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Jordan Hicks: Cardinals On "Eerily Similar" Path To Super Bowl-Winning Eagles

Veteran linebacker excited about future of team

LB Jordan Hicks in the regular season finale against the Browns.
LB Jordan Hicks in the regular season finale against the Browns.

Jordan Hicks played for the Eagles when they went from a seven-win team in 2016 to Super Bowl champions the next.

It would take tremendous strides for the Cardinals to have a similar turnaround in 2020, but the veteran inside linebacker is not discounting that possibility.

"It's eerily similar of a situation that we're going into," Hicks said. "The year before I won the Super Bowl in Philadelphia, we had a rookie head coach and a rookie quarterback in Carson (Wentz) and Doug Pederson. We had our highs and our lows, and as a defense we didn't know what our identity was. But we got better as the season went along -- very similar to what you saw with us this past season -- and then something hit."

Even though the Cardinals only went 5-10-1 in 2019, coach Kliff Kingsbury adapted well to the NFL and quarterback Kyler Murray won Offensive Rookie of the Year. The trade for DeAndre Hopkins this offseason was seen as a major coup, and a step forward for the offense in 2020 is widely expected.

The defense was the big issue a year ago, which is why General Manager Steve Keim added defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, outside linebacker Devon Kennard and inside linebacker De'Vondre Campbell in free agency.

The Eagles loaded their roster when Wentz was on his affordable rookie deal, and Hicks sees the same philosophy with Murray emerging.

"Making additions in the offseason, making big-time moves, showing that we're trying to win now, means a lot," Hicks said. "And it shows a lot of the mindset of not just the coaching staff but the guys upstairs. So, yeah, it's eerily similar and it's exciting, man. It's a lot of fun, but there is a lot of discipline and a lot of hard work – it doesn't just happen. You've got to will it into existence."