The second of four preseason games is now in the books for head coach Andy Reid and his Kansas City Chiefs and so far, so good. Winning both games is a positive, but perhaps a greater positive is some of the performances from the depth options on the roster.
Chase Daniel is the biggest talking point right now, and he has impressed in both games so far. Rookies Marcus Peters and Ramik Wilson look like they could develop into very astute draft picks and, of course, the return of Eric Berry. There is a certain buzz around Arrowhead, and it is all leading towards a positive season.
One person who seems to missing out on this buzz, however, is 2014 first-round pick, Dee Ford.
Ford is quickly heading towards being labelled a bust. After a poor rookie season where he hardly saw the field, sitting behind Pro Bowl outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, Ford’s stock is falling rapidly. He amassed a total of 1.5 sacks in only 122 snaps, and recorded just eight tackles. Certainly, 122 snaps is not enough playing time for a first-round pick, even if they are behind the best pass-rushing duo in the league. It is time for Ford to step up.
Against Seattle, Ford showed glimpses of his pass-rushing talent. One particular play showed his elite quickness off the snaps when he closed in on sacking Russell Wilson, but the elusive quarterback was able to spin to the outside and avoid the oncoming pressure. While this did not result in a sack, it did show Ford’s talent, especially his elite speed, his fleet feet and quickness from the outside. Look to see more of Ford’s speed open up opportunities in the pass-rushing department this coming season.
Ford was playing fairly well. He wasn’t an unstoppable force, but playing opposite Justin Houston in place of Tamba Hali, he looked as if he was a threat at times. His skills are clearly based around his ability to get to the quarterback. Playing defensive end at college, Ford is inexperienced in coverage and this has been an issue, but Tamba Hali says extra reps were given to Ford during OTAs to work on his coverage ability. If he can become adequate in coverage, and marry this with elite pass-rushing skills, then Ford could still become a nice selection by general manager John Dorsey.
Ford must stay fit this season, something that is looking unlikely at the present time. Dee Ford’s rib was broken by a crushing Christine Michael block, and although he later tweeted that he was all good, injury is something that he cannot afford. Full fitness in 2015 is an absolute must if Ford is to deliver on his college talent.
With this latest injury, it looks unlikely that Ford will get regular snaps during preseason. If this leads to him sitting behind Hali and Houston for another year, many will be calling Ford a bust. He must get on the field and then take his chances. Expect to see Ford and Hali rotate more often this season, but with Dezman Moses also impressing, Ford must be vigilant.
So, what do you think, Addicts? How much playing time do you think Ford will get, and will he be able to show off his elite pass rushing skills if so? Do you think that he is quickly becoming a bust, or are you more confident in his ability and Dorsey’s judgment of such ability? Let me know in the comments, and as always… GO CHIEFS!!!