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Old 11-16-2011, 10:37 PM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Teicher: Chiefs’ Stanzi is a step closer to taking the field as an NFL rookie QB

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/11/16...ep-closer.html

Chiefs’ Stanzi is a step closer to taking the field as an NFL rookie QB
By ADAM TEICHER THE KANSAS CITY STAR

As the first quarterback drafted by the Chiefs in five years, Ricky Stanzi was going to be popular in Kansas City as a rookie regardless of the situation around him.

This week, with the hand injury to Matt Cassel, Stanzi also inherits the popularity that also goes along with being the No. 2 quarterback. He takes it from Tyler Palko, who will start Monday night’s game against the Patriots in New England.

“Now I think Ricky wears that hat,” Palko said. “Ricky’s the most popular guy, and I’m probably going to be the most hated guy.”

Stanzi will remain as the top backup unless Cassel returns this season. While that appears unlikely, it’s possible as long as the Chiefs don’t put him on the injured-reserve list, which they haven’t yet.

The Chiefs might also add a veteran backup, but coach Todd Haley indicated that because the team hasn’t done so yet shows that the Chiefs aren’t afraid to put Stanzi in a game if need be.

“We would have done different things from a roster standpoint if we didn’t feel that way,” Haley said. “We’re all very encouraged with Ricky. He’s the type of guy you want playing quarterback. We’re all encouraged with Ricky Stanzi and the development and progress he’s made.”

Three rookie quarterbacks are starting for their teams this season and, for the most part, they’re showing why it’s difficult for a passer to develop while playing in his first NFL season. None is among the league’s top 12 rated passers and Jacksonville’s Blaine Gabbert is last among the 33 quarterbacks who have made enough throws to qualify.

It’s not easy for Stanzi, either. He received some work in training camp and the preseason, but was inactive for all nine games this season.

“For each situation, it’s different,” Stanzi said. “Some guys know they have to step in and play and be the guy right away. For me, being a third-string guy, I do have a little more time to develop. But situations present themselves, like what’s happening right now. You have to be able to step in and accept the new role.”

Until this week, he was relegated to the scout team in practice, meaning he would serve as the opposing quarterback when the Kansas City defense got in its work.

“It’s a lot of mental work,” Stanzi said. “You have to just be ready at any time.

“Each week you try to get a little bit better at something and just kind of build off that. Once you get your chance, you don’t know when that will be … you just have to be ready to go. That’s your job … as a player is to be able to step in whenever the team needs you and to be able to do what they need you to do.”

But Stanzi is getting more work this week.

“We have to get Tyler Palko ready to go,” Haley said. “That’s the same issue we had with Matt. We still have to give the No. 2 a couple of snaps in each period to make sure that we’re at least giving him a chance to not only see the game plan but feel it a little bit. We’ll stay kind of status quo that way.”

In New England on Monday night, Stanzi will be more than just a sideline bystander.

“My role has kind of been amped up and I have to respond to that,” he said. “When you’re inactive, there’s no chance of playing. Now there is. That’s a different responsibility altogether, a different mentality.

“It’s a little more communication with Tyler and talking with him about what I’m seeing out there and just keeping a little more alert eye on what’s going on.”

The Ricky Stanzi file

•Age: 24   

Height/weight: 6-4/228

How acquired: Fifth round, 2011 draft.

•College: Starred at Iowa, throwing for 3,004 yards, 25 TDs and just six interceptions with 64.1 completion percentage. Career yardage and TD totals rank third in school history.

•High school:
Starred at Lake Catholic High in Mentor, Ohio.

Last edited by Tribal Warfare; 11-17-2011 at 01:35 AM..
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:42 PM   #2
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:07 PM   #3
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Lots of Quality DL men/LBs in the weeks to come. Palko could go down at any minute, bringing in the kid. Clay, Peppers, Suh, Harrison and company...
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:43 PM   #4
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Lots of Quality DL men/LBs in the weeks to come. Palko could go down at any minute, bringing in the kid. Clay, Peppers, Suh, Harrison and company...
Suh?
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:00 AM   #5
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:14 AM   #6
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