D.J. Fluker fits in with Giants O-line, something to prove
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) D.J. Fluker is going to fit in well with the New York Giants' offensive line.
Like everyone on the unit, the 2013 first-round pick has a lot to prove after being let go by the San Diego Chargers.
The line was a main focal point of the Giants' problems last season.
Despite an 11-5 regular-season record that got New York into the playoffs for the first time since 2011, the offense was anemic. The running game rarely got going, and Eli Manning seemingly took more hits trying to pass than in years past. The defense carried the team.
The offensive line is populated by relatively the same cast as last season, with the lone exception being right tackle Marshall Newhouse, who signed with Oakland as a free agent.
Bobby Hart has taken over at his spot, even though many think the Giants signed Fluker as a free agent in the offseason to play there. For now, the 6-foot-5, 339-pounder has been the backup right guard during organized team activities.
''I have a lot to prove, more than just being a player, just to prove to the team that let me go,'' Fluker said Friday after the Giants wrapped up their second week of OTAs. ''So I got a chip on my shoulder, and I'm very hungry right now. I'm motivated every single day.''
There are plenty of questions about what the Giants will do with their line. Ereck Flowers, the first-round draft pick two years ago, has struggled at left tackle in his first two seasons. There will probably be an open competition at both tackle spots.
Fluker said linemen hear lots of criticism. After Fluker signed a one-year, $3 million contract, Giants general manager Jerry Reese told him all he wants from him is passion when he plays.
''It's hard. It's hard, but that's the best part about it,'' Fluker said. ''It's about the passion about playing this game every single day, so you have to bring it.''
Giants OTAs continued with two of the team's biggest stars again failing to show: receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and defensive end Olivier Vernon.
In addition, five other players were missing from Friday's workouts: cornerback Janoris Jenkins, guard Justin Pugh, linebacker Jonathan Casillas, defensive lineman Owa Odighizuwa and safety Nat Berhe.
''We did the attendance song and dance last week, so let's skip that this week,'' coach Ben McAdoo said.
Punter Brad Wing made up for Beckham's absence by dying his hair a shade of blond, similar to what Beckham has colored his hair. The two were LSU teammates.
Wing told a team spokesman that he did not want to comment about the look after the workout.
Receiver Brandon Marshall, tight end Rhett Ellison and cornerback Eli Apple were limited by minor aches.
NOTES: Apple, the first-round draft pick last year, has changed his diet, cut out junk food and put on 10 pounds. Surprisingly, the cornerback is faster. At least that's what he says the tracking machines attached to his body are recording. ... TE Matt LaCosse, the training camp star who had trouble staying healthy the past two seasons, had four nice catches, including two in the back of the end zone for touchdowns. He is also working out more to overcame weakness on his right side that led to hamstring and knee injuries. ... Free agent WR Kevin Norwood left the field with what looked like an injury to his left foot.
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