Paul Sancya/Associated Press
It might be time to rethink the assumption that Don Carey will hold onto the third safety spot, a role he underwhelmed in last year.
Fans might recall his shaky performances against the Steelers and Giants in 2013, the two games where Carey saw his most extensive action. In those outings, Pro Football Focus graded him a combined minus-7.9, weighed down heavily by an aggregate minus-8.1 rating in pass coverage.
That was very much the Don Carey on display in the first week of camp, unfortunately.
While he's often touted for his versatility, including in this piece from June by Twentyman, he more closely resembles a player that doesn't have a firm grasp at either coverage or run support.
He was downright awful in Friday's session:
There just isn't any innate feel for what the offense is trying to do, a key attribute for quality safety play.
His veteran status and new three-year, $2.93 million contract, according to Spotrac, likely give Carey enough buffer to stick on the roster. It also helps him that none of the other reserve safeties (Isa Abdul Quddus, DeJon Gomes, Jerome Couplin) are playing very well either.
Still, depth at safety was supposed to be an asset with Carey. Now that perceived strength is looking more like a weakness after the first part of training camp.