E.J. Gaines has been a surprising addition to the Buffalo Bills this year. Coming to Buffalo as part of a deal that sent Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams, the Gaines acquisition was met with uncertainty. Since some initial disquiet, Gaines has been living up to the billing as a starting corner.
Gaines has had to deal with injuries this season which has limited his time on the field. Following the win over the Kansas City Chiefs, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier provided his thoughts to on the importance of having Gaines on the field.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about just what E.J. [Gaines] – you talked about it a couple weeks ago, but kind of how he changes your flexibility in the back end when he’s available to you.
A: You know, E.J., to have him back definitely helps us a lot. He’s our starting corner, one of our starting corners, so he plays with great vision. He’s a guy that can tackle well enough on the corner and sometimes guys at corner, sometimes they just want to be cover guys and not necessarily tackle, but he tackles well enough and he has some ball skills as well. To be able to have a guy out there that you can really count on and know that they’re really no matchup issues for the most part, it gives you confidence when you’re calling certain things, that we’re not as vulnerable. It’s good to have him back. Hopefully, he can stay on the field and just keep progressing as the year goes on.
Q: In regards to E.J. and the wide receiver screens, do you remember in the fourth quarter, he went one up and he went right through [Travis] Kelce. The size difference there is pretty remarkable. Just from your standpoint, how nice is that to see that effort?
A: That was pretty impressive. You’re right, there’s a big size difference and for him to not back down and take that tight end on and then I think it was maybe a one-yard gain at that. That was a pretty impressive play by him, but that speaks to the question that Sal asked about: what’s it like having him back on the field? It’s plays like that that you look forward to and you don’t think twice about because, when he’s out there, he’s able to make those type of plays. It’s good for our defense, and we’re glad he’s back.