Rey of hope for undrafteds gas density formula


Rey, 30, oozes professionalism. Since coming out of Duke in 2010 he’s started 48 games at two different spots while also serving as the club’s de facto special teams captain ranging from the yesteryear days of Brandon Tate to today’s Alex Erickson . The more you can do.

“Just buy in. Believe in the coaches. They know what they’re talking about. Some of the coaches have been coaching longer than you’ve been alive so just trust they know what they’re talking about. If you trust that, do what they say, it will eventually work in your favor.”

You don’t get drafted for a reason and at 6-0 Rey doesn’t fit the cookie-cutter dimensions of an NFL linebacker. Yet the Bengals’ East Coast scout at the time, current Browns tight ends coach Greg Seamon, became drawn to the respect Rey had on campus as a two-time captain and his experience and durability in Durham compiled in 48 games and 330 tackles. When Rey had an off-the-charts pro day, he was on the coach’s radar, too.

But when Rey arrived for rookie minicamp, he could have been psyched out from the get-go. The first two picks, Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham and Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap , came sculpted out of a How to Build an NFL Player catalogue. They’ve been to multiple Pro Bowls and are still playing. One of their fourth-round picks, Georgia defensive tackle Geno Atkins , is going to the Hall of Fame. The other fourth-rounder played Rey’s position at one of the nation’s blueblood football schools, Texas’ Roddrick Muckelroy.

“Coming from Duke at that time, we didn’t have guys who looked like a Gresham. I didn’t see a guy like Dunlap or Geno Atkins. You see those guys and say, ‘Oh, this is big-time football.’ It was a little intimidating. They turned out to be great players, but I’m still here.

“I’ll never forget my rookie minicamp camp. It’s the second most tired I’ve ever been next to my rookie training camp with the two-a-days (practices),” Rey says. “It’s still going to be a lot of reps. You do 20 right and one wrong, it’s not good enough. It’s going to be a long rookie camp. It’s going to be a long OTA camp. It’s going to be a long training camp.”

No one symbolized the NFL grind more than Rey in last year’s finale. The Bengals may have been out of it, but they couldn’t get him off the field. He kept limping off but knowing they were down to their last linebackers he kept coming back. And he knew he had to make that last tackle because he couldn’t have played in an overtime and there was nobody left.

“You run until you can’t run anymore. It will be similar,” Rey says of what awaits the rookies this weekend even though it is just one practice. “The big thing is the mental toughness. The physical part, everyone is going to have. If you didn’t, they wouldn’t bring you into this locker room. You have to have the mental toughness day in and day out.”

Knowing Rey, he’s taking his own advice when everyone takes the field for voluntary practice in two weeks. There’s another drafted Texas linebacker, this time Malik Jefferson in the third round. The Bengals won’t announce the list of their undrafted signings until Friday morning and one of them is reportedly Ohio State’s Chris Worley, another linebacker from a blueblood football school coveting one of those six Opening Day backer spots.

“It’s what Coach Lewis always says,” says Rey, who’ll do to Jefferson and Worley what Dhani Jones did for him and take them under his wing. “It sounds so simple, but it’s true. If you don’t do your job, who will? No one else is going to do your job.