Don Carey: Moving Forward

Jordan Heck@@JordanHeckFFContributor IIIJuly 23, 2010

VIA: The Cover Two

On April 26, 2010, the Cleveland Browns drafted Don Carey in the sixth round. Four months later, he was a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Browns needed to waive Carey after he suffered an injury on the first day of camp so they could get another body in camp.

Since a player with less than four years of experience cannot be sent to injured reserve before final cuts, the Browns had to risk losing Carey by placing him on waivers. The Browns didn’t think anybody would pick up an injured player, and neither did Carey.

“I have never heard of a team claiming an injured player before, when my agent called me I thought I did something wrong,” Carey said. “I was so confused.”

Carey was disappointed that he couldn’t continue what he had going in Cleveland.

“I really like the defense that Rob Ryan runs and I felt as if I had a future [in Cleveland], everything felt right and I felt like I was wanted there,” Carey said.

Although he was upset he couldn’t finish what he started in Cleveland, Carey understands that there is a business side of football.

“The NFL is a crazy business for both players and teams. It’s safe to say neither of us get what we want all the time,” Carey said.

When he was claimed by the Jaguars he had to be placed on injured reserve, which Carey described as ‘seriously boring.’

“I’ve played football every fall since I was 6 years old. Sitting out and watching the game from the sidelines was a terrible experience,” Carey said. “I was able to learn a great deal from film study though.”

Coming out of high school, Carey had the opportunity to attend Yale University and although he said it would have been a wonderful experience, he could not afford all of the fees. He decided to go to a lesser-known college called Norfolk State University.

“I had several partial scholarships to D-1A schools, but NSU gave me the best opportunity to play football and get an education,” said Carey.

While at Norfolk State, Carey played at both the safety and corner positions. In his junior year, Carey started all 11 games at cornerback and made the All-MEAC team, which helped him get into the East-West Shrine game. The East-West Shrine game is a postseason college football game that attracts many scouts and NFL teams. Carey believes the game helped raise his draft stock.

“Going to the East-West game was huge,” Carey said. “One of the major concerns scouts had was could I play at a high level versus D-1A guys. I think my performance there really help me out a lot.”

When Carey was drafted in 2009 he was already on the phone with two other NFL teams.

“I was on the phone with the Seahawks and Cowboys, when I got the call from Cleveland,” Carey said. “I didn’t even recognize the area code, I was like 440 who is that?”

Now, Carey is doing what it takes to make the Jacksonville Jaguars' 53-man roster for the 2010 season.

“There is so much thrown at you in OTA’s and there are a lot of great athletes so the competition is very high,” Carey said. “At the end of the day, you have to find a way to get a heads up on everyone because talent alone will not get you a roster spot.”

Carey believes that his shoulder is healing after injuring it last season during training camp and he also believes that he will make the Jaguars roster.

“The shoulder is doing well, I don’t think about it when I’m on the field so that’s good,” Carey said. “I’m just working hard as I can to show the coaches I can contribute to the team.”

Carey knows that hard work will speak for itself and doesn’t listen to what the critics have to say about his game.

“That stuff goes in one ear and out the other. You can’t please everyone and I’m not trying to, all I can do is work hard and do what I’m told,” Carey said.