EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — D.J. Fluker is excited to be a member of the New York Giants. Like really, really excited. Like Jim Carrey energy level jump off the screen and get in your face excited.
“I’m excited. I don’t know about you, but I’m very excited,” Fluker said leaning in toward reporters, eyes widening, hands flapping as if to emphasize the point. “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 it’s 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 can’t ask anything else.”
Fluker came to the Giants after four pedestrian seasons with the San Diego Chargers. He started all four years, sometimes at guard and sometimes at tackle, but never lived up to his status as the 11th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. The Chargers also only made the playoffs once in Fluker’s four seasons and had losing records the past two seasons. They didn’t make an effort to keep him when his rookie contract expired, and he signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Giants.
The 26-year-old noticed a difference in organizations as soon as he walked in the Giants’ door.
“The first day you walk in the building and everybody just sits there and greets you. I mean, that’s when you know, ‘Okay, they’re happy to have someone come here that wants to play.’ And you’ve got people in here that are passionate from the organization, like all around, they’re passionate about winning,” Fluker said, voice rising and arms flailing. “It’s about the passion. The passion when you walk in the building, they’re all passionate about winning. I mean, where else can you find that? And when I came in, I was like, ‘Shoot, I’m at Alabama all over again, I’m all fired up.’ “
If you pay attention to Fluker on social media you know that he re-dedicated himself this summer, training with Offensive Line Performance Consultant Duke Manyweather (@BigDuke50 on Twitter).
“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 don’t 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,” Fluker said. “I enjoyed the working out because it’s 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.
“Duke helped me a lot. He helped me clean up things as far as technique, instead of using raw ability. You know, I’m strong, I can move anybody. I can guarantee I’ll get it done. At the end of the day with technique it’s a lot easier. So, with him, teaching me how to use my hands like in the right way that helped me a whole lot.”
Coach Ben McAdoo said Friday that he saw Fluker as a “right side player for now.” Fluker has played both tackles and right guard during his career and said he will play “wherever coach wants to put me.”
For now, Fluker has been lining up at the second-team right guard with John Jerry as the starter.
“The thing about it is, everybody is grinding right now. Camp – nobody has a job in camp. I mean, anybody can move anywhere. For me, I have no job, so I’m just going in to work. That’s my mentality, my mindset every single day I get up. Every morning at five o’clock. I’m going to work. You know, it’s all about attitude,” Fluker said.
“I mean, we’re just a few days in guys. What do you want me to prove to you right now? We’re all fighting for our job. I mean, nothing’s promised. Nothing isn’t promised, right? So, we’re all here fighting every day.”
Whether it will translate to success on the field is impossible to know right now, but Fluker’s attitude and excitement have him headed in the right direction.
@thebigduke50 ・・・ Welp, it took 4-weeks but @djthewarrior76 finally got tired of my 'ish', and let me have it yesterday. I'm weighing between high 250's and low 260's depending on hydration and I ain't afraid to mix it up, but damnnnn it! TEACHING POINTS: Look at the hands and the relationship between elbows torquing into the body, which naturally drops the hips, to create leverage, that literally lifts me off of my feet when he brings his hips! The ultimate MECHANICAL ADVANTAGE