September 3, 2009

Replacing Percy Harvin - Part III - Chris Rainey

As promised, today we'll take a look at the second player that will be key in helping the Florida Gators football team replace superstar playmaker Percy Harvin.

Today, we'll take a look at what Chris Rainey will contribute to the offense this year to help ease some of the pressure on the offense.

First off, to be a true asset to the Gators this season, Rainey must be able to shake his label as an injury prone player. While Rainey was often nicked up last season, he did play in most contests and he has added some weight over the offseason to help protect him from the grind of the SEC.

We talked about how Jeff Demps will help to replace Harvin this season as the primary back who will eat up some of Harvin's touches in the backfield.

Rainey will also help to shoulder some of Harvin's carries as a running back, but he will primarily help to replace Harvin's impact in the short passing game in space.

The Florida coaches have been raving about Rainey's increased pass catching abilities and he will undoubtedly provide the Gators a Harvin-like threat in the flats and the short slant routes as a short yardage receiver.

As I mentioned yesterday, Rainey might very well have better agility and cutting ability than Harvin, although he doesn't have the same blend of size, cutting and speed that Harvin had. However, this cutting ability will make Rainey the primary threat in the short yardage passing game.

Coach Urban Meyer and his staff will undoubtedly try to get Rainey the ball in space as much as possible, where he can use his superior cutting ability to get free and make plays for the Gators.

Rainey also figures to see the majority of his rushing touches running to the outside, whereas Demps will likely be the primary runner through the middle of the offensive line.

Tomorrow, I'll take a look at the final aspect of replacing Percy Harvin: the receiving game.

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