Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Phillip Gaines (23) – Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Phillip Gaines very well could have been last season’s “Rookie of the Year” in my opinion. Not only was a force to be reckoned with in the secondary, but he originally made a name for himself on special teams early on in the season.
The Chiefs’ secondary suffered some blows last season when Eric Berry went on injured reserve. Ron Parker was moved over to safety (where he actually played better) and Phillip Gaines was able to make five starts for Kansas City in that situation.
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The starting secondary situation is going to be interesting this coming season with the KC Chiefs having selected Marcus Peters 18th overall in the draft. Peters and Sean Smith are slated to be the starters, but the problem is that Smith could be facing a two-game suspension.
I expect Gaines to start during that time, and I honestly think Gaines should be starting over Peters to start off.
Gaines proved himself last season and is thought by many to be headed into a breakout season, according to Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride.
Why should Gaines not start? I get that Peters is a first round pick, but there’s no reason for him to be thrown into the starter position, especially if the Chiefs have better options. Smith is obviously one of the two starting corners, but I say Gaines should get the nod at the other one.
I expect Smith to sign elsewhere after this season, which would allow Peters and Gaines to start in 2016 and (assuming Peters pans out) give the Chiefs two dynamic corners for many years to come.
Next: Speedy Gonzalez