One of the most popular questions I get asked about the New Orleans Saints year in and year out is who might have a “breakout year.” This year, the answer is easy:
Defensive end Akiem Hicks.
But I’m hardly the only one who sees that potential in the third-year pro who started to break out last year in his first full year as a starter with 4.5 sacks and 56 tackles.
Fellow Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan raved about Hicks on Tuesday, calling him a “monster” in the most flattering way possible.
“Akiem is a monster. That dude is a monster,” Jordan said, according to The Times-Picayune while the two young defensive ends attended a community face lift at the NFL Yet Center in New Orleans. “I’m usually big towards a lot of people, and he makes me feel regular. Which makes regular people feel small?”
The Advocate also wrote Tuesday about Hicks’ potential for a breakout year.
Applauding NBA’s decision: Jordan and Hicks both applauded the bold decision made by NBA commissioner Adam Silver to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life on Tuesday -- and the support for that decision that was shown by Saints and New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson. Sterling was punished severely after the NBA said he acknowledged making racist comments.
"It's kind of what I expected from our organization because of the way I've been treated since I've been here and the way I see our organization handle business," Hicks said, according to The Times-Picayune. "It's something that was expected from our organization. So it's nice to see."
Meanwhile, Saints running back Mark Ingram took to Twitter to show his appreciation for the decision:
— Mark Ingram (@MarkIngram22) April 30, 2014
Moore adjusting in Pittsburgh: ESPN.com’s Pittsburgh Steelers reporter Scott Brown talked with former Saints receiver Lance Moore about how he’s adjusting to catching passes from new quarterback Ben Roethlisberger -- whom Moore said has a stronger arm than Drew Brees.
He certainly wasn’t being critical of Brees. Moore admitted that it was “scary” for him to leave his prolific partnership with Brees in New Orleans and added, “I count my blessings every day to be able to play with somebody like a Brees or a Roethlisberger.”
Latest mock drafts: ESPN NFL draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay rolled out their latest mock drafts on Tuesday in these posts that require Insider access. Kiper stuck with Indiana receiver Cody Latimer for the Saints at No. 27 in Round 1. McShay made a slight adjustment with a new cornerback, this time going with Ohio State’s Bradley Roby. Click on the links for the expanded thoughts on the picks.
Rogers, Williams give back: Former Saints running backs George Rogers and Ricky Williams were among a star-studded collection of former Heisman trophy winners who got together over the weekend to build a new home for Habitat for Humanity and lead a football clinic for underprivileged childern in the Dallas area.