Once the NFL draft comes to a close, it’s always interesting and fun to go back through all the notes and interviews cobbled throughout the pre-draft process.
The college prospects come in and out, whether at the Senior Bowl or NFL combine, and you just never know whether the player you’re interviewing will be later drafted by the team you cover. Here’s a transcript of a group interview with Chicago Bears fourth-round pick Ka'Deem Carey from February's combine:
Question: What back playing would you compare yourself to nowadays?
Answer: "Oh, you're going to hit me with the nowadays. I'd say a mix between Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy. Adrian Peterson runs hard and LeSean McCoy has the shakes in the open field to break a safety down. My (favorite) running back is Brian Westbrook because he catches, he blocks. He does it all."
Q: How much better of a receiver are you now having played for Rich Rodriguez at Arizona?
A: "I'm definitely a lot better receiver than what I came to college as. I felt like Rich Rod coming into the program definitely benefited me because playing under coach [Mike] Stoops, I would have had a couple catches. But he (Rodriguez) loved to spread it around, put me in the slot. I'm really comfortable with that and excited about it."
Q: How do you feel about the trend of teams not valuing running backs as much as they did in the past?
A: "I don't like that. Definitely, I feel like they think the running back spot is going extinct for some reason. They definitely need us. I'm definitely going to make sure they know that when I step on the field that they made a good pick and running backs aren't going extinct."
Q: Would you have changed positions if you knew later down the road we’d be seeing this trend with running backs?
A: "Tell me about it. Nowadays, they're like you've got to go second, third round. I'm like, 'Why in the hell didn't you tell me this a couple of years ago, that running backs are going extinct?' I'm definitely OK with it. I'm just trying to bring back and to show we're definitely valuable. But I definitely would have went to corner or something. Shoot."
Q: Were you surprised you didn't receive more consideration for the Heisman Trophy? It seemed no one was paying attention to you much of the season.
A: "I think it's East Coast bias. I'm sorry everybody. You guys are sleeping on us. You guys are asleep at the time we're playing, and I don't blame you, I'd be asleep too. I like to get my sleep."
Q: What if you are drafted by a place that has cold weather like Cleveland?
A: "Being born and raised in Arizona, and our weather is always sunny and nice. It's always hot. Playing somewhere like Cleveland would be interesting and fun; definitely will test out my game and my talents. I feel comfortable. I played in Washington in some rain and that's the first time ever I played in rain. I had a good game and I was excited to be there. It just motivated me more."
Q: Did people advise you to leave school early?
A: "They definitely were in my ear, saying you have a limited numbers of hits and running backs, you need to go while you have the chance. I know that I could have come back and played another year, got bigger and stronger and dominated at that level. But my decision was I was ready for the league. I felt like I was ready a year ago but I just couldn't leave. I stayed consistent this year, and really proved to me that I was ready to provide for my family."
Q: What are the scouts going to find out about you as a pass blocker?
A: "They are going to find an aggressive, hard-nosed [player] that will hit you right under your chin. I'm going to tell you right now, I need more technique in pass blocking. I have no problem with picking up the blitz and delivering the hit."
Q: What would you need to run in the 40 to answer questions about your speed?
A: "A 4.5 would be just solid, knowing that I've got that getaway speed and the film speaks for the rest. They feel comfortable with the way I play. They just want to know if I can get away from that last defender and actually bring the 6 points home." [Carey ran a 4.7 official 40-yard dash at the combine.]
Q: How has the combine experience been for you?
A: "I'm enjoying this. I get to speak to the coaches. They get to see my personality. Being from the West, they don't know too much about me, so this is a great opportunity for me to get here and get comfortable and be myself and they can see who I am."
Q: Is there a particular coach you are looking forward to meeting?
A: "Definitely coach Andy Reid. He is the best coach ever. Once I get to see him, shake his hand, and sit in a meeting with him, everything is going to be all gravy. I was a big Eagles fan growing up. I loved the way he did everything with Brian Westbrook. I just love the way he coaches."
Q: What’s the best advice you've received and who gave it to you?
A: "Just walk around with a big smile. Be happy about each day because it can be taken away tomorrow. That was just by mom. So I walk around with a big smile every day. This is a blessing."
Q: Where do you get your confidence?
A: "Maybe classes that I had to take at the University of Arizona. Little classes, we'd get in a little circle, like therapy or something. We'll just talk about our life. That's where I got really confident in being myself."
Q: What were your favorite classes?
A: "The ones that I was just talking about. Just getting to know everybody in class, where they are coming from, and their life story. It's helped me become the person I am. You really can't judge everybody. And there's not too much to do in Tucson. I run, I hike. I walk my dogs. I like to get out and play two-hand touch football. Coach Rich Rod didn't like that. But I had to keep it on the low. I can say it now because I'm away from him.'
Q: What kind of dogs you have?
A: "A Maltese Yorkie, and then I have two pit bulls."