KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- What little the Kansas City Chiefs had seen of linebacker Dee Ford since he was drafted in the first round last year came in bits and pieces. Ford was in the lineup sparingly last year to spell Justin Houston or Tamba Hali or play as an extra rusher in obvious passing situations.
The Chiefs wanted an extended look at Ford in this past Friday night’s preseason game against Seattle, so they gave it to him. He replaced a healthy Hali against the Seahawks.
“We wanted to give Dee just a start here,’’ coach Andy Reid said. “Let’s see how he handles that and get him some extended playing time where we’re not having to rotate him. Tamba has been busting his tail all camp and he’s had plenty of reps. He’s been doing this for a couple years, so I’m not real worried about him.
“I wanted to see how Dee handled that. I thought he did a good job.’’
The move isn’t permanent and wouldn’t have been even if Ford didn’t injure his rib in the game. Expect Hali back in the lineup when the Chiefs return to practice on Monday.
It was still a smart move. Hali is a veteran who didn’t need the work. Ford does and the Chiefs are preparing for the day when Hali won’t be around. That could come as soon as next season.
Ford will likely be the other starting outside linebacker then, along with Houston. Since he doesn’t figure to play a lot this season, unless Houston or Hali has an injury, he needs all the preseason snaps he can get.
“I really thought overall he did a good job,’’ Reid said. “The play before he got hurt he had a nice play, a nice tackle. I thought he had pressure on the quarterback but still kept him in the pocket, which you don’t want. For the most part, he kept him in the pocket.
“In the run game, I thought he held his own.’’
Ford was injured late in the second quarter when he was blocked by running back Christine Michael. He even was given a lesson on that play.
“You get a back offset and you’re in a pass rush, you don’t want to expose those ribs,’’ Reid said. “He took quite a shot there but he bounced up and got himself off the field there. That was a good lesson to learn on how to pass rush in this league. Those backs can put a wallop on you if you expose yourself.’’