For one member of the 49ers, the Super Bowl is a reunion.
Defensive end Dee Ford, who was acquired by San Francisco in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs last offseason, will get a chance to play against his former teammates in Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2 in Miami.
Ford was an instant-impact addition for the 49ers in 2019, combining with rookie Nick Bosa to give the defense a pair of elite pass rushers and energize a unit that needed to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. After collecting 13 sacks in 16 games for the Chiefs in 2018, Ford had 6½ for the 49ers in 11 games.
But as Ford gets ready to play against the Chiefs, he has no feelings of revenge or anger and is not driven to excel against them to show how good he is. Ford is enjoying this moment.
"Let’s get this right," Ford told USA Today’s Jeff Kerr this week. "There’s no love lost nowhere. It’s just me playing my brothers. At the end of the day, we just have to compete. But I’ve got so much love for the people in that (Chiefs) building. And likewise, they’ve got love for me."
The Chiefs decided to part ways with Ford, but Ford considers it a blessing. He went to a team where he’s played a prominent role and helped it excel.
His impact on the pass rush went far beyond his sack total. With Ford in the lineup, the 49ers averaged 4.0 sacks per game. Without him, they averaged 0.8 sacks per game.
Now, to be able to play against the Chiefs, for whom he played five seasons, it makes the Super Bowl even more special.
"To be able to play my old team, it’s a blessing," he told Kerr.
Super Bowl LIV is set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on Sunday, Feb. 2.