After rushing for 144 yards on 22 carries in a 19-17 loss to St. Louis, Bobby Rainey, a native of Griffin, Ga., was looking forward to returning home to face the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football. But a night in which he totaled over 100 yards (41 rushing, a career-high 64 receiving) turned out to be disastrous for the Buccaneers, who lost 56-14 to the Falcons, and to Rainey, who fumbled the ball twice.
“The turnovers are something I can’t do – period,” Rainey said. “I have to take care of the ball. I will do that starting today and from here on out. I will take care of the ball. The team doesn’t have to worry about me losing the ball again. What I get paid to do is protect the ball. That’s what I’ll do – protect the ball.
“I had to basically block it out. I had a lot of the veterans come to me and say don’t worry about it, but I put a standard on myself that’s way more than what anyone could put on me. I had to move forward and contribute the way I could.”
Rainey said that Tim Spencer, the team’s running backs coach, was not pleased with Rainey’s two turnovers, which helped the Bucs dig a hole for themselves.
“He was pissed like always,” Rainey said. “Anytime one of us put the ball on the ground he’s pissed – period. We’re running backs and we have to protect the ball. We’re one of the guys that touches the ball the most. He was upset, but he still had the confidence to put me out there. I don’t know if it was because I was the only back that we had, but he showed confidence in me.”
That, and the fact that backup running back Mike James only has 11 yards in 10 carries and is averaging just over 1.0 yard per carry.
Given the fact that Rainey has three turnovers in three games, including a fumble in the 20-14 loss to Carolina in Week 1, it’s likely a given that Doug Martin will return to the starting lineup when his knee heels, which could be this Sunday at Pittsburgh.
While Martin has yet to turn the ball over this year, he only has nine yards on nine carries, while Rainey leads the team in rushing with 197 yards on 37 carries (5.3 avg.) and has 12 catches for 102 yards and a touchdown
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
Funny but true, they had no one else to put in there. I’m shocked we haven’t signed another back. I don’t know if it’s the injuries, but James has been horrible. They should use J.Lane some. Speaking of being thin, with McCown nursing the hand, we could be one snap away from having to play Kafka!! Surely they can find someone with at least an NFL arm to sign to the P.S..
Unfortunately it may be time to move on from M. James. He just hasn’t been the same since his injury. I would say keep him for special teams purposes, but ST have also sucked this year.
Maybe now we’re seeing why Charles Sims was drafted. I’ve never understood how some fans so quickly turned on Doug Martin as if his stellar rookie season was a mirage. I think Bobby Rainey is a decent running back who brings a little more quickness, but he was on the street for a reason. I still remember some of the great runs #22 had in 2012. There’s no reason to think he doesn’t still have that ability. Mike James doesn’t look like the same runner after his ankle injury. Perhaps it’s a confidence thing. I’d like to see him a little more involved to get a better idea on what we have there. Just watch how teams defend us due to our lack of QB talent. Teams play one safety deep and load up to stop the run on first and second down. Then when it’s third and long, they know our signal caller can’t complete a pass over five yards.
See they worked out T. Pryer, so they see the need to up grade from Kafka. Also worked out Murphy although they should know what they have in him. He was our best receiver in preseason, yet they went with stone hands Herron! Murph, and Glennon had some chemistry so bringing him back makes sense.
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