If you don’t know who Jimmy Gaines is I expect you will very soon. Signed as an undrafted free agent linebacker out of the University of Miami, he was the youngest senior on the team and the biggest leader in the locker room at the same time. When you do a little digging into the character and athletic ability of Jimmy Gaines its hard not to get a little excited about his potential and what he could bring to any NFL team. The 6-3, 240-pound linebacker is a Buffalo native and graduate of Canisius High School, that’s right he’s from Buffalo but his character and level of play is what will be the main reason why he becomes a local hero as he gets an opportunity to showcase his passion and dedication to the game for his hometown team. I recently had an opportunity to ask Jimmy a few questions and he was kind enough to take time out of his surely busy rookie offseason schedule to entertain me for a bit, I want to thank Jimmy Gaines for taking the time to answer these questions and I wish you the best of luck making this team this year. Check out the interview below:
What was your first thought after you found out that your hometown team the Buffalo Bills wanted to sign you?
I was shocked because that wasn’t a contact I was talking to that day. It was amazing to come back to the home and be part of the team I’ve always loved.
Being the youngest senior at UM you were also known as a tremendous leader on your team and that says an awful lot about your maturity and character, who do you credit that to?
My parents and the way that they raised me. They taught me to be a leader and that before I could be a leader, I had to follow first. Also being able to follow those who came before me showed me how to do it right.
Do you have any backup plans if a career in football does not work out for any reason?
Yes, I would like to open up my own personal training business or I would like to be a college strength and conditioning coach. I always looked up to my coach, so I would love to take the things he taught me and pass it on to new students.
You were playing in a game when you got your hand stuck in a helmet and you ripped your hand open pretty good, but you stayed in the game until they made you seek medical attention, what was going through your mind as you decided to stay in that game?
I didn’t even realize my hand was injured, it just felt like it was kind of hot. I looked down after the next play and saw it and was just like “Ohhhhkay, this is crazy [laughs]” and that’s when I came out.
Being from Buffalo you are obviously a Bills fan, who is your favorite all time Bill, who is your favorite current Bill and why?
My all time favorite would have to be London Fletcher. When he played linebacker for a few years, I had the opportunity to meet him in middle school. He actually went to my church and ever since then I looked up to him. He didn’t come off as highly touted coming from John Carroll, but he’s definitely my favorite. As for my current favorite Bill, I’d have to say Kiko Alonzo. As a linebacker he did a lot of great things for the team last year just being in his rookie year. He’s a guy I’d love to learn from and be a sponge around; just soak up everything I can.
Being an undrafted free agent your best chance to make the final 53 man roster is to excel as a special teams player, how do you feel your skill set could improve our currently sub-par special teams unit?
Just being a student of the game and learning the ins and outs of all the positions and not just limiting myself to my position. Being able to play all of the positions when asked to, which adds more value to the team and also being available for the coaches when they need someone to jump in at a moment’s notice.
The Bills took a chance on a few players this draft who have had a troubled past, do you expect you will have any part in helping with getting these players on the right path?
Those guys are grown men and they understand that they made those decisions. But if they need any help, just someone to hang out with or someone who won’t bring bad attention to them, they can always talk to me.
When you’re not playing football and have personal free time, what to you enjoy doing the most?
Playing pickup basketball. You can catch me on the court if I have the time or energy.
Chicken wings or chicken finger sub, and how do you have it prepared?
I’m a wing guy. I just like regular BBQ the best.
Favorite movie and why?
I really liked Rush Hour growing up so I’m gonna go with that.
And finally, #BillsMafia is a huge group of Bills fans that are sure to love and support you just because you are from Buffalo, do you have anything you want to say to them?
Just thanks for the support and I hope to make the town and the team proud!