Wednesday, August 7, 2013
D.J. Fluker's big influence in San Diego
By Bill Williamson
SAN DIEGO -- It doesn’t take long to realize D.J. Fluker is having a massive influence on the San Diego Chargers.
And we’re just not talking about his imposing physical stature. The Chargers took the 6-foot-5, 340-pound right tackle with the No. 11 overall pick in the April draft. Not only is Fluker’s presence being felt on the field, but in the locker room as well. Rookies typically are seen, not heard in the NFL. But Fluker is different.
“He’s becoming a leader, already,” San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers said. “He really is ... he’s something else.”
Rivers’ eyes light up when he talks about the Alabama product. Fluker often gets his teammates going with pre-practice chants and other rah-rah antics. He’s also has been known to break into song in the locker room. Rivers said occasionally a rookie will be vocal. But Rivers said offensive linemen, as a whole, usually don’t talk much. So, Fluker’s huge personality is a bit of a surprise.
“He’s a funny guy,” Rivers said. “There’s a lot there to him. He’s genuine.”
Fluker said he has always been outgoing and Alabama was a family-oriented atmosphere. So, he is happy to fit in with the Chargers.
“I look up to Philip, Eric Weddle, Donald Butler and other leaders on this team,” Fluker said. “I want to be like those guys, so it’s just fun to be able to go out and have fun with them ... Being friends with your teammates help you want to win together.”