4 takeaways from rookie DT Siaki Ika’s media availability

It’s no secret how bad the defensive tackle room was for the Cleveland Browns in 2022 which resulted in several new additions this offseason. One of the bigger, no pun intended, moves were drafting defensive tackle Siaki Ika out of Baylor. With rookie minicamp this past weekend we got to see Ika on the field as a member of the Browns for the first time.

Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz showed his excitement on video when the team drafted Ika and he finally got to begin working with him this weekend. Let’s take a look at some key takeaways from Ika’s time speaking with the media during rookie minicamp.

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Ika is excited to play in Schwartz's scheme

“Real fast, explosive, and vertical. A little bit different than what I’ve been used to. I’ve been playing a lot of blocks throughout college. All I pretty much know. So I’ll be able to get here and be in a system where everything goes forward, vertical, I will just disrupt, really excited about it.”

Schwartz has the intention to use Ika in more unique ways than he was at Baylor. He wants to be aggressive and disrupted with his defensive front in his first year in Cleveland. Ika sounds ready to show he is more than a space-eater and can be a three-down player.

The hands on coaching of minicamp is appreciated by Ika


“I appreciate it a lot, especially because it’s a new scheme for me and some I’m not used to. So having the coaches there, being real hands-on, and being able to walk me through everything, the different techniques, makes practice that much better.”

The advantage to rookie minicamps without the entire roster is the more individual attention each player can get. The advantage of extra hands-on preparation for the players to learn new schemes is invaluable. If Ika is going to play a different role than he did in college the work put in now will play a big part in that.

Ika understands he has to improve facets of his game

“Probably my ability to get off the ball. Get off the ball and get vertical quickly. Like I said, not something I’ve been familiar with before. So now I think it’s really important that I shed a little bit more weight, get a little bit faster so I can move side to side, run sideline.”


It’s clear that Ika’s getting off the line as he referenced is an area of his game that is weak. If the team is looking to be explosive and aggressive having self-awareness in the areas you need to improve is needed so it can be addressed. So far Ika seems eager to learn and get better and that is a positive sign for the third-round pick.

He understands it will take a lot of work to prepare for his new role

“It’s going to be a big adjustment. I mean, it already has been a big adjustment for me, but it is something I enjoy. Something I’m really excited for. In college, when I was playing blocks, looking to take double teams, this is the scheme were wishing for. So now that it’s here, I’m really excited to get in and get some work.”

If Ika’s words of excitement to put the work in are true then he has accomplished the first part of the process. It’s going to be a big change for Ika and that is not lost on the defensive tackle. His tape shows that he has some athleticism that suggests he can develop into the role the team wants him to fulfill.

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Story originally appeared on Browns Wire