We had the pleasure of sitting down with Akiem Hicks this past weekend to get some of his thoughts on the 2015 New Orleans Saints. (John Jenkins was also there but he is a quiet and rather shy guy).
One on One: Get to Know Akiem Hicks
Hicks recounted his draft day story. He, his best friend and his little sister sitting on his parent’s couch and they were listening to the second day of the draft. He was getting depressed thinking he would not going to get picked that day. And then Mickey Loomis called. His little sister asked “Do I get car?” He said you will never forget the moment you were drafted. He is very glad to be on a contending team. “When you play at the professional level, this is your life. I wake up every morning and go to sleep at night thinking about football. It fleshes out my day—training, working out. I can’t imagine waking up every day and not have a chance to win.”
Hicks told us defensive linemen and offensive lineman can really feel each other. They can feel what type of player they are contending against by going against him in just one series. As for him and John Jenkins is not a surprise anymore they are double teamed. They expect it. If it is a run play, they just hunker down and play through the double team. To them, it is a sign of a respect when you are double teamed.
Hicks says it is exhilarating when they can sack a quarterback. He likes the Deacon Jones quote “It is like putting the whole offense in a bag and punching the bag.” It is deflating for an offense. He can really see its effect on the field and especially in a stadium. Who are their greatest cheerleaders when the get a sack? The New Orleans Saints offensive linemen who are yelling “Keep kicking butt.” He stated the defensive and offensive lineman get hit on each play, and they could get tired easily if they are not in shape to withstand offenses much less uptempo offensives.
As linemen both he and John Jenkins said they will miss Tyrunn Walker. It is always hard to see each player leave because every player has an expiration date. But he stated “This is the time and the moment because you will not always have a player like Drew Brees and the offense to keep you in contention.” By the way, he and John Jenkins love Rob Ryan and are very glad Ryan is staying.
As for the future after football, Hicks and Jenkins have their degrees they plan to fall back on. They hope after their years are finished; they have accumulated sufficient wealth to get them started in life. They want to make good investments and use the investment managers vetted by the NFLPA.