NY Giants Rush Exclusive Interview: Defensive Back Mike Ford
Profile: Mike Ford – 5’9″ and 180 lbs, senior defensive back Mike Ford established himself last season as one of the top players on American International‘s sixth nationally ranked defense. En route to Northeast-10 All-Conference First Teamer and a Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America honorable mention honors in 2015, Ford recorded five interceptions, 32 tackles, 22 of them solo, and 13 passes defended for the Yellow Jackets.
The former Northeast-10 All-Rookie Teamer now looks to make his mark on an NFL roster, as he tries to catch on with a team this spring.
NYGR: (Jack Aylmer) Why do you believe an NFL team should take a chance on either drafting or signing you?
(Mike Ford) I think in today’s NFL with all these passing offenses you need guys that can play man to man and get take aways. I feel that I can make a team better by making a big impact not just on defense, but on special teams as well.
NYGR (J.A.) You mentioned contributing on special teams. For under the radar players such as yourself, the practice squad and special teams are the stepping-stones to bigger roles with an NFL team. How would you contribute to a team in those roles?
(M.F.) Whether it be a gunner on punt, flying down on kick off, front line on kick return, or on field goal block I want to make every special team I can. That will be my main priority when getting with an NFL team. It’s how guys who are in my position make rosters.
NYGR (J.A.) I saw the “RIP #21 Sean Taylor” in your Twitter bio. Was he a big inspiration to you growing up?
(M.F.) I lived in south Florida for a lot of my childhood and was a big Miami Hurricane fan. Sean Taylor, when he was with the ‘Canes, was certainly one of my favorite players to watch.
NYGR (J.A.) Do you have any current NFL role models you look up to? Guys who you feel play a similar style to yourself?
(M.F.) There are a few players that come to mind. Brent Grimes, a former Pro Bowl corner for the Miami Dolphins. Buster Skrine, a corner/nickel defensive back for the New York Jets. Also, Buffalo Bills corner, Nickell Robey.
NYGR (J.A.) What do they do on the field that you feel is similar to yourself?
(M.F.) They are all quick footed defensive backs that are fearless players. They have the ability to play man as well as zone, They also have that ability to guard on the outside, as well as the slots. Being that versatile definitely helps any team out. I feel I have those same traits.
NYGR (J.A.) What was it like being one of the star players on the sixth best defense in the country last season?
(M.F.) The defense was very talented from the from defensive line all the way to the secondary. Every game I wanted to do my job to the best of my ability. I played mostly to the boundary in games, and that meant a lot of man coverage on the single wide receiver. That took a lot of hard work in film study and on the practice field. I had a lot of success and enjoyed playing with all my teammates this past season.
NYGR (J.A.) You did have plenty of success, namely coming away with interceptions in four straight games. What work went on in the film room and on the practice field to make that happen?
(M.F.) I took pride in being the first one at practice and the last one to leave. Having that work ethic paid dividends for me throughout the season. When it comes to studying film on offenses the saying I like to use is: “formations dictate plays.” I made it my duty every week to understand what the offenses were trying to do and watching tape and figuring out tendencies.
NYGR (J.A.) What would be a greater accomplishment in your eyes: A Pro Bowl selection or a Super Bowl Championship?
(M.F.) A Super Bowl. Football is the ultimate team game and when I think about past Pro Bowl players that never won a Super Bowl, guys like a Ladainian Tomlinson, Terrell Owens, and Champ Bailey. I mean these are guys that are going to be Hall of Famers one day, but never won a Super Bowl. I’m sure they would all trade a Pro Bowl appearance for a Super Bowl victory, so I have to go with Super Bowl.