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Tag:Chris Rainey
Posted on: June 20, 2011 2:45 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 10:01 am
 

Chris Rainey's BCS ring stolen

Posted by Tom Fornelli

College football players just can't seem to hold onto their personal memorabilia these days. While some players like to sell their rings and charms, others, like Florida running back Chris Rainey, have lost theirs to thieves. The apartment of Rainey and his teammate Moses Jenkins was broken into on Sunday morning according to a report in The Gainesville Sun. Rainey's BCS title ring from the 2008 season was just one of the things stolen from the apartment.

The house where University of Florida players Chris Rainey and Moses Jenkins live was broken into Sunday morning, according to the Gainesville Police Department. The items reported stolen include Rainey's 2008 National Championship ring, 10 pairs of Jenkins' shoes, a Gucci duffel bag, a television and a Sony PlayStation.

Lt. David Rowe said Rainey, a running back, and Moses, a fifth-year cornerback, left their home in the 3300 block of Southwest 42nd Street around 6 a.m. Sunday. The break-in was reported by a girlfriend, who found the back door of the home kicked it at about 11 a.m., Rowe said.

No word on whether or not Rainey received a text message prior to the break in reading "Time to steal...your championship ring." Though I doubt he did, because then Rainey probably would have taken it with him when leaving the apartment. 

Posted on: May 10, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Gators' frosh RB Blakely already transferring

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Mike Blakely hasn't played a down at Florida. He hasn't even played a down of practice, being forced to sit out spring practice after surgery on an injured shoulder.

But the early-enrolling class of 2011 running back has apparently seen enough to know the Gator program isn't for him. Head coach Will Muschamp has announced that Blakely is seeking a transfer and will be leaving Gainesville following this semester:
"Mike has come to the conclusion that the University of Florida is not where he wants to play football," Muschamp said. "We wish him the best of luck" ...

“Everyone at Florida has been very supportive of me in my time here and I'm thankful for the experience that I had, but I've made a decision to continue my college football career somewhere else," Blakely said.
Despite his limited time with the Gators, Blakely's signed letter-of-intent and early enrollment means he will be nonetheless required to sit out the 2011 season as a transfer. (We think; he may be seeking an NCAA waiver of some sort.)

One of the nation's top running back prospects last year -- he ranked at No. 66 overall in the Maxpreps top 100 and the No. 7 tailback -- Blakely was expected by many to challenge Chris Rainey, Mike Gillislee and the rest of the incumbent Gator tailbacks for the starting job in Charlie Weis's power-first pro-style overhaul.

But like most members of the Gators' class of 2011, Blakely had committed to Urban Meyer and the previous regime's spread look; per one early report, after getting a first-hand look at Weis's approach, the change in offensive scheme was enough to prompt the transfer request.

As for Blakely's next step, his destination is a matter of speculation, though it seems likely he'll look for an offense similar to the Meyer spread he originally committed to. What we do know is that the team adding him will be getting a potential playmaker whose stunningly brief Florida tenure shouldn't be the last we hear of him by any means.

Posted on: March 16, 2011 12:12 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Florida

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice . So we here at the Eye on College Football  will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers . Today, we look at Florida , who starts spring practice today.

Spring Practice Question: What's going to be drawn on the blank slate of the Florida offense?

As spring practice 2011 opens, there may be no single unit in the entire country more intriguing than the Florida offense.

It's true. Consider that just three years ago it was the envy of college football, an unstoppable force led by the Heisman-winning Tim Tebow, featuring the most explosive receiving/rushing playmaker in the college game in Percy Harvin, drawn up and play-called by one of the best spread-option gurus in the nation in Dan Mullen, positively littered with future successful pros like Maurkice Pouncey and Aaron Hernandez ... it was the kind of offense custom-built to win a national championship, and it did. And then two seasons later, in the hands of Steve Addazio,  it was a crumbling heap that finished an unthinkable 82nd in total offense. That was an offense built to go 7-5, and it did, too.

So it's hardly surprising Will Muschamp decided to scrap the entire thing and start over. It's maybe somewhat surprising, though, he'd start over with something he's familiar with but Florida hasn't run in ages: a true two-back, under-center, pro-style system as run by the newly-contented Charlie Weis.

The result of that decision is that what we know about the new Gator offense is dwarfed by what we don't, the questions at this stage far outnumbering the answers. A sampling:

Is Weis's offense going to incorporate anything left over from the Meyer era? It's not what Weis knows or what Muschamp hired him for, so don't expect much different from Weis's offenses at Notre Dame or the Kansas City Chiefs. But with a collection of personnel recruited for (and in many cases, much better-suited) the Meyer spread, there must be the temptation to include certain elements of the old scheme here and there. We'll see if Weis gives in to that temptation this spring.

Can John Brantley's career be salvaged? If there's any former Meyer recruit who might have been happy to see the offense overhauled, it would have to be the pass-first Brantley, who was asked by Addazio to fill many of the running-game holes Tebow did without only the tiniest fraction of the success. Weis's system could make Brantley a star, but whatever offense he's running, Brantley will have to be substantially more poised this spring if he's going to hold off a challenge from early-enrolled freshman Jeff Driskel.

What happens to the heirs to Harvin? What success the Gator offense had in 2010 was frequently the result of getting the ball to Jeff Demps, the diminutive sprinter who took several handoffs the distance. But a pro-style tailback job doesn't typically go to backs of Demps's (or fellow veteran blazer Chris Rainey's) size, and Demps's history of nagging injuries won't help him convince Weis and Muschamp he or Rainey will be ready to be an every-down back. With one of those injuries sidelining Demps for at least the start of spring, the larger Mike Gillislee or Mack Brown may be able to stake their claim to the position.

Will the offensive line bounce back? Much of the disappointment of 2010 started with the disappointing play up front, as a veteran line began its year with Mike Pouncey memorably dribbling snaps back to Brantley in the season opener and never seemed to truly recover. Now the Gators enter spring with a new line coach brought in from the NFL in Frank Verducci, and just one healthy 2010 starter available. But the competition for open spots and fresh voice following the departure of Addazio could lead to better results all the same.

Will any playmakers step up in the receiving positions? Yes, the receivers were a problem last year too, as the entire corps of wideouts and tight ends totaled just eight touchdown receptions and as a team the Gators averaged barely more than 10 yards a completion. Deonte Thompson led the way by netting 15 yards per-catch and 570 yards total; a big spring should establish him as the team's clearcut No. 1 and a potential All-SEC candidate. But it will also be worth watching Jordan Reed and Trey Burton, top-drawer athletes who moonlighted as Wildcat quarterbacks a year ago and have been shifted into starting roles as a tight end and slot receiver, respectively. If Thompson's ready to take the next step and Weis can find the best way to put Reed and Burton to use, the Gators could come out of spring with plenty of optimism regarding their receiving corps.

With so many questions, it seems unlikely Florida will find the right answers to all of them. But with so many potential answers at virtually any position you choose, whatever Weis and Muschamp cook up, it promises to be fascinating viewing ... and at the least, a good bit more effective than the not-even-close-to-fascinating viewing the Gators offered last season.


Posted on: December 31, 2010 8:46 pm
 

CBS Bowl Bonanza: Outback Bowl

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Basics: Florida (7-5) vs. Penn State (7-5), Jan.1, 1pm ET

Why You Should Watch: Well, first of all, you should watch this game because it'll be starting around the same time you're finally waking up out of your New Year's Eve haze.  Nothing like some football to help you shake the cobwebs out of your brain.  Oh, and it's also the final time you will have a chance to see Urban Meyer nearly suffer a heart attack on a Florida sideline.  Not to mention, depending on who you want to believe, it could also be the final time that Joe Paterno ever graces a sideline.

Keys to Victory for Florida: You could question how Florida will approach this game given everything that's gone on in Gainesville over the last month, but I don't think motivation is going to be a problem.  There's no way these Gators want to send Urban Meyer out with a loss.  To do this, well, the Gators will have do so something they haven't done all season.

Find some consistency on offense.  Whether it's John Brantley through the air, or Trey Burton on the ground, whoever is at quarterback for Florida is going to have to make some plays against this Penn State defense.  That means the Gators offensive line, which has been pretty disappointing this year, is going to need to step up the protection.  When Brantley is back there he tends to make dumb decisions when facing pressure and has a hard time reading coverage.

The best way to help Brantley would be to get the ground game going with Mike Gillislee, Emmanuel Moody, Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey.  Penn State has had some problems with the run this season, and the Gators should watch the game film of the Penn State game against Illinois and copy Illinois' game plan.  Maybe Ron Zook can finally win a bowl game for Florida after all these years.

Keys to Victory for Penn State: Florida is faster and more athletic than Penn State.  The best way for Penn State to counter this will be to attack, attack and attack some more on defense.  Blitz John Brantley like there is no tomorrow and force him to make decisions he's not ready to make. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the Nittany Lions need to tighten things up against the run.

When Penn State has the ball it should look to exploit the Gators a bit in the secondary.  Yes, Evan Royster should still get plenty of carries to soften up the Florida defense, but the Gators don't have Janoris Jenkins in this game and he's not an easy player to replace.  Now, the problem here is that as good as Matt McGloin has been, he's not very effective on deep routes.  Which means that Penn State should look to attack Florida on shorter routes like slants and hitches. 

Finally, it will be important for Royster and the offensive line to have move the ball against the Florida run defense.  Royster had a couple of lackluster games against tough run defenses like Alabama and Ohio State this season, and for Penn State to have a legit chance in this game, he's going to have to produce.

The Outback Bowl is like: one of those Rolling Stones farewell concerts.  You know that even though they claim it's the last time you'll ever see them performing, they're going to come back eventually.  Yes, Urban Meyer may be leaving Florida to spend time with the family and tend to his health, but do you really believe a man that immersed in football is never coming back?  I don't.
Posted on: November 18, 2010 6:02 pm
 

Meyer may be misdiagnosing Gators' ailment

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The big news out of Gainesville this week doubles as the worst possible news for most football fans in Gainesville: Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will not only be retained as part of Urban Meyer 's Gator staff (not entirely surprising), he will remain in his current position as offensive coordinator and play-caller (that 's surprising).

Why this is such terrible news for Gator followers is obvious: they've been dreadful offensively nearly all season, ranking 82nd in total yardage, some 14 places behind even their fellow mega-flops at Texas . In the Gators' four losses, they've averaged just 278 yards and 14 points. They're a staggering 116th in red zone conversion rate. The big-play passing game promised by the ascension of big-armed John Brantley to the starting quarterback position has utterly failed to materialize; the Gators rank next-to-last in the SEC in pass plays of 30 yards or more with 7--three fewer than Vanderbilt and five fewer than Mississippi State . The Gators aren't any better from an aesthetic standpoint, looking frequently out-of-sync and rarely playing into the mobility-challenged Brantley's strengths.

To suffer offensive woes that intense in spite of the Gators' overflowing bounty of talent is a powerfully damning statement on the job of the offensive coaching staff. But to ask Meyer, the first (and biggest?) factor in creating the "void" that has swallowed up his team in 2010 is something that has very little to do with offensive coaching or execution :

Meyer said he has identified one problem, one thing that has been missing on this team.

The Gators don't seem to be playing with the same energy, passion and confidence that his past Florida teams were known for.

"We've always been a high-energy, up-tempo, chest-bumping, flying-around team," Meyer said. "I see the same thing you guys see. I don't see that. I see it from some.

"That's college football. That's Florida football. I've had people say, 'We love watching the Gators play.' It's just because the energy level in that stadium, the flying around, and that doesn't exist at the level that we expect right now."

There's no arguing that energy and intensity are key elements of a successful performance in college football, and that maintaining them over the course of a season is an important part of a successful season.

But those aren't the most important parts. Roughly speaking, execution, overall scheme, and smart game-planning have much more to do with victory since -- in any truly big game -- the emotional intensity is going to be just about equal. Take the South Carolina game; with so much on the line, how much of an advantage was "energy, passion and confidence" ever going to give the Gators?

Meanwhile, as expertly illustrated by SEC blog TeamSpeedKills , it was the Gamecocks who enjoyed a major advantage in terms of execution:


That's an already-predictable "get the ball to Chris Rainey " playcall topped by a bad snap and a disastrous misread in the blocking scheme, and unsurprisingly it went for nothing when Brantley threw the ball away.

A failure of a play like that has nothing to with energy or emotion; it's exclusively the product of poor preparation and execution, and plays like it have hamstrung Florida all season. Meyer's certainly under no obligation to dismiss Addazio or make any kind of changes to his staff or their roles, but one thing is for certain: keeping the offensive status quo and looking to improve simply through turning up the dial on "passion" isn't going to cut it. A team of hyped-to-the-gills Gators that aren't put in the proverbial "positions to win" aren't going to win no matter how much passion they play with.

Posted on: November 4, 2010 1:05 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 1:05 pm
 

Dowling dismissed because of his attitude

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Monday Florida's head coach Urban Meyer announced that the team had dismissed freshman safety Jonathan Dowling for violating team rules.  On Thursday we found out what team rules he violated.  Turns out that the kid was kind of punk, or as one unnamed source told the Palm Beach Post, "he was a complete (expletive)."

While we don't know for sure what expletive was used, I'd guess it rhymes with bassmole, which isn't a word but suits my purpose here.

Apparently Dowling was not complying with coaches and staff members and spending his days not going to class and skipping tutoring sessions.  When he was confronted by the coaching staff about it, he acted like one of those bassmoles, and Meyer decided that was enough to kick him off the team.  Which is fine.

This is Florida, after all, and there is just no place for that kind of behavior in the Gators program. 

While the Gators will tolerate you firing off an AK-47 in a parking lot, getting arrested for a DUI, or arrested for threatening to kill your girlfriend, those are very different circumstances.  See, those guys are all starters who contribute on the field, so while they might be suspended for a while, they're going to be back when they're needed.

But if you're just some punk-ass freshman with an attitude on the bench?  Well, that's just uncalled for.  

Hit the bricks, kid.
Posted on: October 30, 2010 5:31 pm
Edited on: October 30, 2010 5:40 pm
 

Gators up 21-7 at halftime

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As Jerry Hinnen wrote about earlier this afternoon , the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party took on a bit of added significance following South Carolina 's win over Tennessee on Saturday morning.  Essentially, whoever loses this game is eliminated from contention in the SEC East.  Through the first 30 minutes it looks like Georgia is the leading candidate.

Florida heads into halftime with a 21-7 lead thanks to a ground game that seems to be finding its legs, and some Georgia mistakes.  Chris Rainey, playing in his first game since being suspended for those text message shenanigans , has scored a touchdown along with Jeff Demps and Trey Burton.   More importantly, John Brantley is playing better than he has in weeks.  He has thrown an interception, but he's also completed 8-of-11 passes for 123 yards in the first half.

Also, to the delight of Channing Crowder, he's yet to be chased down by any white linebackers.

One quarterback who hasn't been having his best day is Georgia's Aaron Murray.   The Bulldogs have turned the ball over three times, and all three came courtesy of Murray.  He's thrown two interceptions and fumbled once, while only completing 5-of-14 passes, though one was a 63-yard touchdown pass to Tavarres King for the Bulldogs lone score.


Take away that pass from Murray, and he's 4-of-13 for 60 yards.
Posted on: October 27, 2010 3:00 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2010 3:01 pm
 

Meyer Paraphrased: 'Time to play, Chris'

Posted by Chip Patterson

Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey's time away from the field appears to be coming to an end.  After being suspended indefinitely for his aggravated stalking arrest last month, Rainey has returned to practice this week and could see his first bit of playing time since Florida's 38-14 victory over South Florida on September 11.  As least that is the way it sounds from head coach Urban Meyer's comments on Wednesday.

"As of now, he’s done everything he’s supposed to do,” Meyer said on the SEC teleconference. “What is today? Wednesday? Tomorrow is the deadline that I set with him and myself, and I’ll just do a thorough check again tomorrow of everything we asked him to do."

Rainey has completed the required community service in his deferred prosecution agreement, and the junior from Lakeland, FL will likely be looked to for an immediate impact for a stagnant offense.  Rainey could fill in as the big-play threat that has been missing with speedy running back Jeff Demps being limited by a sprained foot for nearly five weeks.  That will come as welcome news for the Gators, losers lost three straight games.

After being reinstated to the team on October 10, Rainey was back on the sideline to witness the Gators' 10-7 loss to Mississippi State.  Now with a week of practice under his belt, Rainey will no doubt be looking to make up for lost time on the field against Georgia.  The Gators can still make a run at the SEC East Division title with a win over South Carolina on November 13, but cannot afford any more conference losses if they plan on being in Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game. 

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com