Enter little-known Chiefs quarterback Tyler Palko, who attempted just 13 passes in four career games.
Here are Patriots coach Bill Belichick's thoughts this week on scouting Palko:
What do you know about Palko?
Belichick: He’s a player we have to do some work on and spend more time watching him. We of course haven’t seen a lot of him in regular season game film. We can go back to preseason. I’d say an athletic player, quick release, can move around back there in the pocket, left-handed, and sees the field pretty well. I think they have a lot of confidence in him. He played ahead of [Ricky] Stanzi this year in preseason and I know Stanzi is a guy they drafted. There’s a lot to like about him too, so we’ll have to be ready for both those guys. Obviously he played well enough to move into that second spot. Again, we all know from the 2008 season here and many other examples of teams we played against. Everybody wrote us off in 2008 when we lost Tom [Brady] and Matt [Cassel] led us to 11 wins. We’re playing against a football team, not just one player. We know that whoever they have in there, whether it’s Palko, Stanzi or whoever it is, that we’re going to have to play a good football team. Again, this is a team that won their division last year. They have good coaches, they’re well coached, they’re disciplined [and] they have good depth.
What other avenues can you utilize to get a gauge on his tendencies?
Belichick: That’s really all we can do and that’s what we have to do -- we have to look at the film that we have available. Fortunately we have plenty of film available with him in their offense. It’s hard sometimes when you see a player and the only film you have on him is when he’s with another team, running another offense and now you’re trying to project that skill set into an offense that doesn’t match up with the player, but in this case it does. I think any coach that loses a starting quarterback, when you bring in whoever the other quarterback is, you certainly want to play to that player’s strengths to a degree but at the same time you can’t have two different offenses -- one for this guy and one for that guy. It’s impossible, you can’t do that. Obviously to keep the consistency there for the other ten players who are all good players and are playing well, there has to be some carryover for them. Then the quarterback does what the offense requires him to do and you make some modifications for him because of his skill set, but you just can’t change everything that you do because one guy steps onto the field or it kills the other 10 guys.