A lot of NFL players played different positions in high school and earlier than they do currently -- many great athletes quarterbacked their teams before moving to a new position in college. But the shift Bobby Rainey made in his career was a little extreme: he played nose tackle in seventh grade, according to an interview he did with TDdaily.
“I averaged like three sacks a game,” Rainey said in a phone interview with TDdaily. ”Teams would double-team me. I hated that.”
He's a little undersized for that position (just a little), so the move to running back made a lot more sense. The Bucs are pretty happy with that, at least. In eight games last year, he ran for 532 yards on an average of 3.9 yards per carry. That's not dominant, though it's a solid enough performance behind a struggling offensive line on a horrible offense.
Rainey's likely to be demoted this season. Doug Martin is firmly entrenched as the starter, while Mike James is recovered from injury, Jeff Demps has a role as a speedster, and the Bucs drafted Charles Sims in the third round of the 2014 NFL draft. Rainey's likely behind all of those players at this point, but don't tell him that.
“I expect to be a starter next year,” Rainey told TDdaily. “Right now I’m working on getting stronger in the blocking game and for me, my goal is to be the team’s starter. If I’m not, I’ll still play my hardest and accept my role, but that’s what I expect from myself.”
It's good to set some high standards for yourself, but becoming a starter is almost certainly impossible. In fact, Rainey may have to fear for his roster spot given the hefty competition and the likelihood of his having three backs ahead of him already.