Ravens Wanted To Keep RB Bobby Rainey


There seems to always be those underdog preseason stars that Ravens fans adore, such as safety Omar Brown and wide receiver LaQuan Williams.

Running back Bobby Rainey may be at the top of that list.

Rainey is one player who fans wish hadn't gotten away – and the Ravens wanted to keep him, as well.

The 5-foot-8 Rainey, who the Ravens signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2012, has made it big in Tampa Bay, and will face his former team this Sunday.

"We like Bobby. It was unfortunate that we lost him," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

"We really wanted him to be here to be a part of what we were doing, but he got claimed and we had to make a move there. I don't know what happened, [but] he somehow got down to Tampa Bay, and the rest is history."

The hard-running, 5-foot-8 Rainey is the Bucs' leading rusher so far this year with 220 yards on 47 carries (4.7 average) and one touchdown. He's also caught 16 passes for 139 yards and a score.

Part of the reason why Rainey's the leader is because top running back Doug Martin missed time due to a knee injury. But Rainey is still getting the ball even with Martin back.

Baltimore kept Rainey on the practice squad in 2012. He never saw any regular-season action because Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce and Anthony Allen (who was better on special teams) were ahead of him. Rainey is built and runs a lot like Rice, but the Ravens didn't need two of the same kind of back.

The Ravens cut Rainey from the active roster after training camp last season, but seemingly wanted him on the practice squad. Instead, he was claimed by the Cleveland Browns. Six weeks later he was cut again and headed to Tampa Bay.

"We all wish he could have stayed around here," cornerback Lardarius Webb said. "We know how hard he works, we know how much he loves the game, he's passionate about it. A lot of guys wish we kept him around because he's a great friend and family to us."

Rainey feels the same way about his former teammates, and said he isn't out for revenge on Sunday.

"For one, we won a Super Bowl my rookie year," Rainey told PewterReport.com.  "Other guys — Pro Bowlers and Hall of Fame guys have never been to a Super Bowl.  I got to experience that in my first year in the league.  I learned a lot that year with the business side of the NFL."

Now the Ravens have to put friendships aside and try to stop the Rainey-Martin duo. Harbaugh stressed that the Bucs like to run the ball and have two "really good" running backs that can inflict damage.

"We've got to attack him, we've got to be on him," Webb said of Rainey. "He's a great back. He's got juke moves, he'll even try to run you over. You've got to respect him."

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