Kolb excited for chance to prove doubters wrong

Jul 29, 2011, 8:31 PM | Updated: 10:09 pm

Kevin Kolb wanted to be an Arizona Cardinal.

Needing a new team after four years in Philadelphia, the 26-year-old was hoping his fresh start would come in the Valley of the Sun.

But, he was careful not to get his hopes up.

“I knew if I didn’t end up here…I didn’t want it to be a letdown if I went somewhere else,” he told Sports 620 KTAR Friday. “For my own protection, for my family’s protection, we just kept an open mind.

“But I’m glad it worked out, it couldn’t be better.”

That a highly-sought after player wanted to play for the Cardinals is a welcome change, as the team, for many years, was generally brought up by agents for leverage, not as possible destinations for their clients.

But times are changing, and Kolb said there are plenty of things that made Arizona an attractive place for him to advance his career.

Especially, as he said, because he did not want to go back to Philadelphia to be a backup for Michael Vick.

“I’m just really fortunate and really glad that the Bidwills, Michael and Rod Graves and Coach Whisenhunt brought me in and had the faith in me to make this move,” he said. “I know there was a lot at stake and there is a lot at stake but I’m ready to take on the challenge and make it right.”

Making it right will mean playing well and getting the Cardinals back to the playoffs. Because, as has been said, what the Cardinals traded to get Kolb or the contract they signed him to won’t really matter once they start playing the games. If Kolb succeeds, it will be a good trade, and if he falters it won’t.

That pressure, that responsibility of leading a team through an entire season is something Kolb is excited to embrace. After all, he’s started just seven games as a pro, and really never had a team he could call his own.

“Going through a 16-game season, handling the ups and downs of a season and just becoming one with your team, that’s when it becomes special,” he said. “It’s been five years, practically, since I’ve been to that point, and I’m ready to do it again and see what it’s all about.”

And now he gets that chance. Kolb will step into the starting QB role for a team with playoff aspirations. There are some who don’t think he can handle the job, but that doesn’t matter to Kolb.

“Living in Philadelphia you get thick skin,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me that bad and everybody is going to have their own opinion.

“I look forward to just proving them wrong.”

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