Safety Don Carey acclimating himself to first-team defense

Posted Jun 4, 2013

With the absence of Louis Delmas during organized team activities, Carey has had the benefit of taking first-team reps with Glover Quin

With Louis Delmas resting and rehabbing his knee instead of participating in OTAs, Don Carey has gotten valuable work alongside Glover Quin during the Lions' offseason training program.
Don CareyDon Carey (Photo: G. Smith/Detroit Lions)

Carey has taken first-team reps with Quin during the OTA sessions open to the media, and the fifth-year player says those reps have been invaluable.

"It's huge," Carey said after a recent OTA practice. "You never know when your number is going to be called, so to be able to get those quality reps with the (first team), it not only makes them comfortable with you, but you comfortable with them."

The Lions signed Quin and re-signed Delmas this offseason with the idea that they'd compliment each other nicely in the backend of the defense. But with Delmas missing 13 games the last two seasons with two separate knee injuries, having a reliable No. 3 isn't just a commodity.

The Lions re-signed Carey last November after he was waived/injured in training camp due to a hamstring injury. He played in nine games with six starts in 2013, finishing with 39 tackles and two interceptions -- with both picks coming in a loss to the Colts.

Carey has played both cornerback and safety, which is a skill set Quin also possesses and the Lions like. His play last year prompted the Lions to extend Carey's contract through 2013 before the end of the regular season last year.

When Delmas returns to the practice field it'll be he and Quin manning the backend of the Lions' defense, but Carey says he'll be ready to fill in if needed. The reps he's getting this offseason could make that transition easier, if necessary.

"It's always easier when you know who you're playing with," Carey said. "When you have some type of cohesiveness with them. When you know how they're going to react to certain things you can always play better."