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Posted at 3:35 PM ET, 01/25/2011

For Rashad Carmichael, Senior Bowl is 'biggest job interview of my life'

By Rick Maese

Former Virginia Tech cornerback Rashad Carmichael says he's about 80 to 85 percent recovered from an ankle sprain that limited him a bit late in the season, but he knows now is not the team to complain about pain.

"It's still not where I want it to be, but like I said, this is biggest job interview of my life," Carmichael said following the North team's practice Tuesday at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

Through two days of practice, Carmichael has definitely made people take notice. On Monday, he had two interceptions in seven-on-seven drills, including one off Washington quarterback Jake Locker. He said his ankle caused him to barely miss a third. And on Tuesday, he had another near pick that might have benefited from a film review.

"I think I got it," he said.

The North team is being coached by the Cincinnati Bengals' coaching staff. Carmichael said he'll be playing cover-one and cover-three, but rules prevent the cornerbacks from pressing and he'll have to give a five-yard cushion off the snap.

"They're teaching us their technique, how the Cincinnati Bengals play," Carmichael said. "It's kind of tweaking my game a little bit. Don't really feel comfortable, but as the week goes on, we start to pick up and recognize things."

Carmichael has been training in Delray Beach, Fla., along with Brandon Flowers and others, but said that Monday was the first time he ran with just tape supporting his bad ankle.

"I was wearing a Forrest Gump brace," he said. "I had the metal all over me." 

Carmichael said he's been focusing on improving his speed. He knows that his time in the 40-yard dash at next month's NFL scouting combine will carry a lot of weight for scouts. He also knows that what he does this week during practice will go a long way. Thus far, he's already opened some eyes. 

"Every scout says, this is the most important job interview of your life. It definitely puts a little pressure on you," he said. "I like to come out and play ball and have fun. But at the same time, it is a job interview. This is what I've been dreaming about since I was kid."

By Rick Maese  | January 25, 2011; 3:35 PM ET
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