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Todd Haley discusses quarterback play, penalties and other notes from Sunday

Posted Dec 11, 2011

Chiefs discussed making a quarterback change on Sunday, but ultimately decided to stick with Tyler Palko


EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Of the 92 players suited up for Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and Jets, Kansas City backup QB Ricky Stanzi was the only one who didn’t see the field.

With the Chiefs offense sputtering and starting QB Tyler Palko struggling, discussions began whether to give Stanzi his first NFL action. Ultimately, the decision was to continue on with Palko.

 “We just felt that the way the game was, we didn’t think that would be a good position to put Ricky in,” head coach Todd Haley said.

Stanzi, a fifth-round draft pick out of Iowa, was serving as the No. 2 quarterback for the second time this season because veteran Kyle Orton was inactive with a finger injury.

Speculation of a quarterback change grew after the Chiefs produced only four yards of total offense and trailed the Jets 28-3 at halftime. Palko had completed three passes for 11 yards with an interception and his passer rating stood at 6.2 after two quarters.

Haley ultimately chose to continue with Palko throughout the remainder of the game. Palko finished his day completing 16-of-32 passes for 195 yards with one touchdown and an interception. He was also sacked five times.

“The guy that gives us the best chance to win will play, because we’re playing to win,” Haley said. “In a game like today where the score gets to where it was, I just don’t think that’s the best position to give someone their first action in the NFL on the road.”

When asked if Palko gives the team the best chance to win going forward, Haley left the discussion open.

“That’s a hard question to answer after how today went,” Haley said. “But it’s a team loss and you just can’t put it all on one person. You just can’t, but generally that occurs and it goes towards the quarterback.

“We have to evaluate this tape and see what exactly we though. Once you see the tape, sometimes it will change the way you feel.”

Haley Gets Flagged

Coach Todd Haley received the football equivalent of a technical foul when he was flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty following a third quarter play where both Cory Greenwood and Tyson Jackson were penalized for defensive holding.

Haley’s 15-yarder was one of six Kansas City penalties on a six-play, 90-yard Jets touchdown drive that pushed New York’s lead to 35-3. Of the 90 yards New York gained on the drive, 74 came via penalty.

In his post-game press conference, Haley declined to share what prompted his 15-yard flag.

“I’m not going to get into the penalties,” Haley said afterward. “The officials have a very difficult job and the one thing we can’t do is lose our composure over calls, so that one is on me.”

The penalty-laden drive began with an unnecessary roughness flag when Jovan Belcher hit Jets QB Mark Sanchez near the New York’s end zone and ended when Kendrick Lewis was flagged for pass interference on the Chiefs four-yard line.

Lewis was visibly upset following the flag and Sanchez scored on a three-yard touchdown run three snaps later.

“The coaches just told me to keep my composure,” Lewis said. “The ref is going to make calls. That’s what they’re here to do and they made a call that we have to play with. There is no way to change it.”

In total, the Chiefs finished with a season-high 11 penalties for 128 yards on the day. Multiple flags were thrown for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“That’s a prideful group and you’re having a rough day and we’re going up and down the sideline all day talking about keeping composure and staying focused on doing each one of our jobs,” Haley said. “Obviously, we had a couple rough spells in there.”

The Good

Masked in an ugly game were several notable performances for the Chiefs.

1) Rookie Justin Houston continues impress, tallying his fourth sack in the past two games.  Tamba Hali also notched a sack-and-strip for his team-leading ninth Q takedown of the season.

2) Jerheme’s Urban’s touchdown catch was a beauty. Tyler Palko threaded three defenders and Urban made a very difficult grab in traffic.

3) Jonathan Baldwin’s athleticism is unquestionable. His one-handed catch would be the season highlight for most wide receivers.

4) Derrick Johnson led the Chiefs in tackles once again, unofficially finishing the day with 12 stops. He’s still well ahead of the pace he needs to break the Chiefs single-season tackle record set by Mike Maslowski in 2002.

5) Ryan Succop booted a 53-yard field goal, which was his 17th-consecutive made attempt. That streak is the longest of his career and the fourth-longest mark in team history. Nick Lowery made 21 consecutive field goals on two occasions while Pete Stoyanovich made a team-record 22 straight.

6) Thomas Jones compiled 12 rushing yards at the N.Y. Jets to give hime10,450 career rushing yards. He bypassed Eddie George (10,441) and Tiki Barber (10,449) for the 22nd-highest total in NFL history.

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