“He Speaks To You In A Way That Makes You Want To Take Notes”

August 3rd, 2022

Free agent defensive tackle Akiem Hicks.

At 6-5, 340-plus pounds, new Bucs manbeast defensive tackle Akiem Hicks has a reputation for being a deep thinker and ferocious mauler.

Asked about Vita Vea eating up double teams alongside him this season, Hicks seemed to stray from his cerebral and eloquent way and let out what almost sounded like a squeal of ecstasy before answering.

Overall, Hicks seems like one happy guy landing in Tampa with his family after frustrating seasons in Chicago. The 32-year-old former Pro Bowler seems smitten with his head coach/defensive coordinator. And remember Hicks has played under various defensive masterminds through his 10 seasons, including Bill Belicheat, Chuck Pagano and Vic Fangio.

“Listening to [Todd Bowles] talk about the way he sees the game of football, he speaks to you in a way that makes you want to take notes,” Hicks said. “You know, and like things to live by. So I enjoy that.”

Hicks added that teammates have been “super-welcoming,” and he said it’s the kind of positivity and vibe that comes with elite clubs. He referenced dining with dining together teammates caring about getting to know one another.

Joe remains in stunned disbelief by all the talent on the Bucs’ roster. But yeah, Joe realizes that at least one or two of the new Bucs free agent veterans are probably washed out. Will Hicks be one of them? Or Kyle Rudolph, Keanu Neal, Julio Jones Logan or Logan Ryan?

Joe looks at it this way: if three of those guys play at or near their prime form, the Bucs likely return to the NFC Championship game.

36 Responses to ““He Speaks To You In A Way That Makes You Want To Take Notes””

  1. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I was glad we landed Hicks, and I consider him an upgrade from Suh.
    Hicks is not only good against the run, but he is a better pass rusher than Suh, who with Vita Vea will provide push up the middle.
    IMHO, Suh overvalued his services, evidenced by the fact that no other team has signed him so far.
    If Hicks can stay healthy, I look for him to have a great year for us.

  2. GOB Says:

    IMO, Hicks, Ryan and Rudolph will be significant contributors. The three of them played for incredibly dysfunctional organizations last year. None of them are the players they use to be, but coupled with the talent surrounding them, they should make plays. Ryan has over 200 snaps at three different positions. His experience alone should make the secondary much better. Rudolph was catching passes from Daniel Jones last year, and Hicks was in Chicago. Need I say more.

  3. GOB Says:

    Chris, I too think Hicks is an upgrade. The people that feel otherwise always point to Suh’s snap count. Funny how none of them bring up his PFF grade, which was middle of the pack for D tackles. Just because you play a lot, it doesn’t equate to production. I don’t think Hicks needs 700 snaps to be effective.

  4. GOB Says:

    The reason Suh doesn’t have a team, is because nobody is willing to meet his price. The guy has always overvalued himself. If he’d come back for the 3-4 million he’s worth at this point, I’m all for it.

  5. ATLBuc Says:

    If we did get Suh back, we would have great depth on the DLine. We would literally wear offensive lines down

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Suh has been replaced…..we need another edge rusher…

    From what I’m hearing Keano Neal is certainly not washed out…..

  7. Marine Buc Says:

    The bigger they are the harder they fall.

    Please stay healthy big guy…

  8. Dooley Says:

    Hicks is a gigantic human being, he’s probably got at least 3 extra digits on his SSN.

  9. A Bucs Fan Says:

    I think Hicks and Neal will play well. Rudolph will be an asset in the Red Zone and I’m not sold on Logan Ryan physical ability and will need to see how he is used in the back field. He was a tackling machine for the giants last year, but was a liability in coverage. QB’s averaged over a 106 rating when targeting him. For comparison Jamel Dean, Carlton Davis, & Antoine Winfield Jr held QB’s to under an 80 rating…and we complain about it here…. We will see!

  10. #8 Says:

    Hicks is an upgrade IF he stays healthy.
    Sign Suh.
    Help keep them both healthy & fresh.
    Suh fresh & Suh clean.

  11. Buc4evr Says:

    Still need Suh. Sign him Jason.

  12. Red-sparrow Says:

    @#8 cracks me up with his determination to resign Suh….

  13. geno711 Says:

    Interesting take from Hicks on Todd Bowles.

  14. Hodad Says:

    #8 has to be Suh’s agent, or it’s the worst man crush in history.

  15. #8 Says:

    I love tb12.
    I love suh.
    And I love lamp.
    Get #8 Tom. Suh.

  16. D-Rok Says:


    What, you don’t love Momma? LOL.

    Man, IF we could still add Suh at this point, geez. C’mon Mr. Suh – just take less and come get a ring! You get a ring, you get a ring….!!! HA HA.

    In all seriousness, if Suh were added, it would allow Bowles a ton of flexibility with his blitz packages, except when we play the Rams. Don’t blitz those guys.

  17. #8 Says:

    Or Flowers–I’d be ok there too.
    We need some D depth. That worries me more than the O-Line.
    I’m not a smart man, but I know what Suh is.

  18. D-Rok Says:

    I agree with depth, 8. However, one thing we as fans may be overlooking is how confident the coaches are with the other players on D-line, like Gholston and Nacho. Not to mention what Hall *could* bring. I trust that they know more than us (at least they better know more!), but I would feel better if Suh came back, yes. That DT rotation would be sick, and would allow for a guy to get banged up for a game or so.

    Why don’t you start a GoFundMe page to raise an extra million or so to help sign Suh?

  19. Wild Bill Says:

    Yup Suh and a quality O line guy that could play multiple positions would be great depth. Long season requires quality depth.

  20. George Says:

    Hicks will be outstanding paired with Vita.

    If Suh gets more realistic on pricing we should sign him for depth

  21. ClwJB Says:

    Regardless of how it ends, it is amazing that we, the Yuks, the Errol Flynn wearing stepchild of the league now lands EVERY star it wants, whenever they want them

    It feels great, if only temporary

    First game at 8 y/o in ‘76

    RIP Dad, we are here

  22. Buczilla Says:

    Awesome time to be a Bucs fan. Cool story. I miss the f out of football.

  23. #8 Says:

    Imagine if suh had about 25 less snaps last year. Maybe he gets to stafford?
    Coulda shoulda woulda hypotheticals.
    I’m saying give best chance to win. Cap be damned.

  24. Maniac Buc Says:

    @GOB, Suh PFF wasn’t even middle of the pack, it’s 49. Do you know how bad you have to be to get a 49 grade. Suh is done. Completely done. A dead body would have been an upgrade over Suh.

  25. Maniac Buc Says:

    @Joe, I’m probably the biggest pessimist around, or what I like to call a realist. I don’t do sentimental, nostalgia or euphoria. I consider myself a realist. I say that to say, between Neal, Logan, Hicks, Rudolph, Jones and Gage, I feel they all will be huge parts of this team. This might be the best set of free agents we have signed, in terms of value, that I have seen.

    Of course not the steal of Shaq Barrett, but they’ll all be good!

  26. Dewey Selmon Says:

    #8 is like the guy who wore a Mariota Bucs jersey to Ray Jay the night Winston was picked.

  27. Canabuc Says:

    Suh already was at his lowest snap count in his career around 63%

  28. NCBucfan Says:

    Agreed Maniac Buc,

    And what makes it better is 3 of them played for the Dixie chicks, our enemy! Also, if we can’t beat the Saints in the regular season this year, there is def some sort of NO voodoo going on. Go Bucs!

  29. #8 Says:

    Dewey ‘not new jersey’ is a great skit on good morning football.
    That’d be a perfect one haha. The draft fail jersey.

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    #8 … Disregard the nay-sayers. They have ZERO idea what Suh is willing to play for OR why he hasn’t signed with another team yet. Pure SPECULATION on their part.

    Strange how most of them didn’t peep when we signed Julio for $6 mil GUARANTEED to join the deepest position group we have on the team.

    And for those criticizing Suh on his PFF grades, I can’t help but wonder if y’all even know how the PFF grades are computed and by whom. There’s a tremendous amount of subjectivity in there, starting with the fact that the numerous graders (600+) don’t know what the play call was when they start evaluating each play. IOW it’s an inexact ‘science’ that uses a lot of guesswork.

    For example, PFF prioritized WRs for 2022, ranking Mike Evans at #8, Chris Godwin at #15, Julio Jones at #20 and Russell Gage wasn’t even listed in the Top-32. I wonder how many Bucs’ fans would agree with those rankings.

  31. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    If there’s some kind of way – we can trade for Robert Quinn.
    Make it happen!! Plus Eddie Goldman will make a solid addition as well.

  32. steele Says:

    Hicks is not a one-to-one replacement for Suh, he’s different, but he is good at what he does—when healthy.

    They need more edge rush, but I doubt they will make an outside move. Just as they are all-in for in-houses like Hainsey/Leverett at the key question mark center position, why wouldn’t they also be all-in for JTS, Nelson, Ponder, Gill, Gholston etc. and leave it?

    There are no more obviously good edges left in free agency. All have question marks, many are washed or injured. Trey Flowers would be great. JPP, problems included, would be a relief compared to the rest of the FA list.
    Attachou? Nassib? Tak McKinney?

  33. Maniac Buc Says:

    Defense Rules, you can do all the spinning you want, Suh was absolutely terrible last year. He was the biggest reason for our run defense drop off. He played one year to long. There is zero chance he’s coming back to Bucs. I would be disappointed if we signed him even for league minimum. I don’t even get into the money anyway, since it’s not my money. Bad players are bad players, good players are good players, no matter how much they are being paid, and Suh at this point is a very very very bad player.

  34. Buccos Says:

    Well I just got my season tickets in the Krewe’s Nest. This is the most exciting year in the history of Tampa Bay football. Brady has won every other Super Bowl since 2015. So this is literally our year. Not even an unscrupulous owner in Miami could deny us our year. TB12 will win his eighth SB and ride off into the sunset aboard his Super Yacht with Super Model wife. Everything is Super this year in Tampa. Suh puts the Su in Super so I think he should come along. He is one of the greatest Dlineman of all time. Some silly stats by computer nerds mean nothing to me. I know what I see and that is no one can run on the Bucs with Suh in the game and he causes fumbles in key moments. He elevates his game in crunch time and no one can move him. Super Bowl or bust!

  35. David Says:

    If you think three of them need to play at a high-level then that would be one of the safeties, Hicks, and Rudolph. Jones is a luxury.
    The most important of the bunch that is needed to play at a high-level and injury free is definitely Hicks

  36. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    I think Suh’s asking price, along with JPP;s will come down after training camp cuts. I think Lord Licht is being smart, he doesn’t need to force any issues at the moment. No need to go all in on the flop if you can wait until the river. I am definitely glad we didn’t pay what KC did for Dunlap. That stinks of desperation.