Underrated (re: cheap) free agent to be
Wali Rainer (Getty Images) By Ed Thompson
Posted Feb 10, 2007
The Steelers once pursued this linebacker, and they'll get another chance in March when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Here's the rundown on Wali Rainer:
LB, Unrestricted Free Agent
Numbers: 6'2, 240 pounds, 29 years old
NFL Experience: 8 years
Has played for: Browns ('99-'01), Jaguars ('02), Lions ('03-'05), Texans (Injured Reserve '06)
Career Stats: 520 tackles, 41 TFL, 4 sacks, 19 passes defended, 1 INT in 110 games (63 starts)
2006 Stats: On injured reserve after breaking his left ankle in training camp last summer
The Buzz: Has a reputation for a tireless work ethic and possessing good coverage skills for a LB ... Has experience playing at all LB positions but is best known as a MLB (44 starts) and strongside LB (22 starts)... Quick, aggressive, physical hitter who also excels on special teams ... Embraced the role of helping develop younger players in Detroit during his three years there ... Has recovered well from his broken ankle and is running and doing agility drills again. Up until that injury, he had only missed two games during his previous 7 seasons ... "Rainer is tough to block [on special teams] because he has perfected a high-speed "wiggle" to squeeze past blockers..." -- The Sporting News ... "Their emotional intensity is infectious and filters onto the field and even into the weight room, locker room and meeting rooms. It is everywhere, everyday." -- Jennifer Hadden at Detroit Lions.com on Wali Rainer and Donte Curry.
Noteworthy: As a LB, led his team in tackles during three of his first four seasons, including a career-high 191 during his rookie year ... Led the Lions in special teams tackles for two seasons and finished second in his third season in Detroit ... highly active in community and charitable work ... degree in city planning from University of Virginia and wants to use that knowledge to help low-income neighborhoods in inner-cities develop ... Browns 2001 NFL Man of the Year for his exemplary community involvement ...Selected by his Browns teammates for the Unsung Hero Award, for dedication to and the love of football, fans and community.
He said it to Scout.com...
"I?m one of those guys who loves contact and on special teams, everything I do I?m going to give one hundred percent. That?s the way I go through life and that?s the way I go through football."
"...a lot of times when you grow up in this type of environment it makes you cold-hearted. But once I was able to get some of the things I thought would make me happy and they didn?t make me happy I started doing the charity work for people of all different ages and races."
"...when I played with the Lions on special teams I made sure that I was trying to be in on every tackle and physically try to punish the ball carrier."