“Looking at that team in 2008, Carr was a rookie, Flowers was a rookie – I mean, there were a lot of young people there that have developed and grown into amongst the best players in the league,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said earlier this week.
Most of the names listed above currently makeup Kansas City’s core group of players, but by all accounts the Chiefs overachieved against the Patriots in 2008.
All of that will change Monday night when Palko receives his first career start on professional football’s largest stage.
“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,” Palko said. “You set a goal and my goal was to be a starter in the NFL and I’m getting my opportunity right now.”
Take a trip on Palko’s path to becoming an NFL starter. It’s a wild ride.
“I think that’s what you work hard for. I don’t think you can ever prepare yourself for this exactly but I think the big thing is just mentally preparing and they say mental reps are important. This is where you really are tested, if you’re paying attention or not when Matt was in and asking questions and just being involved with him. Like I told you before, that’s why Matt’s been so helpful to me since I’ve been here and we’ve had a great relationship as far as being able to talk about things on the sideline. Day one is under our belts and the wheels didn’t falls off. We finished practice on a high note and we have a couple more this week to get ready.”
“I think that’s a question that you really have to ask Scott. I’m not there, so I really can’t tell you what he took from here. I really don’t know the answer to that question, but I can tell you that looking at the last time we played the Kansas City Chiefs – which was in 2008 on opening day – and where that team is now relative to where it was back then, I think that they are a much, much better football team.”
Belichick also went on to say that Tamba Hali was “one of the best pass rushers in the league” and that Derrick Johnson was “one of the best inside linebackers that we’ve seen all year.”
The Houston Texans lost quarterback Matt Schaub to a season-ending injury and the Kansas City Chiefs likely lost quarterback Matt Cassel for the remainder of the season one month after the NFL’s trade deadline. Due to the timing of those injuries and the trade deadline, Houston must lean on Matt Leinart and Kansas City must turn to Tyler Palko.
In a sport designed to be fair, this is an unfair part that is hard to get around. A simple arbitrary date dictated that Oakland could acquire an upgrade but that Houston and Kansas City cannot.