Greg Gaines Has Become Major Part Of The Los Angeles Rams Defense

The Los Angeles Rams defense is finding their groove under Raheem Morris, and part of that is the performance of Greg Gaines.

After the departure of Brandon Staley to the other team in LA, the Los Angeles Rams were hoping that things would mostly stay the same under Raheem Morris. Their major addition on offense, Matthew Stafford, would be an upgrade, but it’s going to take a team effort to come out of the NFC.

The defense struggled a bit early in the season to gain a rhythm, but a win over the Bucs was an important one to show what the unit could be. They’ve really hit their stride towards the end of the season, and while part of that is gelling and the addition of Von Miller as a run defender, Greg Gaines has played very well in his third season.

Gaines was a fourth round pick (134th overall) in the 2019 NFL Draft, and had his most productive season in 2018, racking up 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks for the Washington Huskies. He was stout and had a high motor playing nose tackle at Washington, playing with strong leverage and creating pressure on the interior.

It’s been a breakout season in 2021 for Gaines, who has improved upon his quickness off the ball. He’s strong at the point of attack and does a great job pushing linemen backwards with his pad level and strength. Gaines has even shown a bout of quickness and burst to work around linemen to get pressure on the quarterback, and the numbers show the improvement is there (4.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, 13 QB hits in 2021).

Greg Gaines has brought the element of a “bull in a china shop” to the Los Angeles Rams defensive line, and his ability to play on all three downs will be important for the defensive unit as they head into the postseason. Getting pressure on quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Dak Prescott will be huge, and Gaines will help the Rams do so.