Pittsburgh Steelers Release Chris Rainey After The Former Florida Star’s Arrest

The Pittsburgh Steelers have released running back Chris Rainey, only hours after his recent arrest. The former Florida Gators’ star was arrested on a simple battery account earlier on Thursday.

Chris Rainey Mugshot

Witnesses saw Rainey pull his girlfriend from a vehicle and then slap her. She ran away, but Rainey chased her to retrieve his cell phone. Upon catching up with her, both were knocked to the ground. According to police, Rainey admitted to attempting to get his phone back, but denied hitting his girlfriend. He went on to say she fell out of the car when he reached for her purse which contained his phone. Witnesses had a different account of the situation.

Rainey was mostly used as a kick returner during his rookie season in the NFL. The Steelers were quick to act, stating that Rainey’s actions were disappointing and he was no longer a member of their organization.

Chris Rainey Drafted No. 159 Overall By Pittsburgh Steelers

With the 24th pick in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft (No. 159 overall) Florida Gators running back Chris Rainey was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers. In Pittsburgh, Rainey will join former his former Florida teammates Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert.

Rainey was expected by many to be drafted, but there was a range on exactly where he would fall. Some said the former star could go as high as the second round, while others saw him sneaking into the draft late. In the fifth round, the Steelers – who have had some success with former Gators – took a chance on the speedster.

The remainder of the draft went as expected with Rainey and defensive lineman Jaye Howard not being joined by any additional former Gators. The 2012 draft would mark the first since 1993 that the first three rounds didn’t feature a Florida athlete. We wish both Rainey and Howard the best of luck, but hope 2013 is more kind to the Gators.

Tim Tebow Show Renewed For One More Episode; Denver Broncos Win

I’ll preface this by saying the Denver Broncos won their playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. The Denver Broncos pulled ahead early and got the victory in overtime. The Denver Broncos will go on to face the New England Patriots in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs on Saturday, January 14.

Okay, enough of that. TIM TEBOW!!! AHHHH!!!

The former Florida Gators star led the Broncos to overtime fireworks and a spot in the next round. In his first career playoff game, Tebow’s 10 completions on 21 passing attempts isn’t anything to be surprised about – accuracy has been and will be an issue – but he did manage 316 yards in the air against the league’s top passing defense. His 125.6 rating, yup, tops in Broncos playoff history. And then, there was this:

If you expected the Broncos to run, run, run during their first offensive possession of overtime, you were probably paying less than passive attention at the start of the extra frame. Just like that, it was over. Tebow hit Demaryius Thomas over the middle and Thomas did the rest, racing 80 yards for the winning score.

Whether you love him or hate him or believe he’ll make a full career out of being a professional quarterback, Tebow is headed to the next round and you’ll hear plenty about him for another week. A team that was expected to finish somewhere near the bottom of the standings took down one of the NFL’s great dynasties and now moves on to another. If you’re a Tebow fan, you’re still on cloud nine. If you’re a Florida fan, you’re still grinning. If you’re a sports fan in general, you’ll be watching in five days when Tebow and the Broncos attempt to do it all again.

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Maurkice Pouncey Named Pro Bowl Starter; Tim Tebow, Cam Newton Selected As Alternates

When our favorite Florida Gators go off to the NFL, we dream of glorious professional careers for them. Careers filled with many moments of success, maybe a Super Bowl and an induction into the Hall of Fame when all is said and done. Along the way, we want to see them become Pro Bowlers and be selected as All-Pros. We hope their success as Gators translates easily to Sundays. More often than not, it doesn’t. Take one look at my Twitter profile picture and you’ll see perhaps my biggest hope. We’re not alone, it happens to every fan base. The next level doesn’t always go as planned. But for a select few it does.

Among those few is Pittsburgh Steelers’ center Maurkice Pouncey. Pouncey is about to close out his second season in the NFL and for the second straight year, he will end it with a Pro Bowl nod. Only 22 years of age, the slightly older of the Pouncey twins has already made a name for himself among the league’s elite offensive linemen. He has started 29 of 31 possible regular season games and during a year in which the Steelers’ line has struggled, he’s been the rock.

The Pro Bowl selection for Pouncey is well deserved as will be the many more to come. The former Florida All-American has made the transition seem easy even though it’s anything but. Although for a player with his ability and intensity, maybe it is. This won’t be the last time we hear Pouncey’s name associated with an all-star selection of sorts this season. After his rookie season, he was also named an All-Pro. There could very well be another of those on the way as well.

While Pouncey was the only former Florida player to be named, there were two former Gators selected as alternates – one a star in orange and blue and one that ultimately found glory elsewhere. Tim Tebow was named the second alternate at quarterback for the AFC; while Cam Newton was selected as the NFC’s first alternate. The original six QBs selected each year rarely all make appearances at the annual event, so there’s a chance Tebow or Newton could be pulled into Pro Bowl duty.

Marcus Gilbert Goes #63 Overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers

I’ve never been much of a Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan.  I’ve never felt much of anything toward the Steelers to be honest.  They fit firmly in that “meh” category reserved for most of the teams in the NFL.  But I am becoming an increasing fan of their offensive line.  First Max Starks.  Then Maurkice Pouncey.  And now Marcus Gilbert.

Gilbert went a round higher than most projected as Pittsburgh selected him in the second round.  Going #63 overall is good for Gilbert who was projected to go somewhere in the third.
This is a good place for Gilbert to end up because he probably won’t be asked to play right away.  He’ll have some time to shed the “soft” label and develop himself into a viable option at the right tackle spot.  Most teams didn’t see Gilbert as a franchise left tackle, but could picture him as a serviceable talent on the right side.
After three rounds, Florida has now sent two players to the big time.  Still plenty of Gators out there waiting to hear their names called.

(Photo: University of Florida)

Maurkice Pouncey Plans to Play; How? We Don’t Know

There are many things athletes are better at than us.  Athletics, for one.  Generally in strength and overall health as well.  Making money for the most part.  Spending money comes to mind.  Healing is another.  A hangnail can put one of us of commission for months at a time.  “You expect me to put together my TPS reports with this?!?  I demand to talk to HR!”  Basically put, we are all wimps.  Wimps who live vicariously through those reaping the rewards of collegiate and professional athletic competition.

Former Florida All-American center and one part of the baddest twins this side of the mighty Mississippi Maurkice Pouncey is one of those reaping the rewards.  As a Gator, Pouncey saw his career end with back-to-back 13-1 seasons and he was a key part of a National Championship team.  As a first-year player with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he went from rookie to starter to Pro Bowler to AFC Champion.  Pretty impressive for most, but expected of the mauler.  And then Sunday happened.
During the Steelers AFC Championship victory over the New York Jets, Pouncey felt the full weight of a fellow footballer on his ankle.  So much weight he actually heard a pop.  The injury looked bad when it happened and worse when Pouncey was shown not able to put any weight on the ankle.  Then again that is 304 pounds of tatted up badass weight.  Not an easy feat even on a healthy ankle.  The moment it happened it appeared as if Pouncey’s season was over.  The Steelers were marching toward the Super Bowl and their starting center would be watching from the sidelines.  And then Monday happened.
“I know in my heart I’m playing in that game.”  And so it was said.  Pouncey had a similar injury while at Florida and claims he knows how to deal with it.  Let’s hope so.  To us it looked nasty.  To him it was no more than an annoyance he plans to get past quick.  The next few days will tell us if Pouncey can really go come Super Bowl time, but as of right now, don’t count him out.

Morning Reading: Maurkice Pouncey Denies Allegations

Former Florida All-American offensive lineman and current Pittsburgh Steelers rookie Maurkice Pouncey has denied allegations that he took money from an agent while still a member of the Gators’ football team.
Allegations came to light recently accusing Pouncey of taking $100,000 from an agent before Florida’s Sugar Bowl victory over Cincinnati.  Obviously, if this were true, it would be a violation since Pouncey was still a college athlete at the time.  However, on Wednesday, Pouncey issued a statement that any claim to that effect is ridiculous and he never accepted anything from an agent.
Both Florida and the NCAA are investigating the allegations and Pouncey has cooperated with them.  He has even turned over numerous statements to prove there was never a large amount of money accepted.  Pouncey did purchase a Cadillac Escalade after the NFL draft and was able to do so with a deferred loan.
We’re in the middle of several sticky situations involving agents.  USC has already been sanctioned.  Florida is investigating the Pouncey situation.  Players from UNC and South Carolina are being interviewed.  And now the NCAA has an inquiry in at Georgia.
As several college head coaches has said recently, it’s time for the NFL to step up and help police the agents.  If an agent partakes in any activity with a client before he is allowed to, that agent should not be allowed to represent that client.  Or any client for that matter.  While these kids need to take some responsibility and work harder to do the right thing, the agents are presenting them with offers they never imagined.  Temptations push the athletes over the edge at times.  That’s no excuse, but the agents are the ones that end up with no punishment when all is said and done.  The NFL needs to change that.
From the time they left Florida for the NBA, we knew good things were ahead for Al Horford, Corey Brewer, and Joakim Noah.  Horford and Noah haven’t disappointed and despite being stuck in Minnesota, Brewer is an improving young player.  Before those three came along, there was another former Gator who we weren’t so sure about.  David Lee.
Lee has a solid career at Florida and seemed like he could become a decent role player in the NBA.  Five years later, Lee is coming off a season in which he averaged 20.2 points per game (the fifth straight season he has increased his scoring average).  He also finished with an average of over 11 rebounds a game for the second straight season.
Lee turned his rising success into a six-year, $80 million contract with the Golden State Warriors where he will be counted on to be one of the team’s stars.  He was also invited to participate in team USA workouts for the world championships and had a good chance at making the final roster.
That chance is over now as Lee injured his finger during the first day of practice and will be shelved for six weeks.  No world championships for Lee, but he should be 100% by the time the new NBA season rolls around.
Missed among the Ilya Kovalchuk news of the last few days was a big trade between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning.  The Lightning improved their offensive production by adding Flyers left wing Simon Gagne.
Gagne – who has scored more than 40 goals twice in his career and more than 20 seven times – should add immediate punch to the Lightning offense.  The two-time NHL all-star will provide another scoring option for Tampa Bay and brings plenty of experience to the ice.
To obtain Gagne, the Lightning gave up defenseman Matt Walker and a 2011 fourth-round draft pick.  Sounds like a great deal for Tampa Bay and one that could produce immediate dividends.

Maurkice Pouncey Goes to the Pittsburgh Steelers at #18

11 picks later, Florida had its second player selected in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Center/guard/virtually anything along the offensive line Maurkice Pouncey fell into a near perfect situation when he was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The first twin to be drafted (Mike will have his moment in the sun next year), Pouncey is a hard-nosed grinder who’s biggest asset is probably his loyalty.  Was anyone a bigger protector of their teammates than the Pounceys at Florida?  The two of them always seemed to be in the middle of any possible altercation and were determined not to let anyone get near their quarterback.
Pouncey is one of those picks you probably couldn’t go wrong with, especially not at 18.  He plays hard and effort is never an issue.  He gives it his all on every play and should fit into the Steelers’ mindset very well.  For a franchise currently in the midst of a shit-storm (sorry, but I really can’t put it any other way), Pouncey is a great pick.  Pittsburgh should never have to worry about work ethic and now have a player that can step in and perform right from day one.

Max Starks Signs Big Deal with Pittsburgh Steelers

Former Florida and current Pittsburgh Steeler offensive tackle Max Starks has signed a long-term deal with the Super Bowl Champions ending his brief tenure of their franchise player. Starks will get $26.3 million over four years, which includes $10 million in guaranteed money. Not bad for a 27-year-old. Now maybe Starks can afford to get his Super Bowl rings polished. Not that he couldn’t before.

Max Starks Hits the Jackpot; Franchised by Pittsburgh

Former Florida Gator Max Starks isn’t doing too bad for himself these days. Last year, Starks made $6.985 million as the recipient of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ transition tag. This year, he’ll get a raise to $8.451 million as the team’s franchise player. Not bad for a guy who was a backup before injuries forced him into the starting lineup. Kudos to the former Gator for getting his!