Eddie Jackson said a couple of weeks ago that he’s been warning teammates about one thing. If they wanted to avoid the wrath of head coach Matt Nagy, they better not show up to training camp out of shape. It seems that warning was heeded as reports indicate nobody showed up for team physicals with any conditioning issues.
Quite the opposite.
A picture surfaced of left guard James Daniels and he appeared to have really packed on some muscle. Khalil Mack reportedly lived in his gym all offseason. Yet neither of those guys were the ones Nagy himself singled out. When asked about the condition of the team, the Bears head coach was actually most impressed with another member of the trenches.
Somebody fans will be tickled to hear.
“I think our guys and I know our guys just from seeing them now, they made an executive decision as a whole that they’re going to work their tails off and get in good shape…
…The ones I happened to walk by was Akiem Hicks who’ve I’ve seen three years now showing up in training camp of where he’s at. All three have been good but I think this was the best one.”
Matt Nagy senses Hicks is a man on a mission this year
Nobody would ever characterize Hicks as out of shape. His body type may have looked fat. Don’t be fooled. He was a powerful human being with shocking quickness for his size. So to hear that he might be in the best condition of his career? That should be wonderous news for the Bears defense and absolutely terrifying for their opponents.
Hicks missed most of 2019 from an elbow injury suffered against the Oakland Raiders. His absence was keenly felt the rest of the season. Especially with their pass rush which seemed to lose a lot of steam without him in the middle. By all accounts, it killed him to not be out there with his guys and he seethed with jealousy watching other teams making deep playoff runs.
The man is on a mission this year. Not only to have a huge bounce-back season, but to get the Bears where they need to go. That being the Super Bowl.