I keep a bunch of tabs open on my computer with stories that I want to write and this one has been sitting here for a while. When Tamba Hali signed his new contract a few weeks ago, he spoke with the KC media and there was one question about Chiefs LB Dee Ford which I found really interesting.
Tamba was asked how he sees Dee Ford at this stage of his career. Read the quote:
"At this stage, if I had to speak for him," Tamba said via quotes from the Chiefs, "I would like for him to take the next step in being a professional and basically (the reason) why they drafted him here is to take over the role. The season's too long for me to focus on being a starter or a backup. I mean, we all have to contribute.
"But I think he's in the position where he can kind of take the torch and go forward. That's really mental, physically, the kid is gifted and he has it, but mentally we have to just make sure that he understands why we're in this building and what needs to be done while we're here."
It almost sounds like Tamba is like, 'Why haven't you beaten me out yet?'
What does he mean by "being a professional" and "understands why we're in this building"? Is that just generic player-speak or does that mean something from Tamba? Tamba considers his words carefully so I found those quotes interesting.
Ultimately, though, we're in the dark on a lot of this. We, the fans and media, don't see the work that goes into preparing and we don't understand how well someone knows the mental side of the game. We only see the results and so far the results say Dee Ford hasn't made the impact he probably wants to. With Justin Houston's injury, Ford will have another shot to make an impact early on next season. He needs to play so well the Chiefs can't take him off the field.
However, I do wonder about Tamba's quote. What does that mean?