While Baltimore Ravens running back Bobby Rainey isn’t exactly going to steal reps away from Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, the preseason efforts for No.34 warranted him a roster spot in head coach John Harbaugh‘s eyes.
It remains to be seen as far as what exactly he could offer the Ravens during the regular season, but he’s a dynamic player who fits the mold of a typical back in Baltimore.
Rainey has a low center of gravity, standing at just 5-foot-7, and uses his size to his advantage. He doesn’t knock your socks off with speed, but his mix of power, speed and ability to catch balls out of the backfield has helped his stock going forward.
It also helps that he could spell return specialist Jacoby Jones on kickoff returns and punts.
Yes, Rainey has mostly faced backups in his brief NFL career, but he has yet to really play with the top units as well. This may mean more growth is on the horizon for the former Hilltopper, especially after a two-touchdown performance on Thursday night against the St. Louis Rams.
The backup running back carried the ball 13 times for 39 yards, and those two scores came with lackluster offensive line play in front of him.
What had to stand out in Harbaugh’s mind was his determination to get into the end zone and his “never give up” attitude.
It is still shocking to me that he made the team over Anthony Allen simply because of what they offer in special teams and how different their approaches are. Allen was more of a tackler and a coverage specialist whereas Rainey usually has the ball in his hands.
This could mean two things:
First, the Ravens have found better guys than Allen to cover kicks and punts. Second, the Ravens may want to insert Jacoby Jones more actively into the offense, therefore bringing a guy like Rainey along can take some pressure off of Jones and allow him more time to grow and gel on offense.
Regardless of what Rainey’s role is on the Ravens, he plays like he belongs. His diminutive figure hasn’t limited his ceiling as a decent football player in this league, and making the final squad could be a sign of things to come for the stacked Ravens backfield.