Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Dee Ford rejuvenated by joining 49ers and working with Robert Saleh

Jan 19, 2020 at 8:11 AM--

Sometimes, all you need is a change of scenery to get your mindset back in the right place. That was the case for former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end, Dee Ford, who joined the San Francisco 49ers via a trade last March.

Ford spoke with Rich Eisen this week and shared that the time he spent with Gus Bradley at the Pro Bowl last year was one of the most inspirational of his life. Bradley was there with coach Anthony Lynn and the Los Angeles Chargers staff, who led the AFC squad.

The 49ers defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh, is a Bradley protégé. Ford knew fairly quickly that it would be a good fit.

"When I got here, when I got traded here, our first team meeting, I'll never forget, [Saleh] gave me that same energy, that same vibe," Ford said. "He made me inspired to play the game again. I don't think people understand how hard that is to continue every day, to live up to that expectation, to keep your players motivated and inspired."

Ford went on to clarify that, after playing football for a few years, the game can become monotonous.

"He just finds different ways to trigger that inspiration, that kid-like inspiration," Ford added. "The way things ended (in Kansas City), I know, for the world, it might have ended bad. We were in the AFC Championship. I don't think anybody even expected that coming into that year.

"But it's important for players to trigger that kid-like inspiration because that's when great play happens. And I'm just being serious, you can play at your best when you're not thinking, and you're inspired to play."

Ford also discussed what it was like being sidelined for much of the season, what Cam Newton has meant for his career, and what it would mean to play the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

H/t to Patrick Tulini for the find.

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