Chris Rainey has run for 1,237 yards in his Gator career and has caught just 13 passes for 198 yards. Still with his size and ability in the open field the role of slot receiver seems perfect for him. Rainey talked about the change, getting ready for the season and more.
On the off-season program --- "The offseason this year was ridiculous. It was really hard. It seemed like they were trying to kill us or we were getting punishment or something. We were doing longer stuff, but the one thing I can tell you is everybody made it through this year with no injuries. We're fine."
On being haunted by the Alabama loss --- "I can't stop thinking about it. I think about it every day. I only played one snap, and we got embarrassed. We looked like a high school team out there. Every time they show that video it was like, dang was that us for real?"
On being reminded of that loss in the offseason --- "That's all they talk about here. Alabama. Think about Alabama. So every game I play (this year) I'm gonna think about Alabama."
On the attitude around the team ---- "This is the closest team I've ever been around. Everybody speaks to each other no matter where you're at. We're having tournaments playing video games and having a lot of fun this year like I've never seen."
Why he thinks the team is closer ---- "I guess we got rid of the prima donnas all the (selfish) guys. I guess that's it right there. You could say (there were) cliques or you could say (selfish) cats worrying about themselves and getting to the NFL. No rock stars this year. "
On being a receiver --- "Since I've been growing up I never thought I'd be a receiver. All the stuff I see is on YouTube when a receiver goes over the middle and gets the big hits. Now that might be me. Receiver is fun. You don't get a lot of injuries from it. The running is a lot harder than running back. And receivers got to know everything (about the offense); running back just has to know one thing."
On blocking downfield versus picking up the blitz --- "It's way easier than someone coming at you full speed weighing 250 pounds."
There will probably be a lot of publicity given to the comments about getting rid of the prima donnas, but I think players almost always feel that way about the departed players if they didn't reach their goals. Rainey was not asked to identify any particular prima donna and I doubt that he would have, but you can feel pretty confident his thoughts are geared towards guys who didn't get it done, but still moved on.