Bobby Rainey Over Brian Leonard?

February 12th, 2014

Joe gets the concept of Bucs fans and observers rejecting all things Rutgers, but not every Scarlet Knight is worthy of dismissal.

So Joe was surprised to learn one analyst is so eager to dump free agent running back Brian Leonard in favor of Bobby Rainey.

Pat Yaskinskas of is studying Bucs free agents and he’s very down on Leonard.

A Rutgers product, Leonard was a favorite of former coach Greg Schiano. Leonard wasn’t very productive in a backup role. He’s expendable because the Bucs will have a healthy Doug Martin, with Mike James and Bobby Rainey as the top backups. 

Actually, Leonard was quite productive. Both he and Rainey averaged 3.9 yards per carry. It wasn’t Leonard’s fault Mike Sullivan preferred a bellcow running back system versus mixing up carries and playing more to the strengths of his running backs stable. 

Leonard also played strong on all phases of special teams, caught 29 balls out of the backfield last season and has significant experience on playoff football teams as a third-down back. Rainey does not have diverse skills and is almost useless if he can’t beat out Mike James as the backup to Doug Martin.

Now Joe’s not down on Rainey; he did wonders coming off his couch to run the ball for the Bucs. But you can’t have a third-string running back who’s unable to contribute in other phases of the game.

Yes, Joe realizes he’s arguing bottom-of-the-roster running backs from the NFL’s worst-ranked offense. But that holds some charm in February.

58 Responses to “Bobby Rainey Over Brian Leonard?”

  1. pick6 Says:

    rainey had 1.5 good games before proving he’s just another guy. brian leonard proved he is slightly more versatile than just another guy, but proved he was nothing special years ago. neither should make it unless they are primarily a special teamer, at which point their performance as a RB is somewhat irrelevant. both have shown enough to be in training camp for a 4-12 team and it’ll get sorted out from there

  2. SAMCRO Says:

    Such a dilemma … let them battle it out in camp, and then make the decision.
    It’s one of those hard decisions that you like to have, called competition. Just like the same thing we should have when we draft Jimmy Garoppolo in the second or third round. 🙂

  3. SAMCRO Says:

    oops second round unless we trade down to gain a 3rd round pick

  4. bigpoppabuc Says:

    It depends on Demps and what the staff thinks of him. I like Leonard but not sure he’ll really fit. Tedford=speed in space…. Rainey has a better shot than Leonard, but Demps probably has a better shot than both of them if he chooses to seize the opportunity.

  5. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Martin, Rainey, and James have very similar build, height, weight…. only Rainey isnt quite as good as the other two. Leonard is smart, can pass block, catch passes, is the build of a bigger, bruising third down back.

    Leonard all day baby.

  6. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    If we can get Demps going in Tedford’s offense, watch out NFL.
    He may become our “poor man’s percy harvin”, LOL
    Seriously, Demps can flat out fly, if he can stay healthy.
    I honestly think both Rainey and Leonard may be doomed next year.

  7. al121976 Says:

    That’s a tough call but I think Rainey did better than Leonard, although it could have just been the scheme. I have confidence in this coaching staff to figure out who should b on the roster, my hopes are at least Martin, James and demps.

  8. mvermulm Says:

    Cut Leonard and let Lorig and Lonnie Pryor battle it out for the FB position. Roll with Martin, James, and Rainey, and look for a shifty back in the draft (or Demps could possibly fill that role for a couple touches a game).

  9. Nick H Says:

    They might be bottom-of-the-roster running backs from the NFL’s worst-ranked offense but gosh darnit, they’re OUR bottom-of-the-roster running backs from the NFL’s worst-ranked offense

  10. Dennis Says:

    Leonard > Rainey

    The man was a beast at 3rd down conversions and making nothing out of something. In the end though I don’t think either of these players will be on the roster (leonard has the best chance though).

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I would hope there would be some way to sign, then trade one or both of these guys….I don’t think either will be retained….we should go with Martin, James, Demps….and I also have questions about Lorig…..would like to see us get a FB that can run like Tolbert does for the Panthers.

  12. Arealbucsfan Says:

    I like Rainey better. And we should stop thinking of Demps as a running back and put him at reciever and use him as a percy harvin

  13. mvermulm Says:

    “would like to see us get a FB that can run like Tolbert does”

    Lonnie Pryor was a very good all-around FB at FSU. I could see him being something like Tolbert in the pros. Probably not quite as good of a runner, but a better blocker. I’m hoping he gets a chance to compete in the summer.

  14. Nate_tweetz Says:

    If Leonard was/is better than Rainey why couldn’t he beat out Rainey for the starting job when James went down? Rainey got signed off the street and beat out Leonard for the starting job 2 weeks later. I don’t blame Rainey’s decline on him. Our offensive line wasn’t blowing open holes for anyone… ask pro-bowler Doug Martin. Leonard seems like a nice guy, but he will fit Tedford’s system about as well as Mike Alstott fit Gruden’s offense. I take Rainey all day… not even close.

  15. Daffy Buc Says:

    I think Pryor has a better chance of making the roster than Leonard. I hope we see some wildcat with Demps handing it off in the wishbone to Martin, James or Rainey!!

  16. Buc1987 Says:

    From all together now….

    Well done. –Joe

  17. Barry Says:

    Perhaps we should ask Father Dungy? Sorry Brian.

  18. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Sorry guys, but counting on Demps is a bad idea. First off, he’s made of glass. He’s got more injuries in his NFL career than carries. Second, as a Gator fan I’ve seen a lot of him, and trust me when I say he goes down by the slightest contact. He just doesn’t break tackles. Go back and watch and tell me I’m lying. Percy breaks tackles, and is just a much much better football player. That’s a huge difference. I’d love to see Demps succeed because we sure could use someone with his speed, but speed doesn’t always translate to being a good football player. Maybe we can get lucky and he can help us, but I sure wouldn’t count on it by any means. I think it would be a miracle if he even makes the team.

  19. Patrick in VA Says:

    Barry, I take back what I’ve said about you in the past. There are a lot of times when I start to think that racial issues aren’t a problem like they were in the past and I’ve even found myself questioning the validity of minorities’ claims of discrimination and exclusion because that wouldn’t enter the world I live in. My initial outbursts toward you were largely fueled by shock that it would be said, but I think now that it’s important that you continue to say the things that you do. Keep making your racially charged remarks because there are people like me who don’t realize that people like you are still walking amongst us. those of us who are evolved enough to speak out against you aren’t going to be swayed by your ignorance and you certainly don’t have the capacity to change so just do us all a service and continue to remind us all that there is still work to be done. Between people like you who would push your racial issues or the homophobic bunch that have started to show themselves in light of the Michael Sam situation, you serve as a guiding light to how far we are from being the civilized society we proclaim ourselves to be.

  20. DontBucNH8 Says:

    Sucks Michael Smith got hurt last year, would have love to have seen him. He definitely has elite speed.

  21. bucs4lyfe Says:

    Isnt bobby rainey basically the same guy as mike james and doug martin with less talent, that line doesnt have any change of pace to it, i’d actually rather have brian leonard, he does a great job of giving second effort in short yard situations when given the time and with jeff demps hopefully in the mix, i dont see in 3rd down potential in bobby rainey or speed in space

  22. Mumbles Says:

    Leonard is a free agent. They would have to re-sign him for him to get a shot in camp. He’s toast!

  23. Brandon Says:

    Let’s see, what does Leonard bring to the table? Elusiveness? None. Speed? Very little. Power? A little. He gets what’s there as a runner, is a good blocker, catches the ball well…but he offers very little in terms of depth as he doesn’t do anything exceptionally well. He’s just another guy.

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @Daffy Buc

    We have Shepard on the roster & he can run catch & throw…watch his college highlights…..I was hoping we would use him in a wildcat formation….because of his ability to throw, he would be better than Demps.
    As for Demps….fear of injury isn’t a good reason to pass on him if he is cheap….the upside is there….if he is the 4th RB and sometimes KR…he can be replaced.
    It will be interesting to see if Michael Smith gets another shot.
    Nobody mentions him.

  25. lions Says:

    Agree hold on to him perhaps a trade to move up in the draft might cost us Martin, we could use James, Rainey, Leonard and Demps. All these guys did pretty well when Martin went down with the exception of Demps who was hurt.

  26. Sneedy16 Says:

    @Patrick in VA

    I feel the same way. I just ignore him now. I slip up sometimes and think it’s Harry and accidently read the comment.

  27. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    “Speed in Space”…..lets see….I think we have two players that really fit that category & LVD is on defense….Demps would be the other….I think he gets a shot….injury prone or not.

  28. ander Says:

    ill take rainey over leonard

  29. chickster Says:

    I didn’t know why leanard was on this team to begin with

  30. chickster Says:

    I said that in pre season

  31. SAMCRO Says:

    Patrick in VA

    Seems to me you were the one who saw a racial epithet in Barry’s remarks. If you had not said anything and pointed it out, I would have never thought that. Talk about insensitivity and burning crosses?

    Also as far as Sams goes, most players are to scared to say what they probably really think because of people like you. I don’t think all the players are really as tolerable as you believe. They are just scared to voice their objections, less they be labeled as homophobic or insensitive.

  32. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Amazing how everyone just completely ignores the fact that Demps can’t break tackles. I still haven’t seen anyone dispute that. You guys do realize that is rather important for a RB and NFL football player right? He’s not going to have these gaping holes in the NFL, and the players tend to be a bit faster and tackle better than the ones in college.

  33. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Hawaiian Buc

    But the guro Belichick & the Rock Star both wanted him….

    If you’re right the new coaches & GM will agree & he will be cut soon. BTW….I like Shepard as a WR/RB/Wildcat option….would rather see him stay on the roster than Demps because he, at least plays on special teams.

  34. Arealbucsfan Says:

    Thats why Demps shouldnt be a running back. Switch him to WR and see what he can do in space. He doesnt need to be our #3 but could be a good flanker.

  35. Eastsidebuc Says:

    Boy bye, it’s a no brainer. Rainy is younger, faster,and has more upside. Puff puff pass joe

  36. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “But the guro Belichick & the Rock Star both wanted him….”


    And how did he do in New England?

  37. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “Thats why Demps shouldnt be a running back. Switch him to WR and see what he can do in space. He doesnt need to be our #3 but could be a good flanker.”


    So WR’s don’t need to break tackles now? You think they just let WR’s catch the ball with no one around them? Besides, do you realize how crazy it is to expect a guy who really is just a track guy anyway to change positions, and go up against the best athletes on the field? So is Demps going to be a good route runner? Is he going to be able to catch the ball in traffic? Oh wait I forgot, he’s going to catch the ball wide open because he has so much “speed in space”. My bad.

  38. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @Hawaiian “down on Demps”….

    If they decide to get rid of him….no crying out of me….its just my opinion he will get a shot…what about Michael Smith?

  39. Kevin Says:

    I would like to dump rainey. Hell no.3 Rb’s are a dime a dozen. I’d rather have Leonard of the two. Rainey had two fluke games and sucked after that. Then again so did the whole offense. Why not have four Rb’s? I hate life without football.

  40. Kevin Says:

    YEAH put Demps at rb/receiver . Drop rainey and keep Demps.

  41. WalkdaPlank Says:

    Just feel bad for Michael Smith. Guy never got a shot even though the Bucs have been in a desperate need for a decent kick returner since Spurlock left. The captain of the inactive list is pretty fast too. I just hope the new staff can get our return game figured out. Eric Page had a decent year returning punts, but he did a bad job of returning kicks.

  42. JonBuc Says:

    The Galloping Ghost put out a decent effort last year but made the team in large part to his Schiano connection. I’d be shocked if he was a Buc next season. Rainey reminds me of a modern day Earnest Graham….a bit of an underdog that’s fun to root for.

  43. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Who knows with Smith. None of us have seen enough of him to know one way or the other, but it’s certainly not encouraging to me that he’s never really gotten a chance. One would think that it was perhaps a result of practicing poorly, or just not being that talented. Then again, when you consider who was coaching us, he may be an all-pro. At least now we have real coaching, and I would suspect if Smith is deserving, he’ll get a chance.

  44. Patrick in VA Says:

    Looks like significant cuts made in new orleans. So much for signing Graham here. Looks like they dropped some well known names from their defense.

  45. MegaDaveUK Says:

    The last line made me laugh – and I think he is entirely expendable. Nothing against the guy but we are paying peanuts from 3 backs, 2 of which showed workhorse capacity and 1 who started a game and had 140yards wasnt it? Trade Leonard for Jared Allen – win for us

  46. BigMacAttack Says:

    Rainey is a keeper, Leonard is not. The Bucs’ O-line was the epitome of inconsistency and the majority of the time they just plain sucked. They were Glennon’s primary problem which makes it hard to evaluate his ability. No group on the roster needs more work than that crappy overpaid Offensive Line. They were a complete joke and responsible for many losses. And yes that includes Donald Penn who was owned by Robert Quinn. Just too many of those guys a re fat and out of shape. I hate to bash them, but they earned it in spades.

  47. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Demps will never amount to anything in the Nfl.

    pick6 Says
    “…neither should make it…”

    So we’ll just go into the season without depth. Makes all the sense in the world.

  48. Amar Says:

    Rainey = Draft Trade Bait

  49. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Actually, RB is the one position where we are absolutely overloaded with depth. From last year we have Martin, James, Leonard, Demps, Rainey, and Smith. We can only keep 3, max 4 RB’s. Depth is no issue, the issue is going to be can our OL give them any holes whatsoever, can they protect Glennon, and can Glennon do anything with said protection. I’m truly not worried about depth at RB.

  50. BigMacAttack Says:

    Truth be told is that if that dumbA$$ Schiano wouldn’t have been trying to be cute using Doug Martin as a WR he wouldn’t have got hurt. Martin was our Bell Cow and Schiano decides to make him a WR. I’m so glad that idiot is gone. James and Rainey should stay because both can run, with blockers and you won’t get more than a 7’th round pick for either if you traded then.

  51. BigMacAttack Says:

    We need a Fullback, and a real one.

  52. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Nobody is going to trade for Rainey, and Leonard isn’t under contract, so it’d be pretty hard to trade him too. I would suspect Smith, Demps, and Leonard would be gone. If I had to guess we would bring in another back to compete with Rainey for the last roster spot. Should be interesting.

  53. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Would love to have a real fullback, but I wonder how often we would use a fullback in Tedford’s offense. I really don’t know, but I would suspect in his style of offense, a fullback wouldn’t be used very often. Most teams in the NFL now don’t use a fullback nearly as much as we did last year (seemed like almost every snap). Of course we really won’t know until the season.

  54. Mumbles Says:

    Don’t forget RB/FB Lonnie Pryor. Pretty good at FSU!

  55. WalkdaPlank Says:

    Demps is probably gone after preseason. Forget what he did at UF, he hasn’t accomplished anything as a part time NFL player and would probably be better off using that speed of his in the Olympics. One season with the Bucs and he blew out his groin. Mike James is a keeper. Doug wouldn’t have gotten injured if that dumb OC Sullivan wasn’t trying to throw deep passes to a RB. Rainey and Leonard both proved serviceable, maybe they will duke it out preseason for a roster spot. All I know is, if we don’t figure out the problem with the O-line it doesn’t matter who is back there.

  56. Owlykat Says:

    I would use Leonard as the third down back because he can out block any of the other RBs and is a good receiver and could be a run threat on third down too. Rainey is durable and much faster than James or our starting back and would be better in space, so I would keep both. Let us keep our options open until we see if some of our RBs go down in Preseason. I am also interested to see what Pryor can do as a big back, which we also need. If we get Hester in free agency let he and Demps and Smith fight it out for the return job. Great to have competition and may the best win roster spots!

  57. Left_Coast_Bucs_Fan Says:

    Martin, James and Rainey. James, Rainey and Martin. Rainey, Martin and James. Doesn’t matter how you stack them, they are all pretty much clones cuts from the same RBs cloth. Of course the first grouping is the correct stacking order, but they are too similar to keep 3-deep. Assuming James will be fully recovered by camp, the Rainey is the most likely not to make the final cuts. And sure, Demps’ speed intrigues us all though proneness to injury is a concern. Regardless, he needs to show an all-out commitment to football or he’s not worth the roster spot.

    Bucs need a different type of RB to complement the Martin/James duo, one who can be a difference maker in the trenches when the going gets tough. The interest and respect shown toward RBs in the draft has declined quite a bit the last few years which should lead to opportunity in the later rounds for the Bucs to find an Alstott/Bettis type FB.

    Lefty also has a lot of interest in Vikings FA Toby Gerhart too, he’s a former All-American at Stanford, has an in w/ our new DC Frazier and when he hits the line reminds me an awful lot of Alstott.

  58. BoJim Says:

    Demps won’t be a Buc for long. He’ll get hurt again. He’s a track star. That’s it. Another vote for Leonard. He may not have the speed but he’s got the rest. Yeah. We can do better but we’ll see in FA or the draft.