Cardinals LB Jordan Hicks Overcomes Draft-Day Demotion

Jordan Hicks - Arizona Cardinals


Arizona Cardinals linebacker Jordan Hicks makes an attempt to deal with Tennessee Titans working again Derrick Henry on Sunday, September 12, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.

The roller-coaster journey that Arizona Cardinals linebacker Jordan Hicks has been on for the previous 5 months lastly could also be getting enjoyable once more.

Following a season through which Hicks led Arizona in whole tackles (118) and was named group captain for the primary time in his NFL profession, the 29-year-old, six-year veteran misplaced his beginning job in April when the Cardinals chosen Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins with the sixteenth decide within the 2021 NFL Draft.

In July, basic supervisor Steve Keim referred to as Hicks to tell him that Collins could be sliding into the beginning spot in 2021 and that the Cardinals would discover commerce choices for him.

Flash ahead to the Cardinals’ season-opening victory over the Titans on Sunday, September 12, and Hicks was again on the sector with a inexperienced dot on his helmet, relaying the radio play calls from the sideline to his teammates throughout Arizona’s 38-13 street win in Week 1.

Hicks not solely began the sport however was on the sector for 95% of the defensive performs. The 6-foot-1, 236-pound linebacker from Texas performed 61 snaps towards the Titans, matching security Budda Baker for probably the most on the group.

Collins, 22, noticed motion on 22 performs (34% of the defensive snaps), whereas second-year linebacker Isaiah Simmons, 23, the No. 8 general decide within the 2020 NFL Draft, was on the sector for 58 performs (91%).

Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters Monday, September 13, it was a matchup determination to have Hicks deal with the on-field defensive play calls towards the Titans.

The position may change from “week to week,” Kingsbury stated, including that the Cardinals want to see Hicks, Collins and Simmons on the sector collectively “as a lot as we are able to.”

Hicks made probably the most of his alternatives towards Tennessee, ending with 4 tackles — together with three solo stops — because the Cardinals bottled up Titans working again Derrick Henry and restricted final season’s main rusher to simply 58 yards on 17 carries (3.4 yards per carry).

Hicks, now in his third season with the Cardinals, had what Kingsbury referred to as his greatest coaching camp with the group and labored his approach again right into a beginning position.

“He had an amazing camp. (He) got here in and performed his tail off all coaching camp and continues to take action,” Kingsbury stated. “He’s getting guys lined up and taking part in at a excessive stage.”

‘The Greatest Guys for That Recreation’

All through coaching camp, Arizona defensive coordinator Vance Joseph stated Hicks would have an necessary position on the group in 2021, noting that he’s performed 2,000-plus snaps for the Cardinals over the previous two seasons.

“You may’t low cost that,” Joseph told reporters on Thursday, September 9. “Each sport plan goes to be completely different. Some sport plans, he’s going to be on the sector with Isaiah and Zaven, and typically he gained’t be. Each week goes to be a distinct plan to play one of the best guys for that sport. He’s going to be a giant a part of what we’re doing defensively.”

It’s a a lot completely different place from the one Hicks discovered himself in again in July, when Keim was contemplating buying and selling him.

“Fairly frankly, we had been trustworthy with him via the method,” the Cardinals GM told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s “Burns and Gambo” on Friday, September 10, “and it was as a result of we had such quite a lot of respect for him as an individual and what he dropped at the desk in our locker room.”

Keim referred to as Hicks “a real professional” with the best way he’s dealt with his altering position.

“I’ve a ton of respect for him,” he stated, “and he’s additionally been a fantastic mentor to these two younger linebackers.”

Hicks continues to have the respect of his Cardinals teammates, who chosen him as a defensive captain for the second year in a row.

“He’s dealt with all the things this offseason like a real skilled, like a real chief,” nostril deal with Corey Peters told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Monday, September 13.

“He’s a fantastic quarterback of the protection and one of many actually sensible gamers that has a fantastic really feel for not solely what he’s doing however for what all people else is doing as effectively,” Peters added.

Hicks signed a four-year contract with the Cardinals in March 2019 after spending 4 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Into the Finish Zone — Virtually

Peters additionally had a powerful season debut in Tennessee, making a pair of solo tackles — each for a loss — and scooping up a first-quarter fumble from Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill following a strip sack by Chandler Jones. It was one in every of five sacks and two forced fumbles by Jones within the sport.

For a second, it appeared as if Peters had scored the Cardinals’ first landing of the season. The 6-foot-3, 335-pound nostril deal with picked up the ball on the 5-yard line and lunged towards the top zone. Officers initially dominated the play a landing, however it was overturned by replay officers who decided Peters was down simply contained in the 1-yard line.

“That was shut,” Kingsbury told Arizona Sports 98.7 on Monday, September 13. “I want they might have given it to him. It was a heads-up play by Corey to be there.”

Peters stated he wasn’t capable of totally stand up after recovering the fumble, “so I used to be sort of stumbling slightly bit.”

Peters, 33, now in his twelfth NFL season, has one landing in his profession — a fumble restoration again in 2011 when he was with the Atlanta Falcons. The 2-time group captain signed a one-year deal to return to the Cardinals on August 2 after lacking the second half of the 2020 season with an harm.

“Subsequent time we’re undoubtedly going to get it in the long run zone,” he stated. activities/arizona-cardinals/jordan-hicks-qb-of-cardinals-defense/ | Cardinals LB Jordan Hicks Overcomes Draft-Day Demotion


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