger, Thomas Keiser. Keiser was one of the last cuts by San Diego, and has had a relatively productive career. The former undrafted free agent had 4.5 sacks last season for the Chargers, and having played in the 3-4 scheme employed by San Diego, he was a fit in Arizona. The Cardinals will be without Daryl Washington, Karlos Dansby, and Darnell Dockett from their starting front seven of a year ago. Another starter — John Abraham — is facing DUI chargers and is in line to be suspended. With this lack of depth in the defensive front, Keiser provides versatility to the Arizona defense.
While both moves make sense, some are speculating ulterior motives as reason for the moves. The Cardinals and Chargers face off in week 1, and each team could benefit from information provided by their newly acquired players. Bruce Arians was asked about this claim and said Lindley would be able to provide much more information than Keiser — essentially shooting down this rumor. However, if the teams are trying to gain an edge, it should be advantage Chargers. Lindley knows all of the plays in Arians’s playbook, and also has faced the Cards defense every day in practice for the past few years. He will know a significant amount about the schemes on both sides of the ball. On the other hand, Keiser was primarily responsible for rushing the passer and likely doesn’t know the intricacies of the San Diego offense.
The Lindley signing was clearly due to his experience, youth, and ability to help the Chargers, but it doesn’t hurt that he knows Arizona schematically. It will be interesting to see if the Bolts have a head start on the Cardinals game plan this week. The Chargers will take any help they can get in order to steal a valuable road win to open the season.