Stoutland’s Message To OL: ‘Make Your Opponent Feel You’

INDIANAPOLIS — D.J. Fluker couldn’t stand still.

The Alabama offensive lineman bounced from side to side, talking fast, but providing insightful responses as beads of sweat formed on his forehead.

“I’m always like this,” Fluker said. “I’m the high-energy guy on that team.”

What do you do to relax?

“There’s no time to relax. Every day to me is a work day. I want to be the Ray Lewis of my offensive line.”

Alabama’s offensive line has a strong presence at the NFL Combine. Guard Chance Warmack is unanimously considered a first-round pick. Fluker, who played right tackle last year, but is also getting a look at guard, is considered a first- or second-rounder. And versatile interior lineman Barrett Jones is projected to go off the board in the first round rounds.

All three, of course, were coached by Jeff Stoutland, now the Eagles’ offensive line coach.

“He taught me a lot as far as reading safeties, reading coverages, that’s our job,” Fluker said. “Being more aggressive at the point of attack. Drive people off the ball. Finish them. Make them feel you. That’s the main thing. Make your opponent feel you. Let them know early. Set the tone early, that’s the main thing.”

How is Stoutland different from other coaches?

“Couch Stoutland was one of those guys that, he wanted your effort,” Fluker added. “He wanted your best every time at practice. He finds guys, calls them catfish – the guy that’s going to jump out the water and give you everything they’ve got on every play. He looks for those type of guys.”

Fluker measured in at 6-5, 339 pounds on Friday and has long arms (36 3/4 inches). Asked what the most fun thing to do on a football field is, he responded, “Knocking the defensive end down. Dominate them every single play. Let them know this ball’s coming right behind me.”

During his interview, Fluker said he’s spent time watching and studying Jason Peters and Anthony Munoz.

Known as a player who never stops talking, Fluker was asked what he says to opposing defensive ends.

“I’m saying to you, ‘Hey, I’m coming to take your lunch money,'” he responded.

“When I’ve got them on skates, I finish ‘em. Kind of like Mortal Kombat.”

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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