Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Dee Ford connected with Nick Bosa on a personal level, excited about what they’ll do in 2020

May 29, 2020 at 11:33 AM--

San Francisco 49ers pass rusher Dee Ford remembers what his early years with the Kansas City Chiefs were like. Instead of seeing his arrival as a threat in a highly-competitive league, established players Justin Houston and Tamba Hali mentored the newcomer.

That's something that has stuck with Ford many years later and was apparent after he arrived in Santa Clara. When the 49ers drafted Nick Bosa just over a month after trading for Ford, the veteran saw an opportunity to mentor the star rookie.

"For me, I felt like it was sort of a manifestation of the brotherhood of what Tamba and Justin provided for me (in Kansas City)," Ford told reporters on Friday via a video conference call. "I knew that I needed to do that for Nick, in as far as embracing him and kind of just communicating with him during games. I really felt like we simplified things together, which that's what Justin and Tamba did for me."

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Bosa would go on to have a stellar rookie campaign and be named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He racked up nine regular-season sacks to go along with his 47 tackles, 16 of which were for a loss, according to Pro Football Reference.

"We simplified things. It felt like practice," Ford continued. "We were just out vibing, having a good time, but we worked hard, and we pushed each other. And it's only going to continue."

Ford and Bosa's relationship isn't limited to the study of Xs and Os. It goes beyond that, much like the relationship Ford had with his mentors in Kansas City.

"You don't have to connect on a personal level. Let's get that right," Ford explained. "But we connect on a personal level. I really like Nick as a person. We're growing to love each other as individuals, and that just draws you even closer.

"I was only on the field a minimal time last year, so I'm looking forward to what we're going to do [in 2020]."

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