For the first four years of his NFL career, Pro Bowl defensive end Akiem Hicks teamed with two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2012, the California native had the luxury of watching Drew Brees work. And when he was traded to the Patriots a few games into the 2015 season, Hicks was able to watch Tom Brady do his thing, which he’ll be doing again soon as he recently signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, with the Chicago Bears, the Regina product looked on as nine different quarterbacks started at least one game during his six-year run in the Windy City. And Hicks made sure to point that out in his introductory press conference with the Bucs.
Akiem Hicks takes a jab at the Chicago Bears
During that intro presser for Tampa Bay, Hicks revealed that the Bears didn’t even attempt to bring him back in free agency. While it certainly made sense for Chicago to let him walk as new general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus were clearly stripping the roster down to build the team back up with their own guys next year when the Bears will have around $100 million in cap space.
But as Hicks gave six years of his career to the franchise and was named one of the top 100 players in the franchise’s history as part of the team’s centennial anniversary celebration, it couldn’t have felt good.
So perhaps that’s why he took a little jab at the Bears, specifically their longtime issues at quarterback.
“When I came into the league, I had Drew Brees and Tom Brady as my first two quarterbacks. And then I went to Chicago. It wasn’t Drew Brees and Tom Brady. I feel spoiled to have somebody on the other side of the ball that can deliver all the time.”Akiem Hicks
While not a major shot fired at his former team, it’s still valid. As mentioned, Hicks watched nine different quarterbacks start at least one game for the Bears during his run in Chicago. And not once in six years, whether because of injury or someone getting benched or whatever other reason you can think of, did he watch a quarterback start all 16 or 17 games in a season. In fact, the last time the Bears had one quarterback start every game in a single season was Jay Cutler in 2009.
Cutler, by the way, was the first of the nine starting QBs during Hicks’ tenure. The others were Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon, Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniel, Nick Foles, Andy Dalton, and Justin Fields. Those nine combined to go 42-55 in the regular season and 0-2 in the postseason over the past six years. Bears fans are obviously hoping Fields is the savior the franchise has been looking for over the last few decades.
In those same six seasons, Hicks’ new (and old) quarterback, this Brady fella, has gone 71-22 in the regular season and 13-3 in the playoffs with three Super Bowl wins and a pair of Super Bowl MVP trophies.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference