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Rookie cornerbacks have the most challenging transition from college to the NFL. Cornerbacks have to closely study both the quarterback and multiple pass-catchers. For Phillip Gaines, he had some ups and downs as he was responsible for allowing a touchdown, which are all expected for a player drafted near the end of the third round during his debut.
There is no doubt that Gaines was inspired by the play of his teammates. Malcolm Bronson and Sean Smith both made an impact last week when each took an interception back for a touchdown. Gaines got some action later in the game, and he collected three tackles and deflected two passes.
One thing Gaines has working for him is a strong pass rush. When and if he gets action in a regular-season game, he could get some interceptions off ill-advised throws, making life easy for him as a rookie cornerback.