UF notebook: Rainey moving to slot position

Published: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 5:02 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 5:02 p.m.

New Florida running backs coach Stan Drayton revealed Wednesday that junior tailback Chris Rainey is going to take on the Percy Harvin role in the offense this spring. He'll be a combination wide receiver/running back.

"He's going to be that hybrid," Drayton said. "He's going to be playing for me and coach (Zach) Azzanni (the new wide receivers' coach). When he comes into the backfield, he'll be with me. In the slot, he'll be with Coach Azzanni.

"How could you not take advantage of what Chris Rainey can do all over the field? We're definitely giong to adapt (the offense) to that."

Drayton certainly is familiar with Rainey. He coached Rainey during his freshman season at Florida in 2007.

Drayton said Rainey is a different person and player now.

"One thing I will say is his passion for football has not changed," Drayton aid. "He's loved it from day one and he loves it now.

"He's really grown up a lot from a maturity standpoint, the decisions he's making off the field. He's trying to stand up and be a man about handling his business, he's trying to be accountable off the football field. One of the first things he said to me when I talked to him is, 'I'm not the same Chris Rainey.' "

Coaching assignments in the works

Urban Meyer's coaching staff is complete now, but the exact responsibility for some of the new coaches has yet to be determined.

D.J. Durkin, who coached the defensive ends and was the special teams coordinator at Stanford, likely will coach the linebackers and Florida. He's also expected to play a major role in coordinating the special teams, relieving Meyer of some of the responsibility.

"We haven't totally finalized it yet how it's going to be on defense," Durkin said, when asked if he would be coaching just the outside linebackers or the linebacker group as a whole. "I will be working with the linebackers."

Durkin coordinated the special teams at Stanford the past three seasons. He said he learned a lot about special teams working under Meyer as a graduate assistant at Bowling Green in 2001-02.

"Florida has great special teams and Coach Meyer has run those," Durkin said. "The special teams aren't going to change, but I'm going to have involvement in that. I'm excited to have a chance to work with special teams and work with Coach Meyer."

New defensive coordinator Teryl Austin coached the secondary for the Arizona Cardinals. With Chuck Heater coaching the safeties at UF the past two seasons, there a good chance Austin will coach the cornerbacks at UF, although that has not been decided yet.

One soft-spoken coordinator

Because he's only been on the job for a couple of days, Austin wasn't ready to talk much about his philosophy and UF's defensive personnel. One thing we did find out about Austin is he's a quiet guy. He was so soft-spoken at Wednesday's press conference that he was hard to hear at times even with a microphone.

"I'm not a lose-my-mind guy," he said. "I like to coach hard during the week, practice hard and get ready for when game time comes so you're prepared.

"During game time, you're putting out a lot of fires, things that have happened bad. I don't want to tear (the players) down. I've been known to yell, but most of the time, I'm talking to them just like this."

Austin said he's also a sideline guy, and will call the defensive plays from there instead of the press box.

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