Kolb hopes for extra playing time in Cards' preseason opener

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- After just five practices, Kevin Kolb will lead the Arizona Cardinals into their preseason opener Thursday night at Oakland.

Kolb said he hopes Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt will give him as much playing time as possible as he works to learn a new system and develop chemistry with his teammates.

"Obviously, Ken's been around a lot longer than I have and he makes those calls," Kolb said before Tuesday's final pre-game practice, "but as much time as he'll give us, that's how much time we need because there's a lot of work to be done."

Whisenhunt said he probably will stay with his new quarterback a bit longer than he would under normal circumstances in a preseason opener.

"I just would just like to see him continue to be comfortable with calling and operating the offense," the coach said. "I've seen some good strides as far as handling it in the huddle, but this is a whole new deal now, going out on the field, working the communicator, getting in and out of the huddle, get the plays lined up. I'm sure there's going to be some confusion out there, not necessarily his but other people on the team. You just never know."

Forget game planning for the Raiders. With such a limited time to prepare, Kolb will do well to just oversee the basic offense.

"I guess the biggest thing that I want to see is just how he handles everything," Whisenhunt said. "I'm not too concerned about statistically what he does or a lot of those things. You want to see him do good things, but I think really you obviously want to see how he handles the situation. It will give us a better feel of what we can do, what we can put in, how we can adjust things going forward. That's what this is all about."

Kolb, obtained in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, couldn't practice with the Cardinals until last Thursday after he signed a five-year, $63 million contract with $21 million guaranteed. He said he's a perfectionist and it has been frustrating when he struggles sometimes with the terminology of Arizona's offense.

"It is hard because I put a lot of pressure on myself and I want to be perfect from the word go," he said. "It frustrates me beyond belief whenever I have a tough time spitting out a play. If I stutter through a long-worded play, that frustrates me because that's not my style. But I also understand I'm going into Day 5 here, so I have to calm myself down. But I still want to chase that perfection every day."

Kolb is coming off a mixed performance in the Cardinals' red and white scrimmage, when he made some big plays but threw three interceptions.

Asked what he learned from that day, Kolb said, "Don't force things."

"We did some great things, and that happens to me sometimes," he said, "You know, I get caught up in trying to make too many plays."

Kolb said the important thing is not to repeat mistakes.

"I know I'm going to make some mistakes. I just want to learn from them," he said. "Just like the scrimmage on Saturday, just like the practice yesterday. All those are sticking in my head, and I'll remember them, and hopefully I won't make those mistakes again. Obviously, we don't want to make a bunch of them.

"I don't know how much playing time we're going to get, but every down, every snap, I'll make sure I'm learning from that experience and putting them in my memory bank for later on."

The Cardinals had Sunday off, but while some of his teammates chose to return to Phoenix, Kolb stayed at camp.

"I said I needed to hang out here and make sure I was catching up on the fast-paced first couple of days there," he said. "I feel good, though, even the next practice yesterday, just spitting it out felt a lot better. And every day's a little bit better."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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