Kolb takes talents to City of Brotherly Love
The eyes of the professional football world were fixed on former UH record-setting quarterback Kevin Kolb Saturday when the Philadelphia Eagles selected him in second round of the NFL draft.
Kolb was selected with the 36th overall pick and was the third quarterback taken behind first round selections JaMarcus Russell (No. 1 overall to Oakland) and Brady Quinn (No. 22 to Cleveland). The Eagles traded their 26th first-round pick to Dallas in exchange for picks in the second, third and fifth rounds.
Kolb, who was the Eagles’ first selection of the draft, said the opportunity to play for head coach Andy Reid was an ideal situation for him to grow as an NFL quarterback given Reid’s track record with Pro Bowl signal-caller Donovan McNabb.
"For me, it’s exactly what you could ask for," Kolb said. "I wanted to be with a coaching staff that could help me progress and make me a better player. I want to learn, I’m eager to learn (and) I think I have the ability to, so that’s a perfect situation with (Reid) who has developed so many good quarterbacks. What else could you ask for?"
Kolb joins former UH standouts Andre Ware and David Klinger as the only other quarterbacks in program history to be selected with a team’s first overall pick.
Ware, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1989, was selected seventh overall by the Detroit Lions in 1990 and Klinger was selected sixth overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1992.
Both quarterbacks struggled to find consistency throughout their lackluster NFL careers. Kolb, however, believes he has all the intangibles necessary to make an impact, which includes more than just his ability to throw the deep ball.
"I feel I bring more to the table than just my game," Kolb said. "If something is not right, I’m going to stay until I get it right. I think I have the intangibles to win championships, which includes rallying your teammates around you. I think that’s what ultimately wins games."
The mental aspect of the game is an area Kolb believes he knows all too well. The offensive system he engineered at Houston under head coach Art Briles incorporated elements of both a shotgun-style spread offense and power running game.
For Kolb, running a complex motion offense in college, which is different from the pro style implemented by teams in the NFL, gave him an edge in regard to his ability to make decisions on the run.
"In a lot of the workouts I had, they wanted to see if I had the mental capacity to handle an NFL offense, because that’s a big transition," Kolb said. "And after a couple of plays, they new right away that I did. They were pretty impressed when I took them through a lot of my reads, and having that much to handle and to do in a football game in college is going to help me out in the next level."
Kolb ended his collegiate career as the Cougars’ all-time leader in passing yards (12,964), total plays (2,037), completions (964), attempts (1,565) and touchdowns responsible for (106). Kolb also was the first-ever true freshman to start at quarterback for UH, and his success prompted the Athletics Department to promote Kolb as a Heisman trophy candidate his senior year in 2006. It proved to be a career year for Kolb, who led the Cougars to their first Conference USA championship in 10 years while earning C-USA Player of the Year honors.
Kolb will pack more than just his suitcases as he gets set to begin his new career as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. The memory of winning a championship at UH will be with him as well.
"For me, the biggest thing is (winning) the (Conference USA) championship," Kolb said. "Not only coming here to play with great coaches and a lot of great players, but that championship we won in the end. That’s something you always strive for and they’re so hard to come by. We gave every good effort we had into that.
"UH is what propelled me to do all this, so I definitely thank them. It was the best four years of my life."