Before I begin let me start by saying that I am from Iowa and am a Hawkeye fan so I am slightly biased. However, I will do my best to make this post as informative and nonbiased as I can. Now that I have that out of the way let us move on to what I actually want to talk about. I believe that Ricky Stanzi could potentially be the next Tom Brady. Please note that I did not say WILL. He CAN be but that doesn't mean he will be. Are you high because Tom Brady is amazing? No my wonderful reader I most certainly am not high. My belief comes from information regarding the way the two play, statistical information, and hope. I want him to be the next Tom Brady and be with the Chiefs his whole career. I want the Chiefs to go to the playoffs every year and be contenders for the Super Bowl every year. You want to talk about home field advantage, think about how loud Arrowhead would be packed out for every game every year with a team that dominates. Other teams might as well not even make the trip.
To emphasize my point I want to discuss Tom Brady's career and how he got to where he is. Then I want to talk about the similarities to where Tom Brady started and where Ricky Stanzi is right now. Again, one person's path to success does not mean that another person following the same path will have the same result. For all you statisticians out there (I am an internet marketer with an economics degree so I focus on stats a lot) correlation does not equal causation. Now, onward to the information after the jump.
Tom Brady was a good college quarterback when he actually got a chance to play at the University of Michigan. Looking at his success right now it is hard to believe that he was not a starter his whole college career. In fact, Brady was so frustrated with not being able to play his first two seasons (he was 7th in the depth chart) that he almost transferred to Cal. Brady had to battle Drew Henson (who?) for the starting position before finally earning it in 1998 and 1999. Brady went on to win 20 of 25 games and two bowl games. Not bad for having 2 years under his belt.
In 2000 Tom Brady was selected with pick #199 in the 6th round. The 6th round? Really? Yes reader, Tom Brady was selected in the 6th round by the New England Patriots using a compensatory pick. Tom Brady started as the 4th string quarterback in 2000 but by years end was backup to Drew Bledsoe. He went 1-3 with 6 passing yards. There really isn't much more to say about his rookie year so let's move on to 2001.
The 2001 season started out with Drew Bledsoe as the starter. He played the first two games before being hit by Mo Lewis in the fourth quarter. He suffered from internal bleeding and was replaced by Brady for the last series of the game. For the next two games Brady had mediocre passer ratings of 79.6 and 58.7. He was average but nothing extraordinary. It was during his 3 game where he finally began to feel comfortable. In every game afterward Tom Brady would get better and better and led the Patriots to an 11-5 record, a first round bye, and eventually a Super Bowl victory. The rest of his career is history.
Now, how does this apply to Ricky Stanzi? Well, Stanzi was a good QB in college as well. He started 3 years at Iowa (one more than Tom) and won two bowl games. In his senior season he was ranked 3rd in the nation in passer efficiency. In 2011 Ricky Stanzi was selected in the 5th round (one ahead of Tom Brady) and has been the 3rd string QB most of the season. While this information looks great and is very comparable to Tom Brady, I think his few preseason showings show a little bit more of what he is capable of. Yes, I understand it was against 3rd stringers but this is the NFL and everyone is professional. Ricky, though he isn't the fastest person in the world, can scramble and buy time with his feet. He can be elusive if needed and can make throws on the run. He has a relatively strong arm and is fairly accurate. All of these things are positives in his favor. Yes, he still needs to improve but that will come naturally just by playing. If you need proof of how hard he works and how much he can improve, look at his TD/INT ratio in 2009 and 2010. In 2009 he was 17/15 and in 2010 he was 25/6. Ricky Stanzi spent the entire summer working on his throwing motion and releasing the ball quicker.
I hope that Ricky Stanzi is allowed to play against the Packers on Sunday. I think it will be a good test for him and will allow him to start learning how to play at the lighting fast pace that is the NFL. He will probably make many mistakes, most rookies do. However, and I say this because I know how quickly people are willing to crucify somebody for poor performance, Tom Brady wasn't great his first 2 games either. Even if he plays the last 3 years of the year and does horribly (think about the defenses he will be going up against) I hope we all watch for the positive signs and not ask for him to be fired (too soon?) For all we know, he could come back next year after a full off season as the next Tom Brady. I will admit that this is the reason why I am so concerned about getting a quarterback this next draft. I feel that if we get an OL and add another TE Ricky could be very successful here. I just hope that he is allowed to play and that we are actually able to keep him from getting murdered. (I am looking at you BRich.) Ricky loves TE's, just watch him play at Iowa. Oh, and NE has 2 of the best TE's in the league, coincidence?
I will end this by saying that we should play Ricky Stanzi on Sunday and let him start the last three games of the season. I think he can be very successful and might end up being a Tom Brady like QB. We, as the lynch mob fans, should be patient and watch to signs of improvement and demand that Scott Pioli fix our OL. I see a bright future ahead of us, even if the end of the tunnel is still a ways off.