“I’m heading to Bowling Green, Ky. on Wednesday and then I’ll leave from there on Sunday for Ravens training camp. While I’m at WKU, I’ll be working on my punt return skills and overall catching ability,” said Rainey, who’s currently at home in Griffin. “From Thursday through Saturday, I’ll be working out and making sure my special teams skills are crisp.”
Not that Rainey, a rookie free agent, has been idle since Ravens mini-camp ended in mid-June. He has gone back to Griffin High and ran and lifted weights on a regular basis and even took the time to talk to the current Griffin High players recently. He believes he is ready for Ravens training camp after all the work he has put in this summer, including a sick workout called “150’s” where he has to run from the goal line to the 25-yard line and back six times in 30 seconds. He does that for six reps.
“Basically for me, I have to make sure that I do what I did back in mini-camp, but even better this time around,” Rainey said. “I just have to focus on eliminating any mistakes and doing what I can to earn the players and coaches respect.”
Rainey said the good thing about the Ravens is even though he’s competing with other running backs on the roster, including fifth-year All-Pro Ray Rice who just signed a long-term deal, the atmosphere is not as pressure-filled like it is with most NFL teams.
“Baltimore is a class organization. The coaching staff and the players all want you to succeed and be a part of the team,” he said. “Everyone’s cool and the atmosphere is about ‘may the best man win.’ It’s up to you as an individual to do what it takes to make the team and the staff is behind you 100 percent.”
His coaches gave him workouts to do while the players were on break and Rainey said he did them with his shoulder pads and helmet on in this intense Georgia heat.
“I needed to get my body adjusted to practicing in the heat,” he said. “If I could practice in my helmet and pads here, I can survive the heat in Baltimore for training camp.”
Rainey said the rigors of the NFL is no joke, but he is ready for even more work in training camp.
“I’ve been on the team for a month and a half, but it feels like a whole year,” he said. “It’s tough.”
But if he needed any extra motivation to get through training camp and make the team, he found it once he saw the Ravens’ 2012 schedule, especially the date of the first preseason game — Thursday, Aug. 9 at the Atlanta Falcons. Rainey last played in the Georgia Dome on Nov. 25, 2005, a 7-0 Griffin High loss to Statesboro in the state semifinals.
“When I saw that the Ravens first preseason game was against the Falcons at the Georgia Dome, I was ecstatic and I just knew things were lining up for me,” Rainey said. “I’ve been telling everybody about that game. My first NFL game — at home in Georgia? I’ve got to show out at home.”