Thursday, August 18, 2011
Kevin Kolb comfortable with offense
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- New quarterback Kevin Kolb says he is finally comfortable with the Arizona Cardinals' offense and looks forward to putting his newfound knowledge to a stern test when the team travels to Green Bay to face the NFL champion Packers.
"Besides the game-planning part of it, we're pretty much done with the core install of the offense now and I understand it all and feel comfortable with it," he said before the week's final practice on Wednesday.
"Now it's just a matter of going out there and getting enough reps, and that's vital."
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It has been difficult, Kolb said, to unlearn the things he knew as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, but after two weeks of training camp he understands what his role should be.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Kolb and the rest of the first unit could play into the second quarter of Friday night's game.
"He'll play a little bit more than he did last week, but I don't know how much more," Whisenhunt said. "We still have some quarterbacks that we need to see play as far as getting them prepared, so it's a tough situation to try to balance."
The Cardinals have three other quarterbacks -- John Skelton, Chris Redmond and Max Hall.
Kolb completed four of seven passes for 68 yards in his Arizona debut last Thursday night, a 24-18 victory at Oakland. The minute he got back on the training camp practice field, the Cardinals threw more at him.
"My mind got a little twisted there for a couple of days and then now I'm clearing it back up, but that's part of the process," Kolb said. "That's part of going through training camp and preseason and seeing how you handle it and then being able to slow it down for the games. So I wouldn't say I'm chasing my tail, but I wouldn't say I'm on top of everything yet. There's still a lot of learning for me."
Whisenhunt said Kolb is still working to absorb the complexities of the offense that uses completely different terminology than the quarterback had in Philadelphia.
"Just when you start to feel comfortable you throw more at him," Whisenhunt said. "And that clouds the whole picture because you've got a good base that you start to feel comfortable with and all of a sudden you're throwing in a whole new quota of knowledge. It's difficult but he's done a very good job to where he is right now of understanding our offense.
"I think as we get more into specific plays and game planning he'll have enough of a base from what he's done in training camp that he'll feel very good about it."
Kolb -- signed to a five-year, $63 million contract, with $21 million guaranteed -- is the critical addition to a team looking to rebound from a 5-11 season, due in great part to poor performance at quarterback following the retirement of Kurt Warner, who had led the team to consecutive NFC West titles and four playoff victories.
It has been a restless experience for the new quarterback at the team's camp in the pines of northern Arizona, where the elevation is 7,000 feet.
Kolb has acknowledged that he is a perfectionist, so every misstep is magnified in his head.
"My sleep up here has not been very scheduled," he said, "and it's just because one bad throw, one bad series, whatever, you start laying in bed and you can't get it out of your mind. That can be a good and bad thing. You just have to learn how to deal with it and move on."
Kolb and Whisenhunt agreed that it is special to be playing a team such as Green Bay, but since there will be no game-planning for the Packers, the outcome isn't the most important thing.
"It's a nice way to test ourselves but win or loss or domination on either side of the ball, it's not going to tell us what we're going to be like as a team," Kolb said. "It may just indicate maybe the direction that we're going. That's what this is for and that's why we're going to play them."