May 29, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; General view of the San Diego Chargers helmets of tackle Jared Gaither (right) and defensive end Logan Harrell (both not pictured) at organized team activities at Chargers Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

“D.J. Lewis” The Leader At Chargers Mini Camp

Yesterday was the first day of this year´s mini camp where the new guys on the roster get together to build chemistry and learn more about the team philosophy and playing schemes. Altogether there were 40 young guys (including tryouts) on the field at Chargers Park.

There are still a lot of things to watch for in the two remaining mini camp days, e.g. which of the undrafted free agent pick-ups are going to leave a lasting impression on head coach Mike McCoy. I sure hope that some of my favorites, like e.g. nose tackle Kwame Geathers, offensive tackle Nick Becton or defensive back Jahleel Addae will be able to do just that. Obviously the new Chargers´ head man already has his eyes on some of them:

“There are some talented kids out there,” McCoy said. “Not just the drafted players. We have a number of college free agents and then guys who are in here for a workout, and you really never know.”

“We’re going to keep turning this roster before the opener. I’m not going to put a limit on it and say we’re only going to have a certain number of rookies on this football team. We’re going to take the best 53 we can.”

It will also be interesting to watch how Kennan Allen´s knee is doing after those three days of being out there on the field and trying to be at his best. The third round pick said he participated in all drills yesterday; the knee feels great and keeps improving.

And of course, second round pick Manti Te’o has drawn significant attention too (how could it be any different). Coach McCoy said he´s a natural leader, a gym rat and it´s great too see how he loves the game. Te’o also spoke about himself, about his goals and his work ethic.

“Hard work will beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” he explained. “I never wanted to be that guy that didn’t work hard. I knew that my work ethic was going to be the thing that was going to pull me through. I’m not the fastest. I’m not the strongest but I’m definitely one to work hard.”

“I’m trying to get stronger any way I can but one of my strengths is in the film room to prepare myself mentally for the game because a lot of this game is played mentally. A little bit is played physically. Your mind tells your body to move and then it moves. I try to get my preparation to that point.”

But Mike McCoy saved his highest praises for the first round pick of this year, the beast from the Southern-East, D.J. Fluker.

“(He) did a heck of a job,” the coach said. “When you see kids that come from Alabama, the way they’ve been coached, he really was the leader out there on offense today. It’s great to see that because we need more guys like that. Very vocal. Very positive to everybody. (He) broke the team down at the end, and I didn’t ask him to. I wanted to see who would step up, and he stepped up without hesitation.”

So it seems, the mountain of a man meant it when he said he wants to be “Ray Lewis of the offensive line”. He already acts that way on the first day of mini camp. Well, I guess that will change a bit when the veterans find their way onto the field. But Fluker also mentioned that, although he wants to be a leader, he first has to earn his place on the starting unit. So, all that concerns I had about him at first, seem to float away the more I get to know his personality and his work ethic. I still have a hard time to understand his words – he has a “very special” way to talk (to say the least) – but if it works within the team, then so what…let him bring that little “dirty south thang” onto the roster.

So let´s hope, day two and three of the Chargers´ mini camp will be revealing and successful too.

Thank you for reading.


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Tags: DJ Fluker Keenan Allen Manti Te'o San Diego Chargers

  • RZ

    DJ will have the OL fired up on game day…so I’m not worried about the OL as much as I am about our QB-PR. He’s made way too many bad decisions on the field the last couple of years even without being pressured,47 turnovers I believe I hope the coaches will straighten his ass up,and he comes through for us…but that to me is my biggest fear…PR. Please prove me wrong Phillip,please prove me wrong. GO BOLTZ!!!

    • Stefanie Smith

      They had this feature on one of the sports channels explaining what happens to QBs when they get sacked all the time. It’s almost like they get shell shocked and as some player just said about Tom Brady– they “see ghosts”. Some analysts said Phillip looks down now.,… all that sacking does something. It has happened to many. Tom Brady admitted he flinches. So, unless we get a decent o-line—that holds up over the long haul, the repercussions from a bad one–will continue to affect Rivers in other areas– and degrade his level of play.

      It’s not right that no one can get this line fixed. Even without being pressured, Brady flinches, others throw the ball away, etc. It should be the highest priority to get that line fixed–both sides.

      • Peter Thompson

        I wish I could watch that feature. Sounds very interesting.

  • Lee

    im sorry but off season news is so boring…

    • blu3ny3llow

      Better than nothing…..remember the lock out…now that was boring

      • Lee

        true dat

      • JoseSD

        That was the worst, especially watching NFL Live or Total Access, they had nothing to report for like 2 months after the draft excitement wore off. watching that was brutal

        • Cgoodness13

          Breaking news!!!!! Tim Tebow…..just….. Took a poop!!! We have sent our own Steve Mariucci to report lol

  • Peter Thompson

    You know I love that durty souf… Lol ; )

    • MC Boltman

      haha…yeah man, I originally wanted to write it like that (“durty souf”) and wanted to mention you in the article, but…I wasn´t sure if that was a too good idea, so I decided to do it this way. But somehow I´m beginning to like his way of talkin´ too :) ..the Ray Lewis of the offensive line and his little durty souf thang :)

      • Peter Thompson

        No need for a mention, brother. I’m just glad you used it! I love it when things like that catch on! We’re all family here.

  • Stefanie Smith

    If there is actually a decent o-line on a consistent basis, and not some rag tag bunch of inexperienced players out there on the line, then Rivers will be fine and you will see improvement.

    • RZ

      I hope it all works out at the end with PR…I would hate to leave his Jersey in the closet for another season…he’s gotta give me a reason to rock it once again..especially up here in the Bay in the middle of Niner/Raider territory…lol! Go Noltz!!

      • RZ

        I mean BOLTZ!!

        • Stefanie Smith

          I feel your pain, up in 9er and Raider territory.

  • Rob Base

    WR Luke Tasker doesn’t look to bad. Chargers site needs to show more footage of practice. I’m jonesing for football! :)

  • Stefanie Smith

    I hope the media goes away from the practices and camp. It has to make Coach McCoy’s job more difficult, It’s a distraction he doesn’t need when he is trying to teach his plan, etc. On the other side, he could have just made it closed to the media like Philly did, I believe. No media at these things.

  • RussinSactown

    Fluker is a monster and apparently he’s ready to go hunting. How long until he gets a hold of Shaun “I’m on the good side” Phillips? That should be all sorts of fun.

  • Nick in PB

    Anyone wondering who DJ Lewis is? hahahaha

  • arnie

    Famous quote, “…I want winners…”
    So happy the Chargers changed GM.