Bucs running back Bobby Rainey made national headlines two weeks ago, rushing for 163 yards and scoring three touchdowns in a win against Atlanta. The former Western Kentucky star talked with the Times' Greg Auman about Willie Taggart, winning a Super Bowl while on injured reserve and his other loves.
You played for USF coach Willie Taggart at Western Kentucky. What's your favorite of his favorite sayings? I'll guess, "We have to attack this day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind."
"Do something." The one I got from him was, "Blame no one. Make no excuses. Do something." It was funny because everything he was saying at Western, you'd look on TV and hear the 49ers (and coach Jim Harbaugh) saying the same thing. Then I ended up going to Baltimore and talking to (coach) John Harbaugh. He says he's the originator of all that. Jim stole it from him, and then Coach Taggart got it from Jim. John says he's the originator, and even Coach Taggart says that.
What were your favorite memories of being with the Ravens? You didn't play in a game but were with the team all last season.
The guys there and the organization. Everything is professional. Everything's on point. You don't have to worry about what you have next. It's all explained and laid out for you. You never have to say, "What if?" As soon as you get there, everything's all ready. They take you through the whole thing, make sure you know where everything is. All the resources that you need are there.
We've written a lot about you in the past two weeks. Your agent, Jack Bechta, tweeted three things about you. You love tennis?
My ex-teammate from college, his mom is an instructor. In the offseason, when I'm back at (Western Kentucky), she works me out with tennis. For footwork, stuff like that. A lot of volleys. My backhand's nice. I'm like Roger Federer with my backhand.
Is Federer your guy then?
Roger Federer and (Rafael) Nadal. But Roger Federer is more laid-back, cool, with swag. Nadal's the hyper one.
You like drag racing?
I love speed. My dad loved fast cars. My mom loved fast cars. My stepdad used to take me. It's one of the reasons I got my old-school car, which was given to me from my dad. It's a '79 Cutlass. I got 650 horses put in there. It's back in Georgia. Here, I have an S7 Audi. It's got a little speed; about 420 horses. I grew up around cars. My dad's a mechanic, owns his own shop, construction and mechanic in Fayetteville, Ga.
Are there other guys in this locker room you can talk cars with?
You see in the lot a few guys, what they have, Camaros, souped-up things like that. I haven't found anyone with an old-school that wanted to race me.
I have to ask you about fatherhood. Your daughter, Kyvee, was born right after you joined the Bucs. How has that changed you?
She's so gorgeous, so beautiful. Every time I get around her or think about her, I get a certain joy inside. It's probably the best thing I've had in my life, period, by far. I get home, all my focus goes toward her. After a game, I don't worry about anything else. I'm with my family and my little girl.
She was there when you had the huge game against Atlanta?
Slept the whole time; even with the cannons going off.
If she sleeps through that, that's a good sign for you as a dad.
It was the third quarter. I was in the huddle, TV timeout. I started thinking. "I wonder what Kyvee's doing. Is she acting up or just cooling?" This is in the huddle. How can I be zoning out like that? I'm always thinking about her.
Word association time. First words that pop into your head. We'll start in Baltimore: Ray Lewis.
He's a great guy, too. He's one of those guys who tries to get under your skin to push you. I could see through it. He knew it, but he still tried. Great guy though, very competitive.
Great vibe. Great vibe from him.
He's more laid-back.
One more story. Your fiancee, Kareema, she ran track in high school? I heard you wanted to race her.
She can't beat me. She thinks she can beat me. She says whenever she gets back in shape, she's going to race me. I told her I could spot her 10, 15 (yards) if she wants. She won't beat me.