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Old 04-30-2012, 09:44 PM   #1
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Default Diminutive Rainey hopes for big impact with Steelers


Diminutive Rainey hopes for big impact with Steelers

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/st...b860bce23.html
Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2012 11:30 pm | Updated: 7:43 am, Mon Apr 30, 2012.

Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com | 0 comments

Chris Rainey is not and never will be a traditional running back. That's OK with the Steelers. They just want him to be an electrifying threat every time he steps on the field.

Rainey, the latest Florida Gator to be drafted by the Steelers, says he fills the bill.

"I can play running back. I can play slot. I can play special teams ... wherever they want me, because I'm a playmaker all around," he said. "I feel that I fit perfect with the offense."

The Steelers agree. That's why they picked Rainey in the fifth round of the draft. He may be a scatback who's only 5-foot-8 and 178 pounds. But with dazzling speed and elusiveness, he was one of the most exciting playmakers in the Southeastern Conference last season.

Rainey has said on more than one occasion that he hopes to one day run the 40-yard dash in 4.1 seconds (no one really believed him). He "only" ran the 40 in 4.45 seconds at the NFL Combine in February. But in March, he improved to 4.36 at his on-campus pro day.

"He's an explosive player from the SEC," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "When you're fast on SEC fields, chances are you're going to have a chance to be fast on NFL fields."

The Steelers first noticed Rainey three years ago when scouting center Maurkice Pouncey, the Steelers' first-round pick in 2010.

Two years ago, the Steelers saw more of Rainey when they scouted tackle Marcus Gilbert, their second-round pick last year.

Last season, the Steelers' interest in Rainey intensified after he led the Gators with 861 rushing yards and 31 pass receptions for 381 yards. Including yardage on 12 punt and four kickoff returns, he ranked third in the SEC with 120.9 all-purpose yards per game.

On a Florida team that only went 7-6, Gainey scored five touchdowns: two rushing, two receiving and one by returning a punt he blocked. For the third straight year, he blocked two punts.

During his career at Florida, Rainey started 19 games, six as a slot receiver and 13 at running backs. He's considered a good-hands guy in the passing game and an excellent route runner.

As far as Rainey's weaknesses, it's his lack of size and strength. He does run inside on occasion, but for the most part, he looks to get outside. It will be almost impossible for him to successfully block blitzing NFL linebackers.

"He's a small guy but when you watch him run against SEC competition, he was really impressive," general manager Kevin Colbert said. "He doesn't run people over. But week in and week out, the kid showed up in probably one of the toughest conferences in the country."

While their scouts raved about Rainey, so did Pouncey. In fact, while attending Lakeland (Fla.) High School, Rainey lived with the Pouncey family.

"We had some unique background on this kid because of his relationship with the Pounceys," Colbert said. "Knowing Maurkice's mother and father, for them to take in a kid and provide him a home in high school said a lot to us. Those people are great folks. They provided a great home for their own children. For them to endorse this kid by letting him live with them for part of his high school career, it said something to us. Of course, Maurkice spoke highly of him as well.

"When (the Pouncey) family reached out to provide this kid with an opportunity, and he takes that opportunity to go on and graduate, that says something to us."

Saturday when he was drafted, Rainey was with Maurkice Pouncey at the family home in Florida.

"This is my dream team," Rainey said of the Steelers. "They are Super Bowl contenders. They win games, and they're good in every phase of the game, special teams, defense, offense, everything.

"I fit perfect. Whatever it is I have to do, I will do." (Good attitude - mesa)
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Diminutive Rainey hopes for big impact with Steelers

Love this pick!
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Diminutive Rainey hopes for big impact with Steelers

should be a good change of pace player, sort of like a dexter mccluster role
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Diminutive Rainey hopes for big impact with Steelers

They guy wins at every level too. State title with The Pouncey Twins at Lakeland, Florida. National Title at Florida. And for all his speed on offense, he set an SEC and Florida record with 6 BLOCKED PUNTS in his career. The guy is going to help us in more ways in one. Having Pouncey on the team, ( he lived with the Pouncey's when he was in high school) will help too.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: Diminutive Rainey hopes for big impact with Steelers

New to this forum and first time poster.

I am from Lakeland and my daughter was in the same graduating class as Chris, Maurkice, Mike and 6 other football players on that team that signed scholarships with SEC football teams. That class was sick-45 consecutive wins, 3 consecutive state championships and 2 mythical NCs.

Chris is a great kid. He essentially had no parents growing up until the Pounceys parents took him in. All of the administrators and teachers at every school he was at loved the kid. He does not get in fights, do drugs or get in trouble with the law. The incident at UF is certainly alarming but that is not Chris. I don't think the kid has a mean, aggressive bone in his body.

As you might guess, I am also a UF fan. The kid has as much natural talent as Harvin-he is just small in stature. And I don't see him getting much bigger. He has a small frame and additional weight would not be good weight.

I see Chris as a 3rd down back and special teams phenom. Put him in space and he is a big play waiting to happen.

I love it that Chris is with the Steelers-lots of other Gators to follow while watching my Lakeland and UF guys.

You guys (Steeler fans) are a unique bunch. Go to a sports bar around Lakeland on an NFL Sunday and half the bar is shut down for only Steeler fans and you guys are all dressed up like you are at the game, yelling and screaming like no other NFL team crowd does. I love it-I'm an SEC guy and that is the way we act on Saturdays.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Diminutive Rainey hopes for big impact with Steelers

darren sproles
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Diminutive Rainey hopes for big impact with Steelers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram gator View Post
New to this forum and first time poster.

I see Chris as a 3rd down back and special teams phenom. Put him in space and he is a big play waiting to happen.

I love it that Chris is with the Steelers-lots of other Gators to follow while watching my Lakeland and UF guys.

You guys (Steeler fans) are a unique bunch. Go to a sports bar around Lakeland on an NFL Sunday and half the bar is shut down for only Steeler fans and you guys are all dressed up like you are at the game, yelling and screaming like no other NFL team crowd does. I love it-I'm an SEC guy and that is the way we act on Saturdays.
welcome to the board!

yes im hoping chris rainey works out for us and contributes allot! the talent is definetly there. but like Big Ben said in an interview this week regarding the rookies, we'll see what happens when they get on the field and the bullets start flying
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Diminutive Rainey hopes for big impact with Steelers

I hope it works out. These little guys are great to watch. Remember how much fun Stefan Logan brought a few years ago? Even though he never really broke one, every return was an adventure, and he racked up quite a few yards.

Of course, there's a downside. With Logan, I remember SD players held him up in the air during a punt return, then stripped the ball from him. I think because they had Sproles, they knew just what to do. LOL
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Diminutive Rainey hopes for big impact with Steelers

Steelers 5th Round Pick RB Chris Rainey Is Fast and Highly Competitive

by Neal Coolong on May 1, 2012



Steelers 5th round draft pick Chris Rainey's best attribute is without question his speed.

In a not-too-distant second place, though, is his competitive nature.

His bio from the University of Florida notes the typical kinds of things - success in high school, including a Florida State 5A championship at Lakeland High, with with the Brothers Pouncey, and being a part of a 4x100 relay team that placed third at the national championships in 2008.

It also notes he defeated two known speed demons - former West Virginia running back Noel Devine, and Florida teammate Jeff Demps, who's an Olympic level 100 meter runner.

Only the supremely confident would challenge such individuals, and only the ultimately competitive would note his victories on his team's biography. And he's not done there, either. He's already challenged, more or less, the reigning Steelers king of speed.

Will Graves@WillGraves:

Steelers new RB/KR Chris Rainey says he's got "4.1 speed." Asked if he's fastest guy on team, "Mike Wallace, he's pretty fast ... I'm faster

28 Apr 12

You gotta love his moxie.

That speed and confidence will serve him well, as new offensive coordinator Todd Haley will likely draw up a role of variety for his rookie. He'll likely be seen as a running back and a receiver with the Steelers, as well as a kick and punt returner.

Just getting the ball in his hands will give the Steelers' offense a dimension they haven't seen in quite a while. To get to that point, he'll have to show he's prepared to stand in and block in the famous Backs on 'Backers drill in training camp, the same drill 2010 7th round pick Baron Batch made his name in last year, before tearing his ACL.

That may be an advantage to Batch, whether it's technique, strength or just the willingness to stand in and hit back. But Rainey has the edge in terms of playmaking ability. With a running back depth chart that only has one name written in pen for the 2012 season - Isaac Redman - Rainey has a great opportunity in Pittsburgh to earn playing time.

Assuming he's not busy challenging anyone else to a race.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...ce-baron-batch
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Diminutive Rainey hopes for big impact with Steelers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram gator View Post
New to this forum and first time poster.

I am from Lakeland and my daughter was in the same graduating class as Chris, Maurkice, Mike and 6 other football players on that team that signed scholarships with SEC football teams. That class was sick-45 consecutive wins, 3 consecutive state championships and 2 mythical NCs.

Chris is a great kid. He essentially had no parents growing up until the Pounceys parents took him in. All of the administrators and teachers at every school he was at loved the kid. He does not get in fights, do drugs or get in trouble with the law. The incident at UF is certainly alarming but that is not Chris. I don't think the kid has a mean, aggressive bone in his body.

As you might guess, I am also a UF fan. The kid has as much natural talent as Harvin-he is just small in stature. And I don't see him getting much bigger. He has a small frame and additional weight would not be good weight.

I see Chris as a 3rd down back and special teams phenom. Put him in space and he is a big play waiting to happen.

I love it that Chris is with the Steelers-lots of other Gators to follow while watching my Lakeland and UF guys.

You guys (Steeler fans) are a unique bunch. Go to a sports bar around Lakeland on an NFL Sunday and half the bar is shut down for only Steeler fans and you guys are all dressed up like you are at the game, yelling and screaming like no other NFL team crowd does. I love it-I'm an SEC guy and that is the way we act on Saturdays.


That was one BAD TO THE BONE high school team. .And Rainey stood out on it. And Lakeland was what 5A or 6A in Florida?....Stood out at Florida. and I think he will help us tremendously on "THIRD DOWN" and Special teams...Can't wait for this fall to get here!
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