View Full Version : Palko will stick with Steelers for a bit

12-03-2009, 05:53 AM
Palko will stick with Steelers for a bit
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times

Wednesday December 2, 2009 11:53 PM

PITTSBURGH — For Steelers’ quarterbacks, things have been chaotic the last week or so. For Tyler Palko, that chaos has given him another chance in the NFL.

Due to Ben Roethlisberger’s concussion and Charlie Batch’s broken wrist, Palko was signed by the Steelers, first to the eight-man practice squad, then to the 53-man roster.

A former star at West Allegheny High School and the University of Pittsburgh, Palko has never played in a regular-season NFL game. But this past Sunday, he was an injury away from running the Steelers’ offense against the Ravens.

With Roethlisberger and Batch unable to play, Palko served as the backup QB behind starter Dennis Dixon.

“Yeah, it’s been kind of crazy, but it’s been good for me,” Palko said.

“I’m glad to have the opportunity. In this league, opportunities come in different ways, shapes and forms and you have to take advantage of them when you get them.”

With Roethlisberger expected to play Sunday against the Raiders (3-8), Palko is now the Steelers’ third-team quarterback. A team source said that Palko will likely remain in that role for at least three more weeks.

If Batch’s surgically-repaired wrist heals on schedule, he could be back for the Jan. 3 regular-season finale in Miami or for the first round of the playoffs — if the Steelers (6-5) make the playoffs.

“Obviously, football is a violent game and injuries happen,” Palko said. “You just have to be ready when called upon. I’m just trying to do what they ask me to do and learn the offense, and continue to get better while I’m here.”

After finishing his career at Pitt, Palko spent most of the 2007 season with New Orleans, splitting time on the Saints’ active roster and practice squad. He was released on the final cutdown days the past two seasons, by the Saints last year and by the Cardinals this year.

In October, the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League signed Palko to their practice squad.

But last week when Roethlisberger and Batch were hurt, the Steelers asked the Alouettes to release Palko so they could sign him to their practice squad. Roethlisberger’s absence elevated Palko to the active roster.

“There’s probably about 60 percent of the game plan that I knew,” Palko said. “I knew enough to go in and play the game and not be handcuffed.”

Even though he didn’t play, Palko said it was a thrill to be wearing a Steelers’ uniform in such an important AFC North game.

“It was cool,” said Palko, 26. “You know growing up in Pittsburgh, being a western Pa. kid and knowing a lot about the Steelers, it was a cool opportunity. I appreciate coach (Mike) Tomlin and the organization believing in me and giving me a chance.”

12-03-2009, 06:06 AM
Good story. It says something that the Steelers went and asked for his release to sign him. They obviously see something in him worth developing.

12-03-2009, 06:35 AM
I liked Palko in school. With Ben here, and Dixon showing that he can indead handle the #2 spot the Steeler can develop him and see just what they do have.

12-03-2009, 07:13 AM

12-03-2009, 07:25 AM

Late night last night?

12-03-2009, 07:36 AM
They should put Batch on IR so we can keep Palko and develop him. No sense in keeping Batch as a 3rd team QB.

12-03-2009, 08:07 AM
He looked decent in the preseason against us and I think alot of people thought he was gonna beat out St Pierre for the 3rd qb job in Arizona.