Steelers Rookie Chris Rainey Looks to Have Impact on Offense in 2012
It's a new world for Steelers fifth-round pick Chris Rainey. His bubble has been burst since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in April's NFL draft. But his first impressions of his new home have been positive.
"It's beautiful," said Rainey. "People explained to me how nice it was when you come through the tunnel. I'm happy to be here."
As for the actual task of making an NFL roster, Rainey has been told by Mike Tomlin there was a simple formula to doing so.
"Be fast, do your job and finish," said Rainey in his shorts from Steelers OTA practice. "It's as simple as that."
Rainey is one of five running backs on the roster not named Rashard Mendenhall. As it stands, Isaac Redman will start the season as the club's No. 1 back while Mendenhall heals from his ACL tear. With one less proven back in camp, Rainey hopes to take advantage of it and make the club.
"There's always competition, but you just have to do your job and when the season starts you will know if you made it."
It's a role that will require the ability to not just catch the ball, but provide blocking for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in third-down pass situations. Rainey is comfortable in that role.
Who will be the Steelers third-down back in 2012?
"If they give me a chance out there, I will do my job," said Rainey. "I was asked to do it at Florida and I know I can do it here."
Rainey is expected to battle Baron Batch for a spot as the third-down back and says that despite the competition for a job, everybody has been friendly and helpful.
"It's good competition, but I talk to everybody. I'm one of those guys who comes into the facility bringing energy, not taking it away," said Rainey.
All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
John Phillips is the author of this article and a secret member of the Galactic Empire. You can follow JP on Twitter.
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