METAIRIE, La. – New Orleans Saints rookie defensive tackle Akiem Hicks is expected to practice in full pads on Friday for the first time after breaking his hand during organized team activities this summer.
But listen Hicks talk about what he has done through one week of training camp and you’d think he’d already been through the battles, at least mentally.
“I’ve taken more mental reps than I’ve taken my whole life,” Hicks said Thursday. “Every play I’m into it. I’m waiting for the next call. I’m ready. I’m doing my own moves on the side and trying to figure out what I need to be ready for when I come back to full contact.”
Hicks, though, has proven he can be patient. He signed with LSU out of junior college but never made it to Baton Rouge, getting caught up in an NCAA investigation.
He then spent time working at a Direct TV call center before playing in Canada at the University of Regina.
Patience, in other words, is a virtue he overflows with, making this week-long wait to get into pads an easy one.
“I think that’s what life is about sometimes – being patient, waiting for your chance to get in there and doing what you have to do,” Hicks said. “I’ll be ready.”
The defensive tackle said he was told he would get some playing time Sunday night in the Hall of Fame game against Arizona.