No other player for the Kansas City Chiefs has received as many snaps in the preseason as Dee Ford, and there is a good reason why.
The Chiefs rookie outside linebacker, who is known for his lightning speed and pass rush, has a lot to learn to convert from a defensive end to a standup outside linebacker. Andy Reid and his staff are doing everything they can to throw everything at him so as to hasten his development.
Ford spoke about this after the game Saturday night.
Kansas City’s pass rush should be one of the best in the NFL again this season with the healthy returns of Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, along with the additions of players like Ford and Vance Walker. Jaye Howard has shown some promise this preseason as well while competing with the first string. Guys like Ford and Walker should be able to raise the standard the Chiefs set in the first half of last season.
Some criticism has come Ford’s way in terms of not having a lot of different pass rushing moves in his arsenal, relying too much on his speed and not enough on his technique and savvy. Those things, one would imagine, will be worked on in season. For now the Chiefs need him to be prepared for anything and his statements last night seem to indicate he is well on his way to becoming a more well-rounded player.
What matters for the Chiefs is Ford get as many reps as he can during the preseason doing everything he possibly can to learn the position. Ford needs to be prepared for every scenario once the season kicks off in two weeks. Whether it is dropping into coverage, stoping the run, or sniffing out the screen game, the more experience Ford gets doing something other than rushing the passer the better it will be for the Chiefs.
But once Tennessee walks into Arrowhead on September 7th Ford is only going to have one job – rush the passer. We know the Chiefs have a defensive package that has Hali lined up as a defensive end and Houston as the outside linebacker in Hali’s place. Those three on the field should constitute a fearsome rush on passing downs.