Free Agent Snapshot: LB Wali Rainer

Veteran linebacker and special teams ace Wali Rainer is back and ready for action after a training camp injury cut his 2006 season short. Learn more about why he'll be a valuable addition to an NFL club in 2007 in this feature from

Wali Rainer
LB, Unrestricted Free Agent

6'2, 240 pounds, 29 years old

NFL Experience: 8 years

Has played for: Browns ('99-'01), Jaguars ('02), Lions ('03-'05), Texans (Injured Reserve '06)

Career Stats: 520 tackles, 41 TFL, 4 sacks, 19 passes defended, 1 INT in 110 games (63 starts)

2006 Stats: On injured reserve after breaking his left ankle in training camp last summer

The Buzz: Has a reputation for a tireless work ethic and possessing good coverage skills for a LB ... Has experience playing at all LB positions but is best known as a MLB (44 starts) and strongside LB (22 starts)... Quick, aggressive, physical hitter who also excels on special teams ... Embraced the role of helping develop younger players in Detroit during his three years there ... Has recovered well from his broken ankle and is running and doing agility drills again. Up until that injury, he had only missed two games during his previous 7 seasons ... "Rainer is tough to block [on special teams] because he has perfected a high-speed "wiggle" to squeeze past blockers..." -- The Sporting News ... "Their emotional intensity is infectious and filters onto the field and even into the weight room, locker room and meeting rooms. It is everywhere, everyday." -- Jennifer Hadden at on Wali Rainer and Donte Curry.

Noteworthy: As a LB, led his team in tackles during three of his first four seasons, including a career-high 191 during his rookie year ... Led the Lions in special teams tackles for two seasons and finished second in his third season in Detroit ... highly active in community and charitable work ... degree in city planning from University of Virginia and wants to use that knowledge to help low-income neighborhoods in inner-cities develop ... Browns 2001 NFL Man of the Year for his exemplary community involvement ...Selected by his Browns teammates for the Unsung Hero Award, for dedication to and the love of football, fans and community.

He said it to
"I'm one of those guys who loves contact and on special teams, everything I do I'm going to give one hundred percent. That's the way I go through life and that's the way I go through football."

"...a lot of times when you grow up in this type of environment it makes you cold-hearted. But once I was able to get some of the things I thought would make me happy and they didn't make me happy I started doing the charity work for people of all different ages and races."

"...when I played with the Lions on special teams I made sure that I was trying to be in on every tackle and physically try to punish the ball carrier."

Check back this weekend for our Q&A with Wali Rainer, an exclusive for subscribers!

Ravens RB Lance Frazier is tackled by Wali Rainer, left, and Corey Schlesinger, right. (AP Photo/Chris Gardner)

Ed Thompson's interviews with NFL and college players have been published widely across the network and have been linked through's NFL team pages. A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, he's also the publisher of on the network.

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