Akeem Hicks case for playing 3-4 DE. (1 Viewer)

CaliSaint4Life

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I made a post earlier today that generated some good discussion about potential draft picks and it tailed off (like most SSF posts do) to another subject: our new scheme and how certain players fit. Here is the thread: Great Article on Sacks from Draft Prospects.

During the course of the post we spoke about how our defensive line would end up and who fit where. LSSpam linked a diagram: [http://saintsreport.com/forums/4931920-post20.html] describing a potential front for us. Most of us agree that Cam Jordan fits at 5-tech, and Bunkley fits at the nose. The debate comes in when determining who will man the weakside DE spot, in this case, the 3-tech. Other then pure nose, I tend to think that Hicks can man almost every spot on the d-line, even the 3-tech. I've heard quite a few people disagree with this and seem to think he can only play the nose. In this thread, I simply want to highlight Hicks versatility in that he can be put multiple places on the defensive line and be effective. Enjoy!

EXAMPLE 1:
Example 1 Pre Snap: Shaded.
EX1-PreSnap.jpg

Example 1 Post Snap #1: Extends arms to control the blocker. Notice how his eyes are on the ball carrier.
EX1-PostSnap1.jpg

Example 1 Post Snap #2: Locates the play, and sheds the blocker (more like THROW HIM ON THE GROUND!).
EX1-PostSnap2.jpg

Example 1 Post Snap #3: Makes the play in the backfield.
EX1-PostSnap3.jpg


EXAMPLE 2:
Example 2 Pre Snap: Lined up at 3-tech.
EX2-PreSnap1.jpg

Example 2 Post Snap #1: Bull rush (you can tell that he came off the snap too high).
EX2-PostSnap1.jpg

Example 2 Post Snap #2: GAME OVER! Even though he came off the snap a bit high, he almost knocked the guard off his feet. His man is beat.
EX2-PostSnap2.jpg

Example 2 Post Snap #3: His man is totally off balance and both of his feet aren't on the ground. Hicks has completely dominated him but Ryan gets rid of the ball.
EX2-PostSnap3.jpg


EXAMPLE 3:
Example 3 Pre Snap: Shaded.
EX3-PreSnap1.jpg

Example 3 Post Snap #1: He was going to use a swim move on the center but the center passed him off to the guard.
EX3-PostSnap1.jpg

Example 3 Post Snap #2: Just due to the nature of this he was high and the guard was able to get under his pads - should have been a win for the guard - his pad level is good, his base is set, and his hands are under Hicks pads.
EX3-PostSnap2.jpg

Example 3 Post Snap #3: Using his quickness, Hicks shed the guards.
EX3-PostSnap3.jpg

Example 3 Post Snap #4: Big #76 in the face of the QB!
EX3-PostSnap4.jpg
 
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CaliSaint4Life

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CONTINUED

EXAMPLE 4:
Example 4 Pre Snap: Lined up at 3-tech.
EX4-PreSnap1.jpg

Example 4 Post Snap #1: Crosses the face of the guard to the center.
EX4-PostSnap1.jpg

Example 4 Post Snap #2: GAME OVER! 325 lbs with momentum coming at an offensive lineman.
EX4-PostSnap2.jpg

Example 4 Post Snap #3: Drives the center back, Ryan tries to slide, Hicks redirects, and now he's face to face with Ryan. If we had any type of edge rush, that'd be a sack.
EX4-PostSnap3.jpg


EXAMPLE 5:
Example 5 Pre Snap: Lined up at 3-tech.
EX5-PreSnap.jpg

Example 5 Post Snap #1: Bull Rush.
EX5-PostSnap1.jpg

Example 5 Post Snap #2: Violent hands on this rush. Didn't allow the guard to get his hands on him and put himself in a good position.
EX5-PostSnap2.jpg

Example 5 Post Snap #3: Anytime you have a blocker with one leg in the air, your doing something right. In the guards defense, this was a quick three step drop and he knew Ryan wouldn't have the ball in his hands long, but I thought Hicks should good power and technique on this rush.
EX5-PostSnap3.jpg


EXAMPLE 6:
Example 6 Pre Snap: Lined up at 3-tech.
EX6-PreSnap1.jpg

Example 6 Post Snap #1: Stumbled coming out of his stance. Stretched too far and has no leverage on the guard.
EX6-PostSnap1.jpg

Example 6 Post Snap #2: He's able to regain his balance and put himself in the face of the QB.
EX6-PostSnap2.jpg

Example 6 Post Snap #3: Time the QB's release and he's able to bat the ball down. Turned a failed rush into a positive play.
EX6-PostSnap3.jpg
 

RacerRyan15x

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This is really neat for those of us that don't have a deep understanding of the X's and O's. thanks for posting this and providing some insight.
 
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CaliSaint4Life

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BTW, I know this is only one game, but he played a TON of 3-tech this game and I thought it would be good film to see how he would project at the position. To be honest, I'd like to know why Spag didn't stick with him at the position next to Bunkley after this dominate game. He also had more plays this game where I thought he showed he could play multiple positions, I even saw him line up at the 2i-technique!
 

SuperKid

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I tend to agree with you, although I think Hicks can play the Nose, he's certainly strong enough to; it would just be a waste of his talents though to stick him in a position where his primary job is to Tie up blockers. I think he would be a complete terror at the 3 tech in an un-even 3-4 alignment.
 

JackDiesel

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Well done! Hicks is really the best choice we have for DE opposite Jordan and it's not even close. For a man his size he's so explosive it'd be a shame just to use him to occupy blockers at NT.
 
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CaliSaint4Life

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Are we expecting Hicks to take on the Guard and Center as a Nose, lots of one on one which I guess would fit as a RE. Really not sure where he would be best Nose or RE. Appears to be more of a numbers game opposed to putting players where they have the most potential.
In your base defense, you guard and your center HAS to duo block the nose or your center will end up in the backfield (Bunkley did this to Nick Mangold - All-Pro center - in the 2011-2012 season). Now on pass downs you'll see the a blocker 1on1 with the nose because he isn't a pass rushing threat (unless you have one of those Ngata type freaks). That has been my whole point, Hicks is strong like a nose (so single-blocking him isn't a good idea), but he has a pass rush also. Put him at 3-tech and you make the offense make a decision: play him 1on1 and risk your guard getting dominated; double team him and your nose is free to destroy your guard. This is all base defense here and I think Hicks slide on nickel down possibly.

Guys like this change the offensive gameplan, assuming Hicks continues to develop at the pace that he has thus far.
 

fr3sh

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So we are going to hide Vilma behind Hicks, correct?

Can't wait to see Vilma shooting the gaps again!!
 

DaDomePatrol

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Because of some Pre snap pictures makes him a DE? What DT in a 4-3 doesn't do what you just showed. Franklin and Rogers even did this. But they are not DEs in a 3-4 period. Hicks is a NT period. Like I said of course he could play 3 tech eve 5 if wanted I would hope so. He will not excell there and be average. The guy is a freaking nose tackle through and through. Has potential to be a pro bowler. I would bet my house he has added weight instead of losing it. How many NTs in the league do you see that big playing 3-4 DE? None. When we run a 4 man line in nickel or dime packages yes he can play all over the inside. Quit reading fits and schemes on how defenses are run and actuall use what the guys natural ability is. Listed at 325 and I would get he's 10 lbs heavier instead of his weight or lighter. He is one of the reasons we went to a 3-4 because coaches believed he was the future NT not DE. Only time will tell before you are wrong and I will remember to make a new thread quoting you.
 

DaDomePatrol

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Say whatever you want and spit all these facts out and try to make other people feel dumb because you can read what a 1 gap and 2 gap is and what texans, patriots, cowboys, RR, GW, Wade, and blah blah blah. None of this matters. If you look at Hicks strengths and weaknesses as a player he is a NT or in a 4 man line can play basically both but better suited of the nose. What production did he have last year to make you so sure of this? You act like he can play all over the line and I just don't know where you get this from? He is quick for his size but not compared to a very good DE at 300. He's not even close unless he loses a lot of weight. 325 is inaccurate now.
 

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