Kevin Kolb is sold on Doug Marrone and the Buffalo Bills.
The newly acquired veteran quarterback from the Arizona Cardinals says the sales pitch he got from the Bills’ new head coach and new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was music to his ears.
“I am really excited,” Kolb told The News Thursday from his home in Texas. “I think just when we all sat down for the first time and we discussed what our offensive mindsets were and career-wise what I was looking for, it just all made sense.”
“It was a breath of fresh air to hear Doug and Nate and their offensive philosophy,” Kolb said. “I’m excited and I want to be a part of it.”
The Bills reached an agreement last weekend on a two-year contract with Kolb, a 28-year-old, six-year NFL veteran. He’s expected to be in town in the coming week to join his new teammates in their offseason conditioning work.
Marrone and Hackett like an up-tempo, no-huddle style. They ran it with success at Syracuse University. Kolb has operated out of a shotgun-spread attack much of his career. He thinks it fits his strengths.
“Without giving away too much,” Kolb said, “the unique style of offense that these guys run and what they bring to the picture as far as their knowledge of the game and their creativity and their ability to be open-minded, it really excited me.”
“I think a lot of times in this league you have people who are set in their ways and they follow other people’s leads all the time,” Kolb said. “I’m very optimistic about what we’re gonna do.”
Kolb also likes what he sees of the Bills’ offensive line, which is coming off two straight quality seasons.
The biggest knock on Kolb is he has not been able to stay healthy. He started only nine games for the Cardinals in 2011 and five in 2012. He took a beating, getting sacked 57 times in 493 pass plays in Arizona. Ryan Fitzpatrick was sacked 30 times in 535 pass plays last season for Buffalo. Arizona ranked last in the NFL in pass protection last year and fifth worst in 2011.
“That was attractive to me,” Kolb said. “I think they’re very talented up front. When you look at Doug’s history with the offensive line, obviously, it’s a huge point of emphasis for him.”
“Then of course with the offense itself, how much it benefits the quarterback in getting the ball out quickly and being decisive,” Kolb said. “I think it all really points to a positive direction as far as not taking as many hits and being able to be successful with the ball in your hands.”
Kolb knows he must prove he can stay on the field. He got hurt in his first start as the Eagles’ top QB in 2010 and watched Michael Vick play great and take the job away from him.
“I always think things happen for a reason,” Kolb said. “It didn’t happen in Philly. I got knocked out in the first half of the first game. In Arizona, I couldn’t stay healthy even though we had a great thing going last year.”
“Everything to me points to Buffalo, and I’m gonna take an optimistic view of it,” Kolb said. “I’m very excited to be there.”