SAINT JOSEPH, MO - JULY 31: Quarterback Tyler Palko #4 takes a water break during Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp on July 31, 2011 in Saint Joseph, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
We're nearly a week into training camp and I still get some variation of this question: What's up with QB Brodie Croyle? The answer, as you dedicated readers know, is that he's a free agent and not on the team.
The next question is usually something like: Well, what if QB Matt Cassel goes down? My answer is usually something about the Chiefs being in big trouble if that happens.
Behind Cassel, the Kansas City Chiefs have QB Tyler Palko and rookie QB Ricky Stanzi. I don't see any scenario where Stanzi doesn't make the team, and I don't think he's safe on the practice squad, so I think he's going to be the No. 2 or No. 3 on the active roster.
That leaves Palko as the most veteran backup.
The question I ask is: If Cassel went down for 1-2 games, do I think [backup quarterback] can come in an win a game?
I'm not sure that's the case with Palko. It's not so much about Palko as it is the unknown. We just don't really know what he is. He just hasn't been given the opportunities to prove he's a legitimate backup quarterback. Maybe he breaks out this preseason and I feel better about the situation come September but right now I'm thinking the solution is to bring in a veteran backup quarterback who can step in for a game or two and give the Chiefs a chance to win.
What we can not have is another situation like last year in San Diego where the team is a complete disaster because the starting quarterback is out. The Chiefs aren't going out and winning 15 games earning a playoff berth by Thanksgiving so every game counts, especially in the AFC West, where you have three legitimate contenders for the division title. That backup quarterback becomes even more important.
The Chiefs opted not to go the veteran route last year and they got burned in San Diego. I'm talking about bringing in someone like QB Marc Bulger or QB Todd Collins. (Update: Scratch Bulger. Looks like he's retiring.) One of the old farts that have been there, done that. There are also going to be quarterbacks hitting the market in early September for the final cut down so there will be more options.
It's a topic that may not matter at all this season if Cassel stays healthy, but if he goes down, the Chiefs season could hang in the balance of the backup quarterback.