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Senior Bowl Introductory Press Conference – DJ Fluker from Alabama

January 24, 2013 in 2013 Senior Bowl

This is an excerpt from OL DJ Fluker's (from Alabama) Press Conference, which was part of the Senior Bowl's Introductory Press Conference on Sunday night:

Question:  DJ, what's the reason you now decided to come out to NFL?

Fluker:

Me and Coach Saban, last season we had a talk, I was thinking about coming out last year and I had some big decisions on top of that. As far as this year, I got my degree, graduated, that was the main thing to get my degree. I'll tell any guy that, because you never know when your last play could be. That's kind of my main influence on that.

Of course this year when I talked to Coach Saban, after the Bowl game, we had a good conversation about it. Far as they say, hey, I support everything you do. I appreciate your hard work you gave us for the last four years here. He told me, I'd love to have you back for one more year though. I told him that I had to support my family, and that was kind of my main choice right there.

Question:  Do you have any favorite teams?

Fluker:

Right now, you know, my favorite team is far as that, I grew up in New Orleans for half my life. And then I moved to Mobile, AL, and met some nice people down here. Far as my favorite team, that was the Saints right there. But right now, well, its the team that has that winning mentality, that's wants to win championships, that wants to go to the Super Bowl, and teams like that. And just have that mentality that I would not be denied.

Question:   Was your family relocated here after Katrina?

Fluker:

Yes sir, we have located and live here in Mobile.

Question:   Can you talk a little bit about that Katrina experience, and what that did to you and your family?

Fluker:

You know, as far as Katrina, it displaces our whole family. My auntie, she took us in. In Mobile, I started to go to school at McGill-Toolen High School. I started my high school career there, as far as that, it kind of took off from there.

Question:   What do you hope this week will do for you?

Fluker:

Hopefully to prove to everybody that I can play. To power like a physical tackle, that's kind of what people are looking for, can I move, how does he try to improve in all the little things.

Question:   Are you going to be able to play in the game?

Fluker:

That's kind of questionable right now. I'm trying to see how I feel today and tomorrow, and see how we go from there.

Question:   What's the injury?

Fluker:

Calf sprain and little bit of a groin injury for right now.

Question:   Outside of the National Championships, what's your favorite moment playing at Alabama?

Fluker:

Playing in the SEC Championship, that was probably one of my greatest moments. I look back at that time right there, that's probably one of the greatest comebacks of all time I believe. To play on a team that even though we were down, you got to be able to be a leader, even with things going wrong, be able to bring a team back. You know, that was the main thing. To feed them energy, and that was the main thing that brought us back in the game. I told the coach right there, I said, run the ball behind me, I'm going to take you home.

Question:   DJ, how more mentality prepared are you for this now than you were a year ago?

Fluker:

I'm a lot more mentality prepared this time, physically I have the physical gifts right there. But I'm more mentally stable.

Question:   In the 80s and 90s the Redskins had "The Hogs", at Alabama did you guys have an internal nickname?

Fluker:

Five Horsemen. But we just took pride in our job, that was the main thing.

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Senior Bowl Introductory Press Conference – Justin Pugh from Syracuse

January 23, 2013 in 2013 Senior Bowl

This is an excerpt from OL Justin Pugh's (from Syracuse) Press Conference, which was part of the Senior Bowl's Introductory Press Conference on Sunday night:

Question:  What do you hope to get accomplished this week Justin?

Pugh:

Justin Pugh at Senior Bowl practice.

Justin Pugh at Senior Bowl practice.

Hoping to go out there and play against some of the day best competition. I know that the players that are in this game are some of the best in the country, and the Senior bowl is known for having the best players. So I think I I can definitely go out there and show what type of player I am and give the coaches an idea. And also I want to learn a lot, because I mean the coaches are NFL coaches and you can learn a lot from them. So I'm excited about that.

Question:  Was the Syracuse coaching staff change a factor in your decision to come out this year? (Asked Fanspeak's Steve Shoup)

Pugh:

No it wasn't. I mean I can of set it up so I could graduate. I knew going into the year that I wanted to graduate to kind of give me the option that I could go either way but have my degree. My mom, being a teacher, she was real big on if I didn't get my degree, I wasn't going to be able to come out. So I made sure I took 5 classes over the summer to make sure I graduated in December. And I made my decision before Coach Marrone left for the Bills. But the whole time, he was supportive and he was great about it, and I just can only thank him for that.

Question: What's your degree in?

Pugh:

Finance. Yeah, so if any of you guys need help with your money, just let me know.

(Laughter)

Question:  What's the best piece of advice you got from the Syracuse coaching staff before coming down to this game? (Asked by Fanspeak's Steve Shoup)

Pugh:

Its about your mentality — how you're going to approach the week. If you want to go on, and you want to work hard, and put everything into it, then you're going to get out whatever you put into it. My coaches said you can't go down there and think its a time to relax and you know, enjoy yourself. But you want to go out and meet people and show them what kind of kid you are and then you want to go show them what type of player you are. So this is a business trip.

Question: When did you find out you were going to come to the Senior Bowl?

Pugh:

Officially I found out this past week. So I'm down training in Atlanta with Chip Smith. Its great down there and they let me know that I would be able to play in the game —  that finally the NFL and the Senior Bowl were able to come to the criteria we talked about earlier and gave me the OK. I was so excited, I hopped on the first plane down here and got down here as soon as possible.

Question:  Is there one aspect of your game that you maybe heard people criticize that you want to show scouts that its maybe not a weakness this week?

Pugh:

I think something that everyone talks about is maybe my size. I'm not like your protypical 6'8"-6'7", 350 lbs. left tackle. But I think that what I bring to the table is something that complements my game with my athleticism. And I think I will be able to show that this week in drills.

 

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