Is there faith in Phillip Gaines?

A healthy Phillip Gaines remains the key to the Chiefs CB situation. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
A healthy Phillip Gaines remains the key to the Chiefs CB situation. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

Phillip Gaines had a solid rookie season with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014.

Gaines started 13 games with four passes defensed. Kansas City had a good defense when it came to stopping the pass that year as well. The Chiefs ranked second in the NFL only behind the Seattle Seahawks who would go on to play for the Super Bowl. Gaines still has yet to record an interception in his NFL career which could be the biggest knock on him when compared to someone like Marcus Peters.

In 2014, the Chiefs only had six interceptions all season. This stat tied them with the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets with the fewest interceptions in the NFL.  Compare that to 2015 when Marcus Peters had eight in the regular season alone, and the Chiefs had 22 interceptions as a team.  That stat would put them at second in the league again to a team that would go and play in the Super Bowl, the Carolina Panthers.

This is not a huge knock on Gaines since corners do not necessarily have to good hands. Now that Sean Smith has signed with the Oakland Raiders it was a strong assumption that the Chiefs would look to the draft for a replacement but more than likely start Peters and Gaines. However, Gaines is coming off a torn ACL. He could come back good as new like Jamaal Charles did a few years ago or his career could be done.

The Chiefs were probably trying to plan just in case the latter is the case for Gaines when they drafted three corners in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Training camp will be starting up in the summer and the corners will definitely be tried and tested to find the best combo.  The Defensive Rookie of the Year will start on one side but who will take the other spot?

There is also a chance that second-year corner Steven Nelson takes the initiative.  Nelson was starting to see more playing time near the end of the season in 2016 and will have more knowledge of the defense than the rookies.  Nobody will really know who wins this battle for the starting corner spots but it will be a good one, and drafting three corners nearly insures that at least one of them should be solid enough to start on one of the better defenses in the NFL.

The Chiefs lost one of the best corners in the NFL during the offseason, now they hope to replace him.  Hopefully it will work out.