Around the NFL  

 

Akiem Hicks: Packers O-line 'can't block Khalil Mack'

Print

The Green Bay Packers dealt with a banged up offensive line in recent months, causing some shuffling as backups stepped in to fill the void as starters healed.

Regardless if it's the starting five or perhaps a fill-in, Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks didn't hold back during a Wednesday teleconference with Packers media when asked what he knew about the offensive line heading into Sunday's game.

"I know those five guys can't block Khalil Mack," Hicks said emphatically, via the Packers' official website.

Hicks revealed earlier in the teleconference that Mack was next to him getting stretched out, so his new teammate likely heard everything. But there was little doubt in Hicks' excitement on knowing what could happen this season playing on the same defense with Mack.

Hicks comes off a season with a career-high 8.5 sacks, and he now looks forward to potentially not taking on double-team blocking with offenses having to account for a two-time All-Pro sack machine rushing on the other side.

"I think the question every team is going to have is how do you block Khalil Mack, right?" Hicks told reporters. "And so him being there, it just gives me more freedom to have one-on-ones."

Hicks' point of view provides a good representation of the level of enthusiasm in Chicago since the arrival of Mack, whom the Bears acquired in a stunning trade before signing the defensive end to a six-year, $141 contract extension.

The Bears finished the 2017 season with 42 sacks, a total that tied for seventh in the league, and now welcome Mack and his 40.5 sacks on his three-year career.

Up first to attempt to block what projects as a ferocious pass rush are the Packers. Good luck to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, however, if Hicks' blunt analysis on the offensive line's inability to stop Mack comes true.

Print