Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chris Rainey and Jerome Bettis: A Tale Of Two Running Backs

by Jayden and Jason

By now you know that Pittsburgh Steelers' 2012 fifth-round draft pick running back Chris Rainey was arrested on Thursday for the assault of his girlfriend, and then released that same day. It cast a bit of a dark cloud over the news previously reported that beloved former Steelers phat back Jerome Bettis was among the 15 finalists for the Hall of Fame. With respect to Charles Dickens, it was a tale of running backs.

It was the worst of times...

We're truly looking at a juxtaposition here in style, stature and abilities. Rainey has the potential to make the NFL his own personal pinball machine, sending opposing teams to TILT on a regular basis if used properly. The depth of his talents were barely tapped his rookie season in a Steelers uniform. Nonetheless, his mercurial speed, slithery elusiveness and his third-to-fifth gear explosiveness was evident. Even if only in flashes. The potential was apparent.

As is often the case, though, potential can be a dirty word. And with Rainey's troubles not going away, the Steelers decided that he must.

“Chris Rainey’s actions this morning were extremely disappointing,” Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said. “Under the circumstances and due to this conduct, Chris will no longer be a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.” -

Being that one half of this blogger team is a surviving victim of domestic abuse, there was an immediate, visceral and emotional reaction designed toward writing a scathing eulogy for Rainey. We decided to hold off, though, because we assumed something more may come down the pike regarding the alleged incident. We were correct.

Here are the facts as we all know them now. The Steelers will waive Chris Rainey, they can't until the day after the Super Bowl at the earliest and by the end of March at the latest, because of an "alleged" assault of his girlfriend. -

Then Rainey's (erstwhile?) girlfriend, through her lawyer, denied she was assaulted...the common reaction from victims of abuse. -

What may be most telling about his release is that Rainey seems to have several demons, one of which is gambling:

So, let's run it down: in 2010, he was arrested and charged with felony stalking after threatening his ex-girlfriend, he lied to the Steelers organization by saying that he was over such things and that he'd learned from his mistakes, he previously had or he developed a gambling problem and now he's allegedly assaulted his girlfriend. Is there any wonder why he was released?

It was the best of times...

Rony. The Battering Ram. The Bus. Brian Urlacher's daddy. Super Bowl champion. Jerome Bettis has been known by many names over the years. It's high time to add another to that list of epithets: Hall of Famer.

Where Rainey dodges and darts his way in between defenders, Bettis bowled over opponents just as easily as ran past them. Appropriate analogy considering he loves to bowl and because of...well, his shape. Quickly named "The Bus" by the legendary late Myron Cope, Bettis ran roughshod over linemen, linebackers and safeties all the way to the endzone 100 times in his career, 78 with the Steelers.

Bettis was drafted out of Notre Dame into the NFL in 1993 by the then-Los Angeles Rams. He had an immediate impact on the league by rushing for 1,429 yards, and was named Offensive Rookie of the Year as well as receiving First-Team All-Pro honors. But, it was his move to Pittsburgh that cemented his legacy.

On April 20, 1996, Bettis was traded to the Steelers and hit the ground running. He totaled 1,431 yards in his first season in the Burgh, to go along with 11 touchdowns. A star was born.

All told, Bettis would pound out 10,571 yards for the Steelers earning him several Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors. The Bus pulled into the depot for the last time in February of 2006. Poetically, it was in Detroit, his hometown. Fittingly, it was in Super Bowl XL -- shouldn't the NFL's best ever truly big back end his career in a game labeled "XL?"

All aboard. Next stop: Canton.


TIDBITS: Maurkice Pouncey, the only center in NFL history to be voted to the Pro Bowl in his first three seasons, has also been named to the 2012 NFL All-Pro 2nd Team:


Pittsburgh Steelers' official and resident Cap-ologist Omar Khan is set to interview for the Jets' GM job. If he leaves, be very afraid. But...would The Wrath of Khan even fit in with the Jets? Mark Kaboly, Steelers beat writer and someone who is close to the situation offers his assessment: "Khan, the cap guru of cap gurus, will interview with the Jets on Thursday for their general manager job.

"While it will be a great experience for Khan," Kaboly continued, "I really can't see him fitting in with Woody Johnson, Rex Ryan and that circus. Khan is too classy for that, so expect him to be back with the Steelers."

"But eventually," he concluded, "Omar Khan will find a perfect fit and the Steelers will suffer because of it."