Chicago Bears 2014 fourth-round selection, running back Ka'Deem Carey, views himself as "a loveful cat" who doesn't see too much of a downside from a domestic violence charge while a student at the University of Arizona.
"It's in the past," Carey said. "If I can learn from it and become a better person then it might have been part of the grander plan. I didn't use the best judgment but I can't control that now. It happened a while ago. I'm just going on and showing people that I have something positive to prove."
That problematic situation might have been one of the reasons the productive ball carrier (3,814 rushing yards, 42 TDs the past two years combined) fell to the fourth round, Carey admitted. In his view, though, it will just make him work harder to demonstrate his on-field worth.
"Nobody wants people saying they have off-field character issues. It was one situation where I got heated up a little bit," Carey said. "It wasn't a big deal really. I wrap my mind around it now and see what can be turned into a positive. What I learned from it was the importance of keeping my head no matter what situation I might be in."
Carey watched from home as the first three rounds of the draft passed him by. When the phone finally rang, he felt overwhelming relief.
"Once Bishop [Sankey] was taken, the first running back to be selected in this year's draft, I felt that maybe my name would be coming up," Carey said. "It was very difficult to sit there and just wait. I knew this draft class had a good stock of running backs and I'd been surprised that none of them had been taken higher. Hearing from the Bears was exactly what I'd hoped for."
Carey currently holds Arizona's all-time record with 6,992 career all-purpose yards, including his 2,248 yards as a sophomore. He is the holder of the Wildcats' school record with 4,239 yards on the ground.
Carey feels that he'll be a good fit for Chicago but is waiting to meet with his new coaches to find out exactly how he'll be utilized. Of most interest to the former Wildcat is the opportunity to learn from Matt Forte.
"What a tremendous talent Forte is," Carey said. "Anytime I've seen him, it's been overwhelmingly impressive. The chance to work with him, to play with him, is more than I had hoped for."
Up to this point, Carey believes he most closely resembles 49ers running back Frank Gore, a player who, in Carey's view, "runs hard 100 percent of the time and plays every down."
"I want to be versatile and dependable," Carey said. "I tried to demonstrate that to the Bears when I had my workout for them. I'm a 4th rounder and I definitely have something to prove. I can't wait to get to Halas Hall and begin that journey."
Beth Gorr has been covering the Bears for the last 12 years and is the author of Bear Memories: The Chicago-Green Bay Rivalry. She is currently working on a second book about early Bears history.