Tyler Palko has toiled around the NFL since 2007, but you wouldn’t know it since he had not recorded a stat until last year when he was the Chiefs’ third-string quarterback. After Matt Cassel left last Sunday’s game against the Broncos with an injury to his throwing hand, Palko stepped in behind center and now finds himself starting in his first NFL game against Patriots on Monday Night Football.
While he has yet to see significant time in any meaningful game, there are those around the league who think highly of Palko’s potential, as evidenced by a recent poll conducted throughout the league. Currently, Palko ranks as the 30th best starting quarterback heading into week 11, despite being virtually unknown. The quarterbacks who ranked 31st and 32nd are the Broncos’ Tim Tebow and the Texans’ Matt Leinart, respectively.
“I don’t know who he is, but he can’t stink any worse than Tebow and Leinart,” said Patriots’ QB Tom Brady, who will start his 153rd game against Palko. “I mean, have you watched those guys play? Tebow can’t even make three passes in a game. And Leinart sucks more than Tebow!”
“If I had those three on my team, I’d probably start Palko, make Tebow the fullback, and make Leinart get a cup of coffee for the guy who holds the clipboard,” Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick said.
“Tyler’s shown he can complete more than two passes in a game [nine career completions in four games, 2.25 per game], and Tebow’s shown us that’s good enough to win in this league,” Chiefs’ head coach Todd Haley said. “I don’t know about Matt Leinart – wasn’t he the guy in the hot tub picture with those chicks?”
It should not be a surprise that Palko would rank so high, even when no one has seen him play, compared to his peers Tebow and Leinart. The results were from an unofficial poll of current players, coaches, and executives, and the only prerequisite was having eyes.