New Orleans Saints DE Akiem Hicks
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
How much progress have you seen since the beginning of training camp?
“We work really hard in this hot sun. I feel like our defense has come together, we got everything installed, and everything together ready for the first preseason game.”
With the loss of Kenyon Coleman how does that affect the defense?
“That’s really tough and that kind of puts our game back a little. Coleman was a tough loss yesterday. You don’t want to see that for anybody. Not for your team, the opposing team or anybody.”
Does it create more opportunities for you?
“It creates opportunities for everybody. It’s opportunity for everybody to get a little bit better, create more reps (and helps others) fit into the system more and (provides) more room (on the roster).”
You have been working at both defensive tackle and defensive end?
“Yes, I have been working both nose guard and defensive tackle since the beginning of camp, the beginning of OTA’s.”
Are you comfortable with those positions?
“I really am. I have done them my whole career so I am pretty comfortable.”
Lately that defensive end spot is a big spot, I know Rob Ryan says it is the second most important position defensively other than the nose guard position. With Kenyon Coleman out, are you the next man up?
“You are an anchor for the defense (in that position). I take that with a lot of responsibility and I plan on doing my job.”
Have you worked a lot on your leverage skills and using your hands since you got into the league?
“That was my focus the whole offseason. I am a 6’5” guy, and (I need to) make sure my pad level is low, I’m getting off the ball at a low angle and exploding into guys.”
You think you will be getting more snaps at defensive end now with Coleman out? You have been working all three positions, but do you think you will focus more on one position?
“You hate to think of it like that. You feel for your guy, but you got to step up and play your role. One of my first thoughts was is Coleman going to be alright? However, you got to step up and play your role.”
Kind of the same thing, with Sedrick Ellis leaving that opens up some opportunities for you seeing you are going to be the next man up in every situation?
“We have a few guys that left in the past year and a half. I feel like hopefully I can fill my role and do my job accordingly.”