TEMPE, Ariz. — Glenn Carson had a pretty eventful Saturday as NFL teams trimmed their rosters to 53 players.
“It was a really tough period of time; it was almost like the opposite of draft day where you’re hoping that someone calls you, where in this case you’re hoping nobody calls you,” the linebacker said Wednesday. “So it was a really stressful and tough thing, but it was one of those things where there was nothing you could have done, you just kind of had to let fate decide.”
Carson, an undrafted free agent pickup out of Penn State, did not get a call — or, rather, at least not one that was meant to inform of his release. He made the team.
“Not really, and I’m honestly just trying to not let it,” he said when asked if it has ‘hit him’ yet. “Because in this league, it’s a very competitive league and it’s a tough business where as soon as you get settled and comfortable, then you’re gone. So I’m trying to just keep that chip on my shoulder and stay hungry and take it day-by-day and try to win each individual day.”
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Carson played in 50 consecutive games for the Nittany Lions — including 36 starts — and tallied 261 total tackles (116 solo), nine tackles for loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles. He racked up 17 total tackles during the preseason, including a team-best 10 in the finale against the San Diego Chargers.
It was all ultimately enough to convince the team to keep him around.
“He’s a good football player,” Arians said. “I mean, he makes 10 tackles every time you put him out there. Every day in practice he does the right thing at the right spot. He carved a nice little niche out there on special teams.
“As long as you’re smart and tough, and you’ll hit, that’s a good spot. You’re going to make it in this league.”
Of course, Arians has repeatedly said the final few spots on the roster are never truly safe, and Carson seems to understand that just because he is on the team now does not mean he will be for the remainder of the season.
A two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection who also garnered conference honorable mention in 2013, Carson said “a decent amount of teams” called after the draft to express interest in bringing him in, but he chose Arizona because it was a good organization and he saw a chance to make the roster.
Perhaps surprisingly, he did just that, and he knows it’s not exactly common for undrafted rookie free agents to make it this far.
“No, no, it’s not,” he said. “But like I said, what I’m going to do now is take it day-by-day, but that’s what I did in camp as well.”
Carson said at that time he couldn’t focus on the entire camp, but rather each day and what it had in store for him. That mentality has served him well thus far, and it may be the key to him holding onto his roster spot.
“Just continuing to improve on the things,” he said of what it will take for him to stick. “I’ve come a long way since I walked through the doors here and I think that I’m improving every single day. We have a really good coaching staff here that’s helping me improve, and I don’t think I’m anywhere near my potential. I think I’m growing and developing as a player every single day.”
Arizona Sports’ Craig Grialou contributed to this report