“It’s been a great experience but I tell you, it’s definitely a grind as far as the workload, but I’m handling it. For me, it is nice to be in an atmosphere around so many great players,” Rainey said. “It really hasn’t hit me yet that I’m actually in camp with the Baltimore Ravens.”
After nearly a month of working with the Ravens in their mini-camp, Rainey came to a major conclusion about life in the National Football League.
“The pro game is WAY different than in college, that’s for sure. There are a lot of plays thrown at you at once and you’ve got to learn them,” he said. “What’s also unique about the NFL is the team’s use of code words to signal a particular play. We didn’t use code words in college.”
Rainey said the beauty of the code words is that they save time and they keep the opponents guessing as to what play will be run. The NFL rookie said he is starting to get the hang of mini-camp and said he doesn’t think of how famous most of his teammates are during practice. When there’s a bit of down time, that’s when he reflects on a multitude of things.
“When we all sit down and have lunch, that’s when I look at [left tackle] Michael Oher and I think about how I just watched the movie ‘The Blind Side’ the other day,” said Rainey. “It’s a pretty good feeling to know that I’m playing with someone who’s life was told in a movie.”
Rainey said another thing he has learned about NFL life is that “you have to be at your best every day — there’s no room for error.” He said the blessing about playing for the Ravens is that the coaching staff and the players themselves want each player to succeed and make the final roster.
“Some guys who have come to the Ravens from other teams said it’s not like that on other NFL teams so I’m happy to be here,” Rainey said. “The team even told me that I will make it to training camp in July, so I must be doing well. So far, I’m still here.”
If necessary, Rainey can lean on another Griffin native in the NFL for advice — Sherrod Martin of the Carolina Panthers, who is in his fourth year for that team. Martin, who starts at safety for the Panthers, said he and Rainey are pretty close and they “chop it up” when they can get the time to talk. Martin said he spoke frequently with Rainey before the entire process began.
“I told Bobby that it’s a long season and the camps, Organized Training Activities and training camp are a small part of it. Be ready to get a lot of info thrown at you and learn it all,” said Martin. “Bobby’s been playing football all his life just like me. He knows how to play the game and I know he will do well. I just tell him to stay healthy and grind everything out.”