It has been no secret so far this preseason that the Los Angeles Rams secondary could use some help. Opposing quarterbacks such as Dak Prescott, Alex Smith, and Nick Foles have dismantled the starting defense in large part due to the lack of pass coverage.
Luckily, after over a year of working to get back into game shape, cornerback E.J. Gaines has already begun to make his case as the starting corner opposite Trumaine Johnson. Despite the struggles in the secondary thus far this season, Gaines made it clear during a press conference that this unit is capable of performing at a much higher level according to Gary Klein of Los Angeles Times:
“A million times better than what we’ve shown in the preseason so far,” he said. “Coming out and starting fast is something that we have to start doing and what we’re preaching in the secondary room.”
With the departure of Janoris Jenkins and Rodney McLeod in free agency, Los Angeles still has a few voids on the defensive side of the ball that Gaines is hoping to fill. Head coach Jeff Fisher was even impressed by the third-year veteran’s progress so far in camp despite a minor ankle sprain prior to the Kansas City Chiefs game according to Joe Curley of Ventura County Star:
Fisher said, "I was really pleased with what we saw out of E.J." Mentions Gaines sprained an ankle last week and was questionable for KC.
— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) August 22, 2016
If Gaines could come out and provide a spark in the secondary, it could pay huge dividends to the defense’s overall performance. The Rams former sixth round pick started 15 games as a rookie over Johnson, recording 70 tackles, two interceptions, and 14 passes defended.
With less than a month before the regular season kicks off, the Rams are hoping Gaines can be the answer to their questionable secondary problems.