New Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb meets the media Friday.
From the time Kevin Kolb visited Arizona in January of 2009 for the NFC Championship game, he said he "marked this one down as one of my favorites."
Maybe that's how Kolb's name was linked to the Cardinals so quickly this offseason – besides the fact Kolb was looking for a starting job and the Cards had one. The Cards' brass talked Thursday about how much they wanted Kolb, enough to deal cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2012 second-round pick. Friday, Kolb returned the favor as he made it sound like he was returning home and not to a brand-new situation.
"You just know when something feels right," Kolb said during his introductory press conference.
That goes for his brief time with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who gave Kolb a huge hug when the two met each other in the locker room Friday. Kolb had come to Arizona for a private throwing session with Fitzgerald during the lockout, something Kolb had to consider a tryout of sorts.
"I guess I'd be lying if I didn't say a little bit," he acknowledged, adding "every day is going to feel like that."
But there was an ease being with Fitzgerald, who deferred talking about his new quarterback until he met with the media in Flagstaff. There's was an immediate ease in every aspect for the Texas native, and there certainly is an ease among coaches and teammates knowing Kolb had arrived.
"With the quarterback emphasis in this league, we needed to add someone to the competition," offensive coordinator Mike Miller said. "You just talk to him for a couple of minutes and you feel that presence he carries.
"You like his knowledge of the game, the way he can process information, his accuracy, his release, his toughness. Those are the things you are looking for."
Calling himself a "gym rat," Kolb – the son of a football coach – chuckled when it was suggested he was the starter. Undoubtedly, what it took to get him to Arizona, including his new contract with more than $20 million in guarantees, makes him a virtual lock to start.
No one will say that, though. More importantly, Kolb wants no part of such a thought process.
"At one point I remember in Philadelphia it was me, Jeff Garcia, Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb," Kolb said. "I'm sitting thinking, 'Wow, what do I bring to the table?' But you have to be competitive in this sport. If you don't compete every day in practice, your rear end is going to be out. I know that, they know that."
Who the quarterback will be didn't mean as much to wide receiver Early Doucet as much as the idea that someone was going to be throwing him the ball.
"We've had six months off," Doucet said. "I think all anybody wants to do is get back to football."
Because of his new contract, Kolb cannot practice until Aug. 4. "It's going to be difficult ... That's how you earn respect, in the heat of battle," he said. "But we'll roll with the punches."
He acknowledged there was a "responsibility" that comes with the heavy price he cost, including sending DRC to the Eagles. It doesn't make things any more difficult, however.
"There is always pressure to perform, and perform great," Kolb said. "As a quarterback in the National Football League, you better put it on yourself … it's nothing new for me."
Kolb owns a 2,500-acre ranch and used to hunt wild boars. He enjoys going fishing.
Mostly, though, his thoughts are about the Cardinals now, a new job in a new home where he is confident he will leave a good impression.
"Football, besides family and God," Kolb said, "that's all I care about."