Rainey Can Move The Chains

July 10th, 2015
Few running backs were able to turn catches  into first downs as well as Bobby Rainey did last year.

Few running backs were able to turn catches into first downs as well as Bobby Rainey did last year.

Good grief, all the wacko things that happened to the Bucs last year, Joe can’t count them all.

Turnover-prone Josh McClown, Ghost Johnson, Anthony Collins… and that is just the guys the Bucs signed. That’s not counting the guys they ran off who were productive with other teams.

And then there were players on the roster, holdovers from former Bucs commander Greg Schiano, that sober folks could strongly argue were either misused or not used.

Looking back, a college kid in a fantasy football league could have made better decisions.

Take running back Bobby Rainey, aside from the loss at Cleveland, he had a penthouse in Lovie Smith’s doghouse during the last 13 games of the season. Yes, Joe understands he was likely benched for fumbling, but the last time he fumbled was during the curb-stomping at Atlanta on national TV. Rainey was hardly the only Bucs player to shat all over the field before the eyes of the nation that evening.

But looking at the data crunched by Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus, it is almost criminal that Rainey got such scant playing time while — to Joe’s eyes — rookie Charles Sims was forced into the lineup. That’s because, per Renner, few running backs were better than Rainey at getting first downs when catching the ball out of the backfield.

Per Renner, of the 33 passes Rainey caught, 14 were for first downs. That’s 42 percent! Again, per Renner, only three other running backs had a better percentage of passes caught for first downs than Rainey. All three played for playoff teams.

This is yet another mystery to kill a few beers over, and that Joe has killed many a beer trying to figure out what the hell professionals getting paid six- or seven-figures annually were thinking at One Buc Palace last year.

16 Responses to “Rainey Can Move The Chains”

  1. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I think most buc fans overrate rainey. He can be a useful player, no doubt, but he is a change of pace kind of runner and 33 passes in that crap offense last season sounds like the perfect work load for him. You cant run your change of pace back into the ground. Nothing’s worse than a tired change of pace back. You expect him to out run defenders who are tired and unexpecting of the quicker back. But i would agree that he was misused… But im pretty sure every player was misused last season.

  2. Jbeachbuc Says:

    Those ” professionals ” were thinking Winston from the get go.. It has to be, there is no other explanation.

  3. Getaclue Says:

    Rainey and James should both see the field before Sims. I didn’t like the pick when we made it and we spent a 6th between both James and Rainey . James rainey and Martin is just fine. Sims was a wasted draft pick

  4. DallasBuc Says:

    Incompetent Lovie Smith and his lapdog GM strikes again!

  5. Bill Byrne Says:

    Hopefully Dirk Koetter will be making the decisions on offense this year, not Lovie Smith and hopefully, 2014 will be a distant nightmare.

  6. Another J Says:

    Mike James should be ahead of Rainey on the dept chart.
    James has the size, and Strength to move the chains.

  7. Buc-A-New Says:

    I have two words for you:
    Marcus Arroyo.

  8. Mike10 Says:

    TELL ME you saw Schiano on NFL Live yesterday!

  9. Buccfan37 Says:

    Yeah really, productive players just disappear into Lovie’s dead zone for who knows what, except McCown.

  10. BlogTalkFootball Says:

    The more data we read about the 2014 season, the more the chase for Jameis explains it. Too dang many coincidences in one season. Tanks for the memories…and the heartburn. I went through a lot of Zantac last season.

  11. Etzel Says:


  12. The Grammar Policeman Says:

    Incompetent Lovie Smith and his lapdog GM strikes again!

    Subject and verb has to agree!

  13. Mo_Downs Says:

    I guess it’s only natural that some fans would lose faith in Lovie after last season. I looked at the 2013 highlight reel for RB’s Martin and James. The one thing that impressed me most was the run blocking of the OL that opened up holes that would get a guy in a wheelchair 10yds a crack. So, I think the James/Martin success might be situational rather than intrinsic.

    That said, it really doesn’t matter who our RB is, or our QB for that matter, if the OL plays as poorly as they did in 2014. OTOH, if the 2015 OL performs at minimum as well as the 2013 OL then we have a chance to have a much better record. Playoffs? Maybe not, but I’d settle for more entertainment value.

  14. The original "Kevin" Says:

    You say it all the time joe. The chase for americas quarterback

  15. The original "Kevin" Says:

    Schiano on NFL live?????

    So the bucs can barley get any coverage but our jobless Ex head coach gets on NFL live???


  16. LakelandBuc Says:

    Lovie put Rainey in the doghouse because he couldn’t hold onto the ball. If he didn’t put the ball on the ground he would have ran for over 1,000 and caught 50 passes.