Steelers vs. Chiefs: Tyler Palko Proves Unworthy of Chiefs' Backup Gig in Loss

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer INovember 28, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 27:  Linebacker Jason Worilds #93 of the Pittsburgh Steelers sacks quarterback Tyler Palko #4 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half on November 27, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  Pittsburgh defeated Kansas City 13-9.  (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs second-year quarterback Tyler Palko has had only two career starts in the NFL, but when you throw six interceptions and zero touchdowns in those two starts, it's time to start looking in a different direction.

The Chiefs opted not to start veteran Kyle Orton after recently acquiring him, which is understandable given he still needs to assimilate to the team.

But after Palko's latest performances, the Chiefs need to drop him in the depth chart and promote rookie Ricky Stanzi.

Stanzi wasn't the most awe-inspiring quarterback coming into the 2011 NFL draft, but he also was drafted, and Palko is proving there's a reason why he was undrafted.

Sooner or later, the Chiefs are going to have to hand the reins over to a youngster and Stanzi needs to be given a look before they throw him to the wolves.

Keep in mind, Stanzi had a nice final season with the Iowa Hawkeyes before heading over to the NFL, throwing 25 touchdowns to six interceptions and leading the Hawkeyes to the Insight Bowl.

He may have been drafted in the fifth round of the NFL draft, but there is potential there. After all, we've seen time and time again that there are some hidden gems in the later rounds of drafts.

By keeping Palko No. 2 on the depth chart, you only hurt your team in the long run. We all know Palko isn't fit to be a starting NFL quarterback now, and he probably never will be.

In Stanzi's case, however, there is still room to see what he can do. And there's no longer assurance that starting quarterback Matt Cassel will be a franchise player (Cassel is a roller coaster of a player).

Obviously, Stanzi has a ways to go before he's fit for a starting gig, but Palko has already proven he's not ready for one. You may as well speed up the rookie's development by giving him more reps.

There is a great deal of uncertainty in the Chiefs' future, but they can eliminate that uncertainty at the quarterback position by finding out just what kind of player Stanzi is, and if he is capable of supplanting Cassel down the line.

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