We looked at the good and bad of Eric Fisher as well as the Kansas City Chiefs defense. Let's zero in on one more player: CB Phillip Gaines, who was the KC Chiefs third round pick out of Rice. The positives on him were his size (6', 193 pounds) and his experience in press coverage. The downside was the level of competition he was playing made him more of an unknown.
Gaines started off slow with the Chiefs due to some talent ahead of him but he's starting to carve out his role now that we've seen the entire offseason program as well as a couple weeks of training camp. He's not in the starting lineup right now but we said the same thing last year about Marcus Cooper (who wasn't even a Chief at this point). Things change quickly.
Let's take a look at a couple of plays from Gaines last Thursday night against the Bengals. This post came to mind after Chiefs fan @ARR0WH34D made mention of these plays.
The first one is of the not-so-good variety. See Gaines covering Dane Sanzenbacher in the middle of the field.
Sanzenbacher makes a cut back to the right side of the field. You can tell in the picture below that Gaines is screwed here. If the quarterback is paying attention and has a shred of accuracy, this is a completion.
Turns out, Jason Campbell does have a little bit of accuracy. He hit Sanzenbacher on that play for a touchdown. Gaines, as you can see below, is all kinds of turned around. This looks like a technique problem -- like his turned his hips wrong.
It wasn't all bad though. Jason Campbell went deep to Brandon Tate on one play. Gaines was with Tate the entire way, step for step. If he had a slightly better angle he could've been in position to pick the ball off. This kind of coverage down the field you see in the picture below is what the Chiefs are hoping their corners can do -- stay with the man for as long as possible while the pass rushers get to the quarterback. (H/T @ARR0WH34D for the final picture)
Rookie CB Phillip Gaines in coverage on that deep ball. Stayed with his man the whole way. He's coming along— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) August 8, 2014
Gaines played 37 snaps in Thursday's preseason game so this obviously isn't a complete picture. Like most rookies, he'll flash some good while also making the usual rookie mistakes.