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Bobby Rainey Stays Hot In Atlanta



PLEASE NOTE:The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Bobby Rainey wanted to put on a show Thursday night.

He grew up about a half hour away from Atlanta, so he had about 30 friends and family members at the Georgia Dome for the Ravens' preseason opener against the Falcons.

And he didn't disappoint.

The undrafted rookie running back out of Western Kentucky had one of the team's best performances in the 31-17 victory over the Falcons. He carried the ball 12 times for 36 yards, and he added three catches for 28 yards and a touchdown. He also had seven returns on the night.

"He did the same things in the game today that he's been doing in practice, and that's what you want to see," Head Coach John Harbaugh said after the game.

Rainey's touchdown came on an 18-yard screen pass in the fourth quarter. The offensive line cleared a path for him and Rainey then found a lane. He cut across the middle of the field and beat the defense to the end zone for his first NFL touchdown.

Rainey was so amped after scoring that he forgot to bring the ball with him to the sideline as a memento.

"I got a little bit too excited," Rainey said. "I gave the ball to the ref, and my position coach [Running Backs Coach Wilbert Montgomery], told me to get the ball and give it to my mom. I totally forgot because it was my first touchdown in the NFL."

Rainey went back and got the ball from the official and followed his coach's advice.

It's likely not the first football she has received, as Rainey scored 42 touchdowns during his standout college career. The versatile running back was overlooked in the draft, mostly because of his size (5-foot-8, 212 pounds) and the fact they he attended a small school.

Now that he's getting a chance with the Ravens, Rainey is out to show he belongs.

"I came into this league with a chip on my shoulder," Rainey said. "A lot of teams passed on me and I'm glad that the Baltimore Ravens gave me an opportunity to basically showcase my talent."

Rainey now has a solid preseason showing to go along with his impressive start to training camp, and he could be making a move up the depth chart among the other running backs. Rainey got reps ahead of Damien

Berry, who spent last year on the practice squad, and second-year back Anthony Allen had a rough night.

Allen is currently listed as the No. 2 running back behind Ray Rice on the depth chart, but he had just five carries for nine yards against Atlanta. He also dropped a first-down pass that hit him in the chest and missed a block on a play that led to a sack.

The other player in the running back competition battle is rookie Bernard Pierce, who has been out of practice for more than a week because of a tweaked hamstring.

Harbaugh emphasized not to overreact to a performance in one preseason game, but said that it's encouraging to see a bubble player like Rainey "carry it over from practice to the games."

When the Ravens get back to work with training camp practice on Saturday, Harbaugh said that the focus for Rainey will be to continue the progression.

"There are a lot of things he can do better," Harbaugh said. "And we'll look at those things."

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