Cardinals linebacker Jordan Hicks ready to be a leader

Jun 14, 2019, 6:15 AM
Arizona Cardinals' Jordan Hicks speaks after he was introduced at an NFL football news conference, ...
Arizona Cardinals' Jordan Hicks speaks after he was introduced at an NFL football news conference, Friday, March 15, 2019, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

Jordan Hicks has been around.

The 26-year-old Cardinals linebacker, who signed a four-year, $36 million contract with the team this offseason, spent four years with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2015-18, and was their third-leading tackler in that span. That was for a defense that on average finished 10th in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA stat.

With that experience and resume now on the Cardinals roster, Hicks is hoping he can bring that to the table.

“I’ve been on a Super Bowl-winning team,” he told 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf. “I’ve seen the type of pedigree it takes to get to that level.”

He stresses that it takes all of what one can give.

“The amount of little details, the amount of energy that you have to put into this thing,” he explained. “It’s easy to show up everyday and have fun and get your work done, but are you going to stay after practice? Are you going to wake up an extra 30 minutes early to get in here and watch film? If you don’t understand something, are you just going to let it slide or are you going to put it out there if you don’t understand it and make sure it gets corrected?

“Those are the little things that push a team and a defense and individually to the next level.”

That leadership is something he brings on the field as well.

“‘We need somebody to come in here and run the show,'” he said defensive coordinator Vance Joseph told him on his free agency visit. “‘Understand the defense. Understand how to get everyone lined up. Be confident in your calls whether you’re wrong or right.’

“That’s the MIKE linebacker in this defense. That’s the role I play and I love it.”

He also pointed out that he’s been impressed with third-year linebacker Haason Reddick.

“I’ve played with a lot of linebackers and Haason [Reddick] is up there, as athletically gifted out of any of them,” he said. “Haason works hard.  Haason understands the defense.”

He cited Reddick’s positioning as something that has helped him adjust.

“I think being able to be behind the ball a little bit these past few years has helped him mature to this point where he’s at,” he said.

“I expect a lot from him.”

Hicks is expecting the same from himself.

“I hold myself to a high standard,” he said.

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