Five Minutes With Don Carey

Cleveland Browns cornerback Don Carey had one of the most exciting and unusual draft weekends of any NFL draft prospect. Find out which other teams were ready to pick him in the sixth round, why he expected to be a Pittsburgh Steeler, and much more in this exclusive interview with's Ed Thompson.

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 them.

Thompson: Did you hear from Pittsburgh on draft day? Did they call you at all?

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 your party?

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 the field.

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 network and at You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook. Or contact him by email through this link.

The OBR Top Stories