You know the feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you finally realize the reality of a situation? Well, thatʼs the feeling I had after watching the first couple Cardinalsʼ possessions of the Hall of Fame game against the Saints on Sunday. It was all the same: the interception, the incompletions, the scrambling, the injury. Hoping someone is who we want them to be and then realizing we were wrong is a very disappointing emotion.
But it is what it is. Time to move on to something positive; the rookies.
There were ten Cardinals who officially did not participate in the preseason game (although one could argue there were a lot more than that), however it was a great opportunity to get a look at a few rookies who are making names for themselves, and deserve mention.
Bobby Massie, the Cardsʼ 4th round right tackle pick from Ole Miss, has been getting a lot of positive attention during training camp, and received extensive play time. Although it was a rough night for him at times, he settled down as the game progressed. Continued preseason action will help him develop his potential into ability and effectiveness as he battles for a starting position.
Safety Justin Bethel, the Cardsʼ first 6th round pick from Presbyterian, displayed exceptional speed, athleticism and explosiveness coming out of nowhere on an awesome tackle as a punt gunner, and later blocking a 54-yard field goal attempt. The hit was money, and having blocked nine kicks during his college career, its seems Bethel is just doing what he does in terms of special teams presence.
The Cardsʼ second 6th round pick QB Ryan Lindley from San Diego State completed 10 for 21 and had 118 passing yards in his first NFL action. Not bad, really. He almost managed to tie things up in the 4th quarter but was picked off. He displayed poise and patience, and managed to connect with his receivers. Accuracy issues plagued him, but thereʼs definite potential.
Undrafted free agent safety Blake Gideon had two interceptions, including a sweet one in the end-zone. Iʼm not sure if he has enough to make a starting roster spot but durability isnʼt an issue for him. During his four years at Texas, he had 52 consecutive starts for the Longhorns including four bowl games.
Despite the Cardinals loss, and the raging QB issue, I like what the rookies are doing. I look forward to their next game against Kansas City to see more of what they are made of.