Discouraging Words On Akiem Hicks

October 10th, 2022


Is Todd Bowles already frustrated with starters in the tub too much?

(That was a pet peeve of Bowles’ mentor Bill Parcells: Dudes in the hot tub but not on the field.)

Already the Julio Jones experiment looks shaky. Now the Bucs are openly talking about how they’re good with Jones being out for an extended period of time so long as he can step on the field — in January!

Today in Bowles’ day-after-presser, Bowles grumbled about another injury-prone starter who the Bucs lured to help make a final run at the Super Bowl with Tom Brady. And that is Akiem Hicks.

(Dear God, Joe almost typed “Spence” there.)

As many warned and qualified their statements about Hicks when the Bucs signed him, he would be a stud for the Bucs if he stayed healthy.

Sure enough, Hicks left the New Orleans game in Week 2 after 19 snaps with a hurt foot. He hasn’t been on the active gameday roster since.

Today Bowles was asked why the Bucs didn’t put Hicks on injured reserve since this Sunday will be his fourth missed game. Bowles was also asked if he expected Hicks to be on the field when the Bucs face the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

As to why Hicks didn’t make it to the injured reserve list, Bowles said the team didn’t expect Hicks to miss this much time. As for if Bowles expected Hicks to dress on Sunday, his words were damning.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Bowles said.


Bowles did add Hicks is a “week-by-week” injury situation.

Now Joe is not going to dog a guy for being hurt. Joe doesn’t know any NFL player outside of Myron Lewis who wanted to be hurt. From the little Joe knows about Hicks from being around him at One Buc Palace, he seems like a good dude.

So Joe doesn’t believe any claims Hicks is just here for the cash.

But yeah, Joe firmly believes in the old Parcells saying, “Your best ability is your availability.” You can be Lawrence Taylor II but if you cannot get on the field, your talent doesn’t matter one iota.

It’s not like the warning signs weren’t there. The Bucs chose to improve their interior pass rushing and let eroding pass rusher Ndamukong Suh, who always answered the bell, walk to sign a guy who had a well-documented history of injury.

To be fair, Suh has been unemployed since he played for the Bucs in the playoffs against the Rams in January. And folks, no matter how much and how hard you cry for the return Suh, the fact a guy cannot get a job and we’re now in mid-October screams that the guy is done.

Stars find jobs.

Teams that need help do not pass on guys who have something left in the tank. There is a reason why Suh is only twittering about financial subjects. And it’s not because he wants a bunch of money to play.

You think money would stop creepy Bob Kraft or Jerry Jones or E. Stanley Kroenke from improving their teams in a playoff run? C’mon.

62 Responses to “Discouraging Words On Akiem Hicks”

  1. Anonymous Says:


  2. #8 Says:

    Insert sneeze.

  3. BucU Says:

    Hicks and Jones are done. They know it. We know it.

  4. douglas dallier Says:

    I second the vote for Suh—NEVER LET US DOWN BEFORE!!!!!!

  5. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    People have referred to Hicks being like Carl Ncks (Remember Him) ?
    Well, I personally cleaned Carl Nicks roof so he could sell his home here for top dollar, and move back home.
    Carl Nicks was a MONSTER of a Man, but a gentle giant.
    He really wanted things to work out for him here in Tampa, but they did not.
    Toes and feet are important to any of us, but seem to be even more important to the Giants.
    A sore foot can hamper most of us, but to a 350 lb giant, it means they are crippled.

  6. Kody Says:

    Well, without Hicks, Bucs gotta do something to fortify their DL. If SUH is all there is, and he’s in shape, I’d love to see him come back.

  7. Goatfarmer Says:

    Time for Suh. His price has been too high. But maybe now he is not in football shape. Still, he can’t be any worse against the run than Todd’s stooges.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Suh’s money is being saved for Gronk…..sorry….

  9. Ed Says:

    Bowles and the entire defensive staff have to coach their linebackers and defensive linemen to play nastier and to wrap up on tackles.

    Other than Winfieid and David, the rest of the bunch don’t know how to tackle, especially White who just grabs at shirts and shoulders instead of lowering his shoulders and going for the numbers. Every week if you see players loafing and getting worse, that is on the coaching for not motivating them.

    The defense seems leaderless. White should be the guy but he doesn’t dominate games except the splash plays he makes are great plays.

    JTS needs to watch him some film of Micah Parsons. That dude played hurt against the Rams yesterday and in the 4th quarter he played hurt and still dominated the game. He’s the best defensive player in the league right now.

  10. Joe Says:

    Suh’s money is being saved for Gronk…..sorry….

    Pretty sure that’s it, but really, at this point it is terribly naive to think money is the only reason Suh is not working. Honestly, do we really believe Kraft, Jones and/or Kroenke are strapped for cash?

  11. SB~LV Says:

    Dollars to donuts Akim was never healthy and hid his injuries until the 53 was announced

  12. Stanglassman Says:

    This guy (Hicks) is starting to make me regret defending him as often injured and not a difference maker. Hopefully he’ll get healthy and play his best football Dec/Jan.

  13. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Suh might be 50% what he used to be, but that’s 100% better than Hicks has been…so far.

  14. Redeemer Says:

    Goatfarmer is right. Suh would probably be here if the bucs met his price. The fact that he hasn’t signed anyway tells me two things. One, nobody else has met his price. Two, Suh would rather retire than play for less.

  15. Christos Says:

    I was not against Bucs bringing Jones and Hicks. The issue and the problem was that they brought them here and expected big contributions, especially Hicks was here to start. That is a mistake if that is your plan. No matter how good the players are both of them are injury pron. You cant bring them here and your plan and expectations are that they will play many matches. Big mistake

  16. atlbuc28 Says:

    Meanwhile was that JPP balling out for the Ravens…. Happy he is doing well!

  17. Buc4evr Says:

    Hicks was done before he was signed here. SUH.

  18. Redeemer Says:

    Had high hopes for Hicks. In his prime, he was a top 5 defensive tackle. You could say the same for other free agency misses by licht, Sherman, Gio, Jones. I like the philosophy in general, but it comes with great risk.

  19. adam from ny Says:

    maybe also suh only wants to play for the bucs at this point, if they meet his salary demands…

    he seriously might not want to start anew with another team and only wants to come back here to hopefully pop on another ring – and otherwise retire and enjoy post football life…

    i’m sure there are teams wanting and inquiring for his services

  20. Hodad Says:

    Our D line played fine yesterday. Senet has stepped up, got a nice sack, Hall, Vea, JTS got a sack. What more do you want? The defense had to endure 3 consecutive 3, and outs to start the second half. That will test any defense. Think about it, the Buc offense was shut out in the second half. Unless Suh can pick up a first down, he wouldn’t have been much help Sunday. The defense did preserve the win.

  21. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    Let’s send a pick to panthers for one of their DL please

  22. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Top heavy guys with lower leg/feet injuries= never healthy again. Jones is simply on an NFL severance plan. Somewhere Suh is shaking his head…

  23. captivajim Says:

    so , it wasn’t the genius pick-up by Licht afterall

  24. 02,20,2022 Says:

    Whatever happened to Vita’s cousin on practice squad, and Benning Potae? I thought we used to have some young DT talent in the hopper last season and season before. Y’all help me out am I missing something?

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    Under Licht, the Bucs have repeatedly not put guys on the IR and instead just left them on the active roster. No one brings it up, but I think it’s cap related. You still have to pay the guy on IR, and you still have to pay for the replacement, even if it’s not a full year, the weekly checks go against the cap. When you’re right up against the cap, that stuff does in fact happen. If he was out for the year, then you spend that valuable cap space. But if it’s 4-6 weeks, you might not.

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘It’s not like the warning signs weren’t there. The Bucs chose to improve their interior pass rushing and let eroding pass rusher Ndamukong Suh, who always answered the bell, walk to sign a guy who had a well-documented history of injury.’

    You write that ‘the warning signs were there’ and that Hicks has a ‘well-documented history of injury’, you even praise Suh with he ‘always answered the bell’, THEN … you chastise Suh because he ‘cannot get a job’. Isn’t that a bit presumptuous on your part?

    Multiple teams have been reported as wanting Suh; they just didn’t want to pay what he was asking by all reports. I’m ASSUMING that’s around $8 mil, since that’s what he made in 2020 (we upped it to $9 mil in 2021 AFTER we won the Super Bowl). So instead of signing Suh for $8 mil, we signed Hicks for $8 mil, a player with a ‘well-documented history of injury’ to IMPROVE (?) our DLine. Got it. What could possibly go wrong?

    Gut feeling is that THIS was Suh’s strategy for 2022 all along. And yes, why he’s CHOSEN not to sign for less money. All he had to do was wait until some big-name DT on a CONTENDER got hurt, then swoop in to save the day. For a price of course. You can afford to take risks like that when you’re 35 years old, have a spotless record in terms of AVAILABILITY, keep yourself in great condition, have HOF credentials, have the money that Suh apparently already has, AND when you represent yourself. Yup, sure would be a nice strategy.

    Or we could go with Joe’s reasoning that no one’s signed him because he’s asking too much for a DT whose skills have eroded badly.

  27. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Sorry Joe-Raiders and Vikings had discussions with Suh and the sticking point was always money. Raiders and Vikings would not have had talks with Suh if they thought he was done as you say. Suh is unwilling to give away his considerably valuable services for under market value and I for one applaud him for it. Suh is a HOF’er and Suh certainly did not look diminished in the playoff game against the Rams-which is the last time anyone saw him play.
    Hey , if the Bucs are content to allow teams to continue steamrolling their line in the running game , then do not sign Suh for fair market value , but please do not spin a yarn about Suh being done Joe , you should know better.

  28. Bucs Win Says:

    The Bucs should try to get Grady Jarrett from the Falcons, they are clearly dumping salaries when they traded Dion Jones.

  29. kyle Says:

    this team is toast…. we had a good run, brady knew it when he tried to leave for miami. wake up guys.. I love the bucs but we will be lucky to win 10m games this year.

  30. Joe Says:

    THEN … you chastise Suh because he ‘cannot get a job’. Isn’t that a bit presumptuous on your part?

    That’s not “chastise” that’s an absolute fact. He’s not under contract with any team.

    Multiple teams have been reported as wanting Suh; they just didn’t want to pay what he was asking by all reports.

    Ooorrr… teams didn’t like what they saw when they had him work out. It’s Oct. 10, it’s very difficult to believe the entire NFL refuses to sign Suh over cash. There are multiple owners where cash is no obstacle.

    Now if you want to argue Suh is pulling a Gronk and doesn’t want to play until after Thanksgiving, Joe will buy that.

  31. Defense Rules Says:

    Hodad … Not sure I can buy into the logic trail that ‘the defense preserved the win’. Bucs defense got roasted in the 4th quarter. Falcons kept the ball a tad over 9 minutes in that quarter & scored 2 TDs (plus a 2-pt conversion) to pull within a TD of winning that game … while there was still 4:38 left in the game.

    THANKFULLY the Bucs’ offense held the ball for that entire 4:38 minutes using 11 plays (3 of which were kneeldowns) to end the game. Had our offense gone 3-and-out, there STILL would’ve been 3:15 left on the clock. The 1st TD that Falcons scored took them only 3:04 so winning the game was still doable.

    Bucs lack defensive DEPTH IMO, and that’s why they got roasted in the 4th quarter. Their tongues were hanging out. Didn’t help that they’d lost 3 members of the Secondary by that point. Didn’t help either that the Bucs’ defense ‘had collectively lost interest’ if you believe our starting middle linebacker. What a stupid thing for a professional athlete to say.

  32. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Joe-are you saying you KNOW for a fact that Suh HAS worked out?

  33. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Now if you want to argue Suh is pulling a Gronk and doesn’t want to play until after Thanksgiving, Joe will buy that.’

    THAT’S what was behind the comment Joe that ‘Gut feeling is that THIS was Suh’s strategy for 2022 all along’.

  34. Slacker Says:

    Should see if the rams would trade Donald and kupp for Hicks and Julio. Might as well go big if we are talking fantasy land and not reality.

  35. Dooley Says:

    Before we even signed Hicks, I said it’ll be a success if he can give us 11 games this season would make him a successful signing and the more time he misses the harder it is for me to see him meeting that threshold. Until or IF Hicks returns we’ll be getting a steady dosage of Nacho, Hall, and Senat all filling in to prop position up.

  36. Shrek_33 Says:

    Forget Suh and Hicks, Why is JPP out there causing havick with the Baltimore Ravens after being unemployed for the first 4 weeks of the season? NOT on a roster.

  37. SlyPirate Says:

    The Bucs will be drafting another DT early in the draft. Jaquelin Roy, Bryan Bresee, Gervon Dexter are all solid prospects.

  38. J Ghotier Says:

    I just sure love his blunt honesty in, “I believe it when I see it” here 👏👌

  39. James in Memphis Says:

    Just let someone else have an injury and sign Suh. He’ll make someone else better while we can’t stop a nose bleed on the ground

  40. Goatfarmer Says:

    Suh for the leadership. I doubt Diva White would be bored with Suh’s foot up his arse sideways.

  41. David Says:

    From what I have seen, I would rather have more of HALL and SENAT then Hicks or SUH at this point.

    In HICKS defense though, I’ve had plantar fasciitis and it is painful. Usually it is a strain and can still take months to heal properly. I had it a year and a half ago and it has never fully gone away, I have to stretch that foot all the time to prevent it from tightening up and being painful.
    It can feel like a nail being driven up through your heel every time you step, but eventually you can deal with it.

    They said he tore his plantar fascia, I don’t see how he’s back this year quite honestly, unless I’m wrong and he did not tear it. That is the thing that makes sense since they say he is week to week.

  42. captivajim Says:

    Hicks is done , the bears knew it . he has the plantar fascia injury . I had that awhile ago-took me 3+ months with cortisone shots to get over it & i weigh less than 200 & didn’t play in NFl .

    He’s a Very big man ,350lbs +/- , he’ll be out for 6 months .And it will always be a weak spot.. Time to go ….maybe even past that time .use the roster spot

    Suh is out there …..

  43. Destinjohnny Says:

    Why dont we start by drafting d lineman?

  44. Mike Johnson Says:

    JPP did not look bad at all in that Ravens uniform last night. He played well. Come on Licht, Bring back Mr. SUH.

  45. Crickett Baker Says:

    David, I cured my Plantar Fac. by doing an easy exercise on stairs and wearing a foot brace to bed. It only took a weak (mine was not torn, though) but the pain has never come back.

  46. Rod Munch Says:

    There is no scenario where you should put a rookie, from a non-major school, who is very much a work in progress, on the field instead of Suh.

    But the issue is money. Suh isn’t playing for the veteran minimum, and even with all the tricks in the book, the Bucs are nearly out of cap space, and they’re very much not just damaging a single year in the future, they’re damaging multiple years in the future with the void years and such. To be clear, I don’t care, I want to keep this window open for as long as possible, but if you’re Licht, you don’t want to, post Brady, have pre-sentenced yourself to 3-years of ‘cap hell’.

    Also there is always the possibility that Licht doesn’t see Brady leaving as the window being slammed shut, and maybe he thinks they can do enough cap tricks to keep everything going with another QB, who would have to be paid, so the Bucs have to be as flexible as possible, which isn’t very flexible since they’ve been stealing from the future for a couple of years now.

    In any case, if the Bucs can bring in Suh, they should do so, he’s be a huge upgrade. But it’s very likely the Bucs also know that, and they’d love to have him, but they can’t afford him and Suh isn’t taking an ‘insulting’ offer, which is all the Bucs can realisticly pay him.

  47. Crickett Baker Says:


  48. unbelievable Says:

    I told y’all this summer that RELYING on Jones or Hicks was a fools errand.

    Injury prone players at the age can play supporting roles, but counting on them to be starters is just dumb. For every time it actually works, I’d guess there are at least 9-10 times that it does not. With Jones we obviously have other receiving options, but Hicks is an issue.

  49. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    Stars find jobs.

    Does this apply to Blaine Gabbert & Jalen Darden?

  50. orlbucfan Says:

    Sometimes, I have to wonder about the comments on here. You’ve got a football team who won the SB 2 years ago, the division (finally) last year, and is 3-2. But , there’s all this ink screeching for Gronkowski, and Suh. How come? Gronkowski is retired. He won’t be back. Suh? Didn’t the Bucs D get 4 or 5 sacks yesterday? Let the team jell. 17 games is a long season. I would like to see a few big mouths on here do it. Now, that would be a good laff as well as a disaster.

  51. AbucAway Says:

    I’m 250lbs (give or take the holidays) and any foot injury is going to affect me. But the Bucs had to know this was going to be an issue with Hicks, yet chose this path. And here we are. The HC says I’ll believe it when I see it. That’s just real talk and time to get another body.


  52. Arn platz Says:

    In all the articles I have read is Suh also wants to play for a contender. So far this year, only a handful of teams look like playoff contenders (Bills-Chiefs-Eagles and a few others) anything is better than what we’re getting and one other thing. This intangible, he brings some much needed and sorely lacking attitude / nastiness.

  53. adam from ny Says:

    suh will probably be a mid season type signing for a half a season at about half of what he’s asking…

    on a contender or the bucs…

    for about 4-5 mil…

    half a season for half the asking price with a contender…

    i believe suh is staying ready and will be snatched up as needed…

    bucs should move fast and start dropping some dead weight…

    i don’t need to mention who the dead weight players are…you all know who’s collecting checks and not doing sh!t…

    just get ’em the hell outta here 🙂

  54. ModHairKen Says:

    Suh played. Suh was a man. Hicks is not a reliable player

  55. John Olmstead Says:

    Hicks already lost his job to Logan Hall.

  56. steele Says:

    Hicks and Rudolph were logical signings “if they medically checked out” and “if they weren’t washed”. Bucs had ample opportunities to sign better, healthier free agents and didn’t.

    You all see how bad the run defense is. The interior pass rush isn’t great, either. No, Logan Hall won’t fix it. Scrambling a rotation of Hall, Gholston,Vea isn’t good enough.

    Bottom line, they need to sign another legit defensive tackle to plug the hole left by….Suh.

    BucsWin, it would be great to get Grady Jarrett or someone just like him. It would piss off Tom but too bad.

  57. Buccos Says:

    I read that JPP went beast mode for the Ravens and had a sack. JTS played well but I hated to lose JPP and we do need Suh

  58. T REX Says:

    Licht is awful…no defending him

  59. Goatfarmer Says:

    Go back to being extinct.

  60. Zoocomics Says:

    I keep hearing how Suh is still unemployed for a reason, which is pure BS.

    Given his veteran status, and those teams that could “still” afford a $10M hit on the cap, which most likely aren’t good football teams, I think it’s more so him being picky, relying on his reputation, and waiting for a contender to call. If you were him, would you do anything different? It’s only a matter of time before teams are stuck paying him what he believes he is worth, which right now, he’s worth more than a Kyle Rudolph and an Akiem Hicks combined.

    I will say this about JPP as well… so he’s got a sack with the Ravens, maybe he ends up having a decent campaign with them, maybe not, but the facts are JPP’s ability went beyond the sack stats. What we’re missing in a JPP right now is his leadership and smarts in this Def. Yes, pass rush had deteriorated in a injury plagued last season, but the guy wasn’t really a liability in the run game and with one hand was excellent in dropping back in coverage.

    There is cause for concern. One could make an argument against the Chiefs, they have the ability to make the best defenses look bad, but Atlanta was one dimensional… and yet it’s kind of hard to put it all on the def considering our offense left them out on the field for most of the second half grinding away against the Atlanta Falcons run game (which was an incredibly patient and ballsy move by the Falcon’s Head Coach). Just one extended series of those early 3 and outs after we got to 21 points, would have put this game out of reach.

  61. Chant Says:

    Should of kept suh and jpp for 1 more year. The reason they weren’t picked up earlier was they wanted big money. The 3 newbies on the d line are barely contributing. Licht missed this one.

  62. Bucamania Says:

    Plantar fasciitis is not a serious injury. I’ve had it and it’s just about pain management. There’s a burning sensation in your foot. Weak sauce.