Over the weekend at the NFL combine, Auburn defensive end Dee Ford proclaimed that South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney has nothing on him.
"I'm better," Ford told Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller on Sirius XM. "Let's put it like this: People like to talk about size all the time. Size is pretty much overrated in my eyes. You can look at guys like Robert Mathis, Elvis Dumervil, Von Miller. These are 6-2 guys and under. People are just looking at the fact that he's a physical specimen. Honestly if you watch the film, he plays like a blind dog in a meat market basically. I play with a lot of technique. I watch a lot of film. These are the things I do and it shows up."
Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp explained that that "a blind dog in a meat market" refers to a defensive lineman struggling to find the ball because of limited instincts. (To be clear: Sapp didn't say Clowney lacked instincts, just clarified what Ford was referring to.)
By Monday, while Clowney was lighting up the 40 at the combine, Ford was withdrawing from workouts with a back issue. His mouth worked fine, however, and he didn't backpedal from his previous comments.
"We're not saying the dog can't run, we're saying that dog can't find the meat," Ford told NFL Network. "I want everyone to understand it wasn't a personal shot. ... We're laughing about it. I was just speaking matter-of-factly about it."
Duly noted, Dee.
Ford's remarks really don't mean much because the last four days have been about guys fresh out of college running around in shorts and t-shirts. It's impossible to gauge much in the way of football ability under these conditions. We'll have a much better idea of who can do what -- blind dogs in meat markets or otherwise -- when the 2014 regular season rolls around.
Until then, it's just a bunch of gum-flapping.
In case you're wondering, NFLDraftScout.com ranked Ford as its No. 3 defensive end after -- you guessed it -- Clowney and Missouri's Kony Ealy.