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Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
CINCINNATI -- The quarterback who kept Joe Flacco off the field in college is not surprised his former backup and teammate developed into the first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens.
Former University of Pittsburgh quarterback Tyler Palko, speaking after New Orleans' 13-0 victory over the Bengals Saturday, said his former backup always had potential. But in the time they spent together in Pittsburgh, Flacco simply lacked experience.
"He's a good quarterback," Palko said of Flacco. "He has a strong arm and we were battling when he was young. But he's progressed really well."
The irony is Palko went undrafted in 2007 and is currently battling for a roster spot in New Orleans. Flacco, meanwhile, is the franchise signal caller of the future in Baltimore.
Both went on to have good collegiate careers. Palko was a three-year starter for the Panthers, while Flacco had two great years after transferring to the University of Delaware.
The pair were "good friends" while at Pitt, according to Palko, but gradually lost touch after Flacco's transfer. Palko indicated Flacco grew increasingly frustrated with his inability to play for the Panthers and in the end made the right move.
"It's hard to say what he would've looked like at Pitt...but I couldn't be more happy for Joe and what happened," Palko said. "He transferred and became a first-round draft pick. So that was a good job on his part to overcome some obstacles and get to where he wants to be."