Originally published on Silver & Black Report on May 10, 2014
The Raiders added additional cornerback help by drafting Ohio’s T.J. Carrie in the seventh round.
Carrie spoke with the media shortly after his selection. You can read the transcript below.
Q: Do you know Taiwan Jones at all?
Carrie: “Yes, I played against him, ran track against him, and know him very well. I actually tuned in when he got drafted by the Raiders as well. Very familiar face. I see you guys just picked up Maurice Jones-Drew who went to my former high school De La Salle. Definitely some good guys on there that I know, which is good.”
Q: Did you know the Raiders were interested on you?
Carrie: “I had a visit with them and then they actually came and worked me out, too. The visit was great, it was awesome. Loved the staff and loved the facility and the program. The whole defensive scheme that they laid out and the film, adjusted to the coaches and everything like that. The vibe felt good. Me and my agent talked a little bit about the situation, so we kind of had a hunch for something that was going down in this process. Excited to be here.”
Q: How did you run in track against Taiwan?
Carrie: “Actually, that’s a very memorable moment. He actually … he’s fast, let’s put it like that. I won’t embarrass myself too much, but he’s very fast.”
Q: Do you think your ability to return punts might help you stick to this roster?
Carrie: “Definitely. I think special teams is just as important as offense and defense. I think that can separate and give teams momentum shifts. My punt return abilities, my punt coverage ability and the special teams ability that I bring to the table and all of the other players that we’ve gotten in the draft process, I think it will help the program.”
Q: You’ve missed a couple of different seasons with injury issues. How frustrating has that been?
Carrie: “It’s a process. I’ve always surrounded myself with people who have always allowed me to lift up to those situations and continue to believe in everything, as far as the man above and the fate that comes with the situation. Almost all the times that situation happens, I’ve been very optimistic and continued to work hard and dedicate myself to the craft of the game. That is what has prevailed me to this point and the pinnacle of my life.”
Q: As you went through the draft process, were you fighting the injury-prone labels?
Carrie: “Yeah, that was. The biggest thing I had to execute during my Pro Day was I had to run fast, I had to jump high, and do as well as I could in the drills to dismiss those concerns. We were able to do all of those, as far as my Pro Day. I was excited that we had overcome some stress and some problems and they had put me in the situation I’m in today.”
Q: Are there any lingering effects from the injuries?
Carrie: “No. That’s just on account of my college atmosphere and all of the doctors that have worked on me and the physical therapy that I’ve gotten at Ohio has been great. I think my training facility that I went to for this preparation, they did an excellent job as well. Big thanks to them for helping the recovery process. It’s helped me and put me in this situation to come out of the injuries healthy.”
Q: Did you play with Mike Mitchell at Ohio your first year?
Carrie: “I did play with Mike. He actually texted me and he was excited for me. I played with him my true freshman year. He’s a great guy and when he was down there in Oakland as well, we had a chance to connect with some opportunities. Excited for the opportunity that we have some Ohioans that have gone to the Oakland Raiders and will prevail.”
Q: Who is more intense, you or Mike?
Carrie: “I would say Mike. Mike is a character, in a good way. He brings a lot of enjoyment to the game of football. I think we both do it and express it in different ways. Mike expresses it a little more enthusiastically than me. He gets his point across. I gained some of his enthusiasm and I’m working on where I need to be to be where he was at.”
Q: What did the De La Salle experience do to lay the foundation for today?
Carrie: “De La Salle, I recommend it to a number of athletes who are trying to go through the high school experience. The dedication and the hard work and the commitment that you have to achieve at that school is at the highest bar. The coaches, the school system, it all surrounds around bringing each and every player up. Your challenge there in high school to wake up at 5 in the morning for lifting and other things are things that you’re going to do in college. So, going through that experience prepares you as a man. It prepares you to become a lot more mature, faster. Great blessing that I went to that De La Salle school. It gave me great knowledge and made me the person I am today actually.”
Q: Are you looking forward to seeing the movie?
Carrie: “I am looking forward to seeing the movie. It’s so funny because when I was there in high school, they had come out with a documentary, but it wasn’t as national and as big as it did for this movie. It was more just some of the people in the area knew about it, but it was a great video. So, now that they’re making a movie, I’m so excited to see it. Glad to be a part of that experience of the De La Salle era.”
Q: What do you think about playing so close to home?
Carrie: “I’m loving it. I think that family is a big thing in life. I think that family, being around family, and having family around you really grounds you, in a sense. Being around my family and playing in the National Football League will be great for me. It will give me an opportunity to really work for everything that I’ve accomplished.”
Q: Did I read that your parents moved to Cleveland?
Carrie: “My parents did move to Cleveland. My father is doing real estate, and Cleveland was a good area for him to come to do real estate. They’re kind of on the five-year plan. They’re on year one and a half, so they have a couple of years left before they’ll get the opportunity to move back. It’ll be great to have them back once that plan is over.”
Q: How would you describe your style of corner?
Carrie: “Our style of defense was more man-on-man. Our defensive coordinator is good for that. He’s always put a good game plan in front of us each and every game. He likes the man-blitzes and the man-frees. He likes to put his corners out there on islands and let him do the dirty work. The transition from here, for me, is I’ve had that man-on-man capability. I’m one of the bigger corners, the taller corners. That’s kind of been the trend nowadays for the NFL: bigger and faster. You see that receivers are getting bigger and faster as well. You’re going to need a corner that can be just as versatile. I think that’s a lot that I bring to the table.”