Bucky Brooks: Bucs Have Best “Duo” Of Defensive Tackles

July 5th, 2022

NFL talking head believes.

Yesterday Joe brought word how a Hall of Fame general manager is not a believer in new Bucs defensive tackle Akiem Hicks.

Not everyone shares Bill Polian’s opinion.

Joe is a big, big fan of Polian. The guy knows his sh!t. It’s why he’s in the Hall of Fame. He built three Super Bowl teams. That’s a helluva resumé. So who is Joe to question Polian? Joe will leave that for others.

One is a former NFL scout and defensive back and current talking head/columnist for NFL Media, Bucky Brooks.

We are in the throes of List Season. Everyone has lists. And Brooks is no different. Brooks listed the best NFL duos at each position. And when it comes to defensive tackles, Brooks believes Hicks will fill Ndamukong Suh’s vacancy just fine. He has Vita Vea and Hicks as his best defensive tackle duo.

… massive, disruptive tackles at the point of attack. Vea overwhelms opponents with his size, strength and power as a 347-pound super athlete. The 27-year-old routinely forklifts interior blockers into the backfield while registering tackles for loss and sacks. Plus, his ability to single-handedly create chaos at the line of scrimmage enables a fleet-footed set of linebackers to run to the ball unobstructed. Hicks, who signed a one-year deal with the team this offseason, is nearing the twilight of his career, but the 32-year-old remains a disruptive player at the point of attack. The former Pro Bowler is capable of walking blockers into the quarterback’s lap on bull rushes or power maneuvers but also flashes enough athleticism to occasionally win with finesse. As a run defender, Hicks is an immovable object with the strength, power, balance and body control to hold the point against single blocks or double-teams. With Vea and Hicks capable of dominating on their own, the Bucs’ version of the Wonder Twins should help Todd Bowles’ defense re-emerge as a top-five unit this season.

Joe likes how Brooks invented the verb “forklifts” to describe Vea against the run. That’s pretty cool and pretty accurate.

Joe will say this about Hicks: Either he is going to make Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht look really, really smart, or he is going to make Licht look, well, regretful. Joe didn’t notice anything bad in Suh’s play last year.

Today, Licht is looking smart. It’s past the Fourth of July and both Jason Pierre-Paul and Suh are unemployed. Good players are rarely unemployed in July unless they don’t want to be employed (see: Gronkowski, Rob).

20 Responses to “Bucky Brooks: Bucs Have Best “Duo” Of Defensive Tackles”

  1. Bucsfanman Says:

    The best ability is availability. Hicks hasn’t exactly been the pillar of consistency, if we’re talking about playing time. To be fair, Vea can hardly be considered a “full-time” player himself.
    We’ll see. The player Hicks is replacing was pretty darn consistent.

  2. westernbuc Says:

    Yeah I’m gonna go with Polish over Bucky and his awful mock drafts

  3. teacherman777 Says:

    Remember the Giants team that best Rodgers and Brady?

    The 8 deep defensive line? With Strahan, JPP, Tuck, and Umenyiora?

    I am still surprised more teams don’t build 8 deep defensive lines.

    We should sign both JPP and Suh!

    It’s a 17 game season! Plus playoffs!

    We need them back!!!

    (Even if JPP isn’t ready until Week 8)

  4. mark2001 Says:

    Watched Spence play in Chicago. He was a beast. Hopefully he brings the same talent and energy here. If we get that guy playing alongside Vea, it will be a great tandem.

  5. OBVIOUS Says:

    I’m of almost the exact mind that Defense Rules is on this one. He has not made a comment on this particular write up but he did comment on yesterday’s late write up concerning Suh.
    What’s clear is the injury history of Hicks and Vea. And Suh for that matter. It’s almost a given that either Vea or Hicks at some point “will” go down due to injury through this season. It’s clear that in a perfect world We also Sign Suh! I LOVE the addition of Hicks to “complement” Vea and Suh. Not so much the other way around. Now is NOT the time to get cheap! I’m NOT saying we should break the bank but there MUST be a winning middle of the road for both sides on the money concerning Suh. There REALLY needs to be. I Really feel like we’re cutting our own throats this time. I sincerely do. More than likely, We NEED Suh. History has away of repeating itself 10 out of 10 times and without Suh, noting the I injury history “likelihood”, I have a very bad feeling that we are holding a knife to our own throats. It’s a gut feeling. And I’m going with my gut. WAY TOO MANY rookies, 1st timers (Hicks), and unknowns.

    This is FAR more risky than it needs to be.

    On another note, I’m glad to see there are very different opinions from different “Joes”. Some are a little more willing to close their eyes than others though ALL are pretty strong at bringing some exciting takes. I just happen to agree with this particular Joe on this Super Bowl or not, and somebody “better wake up” subject.


    GO BUCS!

  6. OBVIOUS Says:

    I believe the term is “ALL OR NOTHING!” GO BUCS!

  7. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Hicks can be a bit of a Head Case, if you Fuk with him. But Todd Bowles is very much a players coach, and I think he is actually going to be an upgrade from Suh, especially when it comes to rushing the passer.

    I sort of agree with Brooks on his rating of our defensive tackles.
    They may not be THE best in the entire NFL, but they are certainly top 5.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We have to trust Bowles on this…..there is no way Suh is gone and Hicks is here unless Todd Bowles signs off on it.

  9. Goatfarmer Says:

    Imagine “and Suh.”

  10. Smashsquatch Says:

    Hicks has more burst and is a better compliment to Vea than Suh. Suh is more dependable. Time will tell…..

  11. Dick LeBeau Jr. Says:

    No one knows how much Suh is asking for. He probably wouldn’t have taken the deal Hicks has taken. And as for not seeing anything wrong with Suh’s play last year, how about not being able to get to players close to him because he’s slowing down. Yeah, he’s still disruptive, but losing the little bit of speed you’ve had is a negative.

  12. Goatfarmer Says:



    Nothing wrong with great depth, especially when this defense must shine, as defense wins championships at the end of the day.

  13. D-Rok Says:


    I was brushing up on my defensive line techniques a few weeks ago. I believe the term “forklift” has been a pass-rush move defined since the 80’s. In fact, some would credit Jumpy Geathers as one who pioneered this technique back in the 80’s and 90’s.

    I’m super glad we signed Hicks, though. It was a clear NEED. I’m not holding my breath, but if somehow Suh does sign with us, then we have 3 outstanding DT’s, and those 3 would form the anchor of the defense this year. C’mon Mr. Suh – come back and play with the Bucs!!

  14. Cobraboy Says:

    I’d love Suh back, but prolly not gonna happen unless Grink is totally out.

    Suh is good, no doubt, and he’s been a joy to watch solidify the Bucs D-Line. But he’s not the force he used to be, although still better than most.

    That said, if Hicks is healthy and motivated…emphasis on motivated…he could be an upgrade over Suh.

    I suspect he was trying to play his way out of that trainwreck called Da Bears. If that’s the case, he now knows he’s on a true Lombardi contender…and that could be a YUGE motivational factor. This is his chance for a real NFL legacy. If he plays up to his potential, he won’t be remembered as a good, disruptive DL. He’ll be remembered as a Super Bowl champion.

    He has that chance, and my $$$ is on Hicks taking full advantage of the best opportunity of his soon-to-be-over career.

    As much as I will miss Suh, I look forward to seeing what Hicks brings.

  15. Dooley Says:

    To be honest, I won’t stop being skeptical of Hicks being able to stay healthy game to game until I see it, BUT I’m also ready to accept that if we can get him for 12-14 games and hopefully have him for a potential playoff run, his signing will be 100% justified in my eyes. Unless of course, he comes on and stinks the joint up in a bad way.

  16. Mort Says:

    Suh seems to want too much money relative to his declining skillset and JPP hasn’t got the mindset of a rotational piece, so cannot coexist with our OLBs as he would be #3 when fully heathy.

  17. Dooley Says:

    Bucs posted media day pics on the team site and LMAO Hicks looks like he’s challenging every stitch, button, and strap on the uniform to stay on and together. Dude looks like a circus bear with a Bucs uniform on

  18. Eddie Marz Says:

    Let the games begin. GOBUCS!

  19. SOEbuc Says:

    Is it the dark shirt that makes him look skinny?

  20. Goatfarmer Says: