Romeo Crennel Needs to Give Ricky Stanzi Shot for Struggling Kansas City Chiefs

Andrea Hangst@FBALL_AndreaFeatured Columnist IVDecember 13, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 26: Ricky Stanzi #13 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks to pass against the St. Louis Rams during a preseason game at Arrowhead Stadium  on August 26, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri.  The Rams beat the Chiefs 14-10.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Newly appointed Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel has a decision to make. Should he continue to start quarterback Tyler Palko despite his track record of failure? Should he turn to backup Kyle Orton if his finger has adequately healed? Or should he start 2011 fifth-round pick Ricky Stanzi?

It seems pretty clear that Palko is not the answer. In his four starts, Palko has thrown just two touchdowns to seven interceptions and is averaging under 200 passing yards per game. With the Chiefs' season pretty much lost, it makes sense to turn to another quarterback for the three remaining weeks.

There's little risk, therefore, to starting Stanzi, even if he is a rookie. The Chiefs have little chance of defeating the Green Bay Packers this Sunday no matter who is under center, and it's worth giving the rookie a shot to prove that he's worth retaining on the roster or developing into the team's future starter.

Though Stanzi wasn't believed to have much potential in the NFL right out of the box, the former Iowa Hawkeye impressed in his college career, particularly in his 2010 season. He threw for 3,004 yards and notched 25 touchdowns to just six interceptions and was the third-ranked college passer in the nation that year.

Recently dismissed Chiefs head coach Todd Haley didn't believe Stanzi was ready to start this year, however, it's clear that Haley's decision-making skills weren't all that remarkable.

Giving Stanzi the starting job at this point shouldn't do more to harm the team than Palko has managed and at least provides the team with an energizing shot of new blood that might boost morale around the locker room.

It's as simple as this: The Chiefs know exactly what they're getting if they put Palko out there for another game—interceptions, inaccuracy and embarrassment. At least Stanzi is a relatively unknown quantity who was drafted by the team for a reason.

They might as well give him some playing time, let him see the field against the league's most elite team and determine if he will fit in on a team in transition.


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