Bobby Rainey: Dying Breed

November 19th, 2013

Joe already wrote about how off-the-couch running back phenom Bobby Rainey was ready for the Bucs offense because he played for Western Kentucky. Greg Schiano dove a little deeper into that topic on his radio show last night, so Joe will share more.

Schiano explained that Rainey is a dying breed of young running back: a downhill, I-tailback.

“So few teams now in major college football are running pro style offense. Everybody’s in the spread and running backs are taking the ball out of the shotgun and running sideways. You know, Western Kentucky was running an I-based, pro-style first- and second-down offense. And Bobby had plenty of shots of running the football in these kinds of plays,” Schiano said on WDAE-AM 620. “Power play is a lost art from the I-tailback position. You know, in college football there’s not a lot of teams doing it. The ones who do it well in college football are having success.”

One thing that stunned Joe was just how much the Bucs used Rainey on Sunday. It was almost like (gasp!) an in-game adjustment.

As expected, Brian Leonard was the starting tailback and had two runs on the opening drive, up the gut on first down for six yards, followed by a sweep left for no gain. Then Rainey took the first handoff of the next drive for 11 yards, followed by consecutive runs of 10 yards and 11 yards. The Bucs never looked back and Rainey finished with 30 carries.

Fun fact: That 30 carry total was Rainey’s per-game average during his workhorse senior season at Western Kentucky.

13 Responses to “Bobby Rainey: Dying Breed”

  1. Bobby Says:

    That’s actually ‘I’ back Joe. It got it’s name from the shape of the formation with the QB lined up behind center and the fullback and tailback lined up in a straight line behind the QB forming the straight line of the letter I. That was the old Woody Hayes “3 yards and a cloud of dust” formation. No wonder Bobby Rainey has excellent vision for finding daylight.

  2. Bobby Says:

    Don’t know how that posted twice….weird….

  3. Kaput Says:

    I formation.

    Joe has edited. Joe was aware bus for some reason in spelling mode. Thanks, fellas. –Joe

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We have a strong stable of RBs…..Martin, James, Rainey, Leonard & Demps….and at FB Lorig.
    Unless we find a way to use more of them in a game we will probably put one on the trading block….too soon to tell which one…

  5. Macabee Says:

    Fun Fact: Anybody notice Rainey when he is carrying the ball or when he attempted the RB pass? Rainey is left-handed!

  6. You Go Joe Says:


    He changes hands when running. If the ball gets handed to him on his right hand he moves it to the left. Lets hope this doesn’t lead to fumbles.

  7. JonBuc Says:

    Fun guy to cheer for a la Graham. This is more proof that in today’s NFL…as Joe has made mention of early & often…that good running backs can be found just about anywhere. This may sound homerish…but I think I’d put Rainey up favorably against Top 3 pick/trade bait bust Trent Richardson at this point.

  8. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    One concern I have was the over use of the same RB again. You got to give that man a breather now and again. Like Joe has preached on so many times before, you can only get so many miles out of an RB. I would like to see the load shared say 60-40 with a second RB. Right now the coaching staff uses the same RB 85-90% of the time. The guys going to get hurt or worn out again.

  9. delson Says:

    @you go joe as a runningback you move the ball to the outside arm to prevent a fumble. It also sets up the stiff arm

  10. Macabee Says:

    Hey fellas, for all I know Rainey may be ambidextrous. Besides carrying the ball primarily in his left hand, here’s why I thought he was left-handed. Watch tape at 1:02.

  11. adam from ny Says:

    with this 3 deep set of running backs going into next season, glennon will be the starting qb for sure…as we will have a solid ground game…if one gets injured, next man up…spelled by leonard possibly, and add in speedster jeff demps to mix it up a bit…this will be a nice mix giving glennon room to breathe and develop…

    also a torn labrum is a very serious injury that ends baseball careers…so with martin having a torn labrum – his career is actually in jeopardy to some extent – bottom line is his shoulder will never be the same again…terrible injury that has been understated in the media…if anyone’s on the trade block, oddly enough it could actually become martin…go figure…adam from ny

  12. stanglassman Says:

    No more long passes for martin out of the outfield? Come on man.

  13. JonBuc Says:

    I’m not sure I’d write Martin off yet…Emmitt Smith had shoulder issues during his career and turned out ok. 🙂 I think outside of some real nostalgia on Schiano’s behalf ( if he even returns…which all of a sudden is @ 50/50 ), Leonard would be the odd man out.