Chiefs first-round draft choice Dee Ford understands the legacy he’s expected to uphold as an outside linebacker.
“I think about it all the time,” Ford said of teaming with veterans Tamba Hali and Justin Houston and following in the footsteps of club career-sack leaders Derrick Thomas, Neil Smith, Art Still and Jared Allen.
“This is Pass-Rush City. I’m very excited. It’s going to be very fun. I can’t wait to see (Hali and Houston). I’m going to give them a big hug when I see them — all of them.”
Before the veterans report Wednesday, Ford has spent the rookie sessions refining what he learned during organized team activities and minicamp.
“I’m feeling great, getting back into the groove for when the vets come,” said Ford, who had 10 1/2 sacks last year at Auburn. “It’s really a great opportunity to get some extra reps before the vets get here. That way the transition won’t be so hard. It’s going to be faster and anytime I can catch up on some installs, it’s great.
“This is definitely a different league. This is the NFL, so practice is challenging, but you also want to challenge yourself. I had two things I wanted to work on (Tuesday) which were my leverages and a little bit of things in coverage and not really rushing the passer as much right now, just getting more savvy in coverage.”
The Chiefs had 35 players participating in Tuesday’s practice. Rookie fullback James Baker missed his second day for personal reasons, and rookie DeRon Furr also was absent due to a back injury.