FOXBOROUGH –With quarterback Matt Cassel out with a hand injury, the New England Patriots will turn their attention to back up Tyler Palko.
Palko has played in four games in the NFL but has never started. In his limited snaps, the Patriots have some film to prepare for the 28-year old quarterback.
Here are a few comments from Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio, the Patriots director of player personnel, from earlier today:
Belichick on preparing for Palko: “He’s a player we have to do some work on and spend more time watching him. We of course haven’t seen a lot of him in regular season game film. We can go back to preseason. I’d say an athletic player, quick release, can move around back there in the pocket, left-handed, and sees the field pretty well. I think they have a lot of confidence in him.
“He played ahead of [Ricky] Stanzi this year in preseason and I know Stanzi is a guy they drafted. There’s a lot to like about him too, so we’ll have to be ready for both those guys. Obviously he played well enough to move into that second spot. Again, we all know from the 2008 season here and many other examples of teams we played against. Everybody wrote us off in 2008 when we lost Tom [Brady] and Matt [Cassel] led us to 11 wins. We’re playing against a football team, not just one player.
“We know that whoever they have in there, whether it’s Palko, Stanzi or whoever it is, that we’re going to have to play a good football team. Again, this is a team that won their division last year. They have good coaches, they’re well coached, they’re disciplined [and] they have good depth.”
Caserio on assessing Palko out of college: “… He was a real productive player at Pittsburgh and actually, he and [Joe] Flacco, their careers sort of crossed paths at Pittsburgh and Flacco ended up transferring to Delaware – not exactly sure what the circumstances where, but Palko stayed and Flacco went to Delaware.
“Tyler was a productive player. He’s kind of been patient and waited for his opportunity. He’s been in the league since 2007 and he’s been with a few different teams. He’s been with New Orleans, he had a short stint with Arizona during the offseason and he’s been with Kansas City. There’s one other team that he was with along the way that kind of escapes me right now. But, he’s a smart player, really competitive, football was really important to him coming out. He was kind of a football junkie, football nerd. He’s stuck around and teams have kept him around. He played well in the preseason for them and I think he completed over 60 percent of his passes in preseason. He runs the offense, accurate with the football, can get rid of it [and] has an understanding of what they’re trying to do. I think they would expect him to come in and not really change too much with what they did with Matt [Cassel]. He’s obviously left handed, there’s a couple of things that are different, but I think they have a lot of confidence in both he and [Ricky] Stanzi that they’re going to be able to both run their offense effectively because he’s shown the ability to do that at least in the preseason and towards the end of the game last week when he was inserted into the lineup. ”