Thursday, June 5, 2014

Isame Faciane: "I like the 'Hey, Hit Me' philosophy"

Daniel House talked with Vikings defensive tackle Isame Faciane and learned how he is transitioning from college football to the high expectations of the NFL. 

Updated: June 5th, 2014 7:34pm

By: Daniel House

Defensive tackle Isame Faciane performed at a high level during his senior season at Florida International and corralled a career-high 53 tackles, leading the all FIU defensive lineman. He went under the scouting radar during the NFL draft process and has great size, along with the ability to line up at nose tackle or as a three-technique defensive tackle. He likes being under the radar and thinks this can help push him to be a great defensive player. 

"I had talked to a lot of teams throughout the process. I wasn't fortunate enough to get drafted, but like everyone tells me; here's my shot. I feel like I have a chip on my shoulder to come out and do the best that I can and show everybody up who didn't take a chance on me," explained Faciane. 

Faciane has raw skills sets, but is ready to be coached by Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson, who was his position coach last season at Florida International, as well. 

"It's a great thing. Playing under him last year, taught me a lot. I've learned a lot from him and he is helping me become a better player. I feel like I've got a jump on a lot of things. I know a lot of his terms and the way he coaches and the way he speaks on things. I feel like I can catch grasp on film quicker than others," said Faciane.

Faciane spent much of his offseason working to improve his overall game to prepare for the jump to the NFL. 

"I feel like I did every workout that I could. I focused on D-Line drills and getting off the ball and quick steps, while focusing on the little things that I needed to improve on. My strength and speed and all those things. It was alot, that was a grind too, but it was all worth it in the end. The little things that you constantly work on to become better, add up," stated Faciane. 

Faciane has great size at 6'4" 312 pounds, but his athletic ability is what excites many who have watched film of the defensive tackle. He feels he will make a huge impact a nose tackle, but has the versatility to play in three-techinique, as well.

"Right now I'm at nose tackle; that's what I played at college. I feel real comfortable and know the technique. I'm comfortable with my strength in there. Going up against the guys here has made me even more confident with my technique and strength. Knowing that I could play at the NFL level at nose. Right now I'm at 312 and I feel good at it and stout in there. I also played the three-techinque too on passing downs, but it's wherever," stated Faciane.

When I asked him what asset he brings to the table that separates himself from other defensive lineman, he referenced his athletic abilities. 

"For my size I feel like I move very well. Coming off the ball with my strength and playing the blocks like I know I can. Just being that player who can offer a bit more in the run game and be real good in the pass, also. I feel like I'm getting better everyday with my pass game, which is one thing I want to focus on, while getting better everyday," explained Faciane.

Not only can Faciane serve it up on the field, but he is quite masterful in the kitchen, as well. He knows how to make some mean jambalaya and can serve up many culinary delights.

"Coming from Louisiana, my grandmother raised me and she taught me everything I know. I picked up on a few other things when I moved to Miami with food, but I say with my Louisiana background,  jambalaya is my favorite thing to cook. When I moved to Florida I got introduced to curry, so I started experimenting with a few things with that. I got pretty good at making curry dishes. My favorite curry dish to make is curry chops over white rice with potatoes, it is one of my favorite dishes now," said Faciane.

The Vikings have a solid group of defensive tackles, which features new defensive tackle Linval Joseph. Faciane is looking forward to learning everything he can from the Vikings talented group of defensive lineman.

"He [Joseph] just throws little tid-bits in my ear during practice. If I'm focusing on one particular thing, he helps me. He will tell me to be quicker on a certain move too. He has helped me with the little things to get better during OTA's. I know he has been in the league for awhile now and he knows the game. The little things he has said have helped me a lot," explained Faciane.

Faciane knows Mike Zimmer is a defensive mind that loves to rotate his defensive lineman and keep them fresh throughout the game. Isame is looking forward to learning tricks of the trade from one of the best defensive coaches in the game.

"I like it [Mike Zimmer's philosophy]. He is a hard-nosed, hit in the mouth defensive guy. That's the type of defense I have been brought up on through high school and college. I like the hey, hit me philosophy. It gets me excited to get down to business when my name is called," stated Faciane.

Isame Faciane has gotten his first look at the state of Minnesota and loves the people, along with the many lakes he can fish everyday.

"I have been out here checking out the scenery, been around places, eating out places, and trying different food and stuff. One thing I love about out here is the lakes. I love to fish. I have picked up on three lakes and have been introduced to different fishes I had never caught before back in Louisiana. It's one of my favorite things to do. I love fishing and stuff of that nature," said Faciane.

Faciane knows it will take hard work to be successful in this league and he is already learning the curve between college and NFL football. Isame understands he will need to show the coaches he can bring a high level of intensity, but he is excited for the opportunity.

"I feel like I know where Coach Patterson is coming from and before he says some things, I know what he is going to say. It helps me catch on quicker. Just moving here and there and playing the three and nose technique is big. The more positions you can play, the more valuable you are," stated Faciane.

He loves the intensity of the OTA practices and feels that by practicing hard, these trends will transfer into game action.

"It is high pace. You have to learn on the fly and like I said, just listen. It is a whirlwind. A lot of stuff coming at you and many little things you have to work on. Much of the stuff we do here is the same stuff we did in college. Just knowing the plays and the pressure of being a rookie and proving yourself to them that you are valuable is important," explained Faciane.

Faciane has been waiting for his chance in the NFL and he is ready to show he can compete at the next level for the Minnesota Vikings.

"I'm just excited to live my lifelong dream. I have been playing the game since I was five and for me to finally be here, I can't even describe how happy and excited I am. The excitement and enthusiasm I have built up and ready to release out here on the field to show people what I can do is just like I'm at the top of a mountain; ready to jump off. I'm ready to show the world what I can do," concluded Faciane.


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