The Arizona Cardinals recently claimed Brian Hoyer off of waivers after the fourth-year quarterback was sent packing by the Pittsburgh Steelers, who no longer required his services as an emergency backup.
Despite his promise as a young passer who spent the first three years of his career learning behind Tom Brady, it’s unlikely that Hoyer will alleviate any of the passing problems that have doomed the Cardinals throughout the 2012 season.
Since Kevin Kolb went down in Week 5, the Cardinals have lost nine straight games, including a 58-0 shellacking courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks this past weekend. Their struggles have been a direct result of the inept passing of quarterbacks John Skelton and Ryan Lindley, who have combined for two touchdowns and 14 interceptions since Kolb was sidelined.
Skelton, who many believed would win the starting spot heading into the season opener, has looked lethargic at best this season. He’s completed only 54.2 percent of his passes for 1,132 yards, two touchdowns and nine interceptions. His 55.4 passer rating is a direct result of his inaccuracy and inability to remain confident in the pocket, which have handcuffed any sort of potential that he appeared to have.
As for Lindley, a rookie sixth-round pick out of San Diego State, things haven’t been much better. In his four appearances (two starts), the youngster has completed only 48.3 percent of his passes for 507 yards and five interceptions. His wild inaccuracy has led to a 42.6 passer rating and a glaring zero in the touchdowns column. It is, however, hard to expect immediate results from a raw rookie quarterback who many believed needed a couple seasons before he was ready to contribute.
Even with Hoyer now in the mix, don’t expect things to get much better for the ailing Cardinals. Although anything would be better than Skelton and Lindley at this point, Hoyer is nothing more than a stopgap quarterback. If the Cardinals have any hope of returning to relevance, they need to find a legitimate starting passer who can hold down the fort for more than a year or two. Franchise quarterbacks are a must for teams looking to be contenders in today’s NFL.
Seeing as Hoyer was claimed on Sunday, it’s unlikely that he’ll be ready to play in Arizona’s Week 15 matchup against the Detroit Lions. At the earliest, Hoyer will be up to speed in time for Week 16, during which time there’s a good possibility that he could play assuming Skelton and Lindley continue to flounder this upcoming weekend.
Regardless of who ends up as the starter when the 2012 campaign comes to a close, the Cardinals must find an alternative route at quarterback moving forward. Even Hoyer doesn’t have the skills to fix their laundry list of shortcomings. The blocking could use a major upgrade, too, but that’s a whole different story.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens when (or if) Hoyer finally hits the field for the Cardinals. Still, even if he outplays Skelton and Lindley – which shouldn’t be too hard – Arizona needs to add a new quarterback this offseason.
Plain and simple: Hoyer isn’t the answer.