Greg ‘Gazelle’ Gaines
When teammate Sebastian Joseph Day was sent to IR with an injured pectoral muscle mid-season, defensive lineman Greg Gaines was more than ready to take on the challenge of playing a larger role on the defense.
Like a strong power back who dishes out punishment with each carry, getting stronger as the game goes on, 6-foot-1 312-pound Greg Gaines is a defensive lineman who seems to get stronger and more effective as the game goes on. In a rotational role in his first seven games, he recorded 16 tackles and 0.5 quarterback sacks. But after starting in the past six games, he has accounted for 28 tackles and 3.0 quarterback sacks.
Selected with the 134th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft from the University of Washington, Gaines was a former teammate of Elijah Qualls and Vita Vea, both of whom found their way to the NFL before he was drafted. He was a selfless player for the Huskies, gobbling blockers to allow his teammates to make plays. Now, the LA Rams need him to do more, and that’s just what he is doing.
Watching Gaines stand tall on the line of scrimmage is thrilling for Rams fans. But then he shows a different side, the ability to flash speed like a gazelle and run down the ball carrier from behind, like this one example:
But the defense really gels when the team has someone to shut it down across the middle. Right now, the LA Rams believe they’ve found that in rookie ILB Ernest Jones. And I for one think they are right.