Feature on Ikaika Alama-Francis

DFP = Detroit Free Press

DFP Note: “The excruciating details Marinelli preached to Alama-Francis in private sessions during practice and for extended periods after practice were enough to practically make him feel like the coach’s son on a Little League team.”

About how his former head coach at Detroit had been a DL coach and paid a lot of attention to him, Ikaika said:
“Oh, definitely there’s a lot of pressure when a coach is always on you. You always have to be on your toes. Sometimes it got to a point where it was like, ‘Whoa.’ Every time I was really thinking about things, what to do, what not to do and getting all that attention. It was good because he’s one of the best D-line coaches out there. I was very blessed to be coached by him and (former defensive line coach) Joe Cullen. But things are different now. Everybody’s trying to learn these things, and it’s all squared up with teaching.” (DFP)

Joking that he’s gotten taller as well as following the coaching staff’s direction to “get bigger and get stronger”, Ikaika said:
“Well, I’m wearing thicker cleats this year. I’ve gained about half an inch.” (DFP)

About how they have tried him at DT and DE, Ikaika said:
“Everybody’s coming along real well. They wanted a bigger defense, they wanted bigger guys, and we’re trying to do that. We’re coming together as a defense. I think we’re doing really well. We’re learning what the coaches are teaching us. I know it’s a little bit different from last year, but it’s the same thing: Get up the field, penetrate as a D-line and then the rest just falls into place.” (DFP)



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