Carey looking to exceed expectations

Ka'Deem Carey is aware of the success he had last season and how it increases expectations. Read on for his thoughts on that, how he uses it as motivation, and more.

By now Ka'Deem Carey's off the field issues are well documented, but since that has passed, he finds himself paying attention to football and taking one big step forward.

"Everything that happened off the field is gone," Carey said. "I put it in the past and I feel that when I step on the field everything is great and I am playing the game I love to play."

Carey's mindset going into this season has changed and it has much more to do with his accomplishments on the field last year as opposed to anything that may have happened off it.

"Now I am starting to have to defend something, which is the rushing title," he said. "I have to go out there and practice as hard as I can and take every rep to the fullest. I have to bond with the quarterback and wide receivers and make sure we are on the same page. It is a little different."

It would be understandable if Carey felt pressured to match the high expectations that have been placed on him, but he chooses to use a different word instead.

"Never pressure, motivation," Carey said. "That is how I look at. When I step on the field, it acts as motivation."

Carey has numerous challenges this season, including having to be a part of an offense with a quarterback that he may not necessarily be used to.

"Now that we are missing Matt, I feel that I have to run some routes too," he said. "I have to be crisp in blocking and protecting the quarterback. I have to be better at catching the ball and doing the all-around running back things.

"With Matt missing it will be crazy, but I think whoever our quarterback will be is going to step up and make plays just like Matt did."

One way that the coaching staff is making that transition easier is by running sets with two backs. There have been numerous times that Carey and Daniel Jenkins have either been in the same backfield or with Jenkins lining up wide and it has been effective throughout camp.

"I love what the coaches are doing," Carey said. "They are utilizing the talent that we have. Daniel is a great running back too, so we have to get him on the field also. It will keep teams guessing and both of us making big plays kind of reminds me of West Virginia when they ran that open offense."

With the coaching staff's confidence in Carey and the rest of the offense, the running back has noticed an increase in what Arizona has been doing offensively.

"We are deep in our playbook," Carey said. "We understand more, which is why I think the coaches can do that. Last year they just got into the system and it was basic stuff. Now that we have the basic stuff down, we can get deeper in the playbook on both sides of the ball."

Not only are expectations bigger for Carey, but the success on the field last season has led to increased expectations for the entire team.

"With the success we had last year, we still look back sometimes and say that if we only made that play or did something else better, then we could have been further along," Carey said.

"We just have to take one game at a time and realize each game is just as important. I think we will be a better team just by looking at everything differently than we did."

Carey's first opportunity to meet those expectations will come in less than two weeks and he does not hide the fact that he is already thinking about that.

"I have been thinking about it since the beginning of the month," he said. "We have to make a bang here in Tucson. They gave us all of these facilities and new turf and everything and we have to do something with it. It is about that time."

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