The most exciting thing about Hicks’ performance last season is that it set the perfect foundation for 2017. He entered the offseason more confident and with a full year of experience in a new defensive scheme. Building on what he did last year will set him, and the Eagles defense, up for a havoc-wreaking year.
Marcus Allen Youth Jersey In what quickly became a bright spot for the team in 2016, the defensive side of the ball gained momentum throughout the season. Despite a few light position groups (like at cornerback), as a whole, the defense was on the cusp of being among the top 10 in the league — finishing 2016 at No. 13 of ESPN’s total defense rankings.
With Hicks firing on all cylinders at the end of last season, in addition to his offseason motivation, he’ll be pivotal in making the Eagles’ defense one of the most aggressive in the NFL.
Bell’s presence helps Roethlisberger and Brown, too. His consistent production on the ground balances out the offense and makes it easier for Roethlisberger to connect with Brown and the other receivers through the air. Defenses also have to account for Bell’s threat as a receiver.
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Despite missing those three games last year for a suspension, Bell still finished fifth in the league in rushing with 1,268 yards, and he had seven touchdowns. He added an impressive 616 receiving yards and two touchdowns through the air.
After the season, Bell could be tagged again by the Steelers, but it’d cost them $14.5 million, which is huge money for a running back. The transition tag is a cheaper option that would allow Bell to negotiate with other teams as a free agent, and the Steelers would have the opportunity to match any offer.