SANTA CLARA - Now that the 49ers are set to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, 49ers edge rusher Dee Ford is ecstatic to play since it will be against the team that drafted him.
"Definitely, there is a lot of love in that building. I have a lot of love for the guys in that building," Ford said. "They gave me my opportunity, of course. I am here with a new team. It is going to be a great opportunity, it is going to be like playing my brothers back to training camp days. It is going to be fun."
Ford is sure to be feeling slighted by the Chiefs. Although he ended up getting the contract extension he wanted, the Chiefs basically told him that he was not worth it. The Chiefs would end up trading for Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark, who they viewed as a significant upgrade. Ford will now have the chance to serve his former team a cold dish of revenge.
And, in a way, the Chiefs can get some revenge on him.
In last year's AFC Championship Game, a mistake by Ford likely prevented the Chiefs from getting to the Super Bowl. Kansas City led New England 28-24. The Patriots were faced with a third-and-10 from the Kansas City 34 with 1:01 left. Tom Brady was intercepted on a pass intended for Rob Gronkowski, but Ford was flagged for lining up offsides.
It led to a wild finish.
The penalty wiped out the pick, the Patriots scored to take a 31-28 lead, the Chiefs tied it with a field goal to send the game into overtime, but New England won the toss and went right down and scored a touchdown, preventing Patrick Mahomes from ever touching the ball.
Now Ford's new team will face his old team in the Super Bowl.
Kansas City traded Ford to the 49ers for a 2020 second-round pick during the offseason in March. Rather than sign him to an extension or let him walk for nothing, the Chiefs opted to trade him. Ford signed a five-year deal for $87.5 million.
Clearly, the trade has paid off for the 49ers, who have the most feared pass rush in the league. Ford, along with rookie Nick Bosa, give the Niners a pair of rushers who are hard to contain. Injuries limited Ford to just 11 games and 6.5 sacks in his first year in San Francisco, but he returned for the playoffs in the divisonal round against the Vikings and picked up a sack.
Since Ford has deep ties with the Chiefs, there has to be some advantages for him facing off against them. However, Ford remained adamant that the advantage they have is just playing their own game.
"We just got to show up and do what we got to do. I feel like every week is an advantage for us," he said.
The Chiefs will surely have their hands full with Ford, Bosa, and the entire pass rushing crew of the 49ers. If the 49ers want to defeat the Chiefs, then the pass rush will need to play a huge role as it has been for the entire 2019 season.