OL D.J. Fluker
July 29, 2017
Q: How did practicing feel today?
A: It felt so good, you know, being back to the usual grind.
Q: Can you talk about whatís different for you this year in terms of your approach?
A: Basically is, you know, you got a group of guys that want to buy in Ė buy in to win and I want to have that same type of mindset. That comes with time. That might be coming to a team that has that winning culture. For me, you got to go back to what you used to know. Like, winning games. Weíre used to winning games, not losing. So, itís like, you have that same mentality and I want to be a part of that.
Q: As far as coming from San Diego to here and trying to restart your career is there anything different for you personally?
A: Iím excited. I donít know about you, but Iím very excited. You know, being able to be here and play football for the New York Giants. Where else would you want to be? You know, being here, seeing these teammates, you know, Eli (Manning). Being a part of this offensive line. This is where itís at. This is where I want to be. Guys that want to buy into winning. They want to win. They want to be great. You canít ask anything else.
Q: How have you navigated trying to fit in with this group of offensive lineman?
A: The thing about it is, everybody is grinding right not. Camp Ė nobody has a job in camp. I mean, anybody can move anywhere. For me, I have no job, so Iím just going in to work. Thatís my mentality, my mindset every single day I get up. Every morning at five oíclock. Iím going to work. You know, itís all about attitude.
Q: You could be at guard, tackle or right side lineman. What are your thoughts on this?
A: Itís wherever coach wants to put me. My mindset is always different. Everybody can tell you where he wants you to be, but my mindset is itís about how bad you want something. Thatís how I see every day of life, so if I can go play somewhere else I will Ė like on the offensive line.
Q: Have you played tackle here?
A: A little bit. Earlier in training camp.
Q: Did the coaching staff ask you to focus on anything in particular with your training or technique to get yourself ready for this opportunity?
A: Just really about getting better heels. My sinking down. More about hand placement. Other than that, just play fast and fierce.
Q: You did work this summer with Duke Manyweather. How different was that than training you have done in the past?
A: To be honest, I wish I would have went there about three years ago. Probably would have helped a whole lot. You know, the thing about it is that you go different places and different places donít have what you need and I found when I went somewhere different, which even though it was in Dallas, but hey little bit hot, little bit of a change of scenery, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the working out because itís the first time I actually got to work on technique and understood what I was doing and why I was doing it. So, yeah, that helped me a whole lot.
Q: Do you feel that Duke Manyweather changed your technique and made it more effective?
A: Duke helped me a lot. He helped me clean up things as far as technique, start using raw ability. You know, Iím strong, I can move anybody. I can guarantee Iíll get it done. At the end of the day with technique itís a lot easier. So, with him, teaching me how to use my hands like in the right way that helped me a whole lot.
Q: Didnít you learn technique during your years in San Diego?
A: I mean, things change, coaches change. It is what it is. Itís a business right? Thatís why weíre all here. So, I mean things change, but at the end of the day itís all about guys wanting to buy into winning too. You want guys to work on technique. You want guys that do better. If you arenít pushing guys to do better, then why are you here?
Q: Did you lose a lot of weight this offseason?
A: I mean, I just leaned up a little bit, you know [laughs]. Thatís it, thatís it.
Q: What weight did you report at training camp at?
A: Iím like 350-something. Thatís my thing, just like trim back down real quick. When the season starts, weíll all in shape when the season starts. Early in the season, itís kind of like, ĎEh, you know whatever,í but other than that, when itís go time, thatís go time.
Q: At what weight did you end last season at?
A: I was like, 345. Because I was playing guard, played a little tackle, so.
Q: Do you think that it is easier to focus in on the skill sets of a specific positon, knowing that you will most likely be at guard?
A: Yeah, I mean, itís pretty good to focus on staying at one position over time. It gives you time to develop that skill, that nastiness that you need at guard. Took me awhile, even my first year, it took me awhile to understand how to play it. But now, I mean, itís beginning to come to me.
Q: How do you feel the culture is different here than in San Diego and when did you first notice that?
A: The first day you walk in the building and everybody just sits there and greets you. I mean, thatís when you know, ĎOkay, theyíre happy to have someone come here that wants to play.í And youíve got people in here that are passionate from the organization, like all around, theyíre passionate about winning. I mean, we were just learning about ĎThe Dukeí. Just yesterday, about the whole football, like how it started. I was excited, it got me fired up inside. Itís about the passion. The passion when you walk in the building, theyíre all passionate about winning. I mean, where else can you find that? And when I came in, I was like, ĎShoot, Iím at Alabama all over again, Iím all fired up.í So, I got the gist when I came through the door, you know? But other than that, just being here with all them Ė [Sr. Vice President and General Manager] Jerry Reese, talking to him and talking to [Offensive Line Coach] Mike Solari, everybody, itís just been great.
Q: How important is it that you crack the starting lineup on the offensive line at some point this season?
A: I mean, weíre just a few days in guys. What do you want me to prove to you right now? Weíre all fighting for our job. I mean, nothingís promised. Nothing isnít promised, right? So, weíre all here fighting every day.
Q: As a lineman, can you really fight for a job before you get pads on?
A: Now, with pads on is a different story. Everybody looks great in pajamas, right? Weíre all superstars Ė I mean, look at the guys in the NBA. They look great [playing football], but you put football pads on them and some of them canít play. Iím just saying, right?
Q: Whatís the biggest difference between a Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers-led meeting room and an Eli Manning-led meeting room?
A: I mean, youíre talking about two different guys. I mean, one guyís chippy, one guy, well, he says a little bit every now and then, you know? I mean, you have the best of both worlds. I mean, I come in, Eli talks to me, sits down, has lunch with me. Philip, you see him in the hallway, heís like, ĎHey Fluk.í You know? Different guys. They all come from different backgrounds.