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Chiefs Offseason News: Ricky Stanzi Earns Praise From Scott Pioli, Jim Zorn

The Kansas City Chiefs made a declaration at the beginning of this offseason that the team was going to address the level of competition at each position and even singled out quarterback in the process. Most fans and sportswriters assumed that the Chiefs would then go after a free agent or rookie quarterback to compete with Matt Cassel, who would be returning from injury, for the starter's role. Alas, that has not happened.

The Chiefs did add Brady Quinn, but it's been for a very clear back-up role as Cassel remains the starter. However, a rookie draft choice from last year has not yet played and it might just be the emergence of former Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi that becomes the competition Scott Pioli mentioned in the first place.

"We drafted a quarterback last year who I truly believe has good ability and has the potential to start in this league," Pioli said of Stanzi. "I really do believe that."

His quarterback coach also had some good praise and insight into the quarterback that Stanzi is developing into a full year after being drafted in the fifth round.

"(Stanzi) is much-improved already this year with the capabilities of the offense, making decisions on the line of scrimmage with protections and runs and things like that. Things that we weren't even getting to until midway through training camp, so this is a real plus for him," Jim Zorn said.

Stanzi didn't play a single snap last season for a team that started Tyler Palko for four consecutive games at quarterback. It was a very puzzling affair last season under former head coach Todd Haley and it was that roster mismanagement that ultimately cost him his job among other perceived concerns. Perhaps Stanzi will earn his shot this season, or at least get the chance to compete for some real playing time.

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