Jordan Hicks Getting A Taste Of Being In Charge

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Jordan Hicks leads all Eagles inside linebackers in snaps played through five games. How’s that for a stat that no one predicted heading into the season?

With Kiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks sidelined and DeMeco Ryans perhaps not back to his old self quite yet, Billy Davis has often called on Hicks to be the lone linebacker on the field on passing downs. That means that the responsibility of relaying the play call and getting the defense set sometimes falls to the first-year player out of Texas.

“When DeMeco is out, really he’s the guy making the calls when we are in a lot of our packages, and he’s done a great job with that,” said Chip Kelly. “He’s really in-tune to the game plan every week. I’ve said it, and I say it as a compliment, since he got here, he’s never acted like a rookie; he’s just been really mature in his approach and his understanding of what we are trying to do. I know Billy [outside linebackers coach Bill McGovern] and Rick [inside linebackers coach Rick Miller] have extreme confidence in him, so if he’s in charge calling everything and making every call, he can certainly do that and has done that.”

The voice that Hicks hears in his helmet is Minter’s, the linebacker said. Once he gets the call, he’s responsible for setting the defense and making sure everyone is lined up properly and on the same page. It’s a healthy plate-full for someone with just a few games under his belt.

“I’m a rookie, you know what I mean? And for them to have that type of faith in me and trust me with that type of responsibility, it’s big,” said Hicks. “Obviously I’m grateful for it, I think I’m ready for it, I think they obviously think I’m ready for it and it’s real cool, it really is.”

Hicks has exceeded expectations to this point. He is second on the team with 34 tackles (including a club-best 14 against the Jets) to go with three fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, a sack and an interception. The third-round pick offers a lot of the credit to Ryans for reducing his learning curve.

“He’s been my backbone, the guy that I’ve gone to if I need something,” said Hicks. “If I have a question, he’s the first person I go to if I’ve got something. I can text him at night while I’m watching film and ask him a question and he’ll answer. There’s a lot of questions that I come across throughout the week; with every one, he has a way of making it simple. He’s really good at that — at taking something in my mind that’s jumbled and coming up with a simple answer and making it click (snaps fingers) just like that.”