Kim Klement/US Presswire
Chiefs QB Tyler Palko.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Chiefs head coach Todd Haley and quarterback Tyler Palko conducted conference calls with the New England media Wednesday. Here's a handful of highlights:
1. Palko ready for the national spotlight: Palko's football journey to starting quarterback on Monday night has been a wild one, including stops in the UFL and CFL, getting cut by the likes of the California Redwoods. He's unfazed by his own story: "What is it, my fifth year? So five years I guess," he said when asked how long he's been waiting for the opportunity to start. "I don’t know. I guess it’s been a long time coming, but I guess when you’re really entrenched in it, you really don’t think about how long it is. You set a goal and my goal was to be a starter in the NFL and I’m getting my opportunity right now. When you set a goal, I guess the way I was raised, you don’t really worry about it -- just focus on the process and trying to get better every day. That’s really the only thing I’ve tried to focus on. I’m not saying it’s been easy, because it hasn’t, but if it’s something that you want to do and you want it bad enough, then you’re going to do anything you can to stick around."
2. Injured Chiefs hoping for Patriots-like depth: Asked about what the potential loss of cornerback Devin McCourty means for the Patriots, Haley said: "I think he’s a really good player. He plays physical [and] tough. Like I’ve said, we’ve had our own share of injuries as New England has. Coach [Bill] Belichick is one of the greats for a reason and one of the key things to being a great coach in this league -- at any level really -- is to develop your players that aren’t necessarily front-line players, but then are ready to play when they need to. I don’t have any doubt that Coach and his staff will have that done. To me, it’s hard for me to look and say we have a huge advantage in any area really."
3. Sunshine and rainbows for Palko?: If he handles pressure Monday night like he did the blitz of questions about his background on Wednesday, Palko should do just fine. When his positive outlook was noted to close out the conference call, he said: "It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I’m not saying I’ve never had a bad day. But as you get older and you go through things and you experience life I think you just learn how to handle situations differently. I’m sure that I’ll handle things differently in five years from now and look back on how I handled certain situations and learn from them. Everything is a work in progress. Again, I don’t want to sound like a quote book, but you just try to take everything day-by-day. You’re not guaranteed anything today, you have to earn everything you get. That’s pretty much how I attack everything, with a tough mentality of going at it with as much as you can and getting up the next day and doing the same thing over again. It’s just the way I was raised, I guess, and the way I try to look at it."
4. Haley talks about Cassel's toughness: After Patriots quarterback Tom Brady suggested former teammate Cassel was one of the toughest guys he knows, Haley backed that up: "He’s a tough, tough guy and has played through a lot of aches and pains here since we’ve been together. I think he’s most devastated that he’s not going to be able to play period, for our team. He’s such a big part of our team and the guys count on him and he’s a prideful, prideful, competitive guy that wants to play every week and he’s proven that it’s been impossible to get him out of the lineup barring maybe an organ removal or a couple of those things. It’s disappointing to him and I know we’ve got high goals and expectations for this year and he’ll just have to be on the sidelines rooting his teammates on, which I know that he will."