KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Even in the ever-shifting world of professional football, Ricky Stanzi found a constant autumn ritual.
Last week, the Kansas City Chiefs rookie quarterback was fielding questions about whether Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz would leave for the NFL.
“I’ve been getting asked about this since high school,” said Stanzi, who played for the Hawkeyes from 2007-10. “Coach Ferentz is awesome. It was just an honor to play for him. I’m glad he’s going to be at Iowa, because everyone loves him.”
While the speculation concerning Ferentz subsided, the Chiefs continue to be an organization in flux.
Stanzi was elevated from third to second string after coach Todd Haley was fired.
Romeo Crennel became the interim coach, and Southeast Polk alum Kyle Orton replaced Tyler Palko at quarterback.
It’s possible neither Crennel nor Orton will be on the team next season.
“It’s been interesting,” Stanzi said. “Each week has been a little different.
“You never know what to expect and you can’t plan for everything, because there are certain things that are kind of up in the air.”
The turmoil in Kansas City started with a series of early injuries, including a torn ACL suffered by ex-Iowa tight end Tony Moeaki.
Moeaki’s locker in Arrowhead Stadium remains empty, but Stanzi is keeping tabs on him.
“He lives right below me,” Stanzi said of his apartment complex. “He’s doing well. He’s rehabbing and going through that process.”
For Stanzi, it’s been a season of watching, waiting and learning.
He posted a 26-9 record as a Hawkeye starter — second-most wins in school history — throwing for 7,377 yards and 56 touchdowns.
So how’s he dealing with being a backup?
“Just getting ready,” Stanzi said. “Going through the normal routine of trying to get yourself ready to play a game.
“Maybe a little different being in the backup spot than it would be being in the third spot.”
With so much uncertainty surrounding the Chiefs, could there been an opportunity for Stanzi?
“It’s really hard to look that far forward, when we’ve got so much to play for right now at the ending part of this season,” Stanzi said. “That’s really where our focus is.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football