Browns Draft Picks Siaki Ika And Cedric Tillman Excited To Be In Cleveland

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BEREA, OH--- On his high school teammate in QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson also getting drafted by the Browns:

Tillman: “I was very excited. I was on the plane and my mom just showed it to me. I was just talking about how it would be cool if Dorian came, too. Kind of just throwing it out there. Life is funny sometimes, but it’s great.”


On what the last day has been like:

Ika: “Not really. This is all I have been looking forward too. Got the call–speechless. Just glad to be here.”


Tillman: “Same. Family and friends watching. Finally got the call, was really excited. Ready to go. (QB) Deshaun (Watson) texted me last night, telling me he was ready to go, too. That was pretty cool.”


On what DC Jim Schwartz mean when he said he wanted Ika to be a Ferrari:

Ika: “To be honest, I don’t know what it means (laughs). I will do whatever he wants me to do. I will be a Ferrari. I will be a Chevy, if you want me to be. Probably means just growing up, becoming a pro. Definitely going to start looking at myself as a Ferrari now.”


On if Schwartz has told him how he plans to use him:

Ika: “Yeah. We talked a lot about the front and improving the run defense. I’m a run stopper. It’s something I love to do. Excited to get here and contribute to that.”


On how Schwartz likes his defensive linemen to attack the QB:

Ika: “I like getting after the quarterback. I’m not the first person people would look at to get after the quarterback, but it’s something I think I can do. It’s something I think I can do here with the coaching and development.”


On maintaining his size and speed:

Ika: “To be honest, I never put much thought into it until once I got to college and I realized that I do move pretty well for a big guy. Since then, it’s something I’ve prided myself on. I feel like that’s what I brought to the table.”


On If he’s surprised the team drafted someone bigger than him in T Dawand Jones:

Ika: “I didn’t think it got too much bigger (laughs). Good for him.”


On playing against Georgia and his confidence in what he can do in the NFL:

Tillman: “I’m confident. Playing in the SEC, I feel like it is going to help me prepare to get ready for the NFL. I know there is going to be different challenges and there are going to be better players on this level, so I’m just looking forward to it.”


On what offense he ran in high school with Thompson-Robinson:

Tillman: “It was a more traditional offense.”


On what they knew about Cleveland before yesterday:

Tillman: “I didn’t know much about Cleveland, honestly. I’ve never been here, but I’m excited. This organization took a chance on me and I’m going to make sure they don’t regret it. I’m excited to get going.”


Ika: “I feel the exact same way. He put it perfectly. Glad to be here. Thankful that someone took the chance and I’m gunning to prove it wasn’t a mistake.”


On if anyone recognized them at the airport:

Tillman: “A little bit, yeah.”


Ika: “A little bit.”


On following in his Dads footsteps and what that means to him:

Tillman: “It’s cool. Like I said, the second-generation thing. It’s really cool to have a dad that played in the league and now it’s my turn and I’m excited for it.”


On how excited he is to play against some of the best wide receivers in the AFC North and how he stacks up against them:

Tillman: “You know, I let my play do it. Obviously, I want to be one of the best at my position. I want to be a great teammate, too, so I’m excited to be a Brown. I’m looking forward to it.”


On if giving his jersey number because Watson has it:

Tillman: ”That’s fine (laughs).”


On the text he received from Watson:

Tillman: “He just told me that he was excited. He’s ready to work. He just said take the moment and just enjoy the night. He’s ready to work and he’s ready to go. Same here.”


On if he has ever crossed paths with Watson:

Tillman: ”No. That was the first time I ever really got a text message from him. I’m glad I saw it, because my phone was kind of blowing up and I was like, ‘Oh, snap. Ok. I may need to answer this.’ It was cool.”


On playing in the SEC and how competitive that can be:

Tillman: “Yeah, it was cool. Like I said, SEC, I feel like it’s the best conference. Week in and week out, you’re going against top teams, top competition. Tennessee was great. Like you said, a great fan base. They really care about their Volunteers. I appreciated my time there, but now I’m a Brown. Now, I’m going to embrace this fan group and let’s go.”


On if he has heard from DE Myles Garrett yet:

Ika: “He hasn’t reached out, but , I’m looking forward to when he does. He doesn’t know this, but he’s going to be my best friend (laughs). That’s my goal, as of right now, to be best friends with Myles. I’m really excited to play with him.”


On if he has watched or studied DT Dalvin Tomlinson in the past:

Ika: “Yeah. More recently, once I figured out that I’m coming here. I am trying to get to know the other players here. I’m excited. Like I said earlier, excited to get in and help stop the run and I feel like me and him can do it.”


On if the team has told him what weight it wants him to play at:

Ika“They haven’t, but I want to lose some weight, for sure. I would rather play lighter.”


On being able to move as a bigger guy:

Ika: “I never really looked at it that way. I never thought I could really run that long. I’m more of just a ‘five inches to stay afloat.’ Now, I’m just ready to do it all over again, get better at it. Put me in a position where I don’t struggle with it, I guess.”


On what works best for him in the middle of the line:

Ika: “I’d say being stout. I mean, blocks coming at me. I like hitting blocks head on. I like going straight through the blocks. I don’t want to pattycake around anything. I feel like that’s what has given me the most success this far.”


On if he had an interaction with Schwartz when he came here:

Ika: “Yeah, I did. Nothing too crazy. Just a ‘hello,’ a visit. Just talking.”


On where his demeanor comes from:

Tillman: “Naturally, I’m a little bit–I wouldn’t say reserved, but maybe more on the quiet side, until I get comfortable. For sure my mentality is let my play speak for itself. I don’t really do too much talking on the field. I kind of let everybody else talk and just do what I got to do.”


On if he will attach himself to WR Amari Cooper and if he will be his best friend:

Tillman: “I don’t know. I got to get him to talk to me first. Obviously, looking forward to learning a lot from Cooper, he’s one of the best receivers in the league. Definitely be on his hip and trying to learn information.”


On what they love most about football:

Tillman: “Me, I just love to win. There’s no better feeling in the world than just winning. Football, camp days, we’re just out there in 100-degree weather. It’s for something bigger. The bigger picture. That’s what makes it so much more satisfying. So, just winning and competing.”


Ika: “I’m the same. Just the competition. I’ve always been a competitor, competing in everything I do. Love the competition.”


On what weight he would like to play at:

Ika: “Probably somewhere around 335-340, 340 is the lightest I’ve played at this past season. I think I could knock a couple pounds down. Maybe get a little bit faster, move a little better.”


On if his son is his “why”:

Ika: “For sure. Definitely makes it that much more worth it. He’s named after me, Siaki J.”


On his decision to leave LSU and how going to the Big 12 panned out:

Ika: “To be honest, I feel like it was real good for me. You know the transfer portal isn’t too nice a lot of other players, so I’m just grateful that it turned out to be something real good for me. I mean, I loved it. Big 12 was a little different. SEC, everything is coming straight at you. Big 12, things were more side to side. It just took a little bit of adjustment and I feel like I did that well.”


On if he has reached out to former players yet:

Ika: “Yeah, for sure. I saw (LB) Jacob (Phillips) and (S) Grant (Delpit) while I was here on my 30 visit not too long ago. They reached out to me via social media last night. I had two guys I really looked up to, especially my freshman year when I had the chance to get some early playing time. They held me accountable, making sure I was doing my part and doing my job. Excited to get to work with them again.”


On what he gained being a true freshman in a difficult conference: 

Ika: “It made me grow up real quick. I had to grow up really quick. Like you said, playing D-line in the SEC is not an easy job, especially playing nose. I had a good group of older guys who showed me the ropes and coaches who got me on the right track early.”


On being a second generation NFL player and additional pressure:

Tillman: “I wouldn’t say there was any pressure. My dad, obviously, he coached me up, but he wasn’t too bad on me. Just let me be me and was always supportive of me. Like I said, it’s cool the second generation thing. Me, obviously, he knows that I always want to compete against him and my older brother and wanted to be better than him, but it’s been cool.”


On their personalities: 

Ika: “I think I’m pretty outgoing. Everyone has pretty much told me that since I was young. I’m a social butterfly. I love meeting new people. I love talking to new people. I talk a lot. Class clown, pretty much.”


Tillman: “I wouldn’t consider myself a class clown. I think I’m funny, but I don’t really talk as much. I’m more quiet, I guess, that’s why I filter it through the receiver room. I’ll say that.”


On his size making a difference for him:

Tillman: “I think it makes a big difference, honestly. One on one, balls in the air, having my body, it’s easy for me to box guys out. Also, in the blocking game, a lot of guys can’t go toe to toe with me and when I have the ball in my hands, a lot of corners and safeties don’t want to tackle me. I know that and I just use it to my advantage.”


On expecting to dominate and his confidence level:

Tillman: “Yeah, absolutely. I’m looking to stiff-arm people to the dirt.”


On if his favorite thing is being able to go over the top on somebody: 

Tillman: “Absolutely.”

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