During the offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers saw several veterans time in a Steelers uniform come to an end, and the same will happen in the upcoming years to some current veterans on the roster right now.
While some guys see their production drop as they age, it’s those guys that need replaced in order for a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers to remain competitive.
Give Kevin Colbert credit, as he is outstanding at finding gems in the middle-to-late rounds of the draft. It appears he did so this season as well when he nabbed Florida running back Chris Rainey in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
I loved what Rainey brought to the Florida Gators’ offense and while Colbert didn’t draft a guy to be an every down back in the NFL, he did draft him to be a weapon in the NFL and that’s something that Rainey could excel at.
The early reviews were good for the former Gator as Rainey played early and often in the Steelers’ preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, catching two balls for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Steelers’ offensive coordinator wasn’t joking when he said he planned using Rainey in a “hybrid,” role and Rainey delivered, using his speed and elusiveness throughout the night, essentially becoming the Steelers No. 2 back behind Isaac Redman, spelling Redman in passing situations. He caught a 57-yard touchdown on a screen pass and also served as the primary return man.
Rainey is known for is a guy that can do it all on the football field, but he’s a home run hitter and you can’t have too many guys like that on your team.
With Hines Ward slowing down and extremely unproductive the past couple years of his career and Mike Wallace currently not in camp, Colbert needed to add weapons for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and he did exactly that with Rainey.
While Rainey isn’t a prototypical wide receiver, he will play a role in both the passing game and return games as a rookie.
In Haley’s new offense, you can bet he will find a way to get the ball into all of his weapons hands as much as possible.
While there was a ton of bad news surrounding the Steelers’ opener, mostly concerning injuries, there were several bright spots as well- one of them being the performance of Rainey.