Bill Castle, Lakeland High School Coach, on Steelers Running Back Chris Rainey
Bill Castle, Lakeland High School Coach, on Steelers Running Back Chris Rainey:
First, tell us a bit about your program and what’s made you and it so successful?
I was fortunate – we had a lot of good teams over the years. We were the state champions six times and the mythical national champions twice. We have four kids now in the NFL from Chris’ team alone – Maurkice and Mike, Chris and LeMont Black, who’s now in Tampa Bay.
What’s made you so successful?
I’ve been here for forty years – the head coach for thirty-five. I think the stability of the staff and the community support. There are a lot of intangibles that go into success. Having people believe in everything you do. You don’t build it overnight. I didn’t think I’d ever be here that long…
Tell us about Chris Rainey. What does he need to do to be successful in Pittsburgh?
The biggest thing is, he needs to stay healthy. He’s an explosive guy – whether it’s returning kicks, blocking field goals and extra points or being a third-down situational player. He really is an unbelievable explosive runner. He’s defintely an asset to them if he can stay healthy.
Can he block and become that third down back?
He has the heart. It comes down to size and the matchups – I’m not sure what he can do there. He’s got a big heart – he’s a tough kid, I’m telling you that. The big question will be his blocking, but there are other ways they can use him on third downs.
What would surprise people about Chris Rainey?
Nothing has surprised me. He’s done a great job in high schoo, and the University of Florida and I’m proud he got his degree.
Tell us a bit about him as a person – he got into a bit of off-field troube – can he stay out of trouble in Pittsburgh?
Everything he’s done has been mischevious stuff- nothing serious. He’s a playful guy – he’s got great charisma. He’s a good kid – a fun kid.
He’ll had to adjust to the style of living in the NFL – it’s new to all of those kids, having that kind of money for the first time.
Does he have that support system in his life?
He’s got good support around him – plus Maurkice is there in Pittsburgh – he and Chris grew up together so I expect he’ll be helping him a lot.
How would you like to see him used in Pittsburgh?
Get him in space, however you do it. With sweeps or short passes – he’s best in space, and he’s a tough kid for his size. He’s physical – he can bring it if cornered, but yeah, he’s best at making people miss.