Apr 27, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers first round draft pick D.J. Fluker is introduced the media during a press conference at Chargers Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

D.J. Fluker Brings A Winning Mentality To The San Diego Chargers


If you keep up with college football, you know what a powerhouse the University of Alabama has been over the last few years. They don’t just breed winning football teams, they breed winning football players. DJ Fluker is a winning football player and he is exactly what the San Diego Chargers have been missing.

 

Publicly touted as a “paper powerhouse” since 2006, the Chargers have failed to live up to expectations. A team with a franchise QB, superstar TE, and a host of other names on both sides of the ball has failed to make the playoffs since 2009.  Think about that for a moment. Although key players have been allowed to leave the team, there has still been more than enough talent to win, especially in a division that has been up for grabs. The team has been lethargic and downright unwatchable at times which is why drastic changes were made this offseason. We cannot simply change the Head Coach, his staff and the GM and expect to win, we still need key players. The Chargers may have landed three starters in the first three rounds this year, but one is standing out above the rest.

I was sitting in the end zone and about five rows up at last year’s game against the Ravens. We were 4th and 29 away from a big win, although at this point we knew the season was going to end without a playoff berth. I watched Ray Rice get past about nine of the eleven Chargers defensive players on the field and get the first down. I realized right then and there that this team didn’t just need a new coaching staff, they needed some new players.

 

Insert DJ Fluker. We haven’t played one snap of football yet. Training camp hasn’t even started and all I hear are things about how hard this guy is working and more importantly, he’s showing it. It’s easy to read a tweet or two and see that any NFL rookie is excited but this is different. Most NFL rookies don’t have three NCAA Championships. Most NFL rookies don’t understand the commitment and mentality it takes to become a champion, but this guy does. I’m writing this article with the hopes that DJ backs up his strong words since the moment he was drafted. Either way, this “warrior” mentality is exactly what we’ve been needing. No more slow starts or lazy finishes to a season. We need to fight from the first snap of the season to the last snap of the season. It appears DJ Fluker was the type of fighter this team needed.
I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to have a little bit of “nasty” on an offensive line that’s been getting mauled for the last two year.

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  • 619chargers4life

    4th and 29 , yeah I was at the game as well , awesome game till that play, love watching defenses get after each other. I think our D is improved from a year ago, I also think that if our OL is 25% better then a year ago that we have a high chance of doing great things ,which brings me to believe that our OL WiILL be more then 25% better then a year ago and I think we make the playoffs, and Fluker continues his winning ways. Go Bolt!!!

    • Nick in PB

      I was at that game too. The only game I attended that past 3 years (Norv effect). It was so disappointing. After they tied the game, I didn’t have any faith that we were going to win it in OT. (again, Norv effect). I want to see this team be the kind of team we were use to say 5-6 years ago. As a fan, I never felt we were out of the game or that we would let a team come back to win. Those teams had that winning attitude. That starts again, this year!

      • Alter Ego

        TRUE ASSESMENT.

        • Nick in PB

          Thanks Paul!

  • PakMaN

    I love me a Pagano, but that play really dissapointed me from a coaching stand point. You can’t blame Norv for that one.

    • arnie

      norv was the HC, i can blame him for eveything. Because he was responsible for the teams preparation.

      • NativeSanDiegan

        Can’t argue with that

    • RussinSactown

      There was 59 minutes of football to that point and a lot of football played that also could have had an made that point not relevant. I don’t blame him for every problem last year but I am willing to blame him for a lot.

      As far as Fluker is concerned, he is used to winning and I think he’ll be damned if he’s going to get used to losing.

      • Nick in PB

        Yes!!! Good call Russ. Winning attitude is something that we lost when we shipped Marty out. He was a coach that instilled that attitude in a team and made every player better! Norv, not so much. The new staff and the new players, like Fluker, are going to get this team fired up. We ARE going to see a change in attitude. No doubt about that.

  • Adam

    Love this dude!

  • ECAVILLE/Ace of Spades

    This team as a whole has become better. It reminds me of the championship teams of old. Unfortunately those teams were not mine until now(except 2006 when the Bolts went 14-2) From great philosophies like fatigue makes cowards of us all to commitment to excellence/just win baby, this team has a winning attitude that could even make the average athlete a excellent one; just look at the Patriots. The Bolts will not only strike but will strike multiple times and defy all odds!

  • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

    You could always look at the glass as half full… Our defense went head to head with the superbowl champs, and were one play away from victory. It WAS an Awful play, but a lot of other good teams never came close. Not that it makes me feel better, but a lot of teams weren’t even in a position to beat them, and didn’t we beat them the year before? And, we have made changes, and improvements. Fluker is one of those upgrades ; )

    • 619chargers4life

      Word!!!!

  • Gunnar Martin

    I was just looking at highlights of ‘Bama’s other OT, Cyrus Kouandjio. He’s a huge athletic freak that we could very likely draft next year in the first round. Anyways, the highlight was obviously from last year when Fluker was still playing there, and he caught my attention enough that it turned out to be more of a highlight reel of him instead. His play was really impressive. Really looks like that move is gonna pay off.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      and what if we had both of them here :)

      • Gunnar Martin

        There’s a very good chance that actually happens. He is probably going to be in our range when we are drafting next year. He could obviously drop/rise, but there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing two Bama tackles start opposite each other on Sundays next year :)

        • Nick in PB

          That would be awesome! I hope we don’t get shut out again in the draft of a LT.

  • C.Steele

    Good article Adam! I do think think the team needs a change of attitude, from finesse to Nasty. In addition, the culture needs to be changed to that of champion. I think in the past the teams culture was based on getting by on talent. The addition of Te’o & Fluker along with exisiting players like Butler & Weddle, we can expect to see a dramatic attitude and culture change! #GoBolts!