So for lack of realistic options — Orton has the injury, and the Chiefs clearly don’t feel Stanzi is ready to play — the Chiefs are becoming Palko’s team. Though the victory in Chicago wasn’t a work of offensive art, it’s still a win, and that can go a long way in advancing the process.
“It’s tough to play quarterback in this league,” Haley said. “It’s tough when your first couple games are what his have been, his first three, really. What he’s done is he’s gotten better every game and he was playing quarterback when we won a big game and made a couple big plays for us within that game.”
“He’s one of the best locker room guys that you could ever ask for,” said Jets QB Mark Sanchez, who played with Jones as a rookie starter in 2009. “Anytime I hear his name I think about how much of a hard worker he was and how he was so encouraging for a young quarterback. His actions have stuck with me today.
“He’s one of the toughest players I’ve even been around he’s really a competitor. He wanted the ball in his hands and wanted to have an effect on the game. He didn’t mind getting hit and he didn’t mind blocking. He was really a joy to play with.”
“This league is about the players, it really is. You’ve got to have good players. When you see a young guy come in that you feel like had a lot of potential, but somebody didn’t take him first overall, so he was there when we got a chance to take him. We were excited about it. I think he’s excited about being here. But then, that’s all over with. It’s about trying to develop your players, and the quicker that happens, the better, and the better they are, the better. He obviously, here, at least as we’ve seen the last couple games, he’s got a chance to be pretty good it looks like. You can’t start fast and then let off. This is going to be a deal where we’ll know a lot more here as the season goes down the stretch if he’s going to continue to build on what he’s put out there so far because we’ve got four regular season games left and each one is going to be bigger than the last, so he’s got to keep getting better.”
New York may be playing below its preseason expectations, but Ryan said it is prepared to overcome its midseason struggles and make another postseason run after appearing in back-to-back AFC championship games.
“This team has plenty of confidence,” Ryan said. “We don’t lack for confidence, not one bit. We think we can beat any team in this league. Obviously, we’ve lost five games, so that’s not always a fact, but we believe going into every single game that we’re going to win. We’re capable of beating anybody in this league. We just have to put it together.”