Ravens' G D.J. Fluker Quotes 8.19.20
COURTESY OF BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
I know you talked a lot about your offseason. Did you have a goal in mind of what you wanted to get down to as far as weight? How proud are you of your offseason work? (Jamison Hensley) "I didn't really have a goal. I was just trying to get down, get leaner, get more explosive – things like that. Basically, come in at my best shape, and I think I've done a great job with that."
What do you like about the Ravens training camp compared to other places you have been? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "Just being here is a blessing. Meeting the guys, talking to Coach [John] Harbaugh, getting to know everyone – everyone is like a big family here. I think they do a great job with introducing people. I just feel at home here. They make you feel welcomed, and that's what it's all about for me. I'm just feeling great."
When you were deciding, kind of, mulling over whether to come to Baltimore, how much did the style of play and your connection to [offensive line] coach Joe D'Alessandris kind of play into your decision? (Daniel Oyefusi) "We go back to [the] San Diego [Chargers] days. (laughter) It's been fun. He hasn't changed a bit. [He's] always on guys about working hard, playing their tails off, five equals one, guys going [in] there and playing physical. That's been his mentality since Day One when he drafted me in San Diego. Being here, it's the same way – nothing [has] changed. It's been great."
You saw 'DangeRuss' [Seahawks QB Russell Wilson] up close in the huddle for a couple of seasons. Albeit it's a small sample size, but now you're around QB Lamar Jackson. Any similarities or differences between two of the best quarterbacks in the game? (Kirk McEwen) "They're both good. Playing with 'Russ' [Russell Wilson] and playing with Lamar [Jackson], they're both good quarterbacks. Lamar is like six [feet], five [inches] running around the pocket, taking off – he's super-fast. He reminds me of Michael Vick. I've never seen a guy with so much speed. He's a great quarterback – young, still learning. He has a little chip on his shoulder. Having a quarterback like that makes things a whole lot easier."
Can you share with us how much weight you lost, what you were starting at and what you're at now? And then your feelings coming into Baltimore replacing a guy like G Marshal Yanda? (Shawn Stepner) "I started off … I want to say, maybe at the end of my season, I was probably like 358 [pounds], something like that, and I got down to 348 [pounds]. But the thing is, it's really more about the body fat. My body fat was like 44 percent at the time, I think, and I got it down to 22 percent. I'm just lean mass more than anything. I probably was a little heavier than that, too, but I actually got down and took my time to work hard at it. It's been great. My trainer, Jacob Rice, helped me a lot. He's in Seattle, so he came out here with me. We trained, came out here a little bit earlier on the [July] 15th, came out here and put work in. Plus, it's hot out here, too. Woah – let me tell you; it's a lot different being out here than it is being in Seattle. (laughter) But it's still good to be out here. Other than that, that was my goal. [Marshal] Yanda is a Hall of Famer. You can't replace that guy. That's a guy that has his own mentality in how he does things. He's a good dude. I chatted with him on a little Zoom call. But other than that, I mean, shoot … Those are big shoes to fill, but I'm just going to be myself, come in and do what I do best – and that's just play football. That's me – hungry, ready to go and win a championship and a Super Bowl and that's it."
Can you talk about what it's like blocking DE Calais Campbell in practice? (Garrett Downing) "It's the first time I ever picked somebody as big as you that can move with sweet feet. (laughter) It's a challenge. Some days, it's a challenge. Some days, we go at it. He may win one, I'll win one. You're going against great players. He's a real savvy vet though, real tricky. We have great battles. That's what it's about at training camp – going and battling."
Would you say you are in the best shape of your career? How has being leaner helped you out on the field? How do you feel it making a difference? (Ryan Mink) "Being able to move like water – just being able to flow. You've got to have sweet feet to go on the field and play offensive line. More reaction time, being able to switch off of blocks really quick, getting my assignments down, being able to reach with, almost, a four eye – those are hard things to do. But I've come along and have really worked hard at it. So, being lighter, being leaner, being more explosive – that does help."
Did you say you had a Zoom chat with Marshal Yanda? If so, how did that get set up? (Aaron Kasinitz) "No, no it was more of the offensive line. He called in on a Zoom call during OTAs, during the time when we had our little Zoom meetings, and stuff like that. He was just telling us the best advice, and I was listening. He had some great pointers. First off, the key was working hard. Don't take any day for granted, and just be who you are, and that's what it is."
You mentioned QB Lamar Jackson's speed. How much of an adjustment is that for you – just getting used to a guy that is just so dynamic and explosive? (Morgan Adsit)"I don't think I have to get used to it. I think the defense [has] got to get used to it. (laughter)I don't mind it, but it's really about keeping him safe for me, protecting him, making sure he can get that ball off and give him as much time as he needs. That's what it's about for me. But defenses got to deal with him. We don't have to deal with him, because he's on our team."