Ed Thompson: Let's first talk about where you were and what was going on at
the time you got the phone call from the Cleveland Browns. What were you seeing,
what were you doing?
Don Carey: Me and my family were sitting around at a sports bar with the
locals watching the draft. I was playing Uno. My father, my mother, and a
couple of my uncles were playing Dominoes, and I had some other family members
playing a card game called Deep 6. As soon as the sixth round came up, at the
same time I got a call from Cleveland, I also got a call from the Seahawks and I
got a call from Dallas. So I'm juggling all kinds of phones in my ear, trying to
talk to each and every one of them. Cleveland told me they've got a pick coming
up and we're going to take you. I was like OK and hung up the phone with them.
Dallas said the same thing. Seattle said the same thing. So now it's all about
who comes first. I look up, and it was Cleveland that had the first pick and
then Seattle was right after them and Dallas was a few picks after that. When
Cleveland called me back, it was Coach Mangini and he said, "glad to make
you a Cleveland Brown" and I said I'm glad to be a Cleveland Brown. Then my
name flashed up on the screen and everyone jumped up hollering. I had to leave
the room so that he could hear me. It was so loud in there.
Thompson: That's a great story. I think you've got one of the most exciting
draft day stories out of anybody I've talked to with all of those different
teams calling you at once.
Carey: (laughs) Things were moving really slow before that. I was getting a
little anxious, getting a little aggravated. Some guys were going before me who
personally, I feel like I was better than some of those guys. But it's all about
what teams need and maybe I didn't fit their need. When the phone calls came,
they came in bunches, so it got real exciting. My heart started pumping and
pounding a little harder. It was nice.
Thompson: How much contact did you have with Cleveland before that call?
Carey: I had not talked to anyone from the Cleveland organization. I remember
a scout came to one of our practices during the season. I didn't talk to
Cleveland at the all-star game, I didn't talk to Cleveland at the Combine.
Cleveland came to the Pro Day, but that was it.
Don Carey at work during rookie minicamp.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Thompson: You had visits with Miami, Seattle, and Pittsburgh right?
Carey: Right. It's funny how that works. People always say that with the
draft, the funny thing is there is always a team you never thought you had a
chance with. At the time you're thinking, I've got to get in with one of these
three teams because we were having so much communication back and forth with
Thompson: Did you hear from Pittsburgh on draft day? Did they call you at
Carey: Not at all.
Thompson: You had a workout, a visit, and then they worked you within a week
of the draft, too.
Carey: Yep, a few days before.
Thompson: When you worked out for them a few days before the draft, did you
get a good feeling that Coach Horton was impressed and that you were likely
going to be a Pittsburgh Steeler?
Carey: I did. My father recorded it and we went back home and played it. When
I did something wrong, Coach Horton let me know what I did wrong and I corrected
it really fast. There was a lot of excitement in his voice when I was able to do
that. I guess I was showing him that I'm extremely coachable. I was doing a lot
of things with my head movement, catching the ball, and just genuinely talking
to him. I was thinking, "man, I am going to be a Pittsburgh Steeler."
It was crazy because my whole family is Steelers fans. We are all in the sports
bar and everyone has on their Steelers jerseys because we all thought I was
going to Pittsburgh (laughs). You can imagine their faces when I go to the
Browns out of all places. That's a big-time rivalry right there.
Thompson: Were they already Steelers fans and that's why they had
the jerseys and shirts? Or did they actually go out and get these shirts for
Carey: No, they were already Steelers fans. Everyone from my father's side of
the family is from Pittsburgh. They all came down with their Steelers jerseys,
hats, and Terrible Towels.
Thompson: So now what are they going to do? They've got all this Pittsburgh
stuff and you're going to be playing for a rival.
Carey: They told me, we hope you have a good game, but that you lose — and
don't hurt nobody (laughs).
Thompson: (laughs) You know what I think you need to do? I think when
Christmas comes around, you need to buy every single one of them a Browns jersey
with your name on it.
Carey: (laughs) Yeah, that'll be good. I'm going to do it. I will do that.
Thompson: Don, do you have anything you want to say to the Cleveland Browns
fans who haven't seen you play yet? Tell them a little about what kind of
defensive back they are going to be seeing out there.
Carey: The Cleveland Browns have drafted a really skilled player, smart,
physical. I'm electric on the field, I'm hoping to bring a lot of excitement to
Click here for more coverage of your favorite NFL team.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook. Or contact him by email
through this link.