Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Kevin Kolb

On his initial reaction when he heard the news: "I was obviously excited. (Head coach) Andy (Reid) called me and said, 'Congratulations, you're the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.' It's been a dream of mine for a long time. As you all know, it's been a patient waiting game and I'm glad the opportunity is here."

On whether he could believe that the move was finally done: "There's been plenty of coverage as we all know. To see it finally done, it was a relief. It was good to see and glad to see that confidence and that trust that they have in me finally come true."

On whether he had a feeling that he would be the guy to be traded after hearing that the team was entertaining offers for all three quarterbacks: "Sure, that has to cross your mind. I know they have confidence in me; I knew they did. At the same time, in this league in this day, you have to be ready for anything. I think (Andy) truly was and I think he was entertaining all those offers. Although he had a plan in mind, I knew that anything could happen and I was ready for that."

On whether he had any indication that this was the way the team was going: "Not really, nothing solid. Not anything more than what you guys were hearing. Once I got in and worked out, I got a better feel for it and I was around the guys, but nothing set in stone."

On whether there was a sense that this was going to happen: "There was a sense of, 'Hey, this is going to be us.' That's what's good about the offseason. You can build a lot of rapport, a lot of chemistry this time of year. So, I was glad to get back here and get around those guys and get that feeling again."

On winning a Super Bowl in Philadelphia: "That's our number one goal. That's been our goal since I've been here and the goal since Andy's been here. Of course we want to win the division, it's not been to win 10 games. It's been to win the Super Bowl. That's not going to change because we're going younger or because people think we're in a rebuilding year. It's going to be the same focus for us day in and day out as it was when we had all the veterans here and we were trying to make those runs two or three years ago."

On where he was when he got the call from Coach Reid: "I'm not sure of the time. I was at my house, it was literally 15 minutes before the news broke. (I was) by myself. My wife and kids are back home. It was a nice place to be. I let it soak in for a second before I made phone calls and started answering text messages."

On whether he spoke with Donovan McNabb during this whole process: "Donovan and I have always had a great relationship. We haven't spoke up to this point. I did text message him saying, 'Hey, I'd like to holler at you later today.' He said, 'You bet. Give me a holler.' I assume we'll talk in the next couple of days. I just want to wish him the best. The guy has been nothing but 100 percent professional with me and a good friend. Honestly, I'll always look back to what he did for me and the way he treated me in hopes that I can be that same way to some other kid when he comes around."

On how McNabb has prepared Kolb for this moment: "I think the one thing he does is he handles every situation that the NFL, the city, the media has put on him with a smile. That's one thing that I noticed right away is, man, he's always in a good mood. That portrays well in the locker room because it doesn't show to anyone that that's affecting him even if it is. He's real good about keeping that under his skin and making sure that everything is real smooth in the locker room. So, that's something I need to work on, I have worked on and will take from him as the starting quarterback."

On what he has to work on going into next season: "I think the one thing you have to do is you have to find your groove as the starting quarterback. I had a groove in prior years, but at this level in this league, you have to find what fits you preparation-wise, what fits you rest-wise, what fits you weight training – all that kind of stuff. You have to find your own routine week to week and see what works for you. So, I obviously want to get that ironed out as fast as possible to where I'm in the right mind-frame, my body feels good come Sunday and I'm ready to roll."

On getting a groove for two games last season and then going back to a spectator's role: "Absolutely, but again, when that happened I understood the situation that we were in and I hoped and had trust that this would come one day. I always kept that mindset. I'm a hungry guy, I'm a confident guy but, at the same time, I knew the situation I was in and I knew this would happen one day."

On how the offense will be different with Kolb at quarterback: "Obviously we know what Donovan has done. He's been a Pro Bowl quarterback, he's led this team to a Super Bowl and five NFC Championships, so hopefully the only thing that changes now is that we win the Super Bowl. There are a lot of great things that he did. No two players are the exact same. So, there has to be some things that are going to change. I'm sure some for the good, some for the worse. But I'm a totally different style guy like you said. He's a heck of an athlete, he makes some plays out there that I'm sure that I can't make running around and scrambling around. I'm hoping there are some things that I bring that maybe he lacks. There are going to be differences, but at the same time, as long as it all leads to a Super Bowl, that's what we're after."

On whether he prefers not to play him twice a year because of the circus it will cause: "Really, I didn't even blink when Andy told me. I really didn't. I'm excited about it. I think it sure will add a little bit of drama but, at the same time, it's going to be exciting. This is going to be a fun ride and I surely have that outlook on it. I'm looking forward to it and I think this team will surprise some people."

On his first phone call after hearing the news:"My first phone conversation was with my wife. I wanted her to know first and then it was my dad. My dad – he's living the dream, too. Being a dad whose son is playing in the NFL. We started so small in the smallest little school and to get to this point it was kind of overwhelming for him, I think. Just to see that, man, this is coming true. As a father and a parent he's a little concerned about his son being in this situation. I tell him all the time, 'Dad, you prepared me for my whole life to be ready for this.' That's what my mindset is. Everything I've done has led to me getting to this point and I'm ready to roll with it and lead this team as far as we can go."

On playing at the University of Houston and how that prepared him for the NFL: "At Houston there was a lot required by the quarterback. He ran the whole show. It's still that way today even though it's a different system. We had so many different options and audibles on each play that there was a lot going through your mind at the snap. I remember the first time I met with (offensive coordinator) Marty (Mornhinweg) before the draft, he would ask me every play, 'Hey, what's going through your mind right here.' I would go like this every time like, man, that's quite a bit. He told me later on that's what he wanted to see. He wanted to see me go through those things pre-snap like I have to go through it now in this system. I think that's why they thought it was a good fit. Of course those same things will be required for me when I get out there this time."

On the responsibilities at quarterback and the pressure that he will be under: "Absolutely. I got a good grasp of that last year and I think that's why it was a good opportunity, a good situation for me last year. When I played against New Orleans, there was a lot in the air right there. I didn't play well up to that point. Jeff (Garcia) had come in, Mike (Vick) was here. You guys all remember, there was a lot in the air. It was good for me to have that thrown on me and have to still go play. When you realize as a player, when you get on the field and you're in between the lines, it's a cliché, but it's true. You forget everything and you just start playing the game that you know and love and that's what you revert back to. With the responsibility of being the starting quarterback, I'm sure I haven't seen it all, but I feel like I have a good grasp on it and I look forward to the challenge of being able to manage it all."

On what makes him confident about winning a lot of games this upcoming season considering the young core around him: "This team has always been built around draft picks and that's always been the center of the core of building a team here in Philadelphia under Andy. It's not a surprise to me that we're trying to do that. The only reason that it wasn't that way in the past was because we had great veteran players; Brian Dawkins, Donovan, (Brian) Westbrook. Those were unbelievable franchise players so there was a reason they held on to those guys for so long and they made great runs and did great things. I don't want the sense of the team to ever be that it's a rebuilding thing because it's not in our minds. It never needs to be that way. They're choosing to go in this direction for a reason because they have confidence in our talents. We need to prove that on the field and be ready to win a lot of ball games and make a playoff run."

On the obstacle of starting out with a young core: "I'm sure there will be some obstacles with that but, at the same time, I think it just goes back to the confidence (Andy) has in the young players that he drafted and that (general manager) Howie (Roseman) and even (former general manager) Tom (Heckert) and those guys put together a good core, young group. I think a lot of guys, in the last couple of years, have been shocked at the success that young players have had on this team. That all goes back to the coaching we get as soon as we get here. The mentality is that when a kid is drafted in this organization he's expected to be ready to play as soon as he gets there. It has worked. (WR Jeremy) Maclin had a great year, (WR) DeSean (Jackson) had a great year, (RB) LeSean (McCoy), (TE Brent) Celek came in as a young player. There are a lot of guys there that have proven themselves young and we're not afraid to go out there young and prove it again."

On whether he heard from his teammates that this change is the change that they wanted: "There's a rapport there. There's always been a good chemistry with myself and the rest of the team. Really, it's an awkward thing. People don't really talk about it in there. When we get in there to work, it's really about work. We don't talk about all the hoopla and all the media coverage and the rumors that are going on that day. Most of the guys are there to focus on what we're doing. Whoever's there – there are times when there are three receivers there. One may be a starter and the other two may not and we work just as hard any other time. There may be times when there's one quarterback and seven receivers. Nobody really pays attention to who's there and who's not. We just go out there and we work. We want everybody there, but we work with what we've got and there really hasn't been a whole lot of discussions on it."

On McNabb's annual workout with his receivers during the offseason and how he plans on furthering relationships with his teammates now: "That was a great thing that he was doing. That has crossed my mind, I haven't had anything set in stone yet. At the same time, being here and being part of all these workouts and these mini-camps and being here day in and day out, nothing can replace that. That's the one thing that I learned when I first got here is that I never want to lose that. I want to take my time off and I want to rest, but this is a very important part of the season for me right here. For us to be able to build and work together at this time and for this amount of weeks we have before mini-camps, I think it is very important and hopefully I can continue to do that."

On stepping into a position like this and having a guy like DeSean Jackson as a weapon: "All those guys are proven. That's the thing, we're young but there are a lot of guys that have already proven themselves. They're not going in there wide-eyed and scared. You know what you have to do, you know what it takes to win ballgames and we're just shuffling in some new guys hopefully for the better and we'll be able to run with it."

On whether playing now is a better situation compared to earlier in his career: "Absolutely. You get to sit back and you get to watch the peaks and the valleys and the way people ride your bandwagon and they jump off. It always comes back to the core that Andy is always talking about in here. These guys that are sitting in here on Wednesday mornings when we first have our meetings, that's all that matters. If you can ever get to where that one unit gels – that's what you see every year. It's not the most talented team out there, it's that team that gels and has that chemistry that wins the Super Bowl. We have to find that. I think we're on the right track. We have to keep pressing that and it's going to take leaders and it's going to take role players and guys that are just going to have to let down their egos and we're all going to come together and we're going to try to run with this thing as one unit."

On whether he has sought advice from other players in the league like Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: "I haven't spoken with Aaron. I would like to at some point because I do look to his situation and it's obviously been successful so far. There are some other quarterbacks that I have made some phone calls to and hopefully will build relationships with as my career goes on."

On whether he feels he will have to change the way he acts as the starting quarterback: "I don't think so. Being in the locker room from the day I was six years old, it teaches you to be a leader by second nature not by wanting to be a leader. I didn't come in here trying to be a leader as a backup role or anything like that. I feel like my personality has always been built for that. I'm not going to change what I do. Guys I think rally behind me and they will rally behind me and I think that we have a great rapport already. Now there are going to be some things that are going to have to change because I am the starter but, at the same time, there's no need to change what you're doing. That's what has gotten me here and that's what I'll stick with."

On whether he thought that this day would never come: "I really didn't. I really trusted the organization and I trusted Andy to get me here one day. There have been times, when I started last year, I felt that I was ready, but the team wasn't ready and maybe the city wasn't ready. I knew that Andy would put me in the best situation for me to be successful when he wanted me to be the starter. Now the time has come and it's time for me to step up and play the role that he has given me."

On whether Coach Reid said anything to him after he said that McNabb was the starter for the 2010 season: "I really don't listen and read, I really don't. I don't listen or read things that are being said. I heard about that probably about three weeks after the fact. It didn't affect me, I just went on with my normal workouts and offseason. Again, I had the trust that, when it was time, that decision would be made."

On working out a contract extension: "At this point, there's only one thing on my mind and, honestly, that's going to win a Super Bowl and getting this team ready to win football games and I mean that sincerely. I've got an agent and that's why I hired him. Those discussions will go on but, again, my number one focus is this team's preparation to win football games."

On the quarterbacks that he built a rapport with: "One guy that I would like to lean on is (Saint QB) Drew Brees. I hate to sound like a bandwagon guy because he's had such a phenomenal year, but I've been a fan of his for a long time and he's a Texas boy. He's gone through some things in his career, some ups and downs. I would like to think that I can bring to the table some things that he does. I just want to know on his leadership and preparation before the game that the questions that I have, as I've told you about, those things that will take time for me to iron out, maybe he can help with that process and get me going a little quicker."

On whether there is a certain skill set that he can flourish with in this offense: "I think this offense is built on rhythm and it's built on basically using the short passing game as an extension to the run and just dissecting people. It's also built a lot on the quarterback's shoulders and making decisions at the line. Nobody is ever going to outwork me. When I try to prepare, I feel like I can have all those things ready by the time it comes game time. We look forward to exploring some of those things as the season goes on."

On what he focuses on getting better at prior to mini-camp and training camp: "I think the biggest thing right now is ironing out being the starting quarterback and the guys recognizing me in that role. Once it comes time – I'm sure the next couple of weeks – we've already been watching film and breaking down different things and maybe adjusting things accordingly to my strengths and my weaknesses as opposed to Donovan's strengths and weaknesses."

On being prepared for the pressure in Philadelphia as the starting quarterback after hearing that fans are prepared to give him a three-game window:"Absolutely. I want to go out there and play well and if I don't play well the first game, I'm going to put pressure on myself to play well the second game. Although you say three, one's enough for me. With the situation I was in last year, I said I have a one-game showcase game right here. I'm used to that. I feel like I've been through that. We didn't win the game, but I was able to move forward and we got better the second game. Hopefully we don't have to have that loss, but we're going to ride it together and show improvement throughout the whole year and get everybody pointed in the right direction."

On how he has prepared himself for the pressure: "I don't think there's any way to totally prepare yourself for the things that can come but, at the same time, I'm focused on the fun part. I've seen a lot of the valleys that Donovan had to go through, but I've seen a lot of the peaks, too. I've seen where he's riding a high ship and he's smiling. I try not to focus on that part of it. It's like last year when the guys were saying, 'If you don't play well, you may not be here.' Well, I'm thinking, if I do play well, then I could be here a long time. So, that's the way I look at things. The pressure, yeah, it's there and there's no way to prepare for it but, at the same time, I'm thinking, 'Man, if we win the Super Bowl, just think where this can go.' That's the way I'm going to keep my focus and keep the team's focus and we'll roll."

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