New Bucs defensive deal with Akiem Hicks is thrilled to play for Todd Bowles. However that wasn’t the one motive he signed with Tampa Bay.
The opposite massive one?
Tom Brady, after all.
Hicks performed with Brady for 13 video games through the 2015 season, his lone yr in New England. That season ended with a loss at Denver within the AFC Championship Sport. Hicks needs to workforce up with Brady for one more shot a Tremendous Bowl ring.
“One of many greatest issues bringing me to Tampa is the possibility to win,” Hicks mentioned. “I’d say that I’m joyful to be right here. I’m joyful to be again with Tom. I do know in that quarterback place, you’ve at all times obtained an opportunity to win a recreation with a man like that. So, that was considered one of my causes for being right here. Additionally, all the weapons that we now have on protection.”
Hicks toiled in Chicago for six seasons from 2016-2021. That point was marked by sub-par quarterback play, not less than for probably the most half. The Bears made the playoffs simply as soon as, going 12-4 in 2018. That was Hicks’ lone Professional Bowl season by which he recorded 55 tackles, 7.5 sacks and three compelled fumbles.
“Once I got here into the league, I had Drew Brees and Tom Brady for my first two quarterbacks,” mentioned Hicks, who was a third-round decide by New Orleans in 2012. “After which I went to Chicago … it wasn’t Drew Brees and Tom Brady! I really feel spoiled. I really feel spoiled to have someone on the opposite facet of the ball that may ship on a regular basis. He’s confirmed it over time.”
Hicks Reunites With Brady
The Bucs’ offense has been within the prime three in factors scored since 2019 and has averaged 30 factors per recreation over the past two seasons with Brady on the helm.
“It was positively a draw,” Hicks mentioned. “It advantages a protection to have a quarterback that may management the clock, the ball and the sector place. And that’s what we now have right here.”
In only one apply in crimson and pewter, Hicks has already seen the championship tradition that Brady and Bowles have helped domesticate in Tampa Bay.
“I’ll provide you with a tidbit that I obtained from at the moment throughout apply on the sector over right here. I heard guys on the protection chirping guys on the protection and making an attempt to make them play higher – making an attempt to encourage them. And I believe that’s a profitable tradition,” Hicks mentioned. “While you go searching and someone is telling you, chastising you or criticizing what you’ve performed and also you’re in a position to obtain that and attempt to be higher, I believe that’s profitable tradition. And I noticed a few of that at the moment.”
The Bucs hope to see loads of Hicks in 2022. He battled some hamstring accidents that restricted him to simply 29 video games over the past three years. Hicks performed in 9 video games final yr, recording 3.5 sacks. Now wholesome, the 32-year outdated veteran may see fairly a little bit of taking part in time, and probably even begin. He’ll battle rookie Logan Corridor for the 3-technique defensive deal with job, whereas additionally rotating at defensive finish with Will Gholston.
“Effectively, that’s what camp is for – we’ll see what occurs in coaching camp,” Bowles mentioned. “All of these guys are fairly versatile throughout the road of scrimmage, and we like the flexibility of it. However coaching camp will decide who begins down there.”