Dee Ford didn’t take long to stir the pot during his zoom conference with San Francisco 49ers media members.
The former Kansas City Chief defensive end spoke on a variety of topics from playing the majority of the 2019 season with a bad knee to what games would be like without fans in 2020, and if teams should pump in artificial crowd noise.
However, Ford brought up the point that he thinks some NFL teams have already been pumping in artificial noise even before the era of socially-distanced sporting events.
It’s definitely unclear who Ford is firing shots at, but the one thing that is clear is that Ford has thought about what NFL games would look like without fans.
Who Could Ford Be Talking About?
The comment prompted immediate replies and reaction, including members of the 49ers media community asking all-important questions of whether Ford was talking about the Seattle Seahawks or another NFC West rival.
It’s unlikely that Ford even had a specific team or two in mind when he made the comment, and from this perspective, it’s even less likely he was talking about the Seahawks.
Seattle consistently puts in 69,000 in attendance at their games, and the legend of the “BeastQuake” is still fresh in many people’s minds.
Ford On Knee Recovery
Throwing some sly shade at other NFL teams wasn’t the only thing that Ford mentioned, as the DE shed light on playing through a knee injury throughout the 2020 season.
The 23rd overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft explained that he had premier sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews operate on his knee.
Furthermore, Ford says that he feels faster and stronger than he did at any point in his first season with San Francisco.
The former Auburn Tiger missed five games in the regular season to knee tendinitis. But in two starts and 11 appearances, Ford was productive, totaling 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
He added another sack and two tackles for loss in the 49ers’ playoff run, but it was apparent that Ford was never at 100 percent throughout the season.
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Mentoring Nick Bosa, Other Young 49ers
Ford’s time with the Chiefs ended in similarly tough fashion to how his 49ers’ career began. In two straight seasons, Ford reached the AFC championship game and then Super Bowl LIV, but was unable to touch the Lombardi trophy both times.
However, the unhappy ending in his time with the Chiefs taught lessons, and Ford explained that working with young and upcoming 49ers players like Nick Bosa.
Ford’s value isn’t just through his production, but his experience. With 25 sacks in 37 games between the 2016 and 2018 season, there’s no question that Ford was an important player for Kansas City, but he also did it while playing next to players like Justin Houston, who was one of the NFL’s best when Ford came into the league.
If Ford is healthy and has the mindset that he wants to uplift the young players around him, his true value will begin to shine for the 49ers in 2020.
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, MT. Follow and reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier.