Kevin Kolb wasted little time Monday in addressing the big question hovering over his new job opportunity with the Buffalo Bills.
“I know I can play at this level,” Kolb said upon being introduced as the new addition to the Bills’ quarterback roster. “I’ve done it here and there throughout my career, two or three games at a time. We all know I’ve got to stay healthy.”
The Bills might have a quality veteran to run coach Doug Marrone’s new offense – if he can stay on the field.
Kolb could not hold onto starting opportunities in Philadelphia in 2010 and Arizona the last two seasons because he was knocked out of the lineup.
A concussion took him off the field in Philadelphia and gave Michael Vick the chance to seize the starting job. A foot injury and a concussion derailed his 2011 campaign with the Cardinals. Then, after helping Arizona to a 4-0 start last season, he saw his season end due to a rib and sternum injury suffered against the Bills.
The hits that put Kolb out of action probably would have injured any quarterback, which is why he considers his injuries largely a case of bad luck.
“I played 50 straight in college and then come here and get banged up every four games, it seems like,” Kolb said. “So that’s a bit frustrating because it’s out of my hands. … I think that honestly a lot of it’s luck or flukey.
“I just always trust that God’s got a plan. Part of His plan was me being injured. Part of His plan was me going to Arizona. And part of His plan is me being right here right now. … I’m so excited to be here and looking forward to doing really special things on the field once we get rolling.”
Kolb, 28, signed a two-year contract with the Bills that could be worth a maximum of $13 million.
He will compete for the starting job with incumbent backup Tarvaris Jackson, undrafted Aaron Corp and probably a prominent rookie draft pick.
“I want to be on the field and be the starter,” Kolb said. “I’m sure Tarvaris does too and Aaron and whoever else they want to bring in. So we’ll go out there and help each other out where we can. … Personally, this is a big chance for me.”
Kolb, 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds, is familiar with the West Coast offense utilized by Bills coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. He ran it in Philadelphia. The Bills think Kolb can function well in a shotgun, no-huddle attack that they aim to use to some degree.
“I think that I’ve seen areas where he’s had success in some of the things that we’re looking to build on,” Marrone said. “I think he can make all the throws, I think he can throw well. I’ve seen his ability depending on schematics of what’s going on, him being able to get the ball out. I see all those things.”
“I think, obviously, the offense, some stuff we’re gonna do offensively is unique and it’s gonna be fun,” Kolb said. “It’s gonna fit my strengths.”
Kolb on his strengths: “I think the cerebral part of the game is something I take a lot of pride in. They’ll put a lot on the quarterback here. I’m trying to think how I can word certain things. Getting the ball out of my hand quickly. Pre-snap reads. Understanding defenses. Just some things that over the last few years, being through a couple different systems, the footwork of this offense. Stuff like that.
“Today when I was sitting in there, 75 to 80 percent of it is all retained information from previous places and coaches I’ve been with. Obviously Coach Hackett has a West Coast background with his dad. And so there’s some carry over in that regard.”
Kolb said he embraces the underdog role the Bills are in as they start a new regime.
“I’m here to win a Super Bowl, period,” Kolb said. “There’s very limited opportunities in this league. I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of them. Hopefully, I have another one here. I plan on taking 100 percent care of that and making sure I do my part to play at the highest level.”
The Bills had three draft-eligible players at One Bills Drive. They were Louisiana State pass rusher Barkevious Mingo, Tennessee receiver Justin Hunter and Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel.