Matt Slauson on relocation realities: 'This one's been tough'

SAN DIEGO -- The Los Angeles Chargers will practice for a final time at Chargers Park as the team wraps up mandatory minicamp here Thursday.

Even though players, coaches and other team employees have known for six months the Chargers are relocating just a couple of hours north to Costa Mesa, the move has still been difficult for everyone involved.

Chargers offensive lineman Matt Slauson talked about that difficult transition in this conversation with Nick Hardwick and Judson Richards of Xtra 1360 Fox Sports Radio.

"This one's been tough mostly because you didn't expect it to ever be a reality," Slauson said. "It's kind of been out there for a long time, for 10 or 15 years it's always been talked about but never realized. As a player you know the reality of moving is always there -- you might get cut or traded, and that's just an evil you have to deal with.

"But you don't expect as a player when you're staying with the team and you've got to move. So it has been a little different. It's been a little difficult for my family considering we just moved to San Diego. They got here last June, and we bought a house. And all of sudden in 11 months we're putting it on the market and selling it as we sell our Chicago place, along with trying to find a house in L.A.

"It was just a lot to deal with. And as a player, not a lot of that stress falls on me, because I've got my own stuff that I need to do. On my wife, all that stress fell on her. And it was a difficult time, but she's a champ and one of the best. She got it all handled, we're all moved and everything is set."

Slauson's also dealing with a position change on the field, moving from center to his more natural position of left guard. So far, Slauson said that change has gone well.

"I'm just out here having fun and I don't care where I play," Slauson said. "They can move me wherever they want. I heard their going to try me out at a little X [receiver] and a little Z [receiver] today [laughs].

"It allows me to play a little more like I'm used to. The center spot is something that I felt I kind of got a handle on as I went, but it's not my true spot. At the guard spot, I like to be the bully, the bouncer in there. And I like being really aggressive."

My take: Slauson went on to say he could get into a bad spot being overly aggressive at center, so he's more comfortable moving back to guard. I also think the position change makes the Chargers more solid and nastier up front.

Jim Alexander of the Riverside Press-Enterprise writes about the awkwardness of the Chargers staying in San Diego for the last six months. "There's a lot of sentimental value here, a lot of great memories here," Chargers safety Darrell Stuckey said. "The roots of the Chargers will always be in San Diego. But the branches will keep spreading."

My take: It will be interesting to see players' reactions after practice, if there's any nostalgia for older players like Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates practicing at Chargers Park for a final time.

Jack Wang of the Orange County Register points out that the Chargers have depth at receiver, and history tells us they will need it. "Every time we talk about depth, we get hit by that bug in camp," Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said.

My take: Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin have both looked impressive coming off knee injuries. We'll see if they can remain healthy during training camp.