Rookie diary: James Casey

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EDITOR'S NOTE: *Tight end James Casey, drafted in the fifth round (152nd overall) this April, is a former minor league baseball player who joins the Texans as a 24-year-old rookie from Rice. In his second diary entry for HoustonTexans.com, Casey discusses his third week of OTAs and more.

*This week of OTAs was kind of up and down for me. I did some good things and also did some bad things that can be expected from being a rookie and being new to everything. I've got to show everybody that I can do the right thing consistently and be a good player. I'm just trying to work on having a lot more good plays than bad plays.

I think I'm starting to get a little bit better at picking up the playbook. I'm starting to remember things now. But as soon as I started getting it down just a little bit, they started adding more stuff in like goal line situations or short-yardage plays and our two-minute offense. That stuff's completely different, completely new stuff, so I had to learn a whole bunch of different things all over again. Everything kind of builds on itself, though, so the more we do, the more comfortable I get, even though it's still a lot of information.

The coaches had me do long snapping this week after practice. I'm trying to do as much as I can to show them I can do different things to help the team out in different ways. Long snapping's something I've been working on ever since the draft because I thought it would maybe give me a better shot to make the team and be more valuable. It hasn't really been affecting how I learn the tight end position too much since it's all been after practice. I'm just trying to keep on getting better at that every day.

We work so hard during the week, so I've really got to rest my body on the weekends. I sleep a lot and relax a lot on our days off. I try to play some golf, too. I go down to Wildcat and play whenever I can; it's really close to Reliant Stadium and my house. I'm trying to pick up the game because after playing baseball and getting released and playing football now, I know it's not going to last forever. I'm a competitive guy and I want to be able to compete in something when football's not around anymore, so I'm trying to get really good at golf when I have the time. I know a lot of guys on the team golf and that some of them are really good, so I want to make sure I don't embarrass myself too bad whenever I end up playing against them.

{QUOTE}I've got to sign something like 2,200 football cards this weekend for Panini, which is the company that recently bought out Donruss. It's a really cool deal; something I never would've imagined going into this process. They're actually going to pay me some money for my signature on a bunch of rookie cards and stickers, and it's something I'm just completely honored to do. I never would've imagined people paying you for your autograph, but it's a cool thing. It's definitely the easiest job I'll ever have to do.

I've done a few of these already for card companies like Topps and Sage. They send the cards to me, I sign them and send them back to them. Sometimes it's just little bitty stickers that you sign your name on and then they put the stickers on cards, and other times it's the actual card that you sign. Topps sent a guy down and he watched me sign like 3,000 cards to make sure it was actually me signing it. So he stayed at my house for like six hours while I signed like 3,000 cards.

I'm a big fan of Rice baseball, so I'm really excited about them being in the college baseball Super Regionals this weekend. It's great to see Rice doing so well. They've been really good for a long time. It's cool because getting drafted by the Texans, I'm right here right next to Rice, so I got to go watch some of the games in the regionals back on campus. I went to their last game on Monday; there were a ton of people there and they beat Kansas State 13-4 to advance and play LSU tonight in a best two-out-of-three. I'm definitely going to be watching on TV, rooting for them and hoping for the best.

I love baseball, but I'm enjoying playing football a lot better than I did baseball. I think that's mostly because I was pitching in baseball and I didn't get to play in the field or hit. A lot of baseball is just so mental because you're going to fail more than you succeed and it's how you deal with all that stuff, but football's kind of more in your control. If you're a good player, if you work hard, if you know what's going on, you can kind of make yourself be successful. Baseball's a little different. I enjoy the team aspect of football a lot more, too. You're relying on the 10 other guys on offense to make sure they're doing their job. In baseball, you're kind of just on your own out there and you only rely on yourself.

I appreciate everyone who's been reading this, and I really appreciate all the support. I'm working as hard as I can, and I'm looking forward to trying to get everything down and really trying to finish strong in our last three practices of OTAs next week.


James Casey rookie diary archive

5/29: First two weeks on the job

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To send in a question for Casey that you'd like to see answered in a future diary entry, click *[here](mailto:nscurfield@houstontexans.com?subject=Question for James Casey).*

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