Bobby Rainey has captured the attention of coaches during training camp and the hearts of many fans after his performance in Atlanta against the Falcons. Most have quickly (and justifiably so) labeled him a poor man’s Ray Rice. Yet it’s that comparison and his similar stature and style to the Ravens’ Pro Bowl tailback that may keep Rainey off the 53-man squad.
Think about how the Ravens have used their No. 2 back in recent years. That back, whether it was Willis McGahee or Ricky Williams has been a more physical player and one who could be more productive in short yardage situations and one who was efficient in pass protection. Moreover their styles were different – a true change of pace.
But Rainey can’t be that because of the similarities to Rice. Not only that he is a very below average blocker in pass pro.
Adding to the uphill battle for Rainey is that other than being a return specialist (and the Ravens are fairly well spoken for in that department) the former Western Kentucky Hilltopper provides little value to special teams. Backup running backs, like tight ends, linebackers and members of the secondary are often looked upon to provide special teams competencies.
So where does this leave Rainey?
On the practice squad, developing and waiting for his chance.