Yes, you are hearing LA Rams DT Gaines more often. Here’s why

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

LA Rams DC Staley loves big strong defensive lineman. DL Gaines is custom fit for his role in the defense

To look at LA Rams defensive lineman Greg Gaines, you may not see a typical defensive lineman.  Now, don’t get me wrong. He’s 6-foot-1 and 312-pounds, a strong and durable defensive lineman who will not win many foot races, but he can hold his own against offensive linemen. As a rookie, Gaines was seldom used. Defensive linemen must be able to penetrate the line of scrimmage, shed blockers, and sack the quarterback. Gaines did not move easily, either forwards or backward.

Things have changed for the Rams defense this year.  One of the areas new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley has excelled at is freeing up Aaron Donald. To do that, he has enlisted Donald’s teammates to plow the road for Donald by engaging multiple blockers so that Donald has a clear path. And that task is something that big-bodied Greg Gaines is very good at doing.

More than a blocker gobbler

But Gaines is more than just a blocker gobbler this season. In 2019, he played 183 defensive snaps. That allowed him to make 13 tackles and get credit for 0.5 sacks in ten games.  In just seven games this season, and in 99 defensive snaps, Gaines is already up to nine tackles and he’s equaled last year’s 0.5 sacks. All the while, he played stout defense against the run.

Gaines is benefitting from the Rams’ rapid rotation at the defensive line. By cycling defenders through, the Rams can prevent fatigue to their star players upfront, which helps to keep them healthy this season. But as is the case for Greg Gaines, it helps to develop younger players more rapidly.  While Gaines is not headed for the pro bowl, he is a solid player to bring in to anchor the defensive line. He not only can make plays, but he can tangle up some offensive linemen to allow his teammates to do so as well.

Next. LA Rams Aaron Donald 80 sacks has him closer to team record. dark

Yes, you are hearing Gaines’s name called out in games more frequently now.  The reason why is that he’s playing better football. That’s how future stars are made. Greg Gaines will likely never be a household name. But he’s giving these Rams quality defensive snaps, which is exactly what these Rams need right now.