I’ve never liked Todd Haley’s schemes going back to his time with the Cardinals. That said, offensive coordinator Bill Muir had not done a horrible job of moving an offense missing its top RB and TE (27th in PPG with 15.7, but only 3 games were against teams with winning records). Matt Cassel is injured, and it’s time to see what Tyler Palko can do.
Tyler’s 2006 senior season at Pittsburgh saw his team finish 14th in the NCAA Division 1-A ranks in scoring, averaging 31.75 points per game. He only carried 66 times for 77 yards (1.2 average) and 2 TDs that year, yet has shown mobility in the preseason (he threw for 59.7% comp., 384 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT this preseason; He ran 5 times for 26 yards, 2 first downs and a fumble; Also, he ran for 12 TDs during his four-year college career where he only started for 3 seasons).
Ultimately, I think it’d be foolish to think Cassel has maximized all the weapons he has around him. Bowe has the rare abilities to attack the ball at its highest point and shed tacklers after the catch. Breaston is really good in space and slippery after the catch. Jonathan Baldwin is a size-speed freak who should also be given one-on-one jump ball chances. If Palko is good enough for Pioli and Haley – and they’ve been around some great ones like Brady, Bledsoe, Testeverde, Romo, and Warner -, that’s pretty good. This is his sixth season on the pro level, similar to how Romo took the field for the first time late in his fourth season and Warner at the start of his sixth season. He spent time in Arena Football League just as Warner did.
Verdict: Palko should be a nice replacement for Cassel. It’s not a bad move to pick him up if your starter is Philip Rivers, Cam or Andy Dalton right now. It’s also important to know that – if they have defensive performances like last week – the Chiefs could be throwing to catch up.
Hit “Like” if you look forward to seeing Tyler Palko make the most of his opportunity against a revolving-door Patriots secondary that will be missing Devin McCourty and has contributed to the 17th most points allowed.
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