||07-26-2003 09:22 PM
From: Mike Detillier
Ok, Andrus, In talking to Jim Haslett he expects Ford in camp Saturday night and he is going to push for extensive playing time.
Henry Ford has always been a solid starter in the league. Nothing spectular, but he has been a very solid performer, who can play both tackle and end.
Ford did not develop into the pass rush specialist I thought he might be when he was a 1st round pick out of Arkansas.
Henry is a real strong guy, who runs well and he has good pursuit skills. He is an above average pass rusher, but what he seems to lack is that real strong finishing speed to the quarterback at defensive end.
Inside he is a good pass rusher and he does a nice job pushing the inside pocket. He holds his ground well at the point of attack and he again does a real solid job against the run, despite the fact that he is not an overly huge inside player.
Don't be surprised that he ends up being a starter for much of the season. His experience and his ability to play the run, I feel will get him a starting spot, somewhere along the line.
This spot is very much like what he went through last season in Tennessee. He was a starter for much of the season and part of the DT./DE. rotation while rookie Albert Haynesworth was getting into better shape. By year's end, he was seeing less time because of the progress of Haynesworth, but he did get in quality playing time. I feel as though this will probably end up being the same type of situation with Sullivan.
While Grady Jackson's weight is down, (343) I watched him closely this morning and he seemed to be having some real trouble with the heat. If he lost that weight that quick, I always become concerned about fatigue on a big man and how well he will hold up.
Privately I really believe this coaching staff is very much concerned about his physical and mental shape and they needed a veteran insurance policy.
No doubt this signing had all to do with what the organization feels about Grady. While we all hope Grady can keep at it and get himself in better shape, I am always concerned about someone this big and he has not been in the mini-training camp sessions.
Also, those reports about him contemplating retirement were not pulled out of the air.
Hopefully the Jonathan Sullivan situation will not lead to a long holdout, but reports are that his agent is playing "hardball" with the Saints. There is always a lot of pressure to get number one picks in camp on time, so maybe without the pressure cooker on, cooler heads can prevail, but progress has been extremely slow. As of Saturday AM nothing has been worked out as for as signing bonus, escalator clauses or the length of the deal.
I like the addition of Henry Ford as a solid, versatile D-lineman, who I feel as though just may end up being a starter at DT..Even if he is not a starter, I feel as though he will see extensive playing time in the tackle rotation.
Insiders with the Titans tell me he has also had some weight and conditioning problems in the past , so I want to see what type of condition he is in. Now he has never had the major problems like Grady, but we all know just how hard it is to keep the weight off as we get older.
Henry Ford is a good veteran addition and someone who can help this team in a very critical spot, that was a real sore point last season.
P.S. QB. Aaron Brooks really threw the ball extremely well in drills this morning and he showed no noticable problems with his shoulder. I was very impressed with the velocity and touch he had on his throws.
I have said this before , but again I am saying this receiving corp. across the board, along with the TE's are the best I have ever seen on this club.
I watched RB. Tavian Banks quite a bit and he showed showed good, sharp cutting skills in drills. Banks also caught the ball extremely well and he showed good receiving skills as well.. It's still early, but he did catch my eye with his hard, sharp cutting skills through the hole and he shows those real quick feet I had seen at Iowa and early in his career in Jacksonville.
More to come...
I know Mike isn't real popular here, but its better than a sharp stick in the eye.
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