Rainey turning heads at Senior Bowl


MOBILE, Ala. -- Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan liked the play of Chris Rainey so much he began to sound like the former Florida running back’s agent. After praising Rainey’s versatility and speed at Tuesday’s news conference, Shanahan stopped himself, saying he wasn’t his representative, but if he were, he would want a piece of that action.

Rainey has made a good impression on the rest of the South team’s coaching staff at the Senior Bowl, playing running back and wide receiver during practice in addition to time as a punt returner. He showed good hands at wideout and even threw a block against a defensive end during 11-on-11 drills.

Size, though, is the speedster's biggest hurdle in the upcoming NFL draft. To Rainey, the argument is a tired one.

“Everyone says I’m too small for this or that, talking like that all my life, and I always prove them wrong,” Rainey said. “It’s just another level that’s it.

"I always have a chip on my shoulder. I’m always confident. I don’t care who says what. I just go out there and do it.”

In front of the scores of scouts, coaches and NFL personnel, Rainey has showed his merit. He said his goal this week was to “ball out” and “make people miss (and) break tackles.”

What he lacks in size, he’s made up for in effort in Mobile, Ala.

Draft experts have compared Rainey’s game to that of New Orleans running back Darren Sproles, a comparison Rainey freely accepts.

“(Sproles) makes it good for all the little people,” Rainey said. “All the guys were talking earlier about Sproles, saying him and Warrick Dunn made it for us, so thank them.

“I play like Chris Rainey, but I have a lot of mixture of those guys in me.”

Before Rainey wrapped up a session with the media Monday night, he dropped one bomb, staking out a goal at the NFL combine that, if successful, would turn more than a few heads. Training in Orlando, he’s honed his 40-yard dash time and hopes to turn in an all-time number.

“My goal is a 4.1, so y’all be looking out for it,” Rainey said. “You think I’m playing. As soon as I run it, I’m running out of the stadium.”