His new teammates have been talking him up in recent weeks, but the Chiefs first-round draft choice Dee Ford has only now gotten to adjust and feel comfortable with his new position, new teammates and new defensive coordinator.
“I don’t feel like my head is spinning, but I still have a lot to learn,” Ford said on Thursday, as the Chiefs put OTA #9 in the history books. “It’s going well.”
As the practices have gone along, Ford has gotten more and more opportunities to work with the No. 1 defense in his role as another pass-rush option for defensive coordinator Bob Sutton. Every time he’s in the huddle, he’s learning from veterans like Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Joe Mays.
“The pass rush is all about mentality,” Ford said. “If you just straight pass rush, at some point they’re going to figure out what you can and can’t do. It’s all about changing it up and deception.
“We talk about deception all of the time. We want to deceive the offense. It’s just another level of mental training that I’m learning from Tamba.”
Ford has a lot of interests in his life, but since he was selected by the Chiefs in the No. 23 spot in the first round, his time has been dominated by one thing.
“I don’t want to say football is my life, but it’s what I do 90 percent of my day,” Ford said. “It’s just about studying. If you really want to be great, it’s more of a mentality than actually playing the game. You have to have preparation before you even step on the field.”
When teammates have used the world “step” when talking about Ford it’s always focused on his first step on the pass rush, one that’s so fast Hali compared it to what he’s seen on tape from Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas.
“That guy is explosive,” said Mays. “He’s quick off the ball; he reminds me of Von Miller with the way that he gets off and gets around offensive linemen. He’s a freak.”
Ford is determined to get even quicker coming off the snap.
“It’s all about how you train and studying the science of the first step,” Ford said. “I’m going to continue to develop it to get it even better . . . you can get more explosive. It’s a little bit of natural ability and I still work at it.”