The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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March 12, 2013

Ex-Steeler Rainey hoping for another chance

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Chris Rainey is waiting for a second chance.

Or maybe it’s a third one.

Rainey, a fifth-round draft pick in 2012, was arrested in January and charged with one count of simple battery.

The incident cost him his job with the Steelers, who waived the rookie a few hours after the news broke. He eventually pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct.

Still, it was his second arrest in less than 30 months. He pleaded guilty misdemeanor stalking while attending Florida in 2010.

Rainey was back in Gainesville on Tuesday, watching former teammates take part in Pro Day. Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin were on hand for the workouts, but it was unclear whether Rainey spoke with them.

“I guess they probably wanted to teach everybody else a lesson or something,” Rainey said. “That’s how I look at it.”

Rainey was a promising return man and a third-down back as a rookie. He ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns last season.

He also caught 14 passes for 60 yards and returned 39 kickoffs for a 26.5-yard average.

The Steelers, though, seemingly had a zero-tolerance policy with him because of his past.

He expects to sign with another team, possibly after free agency and the draft.

“I’m just being patient, man, that’s all,” Rainey said. “I know free agency is today. I’m just wanting my agent to give me that phone call.”

Rainey downplayed the latest arrest, saying it was “just bad timing.”

“Wrong place at a bad time,” he said. “That’s all it is. I know nothing happens. When a witness says something, you can’t stop it. That’s all.”

Gainesville Police charged Rainey with a single count of misdemeanor simple battery following an incident with his girlfriend. Officers said Rainey was arguing with his girlfriend over his cellphone. His girlfriend got into a vehicle and the running back tried to pull her out. Witnesses told detectives that Rainey slapped his girlfriend across the face and then chased her when she ran away with his phone in her purse.

Asked what lessons he has learned, Rainey offered this:

“Just don’t make a scene outside. That’s all,” he said.

Rainey denied hitting the victim, who is still his girlfriend. She asked the judge to drop the charge, saying she never felt like she was in any physical danger.

“She (does) feel bad, but I told her don’t look at it like that,” Rainey said. “It ain’t your fault.”

 

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