Chicago Bears fans are definitely hoping for a bounce back season from veteran defensive tackle Akiem Hicks. Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano has given us some indication of what to expect from Hicks next season.

Chuck Pagano recently spoke to the media via video conference call about the state of the team. Bears seniors writer Larry Meyer highlighted some of his thoughts, including this bit on Akiem Hicks:

“He's a smart guy. He's got a ton of wisdom, and the great thing about him is that he'll share it. There's a lot of great players and great leaders and men who've played this game that won't take the time to help young players and share their knowledge and their wisdom, but Akiem's different that way. He's just a phenomenal human being, and again, he just gets it and understands it.

“He's really, really hungry. And really eager to get back on the field and be with his brothers out there competing and playing. He's a great man. Nothing but great love and respect for him.”

Hicks made the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2018 and had high hopes to maintain that form last season. He ended up playing in just five games. His knee acted up before their Week 4 win against the Vikings, then he sustained an elbow injury in their Week 5 loss to the Raiders. He subsequently sat out 10 of the teams final 11 regular season contests.

But if Pagano's words are any indication, Hicks is just as excited as we are for the start of next season.