Bears Deserve Two Thank Yous For Akiem Hicks Landing In Tampa

June 10th, 2022

Manbeast defensive tackle Akiem Hicks coming to the Bucs after six seasons in Chicago wasn’t just about a rebuilding team not wanting him back and Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht and Todd Bowles sizing up his value.

Bowles had a prior connection to Hicks. This was revealed yesterday when the head coach sat down for a chat on the Ira Kaufman Podcast.

(Part I of the interview can be found via the link. In Part II airing next week, Bowles talks about Hicks.)

Bowles explained that he was a huge fan of Hicks’ play from watching him on Sundays — “always in the backfield.” But there was more to it. Bowles was a candidate for the Bears’ defensive coordinator position in 2019, after he was fired from the Jets and before he committed to join Bucco Bruce Arians in Tampa.

Per Bowles, Hicks called him three years ago as part of a Bears recruitment effort, so there they connected there in addition to Bowles having studied the Chicago defense as a potential coordinator candidate.

That’s certainly an uncommon happening: a player who once called a coaching candidate to sign with his team finding the shoe on the other foot three years later.

Bowles had plenty more to say about Hicks and why he’s a fit. Stay tuned for the next podcast episode.

Enjoy the full episode below. Part II with the head coach will pop early next week.

23 Responses to “Bears Deserve Two Thank Yous For Akiem Hicks Landing In Tampa”

  1. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    IMHO, Todd Bowles is one of the more inventive defensive coaches in the NFL.
    It was his defense after all that beat the KC Chiefs for us to win a Super Bowl.
    If I was a defensive player, I would love to play for Coach Bowles.
    I am glad we got Hicks, who I think is gonna thrive here in Tampa, as long as he stays healthy!

  2. Iamabuc Says:

    I know Hicks have been a man beast on defense the past few years. But I’m not ready to give him any praise until I see what he does for us this year. I mean, you know, injuries and all that.

  3. Crickett Baker Says:

    Personally, I would like to see some stats on: If a player gets injured, how often did he get injured again? It seemed like we took a LOT of players that were injured in this “reload”. I am concerned about how all of them will do. Especially since Suh never missed a game and JPP played through a bunch of his injuries. Many of our “new” players missed plenty of games, including ofc Hicks.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    As I recall, Bowles was also a candidate with WTF……I think they really wanted him and he came to Tampa.

    I’m a wait & see on Hicks……but I have no reason to believe I will be disappointed.

  5. D-Rok Says:

    Hicks will be GOOD for us this year. Whether he’s great or not shall be seen. Super happy with us signing Hicks.

    Since it’s underwear-football time and all us crazy fans are dreaming about what might be possible based on paper spreadsheets, Imagine, if one dares, HICKS, SUH, VEA. DAMN that would be impressive. Like, DAMN.

  6. Cobraboy Says:

    I enjoyed that Part 1 interview, the longest I’ve heard Bowles talk. I like how Bowles handled himself. I feel positive about the upcoming season.

    I am also just fine with Hicks. I just hope he and his D-mates can stay healthy.

  7. GOB Says:

    I’m reminded of what Hicks said after the Patriots last Superbowl. Something to the effect of, if you’re sick of them winning, beat them. Otherwise respect them.
    Hicks has something to play for, a Ring. I think the bucs will get 100% of whatever he has left. The Rams are the only legit threat to the bucs in the NFC. Licht brought him here for one reason, to beat the Rams. If I’m Matt Stafford, I’m worried. Unless of course bowles blitzes half the time.

  8. BradyBucs Says:


    Haha… this should be a meme like “Still can’t believe they didn’t run the ball with Marshawn Lynch” after the Seahawks choked away that Super Bowl.

    I like Bowles, but that play call that lost us the Rams playoff game was TERRIBLE.

  9. GOB Says:

    The Seahawks crapped the bed, no doubt BradyBucs. Belichick looked more constipated than usual on the sideline. In the Americas Game special, they made it look like a stroke of genius from Bill. Poor Pete got panicked because Bill wasn’t. Talk about cacophonous ending. Pete and D Bev, completely outsmarted themselves. Stupid timeouts, loafing up the field. GOB could go on for hours
    On a side note, Brady’s come back, against on of the best defensive units of the last 20 years, would be all but forgotten. If Petsey calls a run

  10. geno711 Says:

    Crickett Baker Says:
    June 10th, 2022 at 4:41 pm
    Personally, I would like to see some stats on: If a player gets injured, how often did he get injured again?

    Profootball Doc talks about this. For instance, on Noah Spence in his February 2018 article indicated that he did not think Spence would come back well from his shoulder labral tear and thought the chance for reinjury to a football player was very great. The profootball doc thought that JPP should be able to return from a fracture to a vertebra in his neck.

    Once a fracture heals, it is unlikely to be a problem again. A tear and soft tissue injury is actually more likely to reoccur.

    Hicks had a dislocated elbow in 2019. I don’t see that as something that will reoccur this year. However, last year groin and ankle injuries seems like they are much more likely to reoccur in 2022.

  11. GOB Says:

    geno, nothing better for old bones, then warm weather. Once he gets into fatty hot weather shape, I think he’ll be fine. We should know relatively early with him. If Hicks can get through camp without a hammy or an ankle, awesome sign.

  12. Crickett Baker Says:

    Ty for the somewhat interesting info about certain injuries. I guess, though, Hicks missed games with his elbow and then got injured two times more…a large amount of our players have missed games with soft tissue and tears, it seems. I just wonder if they return healthy, how soon do they get injured again? (ex. JPP)

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    When bones break, they grow stronger where the break is…stronger than before.

    As to warm weather being good…that’s a myth. It depends on the individual…but the constant afternoon storms we get starting in July aggravate aches and pains for many, many people.

  14. SOEbuc Says:

    Most important and best part of Akiem landing in Tampa is Vea. If they stay healthy, it’s like Suh when they can’t double cover both of them and Hicks is faster to the QB (maybe). I don’t know what the situation is with Lavonte just like Godwin or Gage, but that could be Super Bowl front seven again if the Bucs don’t completely screwed with injuries. Please bring it Logan Hall.

  15. Stanglassman Says:

    Geno- Looking at Hicks injury history chart it appears like he was rushed back from his injuries a few times. His high ankle was a grade 2 and he didn’t tear his groin grade 2. Draft sharks has the chance of him getting any injury at 37% (missing 2 quarters) in ‘22. Chance of injury per game at 2.7%. Projected games missed 2.7 in ‘22. His durability as a player as a 5 out of 5.

  16. Hodad Says:

    He wasn’t signed to be the next Aaron Donald. He was signed as a good veteran piece, to an already good D line. Hall was drafted to start as the 3 tech. He made it clear in his presser last week that’s what he’s being asked to play. Sure he’ll line up as an end at times, but so does Vea. Bringing Hicks in as a rotational player was just a solid move.

  17. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Russell Gage, Aikem Hicks, Logan Ryan….all unknowns. What these guys did in years past doesnt matter until they can do it with the Bucs

  18. Stanglassman Says:

    When Bowles got on the phone with him when they drafted him he didn’t call him Logan or Hall he called him 3tect. There’s never been a question where Hall is going to play.
    I think they realized they stunted Joe’s growth a bit by playing him in so many spots. They should have sat one armed JPP. JPP could’ve gotten his surgery 5-6 months earlier.

  19. Stanglassman Says:

    What Hodad said. I should have finished reading the comments.

  20. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    He will not have the talent or the reliability of Ndamakong Suh , Hicks is a downgrade at the position compared to Suh.

  21. Duane Says:

    That was a cool interview. I like the edge Coach Bowles has. You can tell he doesnt want the perception of being Dungy, or BA, because he is his own person. Good insight on how he wants to continue to manipulate his defense to find ways to stay ahead of opposing offenses in scheme. He is going to have monsters pushing the pocket, leaving lots of open space for 54 and 45 to make plays. 3 step drops are not going to give the qb enough room to work when Hicks and Vea are dumping the centers in their laps. Likely to get more synergy in the game plans with all 3 phases of the team working towards the same goal vs YOLOing with the no risk it offense. Even the GOAT recognizes that putting up stats only gets you so far.

  22. geno711 Says:

    Listened to the podcast.
    Sage seems to think Hall will be playing more 3-technique than DE/OLB.

  23. geno711 Says:

    BucsFanSince1976 Says:
    June 11th, 2022 at 11:00 am
    He will not have the talent or the reliability of Ndamakong Suh , Hicks is a downgrade at the position compared to Suh.

    Maybe so. I have not watched Hicks to enough to make that declaration. I always felt that Suh was better in the bigger games, so I liked him very much. But that being said, I always felt like Suh’s motor in the lesser games was not very good. One thing I hear about Hicks is that his motor is always on. Maybe that is something that Bowles thinks will be beneficial for the whole team providing that attitude that Suh never did.