Nov 21, 2011; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) greets Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Ricky Stanzi (13) after the game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 34-3. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

Kansas City Chiefs: Where’s Ricky?

Where’s Ricky Stanzi?

It’s like the picture game, “Where’s Waldo?”

The fans know he’s there… but… we. don’t. see. him!

Feud or no feud between Scott Pioli and Todd Haley last season, if I’m the GM of the Kansas City Chiefs I would have demanded that one of my head coaches (Haley or Crennel) make sure that he inserts Ricky Stanzi into some games so we can see what he has.

Division race or not.

So, what‘s the big idea? The draft is around the corner and now, rumor has it, the Chiefs are thinking of picking up another QB. From a business stand point, that seems like lunacy because no one (not the public anyway) understands Stanzi’s value to the organization… yet.

I’m a Ricky Stanzi fan. Let’s make that clear. Do I think he’s the next Joe Montana? No. However, I believe he has the potential to become a top tier QB in the NFL. What do I base that on? Not much really. Mostly because they haven’t given us much.

However… I have a feeling.

I believe in Ricky Stanzi.

In the pre-season, each time Stanzi took the field, you could see he had the quickness to deal with the total lack of protection, which happened on most every play but not enough experience or knowledge to make it work when things did break down. In other words, I could see his potential. Or, was it just wishful thinking?

Here’s a little 21 second, one-play, video from the preseason that I could watch all day. The difference is that he does have time to throw on this play.

Notice the accuracy? You’ve heard the saying before: accuracy cannot be taught. I’m not sure that’s completely true but many who work with quarterbacks in the league believe you have it or you don’t.

I believe Stanzi is an accurate passer.

What I can’t find is: support for Ricky Stanzi.

Coming out of college, Tim Tebow was considered anything but a lock to go in the first round. Only the ego-maniacal rantings of a coach like Josh McDaniels could be so foolish as to risk a first rounder on him and that’s exactly what he did. But, does anyone believe Tebow was a better QB than Stanzi coming out of college? I guess… a lot of people. However, if Ricky Stanzi had ¾ of  season to test his abilities like Tim Tebow had last year, I believe we’d be looking at the Chiefs QB of the future right now, ready to go in year two.

Why a QB like Tebow garners so much support when a QB like Stanzi get none is a mystery to me. Perhaps what Stanzi needs is a religious following like Tebow has (I’ve seen Ricky kneel and point to the heavens after passing for a TD. Doesn’t that count for anything?).

He already is a legend slayer. Did you know that Ricky Stanzi beat Joe Paterno of Penn State all three times he faced him and that he’s the only quarterback to ever do that. Hmm… maybe that’s why things went so horribly wrong for State the next year. Probably not.

You know, Ricky Stanzi is a Catholic, right? Perhaps we could appeal to the Pope to get him on the field. Never mind, I guess nothing exceeds the power of Tebow.

In case you had forgotten, or maybe you never knew, Ricky Stanzi is 6’4″ and goes 230 lbs. His three years as a starter for the Iowa Hawkeyes gives him three years of experience in a pro style offense under Kirk Ferentz who coached under Bill Belichick (with the Browns, at the same time Pioli was there). So, he has a good pedigree.

Stanzi was not only a Hawkeye team captain, he was a “permanent” team captain (don’t ask me what that means). He’s a natural leader on and off the field.

Last April, Peter Schrager of Fox Sports, wrote a piece called, “Is Ricky Stanzi Being Overlooked?” He said,

Beyond being a respected leader and winner during his time in Iowa City, Stanzi showed steady and dramatic improvement over the course of his three years as the Hawkeyes’ starter, too. He cut down on the interceptions substantially, going from 15 in 2009 to just six in 2010. Meanwhile, he threw eight more touchdown passes, as well. Perhaps most importantly, though, is that he improved his completion percentage from 56 percent to 64 percent. He did all this in a very pro-style offense.

I know comparing college ball and pro ball isn’t fair but Matt Cassel has never completed over 60 percent of his passes while with the Chiefs. Stanzi’s passer efficiency rating in 2010 was 157.63.

I believe Stanzi is an accurate passer.

Imagine what he could do if he was throwing to the same receivers for several years in a row.

When Stanzi was a junior he brought the Hawkeyes back against Michigan State. At Michigan State. Here’s a peek at that if you like. (5:53)

Then there’s the Immaculate Comeback against Indiana after throwing 4 INTs. So nice. (5:43)

I believe Stanzi can bring a team from behind.

In one of my recent posts I attempted to create a mock draft of the first round for this year’s crop of prospects. In the process, one of my realizations was that… if the right coach and the right team select the right player at the right time… great things can happen. The example I used in my post was: what if Joe Montana was selected by the Bears instead of the 49ers? If the Chiefs are going to find out if Ricky Stanzi is going to be a player, they must get him on the field. And they need to get him on the field with the starting unit.

Here’s someone who believed in Stanzi during the 2011 draft season:

Personally, during the 2011 draft season I was looking at Stanzi repeatedly and hoping the Chiefs would take him. I was hoping that would happen in the second or third round. So, I was shocked that the Chiefs were able to get Stanzi in the fifth round with the 135th pick.

Number 135. Wow.

If you haven’t had enough… here is a highlight reel of Stanzi’s best throws.

Ricky Stanzi was a good college quarterback.

Maybe we could get a bunch of kids together to stand under Scott Pioli’s window at One Arrowhead Plaza and bang on some pots and pans and trash can lids and chant, “We Want Stanzi, We Want Stanzi.”

Maybe not: he’ll probably just think it’s a Stomp Concert… and if he hears Stanzi’s name in all that yelling he might just trade him to the Jets for spite.

Oh well, if the Chiefs do that, at least then we can finally find out how good Stanzi really is. Because the Jets don’t really have any quarterbacks, do they?


Play the game “Where’s Ricky?” by clicking on the picture below. Click a second time to enlarge.

Gee, I wish Pioli and Crennel would play this game.

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