CAPACCIO: Analyzing Cody Ford's play at guard

August 09, 2019 - 11:56 am

Bills rookie offensive lineman Cody Ford was on the field for 33 total snaps in the team's first preseason game Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts. By my count, it was the first 18 at right guard, all while Josh Allen was the quarterback, and the next 15 at right tackle, all while Matt Barkley was the QB.

I watched and analyzed every play of his at right guard and here's what I saw from the second-round pick:

1. Pass

Ford stands up and chops his feet trying to read the defensive tackle's rush, but that causes him to be stationary as the DT beats him to his outside. That's actually what may have caused Josh Allen to throw the ball sooner than he wanted and to take a light hit, as well.

2. Pass

Ford des a nice job to push the defensive tackle to his inside, then feels center Jon Feliciano helping, so he turns and helps RT Ty Nsekhe. Good awareness.

3. Pass

Stays square on the defensive tackle as they both come off the ball, but loses him slightly as the DT takes a step to Ford's right. But Ford does a very nice job of recovering and getting square again and keeping the DT outside the pocket.

4. Pass

Ford has no one over him so he steps inside and pushes the defensive lineman shading Feliciano down the line and walls him off.

5. Pass

Has a 3-technique over him (over Ford's right shoulder). He steps to the DT and does a great job to get his hands on him quickly. Keeps the DT to the outside as he keeps rushing upfield. Ford doesn't give up any ground.

6. Pass

Makes good initial contact, but seem to lose the defender just a bit to his outside on the rush upfield. But Patrick DiMarco came in and chipped to help and then Ford squared up and kept his man there nicely.

7. Pass

Ford had no one lined up over him so he stepped inside and engaged the DT shading the center. He squared up and then got in a one-on-one battle with him but gave up no ground.

8. Pass

Makes great initial contact off the ball. The DL has nowhere to go and tries going inside where he's met by Feliciano. Ford sees that so he releases and looks elsewhere to help out. Good awareness again.

9. Pass

Double-teams the defensive tackle with Nsekhe to his right and they both just drive him back 4-5 yards before Nsekhe releases and blocks another man himself. Together, they mauled on this play.

10. Run

Double-teams the DT with Nsekhe again, and again Nsekhe releases, leaving Ford one-on-one. The defender actually did a very good job to get low and around Ford eventually, but not fast enough to factor into the play.

11. Pass

Ford gives up a little leverage to his outside on a pass rush upfield, but is still able to keep his body between the defender and Allen as the QB gets a pass off and completed.

12. Pass

Good, solid protection. Engages and holds firm. The DT had no chance.

13. Pass

Carbon-copy of the last play for Ford. Engages and holds firm. But this time Feliciano comes over late (since he was uncovered) and knocks the defender to the ground.

14. Run

Double-teams the DT with Nsekhe, then releases to the second level, but has his body caught a bit and can't get to the middle linebacker in time, who then helps make the play. Ford actually got knocked down by a backside on-coming defender as the play was ending.

15. Pass

Ford is uncovered, so he starts left to help Feliciano, but sees his man is taken care of, so Ford slides right to help Nsekhe. As he's doing that, Allen releases the football.

16. Pass

Double-teams the 3-technique DT with Nsekhe and the defender is swallowed up.

17. Pass

Ford steps right to influence and make it look like a run to that side, but it's actually a bootleg out left for Allen who was sacked from the backside. Ford helped block his man to the ground, but it didn't really factor in the play.

18. Pass

The defensive tackle uses a power pass rush by getting his hands on Ford and driving him. Ford was on his heels going backward, but still kept his body between the defender and Allen. Ultimately, Ford kept Allen clean but it was not a good play or technique because he allowed the DT to get his hands inside and bull rush him.

Overall Analysis

What I was most impressed with was Ford's awareness, which I noted a couple of times. He had a very good understanding if where defenders were going from, and who to help and when to do it. He never looked lost or searching for answers. He's a really strong guy and that certainly comes out when he gets his hands on a defensive player and can just lock him out or drive him, which he did several times. Where I thought he struggled was when he was trying to read the defensive tackle at the snap, causing him to be slower to react to the defender's first move, putting him on the defensive and at a disadvantageous position.

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