He was a high draft choice in Philadelphia, but he was superseded by Michael Vick. Injury robbed him of playing a full season after he was traded to Arizona. Now entering his seventh season, Kevin Kolb finally believes the planets have aligned putting him in the best position to succeed at the NFL level after signing with the Bills.
His initial sit down conversation with the Bills brass including head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett over lunch in his native Texas, when they came to visit him, proved to be music to his ears.
"I had a great conversation and our personalities matched, our offensive philosophies matched and I think we both walked away saying this could be what we want," Kolb told Buffalobills.com.
"I think Kevin is a very good competitor," said Bills head coach Doug Marrone. "I've seen areas where he's had success in some of the things we're looking to build on. I've seen him make all the throws. Our goal was to bring someone in or have people on our roster that can compete."
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A few days later Kolb and his wife were flown to Buffalo for his physical and a tour of the city and more meetings with coaches. The quarterback was quickly convinced that the Bills, their direction and their offensive approach were the best fits for his skill set.
"With Coach Marrone I knew a little about what he did a Syracuse and a little about his offense," Kolb said. "It intrigued me a little bit and then when I sat down with him and they started to discuss their philosophy a little bit and what they wanted to do at this level. That's when I got really excited. We all know that that has a lot to do with a player's success is the right fit. Not just the coaches and their philosophy or not just the player and his attributes, but how they fit together. So that's why I think there are some high hopes here."
Kolb, whose chance to succeed Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia was usurped by the last minute addition of Michael Vick, also saw his opportunity to establish himself as a bona fide starter in Arizona go up in smoke in part due to injury. He knows as well as anyone he has to stay healthy, but truly believes he can be at his best in Buffalo's offense.
"Going into free agency I wanted to totally believe in what they're doing," he said. "I don't want to be in a situation where they're pulling me in one direction and I've got one foot dragging behind me. If you don't totally believe in it it's hard to play passionately and play with 100 percent of your ability because you're hesitant. And you can't be hesitant at this level."
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The Bills newest quarterback believes Nathaniel Hackett's system offers him about a 75-80 percent rate of carryover from previous systems he has been in during his time in the league. That coupled with talk of an up tempo style has him convinced he can not only show flashes of his best football, but put his best on display consistently.
"I know when I've played really good for a couple of stretches, there's just this calmness that happens to you," Kolb said. "I can feel it when I'm on the field. It happened last year when we started 4-0. It happened in Philly when I won a few games when I had to step in for Vick. And when we won the Conference championship at Houston, there's just a calmness about you. Your mind is moving slower. You're reading and reacting instead of thinking. When it happens at this level you know it can happen for a long period of time.
"My deal is just finding that groove and letting it roll and staying injury free. I want to put together a solid career here. I don't want to put together two years. I want to put together a Super Bowl contender every single year for a long time. I'm not looking to get out of this league any time soon."