Matt Slauson plays every snap with the demeanor all teams covet in an offensive lineman.
Those are traits that aren't always easy to come across. However, the Chargers just added a pair who boast those qualities in droves.
The Bolts nabbed a pair of physical offensive linemen on the second day of the draft, selecting Western Kentucky's Forrest Lamp in the second round and Indiana's Dan Feeney in the third. Slauson, for one, couldn't be happier with the decisions.
"I think they were both great picks. From everything I hear, both guys are smart and tough. I'm really excited about the opportunity of having them mix it up in there with us."
He also knows he'll have to play a significant role in getting the pair of rookies up to speed. However, he's eager to get started right away, seeing the value they can bring from day one as he looks to change the culture up front.
"I'm going to help them out as much as I possibly can. We're all about getting this thing turned around really quickly. We're going to protect Philip (Rivers) and make sure he is never touched. We are going to make sure we go out there and we'll just pound guys in the running game. They fit the culture we are going to build. They are perfect fits for it. (Head Coach) Anthony Lynn is all about ground and pound, and really moving guys back. He wants a really nasty O-Line. I think both these guys are great fits for that."
Slauson admits he was more interested than most years to see who the team was going to draft. He didn't want the team to add raw projects who would help out down the line. The veteran wanted the Bolts to draft guys to help win now, which is exactly what they did in the first three rounds.
"Our organization is really quiet about what they look to do in the draft. I wanted to see what it was going to be. We are getting a lot of players who will help us win now. That's great as opposed to going a different route in a building route. These picks tell me the opposite. These picks tell me we are here to win now."
Once upon a time Slauson was in Lamp and Feeney's shoes as a rookie lineman making the leap from the college ranks to the pros. He knows it isn't easy, yet having each other to lean on should help the process. Still, the veteran will be there to help every step of the way.
"There are a lot of things that are difficult about your rookie year. You are coming off a non-stop stint of the senior year, then all-star games, Combine training and pro day training; it's non-stop. And then you go right into the rookie grind. So they have to come in and figure out how to be a pro immediately. It's adjusting to the speed of the game. No matter what level of college you play, there is a big jump in speed. On top of all that, you have to come in and earn the veterans' respect by bringing it on every play. If you come in, make mistakes and play slow because you aren't sure; well, the older guys aren't having that. So they are going to have to come in and be ready to roll. Study hard, stay late and do whatever it takes. And I'll be there to help however I can."