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oaklandhater
08-02-2006, 06:25 AM
Chiefs have team player in Hicks
Defensive end may be willing to help youngsters such as Hali, but he won’t give up starting job without a battle.
By ELIZABETH MERRILL
The Kansas City Star


RIVER FALLS, Wis. | - He’s a good kid, Eric Hicks says. Polite when he asks questions. As humble as a first-round draft pick can be.

When Tamba Hali moved ahead of Hicks on the depth chart, Hicks did what any nine-year veteran who’s stayed in the same NFL city would do. He helped him.

“If Tamba can play, that means we’re going to be a better team,” Hicks said. “And I’m rooting for him. I’ll help him out as much as I can. May the best man win the job on opening day. No animosity. That’s just how it is. It’s business.”

There were a few turned heads Friday when Hali — not Hicks — lined up with the No. 1 defense. Some speculate that the coaches are weaning Hicks back because he’s coming off major shoulder surgery. Others wonder whether Hali has overtaken the veteran.

All coach Herm Edwards will say is that the starting job hasn’t been determined yet and that he wants his linemen fresh, so he’ll rotate four ends.

Hicks ran with the first team on Monday, but that was because Hali was in New Jersey gaining his U.S. citizenship.

“Eric is coming back from his shoulder injury, and I think it’s more his job to lose,” defensive end Jared Allen said. “Eric’s a veteran. He’s got more experience. He wants that job back, obviously. He’s not going to give that job up just because somebody was drafted. You just don’t walk into a job after a guy’s been doing it for nine years.”

Hicks has been the constant on the Chiefs’ defense — through Derrick Thomas and Derrick Johnson and 13-3 and 7-9. He’s the caretaker, the big brother, the straight man to Allen’s comedy routine.

He gets analytical when talking about Hali and how he sees a little of Thomas with his pass-rushing ability. He shakes his head and laughs at Allen’s antics.

Hicks is the one who mentored Allen when he came to Kansas City as an unknown fourth-round draft pick in 2004. Allen quickly captured the spotlight, and Hicks, who often forces quarterbacks to make bad decisions but doesn’t always get the sack, quietly enjoyed the ride.

“Eric probably taught me more in this league than any coach I ever had,” Allen said. “Just for the fact of what to expect, how things work, just helping me with defensive concepts, blocking schemes. Eric could be a great coach if he wanted to be.

“Then I kind of helped him out by just ... going out there and having fun. Personally, I love to have him on that other side.”

Hicks hurt his shoulder in December at New York but finished out the season in pain. That’s how much he wanted to win, Allen said. In late April, as Hicks recovered from offseason surgery, the Chiefs drafted Hali with the No. 20 pick.

Hicks knew that meant Hali would play a lot.

While Hicks sat out of spring drills, Hali quickly caught on to Gunther Cunningham’s system and drew raves from the coaching staff. Edwards has hinted that the Chiefs will shuffle Hali around, using his quick feet, ability to chase down ball carriers and the motor that carried him from war-torn Liberia to Penn State.

Hali has oozed a confidence that is rare in rookies. He admits some of it, at least initially, was an act.

“I have to appreciate this,” Hali said. “If it happens that I do start, I have to appreciate it because there’s not a lot of guys who come into this league who start and play right away.

“Eric is very helpful. He’s done a good job putting me on the right track. It’s not awkward at all. That’s what we did in college. I helped the younger guys. I wanted them to know what’s going on.”

Hicks, who turned 30 in June, said he can’t get wrapped up in depth charts or worry about what Edwards and Cunningham are thinking. He said he can only take care of No. 98 right now.

That’s not exactly true. He’ll take care of a few others, too.

“I anticipate being there opening day,” Hicks said. “I have to go back and be impressive again, show them what I can do on a full-time basis. There’s going to be a lot of doubters coming off a major injury like that, but I have no problem proving myself again

Mecca
08-02-2006, 06:33 AM
Proving himself again......proving what that he blows?

MOhillbilly
08-02-2006, 06:49 AM
hicks is on his way out. His nice guy team player schtick doesnt make up for his lack of talent.
DV kept him around cause they were buddies and while i dont have a problem w/ having good guys in the locker room (see Cinci) its another thing to give a guy the nood just because hes a great locker room guy.

Krumrie best get this one right.

milkman
08-02-2006, 06:51 AM
Eric Hicks brings to mind the Vince Lombardi quote that goes, "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser".

the Talking Can
08-02-2006, 06:54 AM
if Hicks were a team player he'd quit....

the Talking Can
08-02-2006, 06:57 AM
Eric Hicks brings to mind the Vince Lombardi quote that goes, "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser".

perfect

Brock
08-02-2006, 06:57 AM
Hicks is a nice guy.

jspchief
08-02-2006, 06:59 AM
A couple of milliion for spot duty? I'm sure he's a team player...

SNR
08-02-2006, 09:02 AM
This fight should be as interesting as a fight between Rich Scanlon and his pimp bitches

Rich Scanlon being Hali and Hicks being the pimp bitches, that is

Fat Elvis
08-02-2006, 09:07 AM
You just don’t walk into a job after a guy’s been doing it for nine years.

That quote, more than anything, explains why DV's defenses sucked so much ass while he was here--there was the expectation that your job was locked up under DV. When you feel your job is secure, you become complacent--and in the NFL, that is death to the team.

Rain Man
08-02-2006, 09:19 AM
We may get frustrated with Hicks sometimes, but I appreciate him helping out the young guys.

SNR
08-02-2006, 09:24 AM
Hicks is the one who mentored Allen when he came to Kansas City as an unknown fourth-round draft pick in 2004. Allen quickly captured the spotlight, and Hicks, who often forces quarterbacks to make bad decisions but doesn’t always get the sack, quietly enjoyed the rideWe've all heard that one before STFU

DaKCMan AP
08-02-2006, 09:26 AM
He can be a team player.................from the bench.

el borracho
08-02-2006, 10:24 AM
"Hicks has been the constant on the Chiefs’ defense "


That is some accolade considering how much cock our D has chugged in the last 6 or so years.

htismaqe
08-02-2006, 10:25 AM
"Hicks has been the constant on the Chiefs’ defense "

That is some accolade considering how much cock our D has chugged in the last 6 or so years.

Yep. It's like them talking about Jerome Woods being a cornerstone when he was here.

NEWS FLASH; Being the "cornerstone" of one of the worst defenses in history isn't a GOOD thing...

jidar
08-02-2006, 10:29 AM
Shake things up, that's good.
Let's see some fking defense from this bunch for once.

MOhillbilly
08-02-2006, 11:05 AM
A couple of milliion for spot duty? I'm sure he's a team player...


yoink!

ROYC75
08-02-2006, 11:36 AM
You guys just as well get ready, Hicks will make this team unless some others or an unknow steps up in camp and plays lights out.....

I just don't see that happening.

To be honest, many here are down on Hicks because he has produced #'s as close to his 1 year of fame. It doesn't mean he doesn't give it his all out there.

milkman
08-02-2006, 11:41 AM
You guys just as well get ready, Hicks will make this team unless some others or an unknow steps up in camp and plays lights out.....

I just don't see that happening.

To be honest, many here are down on Hicks because he has produced #'s as close to his 1 year of fame. It doesn't mean he doesn't give it his all out there.

I don't think many have questioned his effort.

His problem is production.

I have no problem with him making the team, as long as he's put in the position that he can actuall produce.

That, of course, is producing a warmth on the bench.

milkman
08-02-2006, 11:53 AM
You guys just as well get ready, Hicks will make this team unless some others or an unknow steps up in camp and plays lights out.....

I just don't see that happening.

To be honest, many here are down on Hicks because he has produced #'s as close to his 1 year of fame. It doesn't mean he doesn't give it his all out there.

I don't think many have questioned his effort.

His problem is production.

I have no problem with him making the team, as long as he's put in the position that he can actuall produce.

That, of course, is producing a warmth on the bench.

htismaqe
08-02-2006, 12:04 PM
I'm down on Hicks because he's the guy that keeps telling us that he's a leader and he's gonna take it on his shoulders and that things are gonna be better.

NEWS FLASH! STFU and do something. Nobody cares that you can handle being 1-3.

Sure-Oz
08-02-2006, 12:27 PM
Hicks "we're gonna fix it!" the poster boy for our defense, constantly getting dominated. Hali, don't listen to hicks lol!

Demonpenz
08-02-2006, 12:30 PM
here you go tamba. This is how you totally get faked on the bootleg... oh thats good, next time though fall completely down and complain you were held!