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SmashMouth 08-13-2012 10:04 PM

New Orleans Saints DT Akiem Hicks is enjoying an impressive NFL debut
 
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The New Orleans Saints love the "next man up" mantra and suspended Coach Sean Payton would always stress he did not care where a player came from prior to his arrival on the Saints practice field.

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Athleticism and power will help Akiem Hicks get time with the New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints coach Joe Vitt was asked about rookie defensive lineman Akiem Hicks following Monday's practice. He said Hicks has all the tools to be a good player at his position.
Watch video
In the case of the club's defensive tackles, the most recent one who played in Canada could be a big beneficiary of the rule this season.

Veteran Tom Johnson, whom general manager Mickey Loomis found through Canadian football connections, was running with the second unit defensive line during camp but he is now out and no sure timetable has been given for his return. Stepping up in Johnson's absence has been Akiem Hicks, the team's third round draft pick this season, who enjoyed an impressive debut game against New England in which he was credited with one solo stop and two assists on tackles while also finding a way to be disruptive along the line on a handful of plays in which he did not wind up on the stat sheet.

Hicks comes to the Saints via Canada, too, albeit a college program in Regina he wound up in after a recruiting snafu ruined his shot at LSU. Interim head coach Joe Vitt said Monday that sort of background won't preclude NFL success, especially at his position.


Athleticism and power will help Akiem Hicks get time with the New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints coach Joe Vitt was asked about rookie defensive lineman Akiem Hicks following Monday's practice. He said Hicks has all the tools to be a good player at his position.
Watch video
"He plays with power and leverage and has a lot of athleticism," Vitt said of Hicks. "We know based on where he played a year ago and its nothing against this program, but he is raw. We still need to get him quality reps and looks in the preseason. But he really is where we thought he was going to be. He is big and athletic. He wants to be a good player and has some real good power.

"When you are big and you have courage and athleticism, I think the league has proven that you can take defensive tackles from small colleges and they can transition into good players," Vitt added. "I don't have a crystal ball. We are still in the evaluation process. We're going to go through this evaluation process and see where it leads us at the end of the preseason. We are happy with the way he played in the first game."

Hicks said he has been quite pleased with the way things have gone thus far, especially as he reiterated he has been thirsting for violent contact, a part of his job description that was denied him while nursing a fractured hand when camp opened.

"I've enjoyed getting the reps I've got and I feel like I've played to the best of my ability," Hicks said. "I can't say anything bad about this preseason so far. It's exactly what I expected. You have a thirst for contact when you play this game and after going the whole off-season without touching anybody you want to get back in there and do what you're used to doing. So it was great to get back out there and get rid of this little problem I have with my hand."

A little problem? "It's 99 (percent)," he said. "It's coming."

Whle the level of violence neither surprised nor frightened him, Hicks said he has been pleasantly amazed at how much guidance and support he has gotten from the veteran players in his unit.

"That's one thing: I have a lot of respect for these veterans because they stay in my ear," he said. "No matter what's going on, if I come off they're right on me, telling me what I did wrong, what I did right, how I'm going to get better, and it's just a blessing to have guys over you who look after you like that."

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st thomas 08-14-2012 12:02 AM

Re: New Orleans Saints DT Akiem Hicks is enjoying an impressive NFL debut
 
they are pumped up about this creature guys, when do they take the trainin wheels off,

The Dude 08-14-2012 12:44 AM

Re: New Orleans Saints DT Akiem Hicks is enjoying an impressive NFL debut
 
I am very excited about this cat. I had high hopes for Romeus, and he was my pick to be the diamond in the rough baller, but now I think this guy is. I hope we have found another Colston or Graham in this dude. I absolutely love our scouts. I think we have the best FO in the league.

Crusader 08-14-2012 02:02 AM

Re: New Orleans Saints DT Akiem Hicks is enjoying an impressive NFL debut
 
I think this guy might turn out to be everything Sullivan was supposed to be.

Rugby Saint II 08-14-2012 12:27 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints DT Akiem Hicks is enjoying an impressive NFL debut
 
Just stay thirsty my friend...........:wink:

SAINTstunna 08-14-2012 02:10 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints DT Akiem Hicks is enjoying an impressive NFL debut
 
IS IT SEPTEMBER 9TH YET????? LETS GEAUX SAINTS!!!!


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