Akiem Hicks isn’t just one of the Chicago Bears’ best and most productive defensive players, he’s also one of the group’s most talkative.
If you’ll recall, Hicks laid down the law and guaranteed the Bears weren’t going to lose to the Browns late last year when Cleveland was trying to avoid a winless season. Then Hicks went out and helped guide the defense to one of its best showings of the year.
Nine months later, Hicks’ bark was directed to the team up north:
More from Hicks: "You know, I really feel like this: They have to put their offensive line together however they do it and put their best product out on the field, but I don’t think their best product can block Khalil Mack." #Packers
— Michael Cohen (@Michael_Cohen13) September 5, 2018
To be fair, there are not a lot of people can block Khalil Mack. That’s why there were a dozen teams on the horn with the Raiders when they put him on the trade block and aboua half dozen who were serious in their pursuit of the talented pass-rusher before Chicago ponied up two first-round picks to acquire him via trade (and tack on an extension that included $90 million in guarantees on top of that).
Mack has one career game against the Packers and it came back in 2015. Green Bay came out on top with a 30-20 win, but Mack was a factor on the defensive side of the ball. He played 95 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, came up with a sack, tackle-for-loss, and QB hit. Then again, that probably would have been considered a good performance from Packers tackles because Mack had just racked up a five-sack game against the Broncos the week prior. David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga have their work cut out for them, but both are highly skilled players who hold their own as pass protectors.
In the end, that’s a big statement from one of the Bears’ biggest playmakers about someone expected to step into a major role on the defense. But it’s one the team hopes can be proven correct on Sunday and throughout the 2018 season.