When the Kansas City Chiefs first issued the practice jersey numbers for their rookies, first round pick Dee Ford was wearing No 90, which was notable because that's the former number of Neil Smith.
Now Ford has decided to change his number -- no confirmation yet that this is permanent -- to No. 55. That number is significant because it was worn by a pass rusher at Alabama by the name of Derrick Thomas. Remember him?
"I'd play at any number, but of course 55 came available," Ford said this weekend, via quotes sent out by the Chiefs. "This is Derrick Thomas' college number. It's all good. I'm not trying to be Derrick Thomas, but he's a guy that definitely inspired me. The opportunity presented itself, so I took it."
I endorse this move. Obviously, No. 58 isn't available and I don't think anyone would want him to take No. 58. But a nod to DT's greatness at Alabama is a great way to honor the best pass rusher in Chiefs franchise history.
A few other highlights from Dee Ford's first rookie minicamp...
Q: What intangibles have you seen from Dee Ford?
Andy Reid: "Off the charts. He brings a lot of energy. He loves playing the game. Now, he and our quarterback have competed against each other for the last four years and they get after each other out there, so it's kind of fun to watch."
@dee_ford_ almost blocked 2 punts. He has a high effort level. Does not take plays off on the field. Athletic ability shined all weekend.— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) May 26, 2014
Q: Do you think you'll fit in the way you did in Auburn's defense?
Dee Ford: "Yeah. I'm going to rush the passer. I am dropping in coverage and they're doing a great job teaching me. I'm learning the system. It's becoming second nature. They're going to beat it into my brain, so I'll get it. I fit perfectly in the system playing behind Justin (Houston) and Tamba (Hali), and I can come in and make some plays."
Dee Ford flashed a great first step on a number of occasions. He beat LDT with one nasty swim move and also had an INT in coverage.— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) May 24, 2014
Q: What are you thinking when you rush the passer?
Dee Ford: "I don't know. I just go. I don't really think. I just react. You get a plan, you just work it and trust it."
OLB Dee Ford’s first play in team drills was an interception off Aaron Murray. Ford later abused OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif on a swim move.— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) May 24, 2014
Q: Do you have some good stories of going up against Aaron Murray in college?
Dee Ford: "I’m going to let you Google that. Come back to me. Yeah, we had some fun. I blessed him a little bit."