Palko Handles Assignment … Sunday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

Under the roof of their practice facility Saturday night, the Chiefs held their final practice of preparation week for Monday night’s game against New England.

And as the players walked off the field they knew two things: their starting quarterback Matt Cassel won’t play against the Patriots. But, Tyler Palko has responded to the challenge of replacing Cassel.

“The only difference was the voice calling the plays in the huddle,” said WR Steve Breaston. “I think Tyler handled the whole week just like you thought he would handle it. He was the first one here, the last one to leave and he’s got the game plan down.

“If we have problems it won’t be because Tyler wasn’t prepared.”

Ditto those feelings said offensive coordinator Bill Muir.

“He’s handled it surprisingly well,” Muir said. “There were the normal jitters, but this guy is a gym rat. He’s in here every day and even when he wasn’t starting, he prepared every day like he was starting.

“I know he’s very confident that he can handle it.”

Agreeing with all the above was head coach Todd Haley.

“He’s done a terrific job at practice just as far as the operation and all those things are real good for us,” Haley said. “We go out (to practice) and he just ran the practice. It wasn’t even a blip, it’s take charge and let’s go so that gives everybody a little confidence.”

Palko has tried all week to simply be himself, and act not a bit different than he has in the nine previous weeks. As far as he’s concerned, he hasn’t done anything different, except get the first snaps in practice.

“It’s been status quo around here which is good,” Palko said. “The coaches have worked long hours and put a game plan together and we came in and saw it, met on it, and went out and executed it and like I said the wheels didn’t fall off at practice, the world didn’t end and we had a good practice.”

Just what type of offense will the Chiefs display with Palko at the trigger position? According to Muir, it will be pretty much what they’ve shown all year.

“Any quarterback that you have you try to tailor some things,” said Muir. “But overall we haven’t felt like that now that Tyler is our quarterback, we have to start doing things in a limited way, or dummy down if you will.

“Our package is pretty much intact, he’s confident and we are confident in him that he can handle it.”

Palko has found this week that while he’s preparing for his first NFL start, the time he spends watching tape, practicing, meeting with coaches and teammates and all the football preparation is not anything different than what he did in high school and college.

“You prepare, watch film, get the game plan, study the game plan, practice, do it all over again and then whenever the game is played, Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday, you go out and execute that game plan,” Palko said. “That’s pretty much how I’ve attacked it since high school, into college and now here. It’s just one of those things that you take it day-by-day, and I know it’s not really exciting, but it’s too important to waste a day. You can’t let any day go by or leave any stone unturned because this is a business and we’re all professionals here and we have to win football games.”

Haley has talked to Palko about several items during the last few days and one important topic was reminding his young quarterback that he did not have to go out and try to make a career in a single game.

“Generally when Tyler has been in there it’s been with a lot of guys just trying to get noticed and make the team,” Haley explained. “That’s the mode he’s always had to be in – ‘Notice me, I’ve got to make a play, I’ve got to make the team.’

“I’ve told him ‘You’ve made the team, we believe in you, you don’t have to run around like a crazy man trying to get somebody to notice you, you just need to go out and you need to do what you’ve been doing here working and practicing to understand where the ball needs to go and how it needs to go there and run the team’.”

Haley is convinced that Palko can handle the start, direct the offense and lead the team to a victory, even in the huge underdog status they face in New England. The head coach says it does not require anyone being Superman. Rather, players just need to do their job.

“We need to execute better at all positions and Tyler’s at one of those positions,” Haley said. “I believe that if we do execute better, we’ll be able to make enough plays in the pass game and in the run game to score enough points to win and that’s the key. It really doesn’t matter much else what anybody else believe but what our team believes and that we can go out and play a lot better and have good results.”

That’s all Palko is concerned about.

“There’s no secret to playing quarterback – I have to execute,” Palko said. “I have to execute our offense, that’s what the quarterback is supposed to do whether it’s Tom Brady, Matt Cassel or me. You have to execute and if you don’t execute on offense at the quarterback position then you’re not going to have a chance to win.

11 Responses to “Palko Handles Assignment … Sunday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • November 20, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    Good luck kid! The big “if” will be how our line plays. That will determine how much of a chance for success he has.

  • November 20, 2011  - Mike says:

    You’re absolutely right, John. I get sick when I think of all the linemen available when we picked McCluster and Arenas.

  • November 20, 2011  - el cid says:

    I just do not see how to fix the OL. They are not going to start to play like we hoped just because Cassel is gone – but how do they get fixed next year? Hudson, Mimms might help but the coaching staff have not got them involve in as bad a OL as we have had in some time. Lilja and Weigman should be done, replaced by better, more talented, younger players – are those replacements even on the team? Add QB, TE, and pass rusher and how the heck is Pioli going to fix this for 2012 – don’t think he can?

  • November 20, 2011  - Tim says:

    Of course, this is what you’d expect everyone to say. As for my two cents worth… I predict a dose of heavy pressure all night long, unlike what has seemed to be the KC strategy over many, many years – try to fool an inexperienced (or young) QB instead of putting him on the ground or making him run for his life. That’s why so many young (or inexperienced) QBs seem to have career days against the Chiefs.

  • November 20, 2011  - ED J says:

    Hopefully for him Gaither is protecting his blindside not Richardson all and all its all about how you perform in the game practice does not count

  • November 20, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Have any of you been watching the games today?
    (EddieJ-I know you will DVR them for later;)

    The QB’s some of you wanted are just awful. Flacco, Freeman, and of course Sancheez TNF.

  • November 20, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Add Rivers and Bradford to that group of stinkers.

  • November 20, 2011  - Johnfromwichita says:

    I have complained about the offense line since before the season even started. To anyone that would listen and even to those that wouldn’t.People grew weary of my complaing and so did I. Know what? I hope on Monday night the line shows up, plays great and Palko has a good first game. This season is going to be what it is, for better or for worse. Go Chiefs.

  • November 20, 2011  - ED J says:

    First of all cychief lets set record str8 never said I would replace Sanchez with Cassel. Never been a Sanchez fan but to his credit he’s got alot more playoff wins than Cassel. Next no one on here will argue Freeman is far more talent just happens to be playing on a team that doesn’t have that much talent same with Sam Bradford. As for Rivers I’m Chiefs fan and I hate Chargers but every Chiefs fan knows he’s far and away a better QB. Flacco didn’t he beat Cassel and outplayed him last yr. Also last I checked his team is in first place. Anyways I’m not trying turn this into bash Cassel session just only pointing out the obvious. And if you spent as much time watching the games instead using your time and energy hating on me you would see what most of us already know about our QB situation.

    So outside of addressing this hater on the article I wish Tyler well hope he plays well but at some point I would love to see Ricky get chance to start a few games just so we can find out whether we have QB of future in house or do we need take one in 1st rd

  • November 21, 2011  - Kenny says:

    Management had to have seen something promising about this line if they let waters go. I don’t know what, but maybe this is the fire they needed to get moving.

  • November 21, 2011  - el cid says:

    Waters said it was a mutual decision, whatever that means. For me, Lilja for Waters is not all that great a move. Next year we may get Hudson for Lilja, who knows.

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