Q: What’s this like for you, doing all the things that the starter does?
PALKO: “I like the starting quarterback stuff and getting reps during practice, this stuff I’m not too comfortable with. It’s different, I’d rather play football but this is the stuff that comes with it, so be easy on me guys.”
Q: There’s no problems taking over 90-95 percent of the workload in practice?
PALKO: “Is that a question?”
PALKO: “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.”
Q: How long do you think it will take you Monday night to get over the wow factor?
PALKO: “You guys keep reminding me about all this stuff, I try not to think about it. I don’t know, I hope not long. I hope it happens when I get off the bus and before I take the suit and tie off. It’s something that’s going to be there and as a starting quarterback and as a professional, those guys in the locker room are looking at me to handle this like a professional as well. I hope nothing changes from everybody else and they have enough confidence in me, and I show them that we can roll and not have to change anything. I would hope that nothing changes and I would hope that it wouldn’t last very long. If it does then we are going to be in trouble but I have every bit of confidence in our team and our offense that we are going to go out and execute.”
Q: Do you feel the game plan will be limited in anyway?
PALKO: “Not really. It’s been status quo around here which is good. The coaches have worked long hours and put a game plan together and we came in and saw it, met on it, and went out and executed it and like I said the wheels didn’t fall off at practice today, the world didn’t end and we had a good practice today. I’m sure you would have to ask Todd [Haley] if he put any less plays in, but as far as us players I think we’re ready to go.”
Q: Evaluating yourself, what do you see as your greatest strengths, what are you most comfortable doing out there?
PALKO: “Playing quarterback. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know, I don’t want to give my secrets away. There’s no secret to playing quarterback. I guess, it being a short-winded answer is I have to execute. I have to execute our offense, that’s what the quarterback is supposed to do whether it’s Tom Brady,
Q: Do you have a quarterback mentor, or have you sought advice from anyone this week?
PALKO: “Just a couple of guys that I’ve had a chance to be around, Drew Brees, Kurt Warner. They sent me a text when they heard the news and just wished me good luck. I’ve been around a lot of good quarterbacks in my journey and learned a lot from all of them so hopefully that’ll show up on Monday night.”
Q: How did that make you feel when you heard from guys with that stature?
PALKO: “Drew Brees is like a big brother to me, I spent two years down there with him in New Orleans. When I was in Arizona for the offseason and pre-season I was with Kurt [Waner], we developed a pretty good relationship. Matt here for the last two years, obviously it feels good but those guys are friends of mine so it was encouraging to me but nothing special.”
Q: You’ve been in the spotlight before, you went to Notre Dame and threw five touchdown passes. This situation is kind of like that wouldn’t you think?
PALKO: “I guess every situation is different. Going into the Notre Dame stadium as a college kid is pretty special. Playing on Monday Night Football, I don’t think you can get any more special or any more attention then that. You’re the only game on and the NFL is the best league in the world so it’s going to be a big spotlight, big game and the New England Patriots are a good football team, but so are we. I can guarantee you this, the team who scored the most points is going to win the football game. That’s just how it always is. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins and usually that’s just because they executed better then the other team did. We had a good start today at that.”
Q: How do you not psych yourself out, how do you keep yourself from not thinking about what’s going on?
PALKO: “I guess the workload. You try to wrap yourself, the way I’ve always been is you can’t really worry about the end result, it’s all about the process. When Monday night gets here I’ll worry about Monday night. Every day you have to put so much effort into the day, or the task at hand. It’s exhausting just going through the day and making sure you’re on top of everything, making sure that you’re doing what you’re supposed to do so you can give you team a chance to win on Monday night. Every day like I said is exhausting, you have to really focus in on each day and when that day is over you go to bed and wake up and start a new one so when Monday night gets here we’ll worry about that. Until then we’ve got to keep chopping wood and start it all over again tomorrow.”
Q: Are there going to be people that are going to the game instead of just watching it on television?
PALKO: “Mom and dad are going, brother and sister are going and a couple of friends. So I think six tickets so I got off easy. It will be fun to have them there, it will be fun to have mom and dad there, it’s fun for them.”
Q: The platforms aren’t the same from NFL to college to high school. But are the mechanics and the preparation any different than when you were starting your first high school game?
PALKO: “I guess when you put it that way, no. You still prepare, watch film, get the game plan, study the game plan, practice, do it all over again and then whenever the game is played, Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday, you go out and execute that game plan. That’s pretty much how I’ve attacked it since high school, into college and now here. It’s just one of those things that you take it day-by-day, and I know it’s not really exciting, but it’s too important to waste a day. You can’t let any day go by or leave any stone unturned because this is a business and we’re all professionals here and we have to win football games.”
Q: Really the only difference is you don’t have to study algebra at the same time?
PALKO: “That’s a good thing. I think I’d rather be studying for algebra than studying about facing Bill Belichick because he’s a little bit tougher than algebra.”
Q: Football algebra?
PALKO: “Football calc 2 or something. He’s a heck of a coach and they’re a heck of a football team. We’ve got a lot of work to do and we’ll see where we’re at Monday night.”