Kevin Kolb said 'hey' to the local media at his introductory press conference Friday just hours before the team packed up and headed to Flagstaff to start their 2011 NFL Training Camp adventure. Kolb was decked out in Arizona Cardinals gear and seemed genuinely happy to be wearing the red and white.
"It feels really good," Kolb said, confirming that he feels really good about coming to the Cardinals and stepping into the big shoes left by Kurt Warner when he was
eliminated from the Dancing With The Stars competition retired from the NFL. (Yes, we are pretending 2010 never happened.)
"Absolutely, it's a hard act to follow," Kolb said about Warner. "I've watched a lot of film on Kurt (Warner). The things he does on the field are masterful in his mind. The mental game he has in unbelievable. That's something you can try and mimic. You'll never probably get there but you can try and bring in more of that to your own game."
But it was another Cardinals great that had actual influence over Kolb's desire and decision to come to Arizona.
During the offseason, as previously reported, Kolb worked out with Larry Fitzgerald which the new QB admitted was kind of a try out for the team.
Asked how the Fitz Camp went, Kolb responded, "It's a real easy fit. We texted here and there a little bit throughout the offseason and I came down here during that weekend and worked out with him. Right off the bat, everybody knows he's an easy guy to get along with. Great teammate. You can tell he's a great leader and you don't always find that in receivers."
It wasn't just the notion of throwing the ball to Larry Fitzgerald that got Kolb excited about coming to Arizona. He talked about playing here in the NFC Championship game in 2009 and what he learned about the city and the team....and the building.
"To be quite honest, it was the stadium. The stadium was tremendous, I was shocked by it."
Ed note: Well done, taxpayers, your money was well spent.
"The city alone, just how clean and nice the city looked -- granted, I was coming from Philadelphia but, it was a great city."
Ed note: Boom! Take that, Philly, and put some cheese and peppers on it and eat it all up.
"And of course the way Arizona just kept fighting back. We had some big plays, threw the ball all over the place and they kept answering, kept answering. We, in my opinion, at that time had a great defense."
Ed note: Scoreboard.
Mr. Kolb reported that Mrs. Kolb will spend the next few days in town looking for a suitable place for the Kolb family to live while they are in the greater Phoenix metro area and away from their 2,500 acre north Texas ranch.
And in even more important news, it was announced via twitter that Kolb has purchased the rights from kicker Jay Feely to wear uniform no. 4 in exchange for a donation to the Feely Family Foundation of an undisclosed sum. Feely will wear no. 3 which became available when Derek Anderson...left.
For more on the Arizona Cardinals and their new quarterback visit Revenge of the Birds.
More Kevin Kolb Press Conference Quotes (or just watch the video here):
- "There's always pressure to perform right away, and perform great. I put that on myself. As a quarterback in the National Football League you better put that on yourself...There's a lot of pressure in every situation. It's nothing new for me, I look forward to the challenge. I look forward to answering a lot of critics and just play my ball and fitting in with this team and going and making a run." -- Kolb on the pressure he's facing
- "I think I can play. The people who've watched me think I can play. There's no doubt there's some sort of risk there. There's a risk in everything that you do. I'm just glad the Bidwells and Rod (Graves) and Ken (Whisenhunt) took the risk. I feel like it's going to turn out for the best. I look forward to putting in plenty of work to make sure it happens. Nobody's going to out-work me. That begins now." -- Kolb on his critics
- "I have no idea. Really, I don't. It's not like being a rookie. Concepts are similar. It's nothing like being a rookie all over again which takes a year and a half until you get comfortable." -- Kolb on how long it will take to learn the system
- "You have to go into it with a competitive attitude, just as they should and they will...You have to be competitive in this sport. If you don't compete every day in practice your rear-end is going to be out. I know that, they know that. We'll have a great meeting room, great camaraderie but we're going to go out and compete as well." -- Kolb on how he will fit in with the other QBs
- "I'm not the kind of guy who looks into things too deep. I just sit back and say, 'OK, let the cards fall where they may'. I'm just glad that I'm sitting here in a Cardinals shirt right now." -- Kolb on the negotiation process with Arizona
- "The team's kind of a young team. I think when you have that sense and everybody's in it together it kind of gives you that old college atmosphere where you kind of come together, chemistry fits in well." -- Kolb on fitting in with the team
- "It's a passing attack. Puts the ball on the quarterback's shoulders which I like. Getting us in and out of plays. I enjoy that stuff." -- Kolb on why he thinks he'll succeed in Arizona
- "That's going to be difficult watching the other guys and wanting to be out there in the heat of battle. That's how you earn respect." -- Kolb on having to sit out the first few practices at camp
- "My dad was a high school football coach. I was a gym rat." Grew up in locker rooms. Was a ball boy. "Football's been part of my life forever." -- Kolb on his love of the game
- "In the offseason I like to fish and hunt a little bit but besides family and God, football's all I care about." -- Kolb on having a well-rounded life
- "I'm just going to take it one day at a time and make sure I don't get ahead of myself. When you get ahead of yourself, that's when you get behind." -- Kolb sounding eerily like D-backs skipper Kirk Gibson
- "It's not as dangerous as it sounds but it's a kamikaze side I guess. I don't do it any more. Once my hands started making me a little bit of money I stopped doing it." -- Kolb on hunting wild boar with just a knife and his bare hands
- "(The NFC West) is obviously winnable...The door's open, we know, and we'll be ready to kick it in when it's time but it's not going to be an easy task." - Kolb on kick ass in the NFC West