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Drue Tranquill, Los Angeles Chargers Linebacker

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2022 6:41 pm

Drue Tranquill, Los Angeles Chargers Linebacker

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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September 30, 2022 6:41 pm

Drue Tranquill joined Zach to discuss his reaction to Tua Tagovailoa getting concussed on Thursday night as well as how the Chargers will persevere through all of their injuries. 

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There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. We continue it as a Football Friday on the Zach Gelb show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. Chargers looking to bounce back after back to back losses.

They're going up against the Texans this weekend in Houston at 1 o'clock p.m. Eastern. And now joining us on the Zach Gelb show is a linebacker for the Chargers, Drew Tranquil. Drew, appreciate the time. How you been? I'm good, Zach. How are you doing? I'm doing fantastic.

I appreciate you jumping on today for a few minutes right before you guys get set to have a little battle up against the Texans this weekend. I know you're talking about Q Collar today, a big topic of conversation with the aftermath of what occurred last night in the football game. Just tell me a little bit about Q Collar.

Absolutely, yeah. For me, it's just an added layer of protection. It kind of gives me the most confidence going out there that I'm doing the most to kind of protect my head to the best of my abilities. And obviously, we see things like last night what happened with Tua, but if we're being honest, head injuries are happening every day on the gridiron, every Sunday, and certainly, you know, every time, you know, youth, high school, college athletes are stepping out on the field. So if we can do the most to protect our brains, being the best helmet and the best equipment, you know, that's always advantageous for our athletes. I know that more than a dozen NFL players are currently playing with Q Collar, which is applying slight pressure with devices to the jugular vein via the neck. The Q Collar gently increases blood volume inside the head, reducing the brain's movement upon impact, which is the primary cause of a brain injury. How did you come across this, and why did you think it was the best thing for you to wear? Yeah, Zach, I actually first wore it at Notre Dame back in 2016 when they were just coming out with the product, and guys like Luke Kuechly were testing it, and, you know, our football team at Notre Dame was trying it out.

So I was aware of the Q Collar. I felt like from a performance standpoint, there were some needed improvements before, you know, I wanted to wear it in a game, and they've certainly addressed those over the past few years, and heading into the season, I was very interested in wearing the device and protecting my head on a week-to-week basis. Drew Tranquil from the Chargers here with us. How did you react to what we saw last night with Tuatunga Vailao in the Dolphins-Bengals game?

Yeah, Zach, it's really sad. We all saw what happened the week earlier, and from a player's perspective, it is difficult. Any time a guy gets hurt, you feel for him. We play a high-impact game where, you know, injuries are inevitable, but specifically when it comes to the head, it's tough to see that they let him go back on the field last week after what we saw. As a player in the heat of the battle, your instinct is fight or flight. You're going to want to go back in.

You're going to want to say, I'm good. But it's unfortunate that they let him go back in after seeing an obvious head impact, seeing him stumble around, and then we see the aftermath, you know, what can happen when that is left not taken care of. You know, and unfortunately, he went down last night. Supposedly the news is he's got feeling in his extremities and he's feeling well, and certainly that's what our hopes are, but you just feel bad for the kid. So, I'm not a doctor, obviously, and I would never try to pretend to be one, but as a fan and just watching this, or just any human being, like last week, I was shocked when he returned to the game. Like, what is it, what do you especially have to do to clear concussion protocol, because I was shocked how quickly he got back on the field last week. Yeah, honestly, I'm not super familiar with the concussion protocol, and like you said, I'm not a medical expert either.

I've never had to go through that in a game. That's what I understand. They take you in the tent, and there's a baseline test we take as players coming in with our entrance physicals, and I think you do a quick test and they compare that to your baseline. I think the doctors look at your eyes and see how they're dilating, and there's just a few standard, probably balanced tests that he went through, but a lot of it, when it comes to concussions, is so subjective.

And so the player is saying, I'm good, I'm good, I'm good, and the doctors are saying, well, these things seem to be checking out. He's not having a ton of sensitivity to light right now, and you can get players that end up going back in the game with head injuries. I know he returned last week like we're talking about. He clearly played in the game last night in a Thursday night game. Were you surprised that he played on Thursday last night?

I was, Zach. After watching the video of him stumbling after getting hit last week, I was surprised, I guess not surprised, at the fact Tua seems to be a really tough kid and obviously desires to be out there and be playing with his teammates, but I was surprised they let him go, for sure. Drew Tranquil here with us. Chargers going up against the Texans this Sunday, 1 o'clock in Houston. Going back to last week, what happened? How do you kind of look back on that loss to the Jaguars where that game was really one side in favor of Jacksonville?

Yeah, it was a humbling experience. We played really poorly, really in all three phases. We had areas where we could have improved. I thought if we did anything well, I thought we kind of contained Agnew, their returner on special teams, but if you look at offensively, defensively, we just needed to make more big plays. Jacksonville made those plays. You look at the 50-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. You look at the forced turnovers they had, and they really just dominated the football game, so we know we can play a lot better, and we've certainly shown that this week in practice, and we're looking forward to the opportunity to go against the Texans Sunday afternoon. Did you at all in the preparation overlook maybe the Jaguars a little bit? Do you think that played a factor into it?

I don't think so. I think you come off two division games, and the atmosphere is a little bit different on Sunday. I think at the end of the day, we knew Jacksonville had a great defense. We knew they had a good offense with an efficient quarterback that had been playing a lot better through two games than he did last year. And I think they exposed that in us, and they played really, really well. They played good football, and we did not play well enough on defense or offense to win that ballgame.

Drew Tranquil here with us for a few more moments. I was a big believer in this team. I'm not going to jump off-ship after three games. I thought you guys were going to win the AFC West this year.

That was my pick before the year. Where's the mentality of this team right now since you're in that locker room after you guys got that week one victory, but then the last two weeks it hasn't gone in your favor? Yeah, we felt like we were really close here in Kansas City.

A couple plays here, a couple plays there, and the movie looks completely different. We did not play our best football last week, and we've certainly been battling some injuries here. We've got guys playing through stuff. We've got guys that have gone down or are going to be out for a while.

I know we've got a resilient group, and we've got a deep group. When you look at what Tom Tolesco and Coach Staley have done with building our roster, we've got depth. We're really optimistic about the guys we're going to have on the field this Sunday.

We like our chances to go out there and play a lot better football than we did last week. Some years teams just get hit with an injury bug, and we saw that last year with Baltimore. You talked about the injuries. Rashawn Slater is out for the year. Joey Bosa is now going to miss a lot of time. Herbert, I know he had a full participation in practice the other day, but he's been banged up.

Keenen Allen out this weekend. Does that at all cross your mind that, man, maybe this is just the year that we're getting hit with the injury bug and it could derail the season? I don't know that our mindset is that it's going to derail the season. Certainly you feel it when you have star players like you mentioned. You look at Corey Lindsley, Keenen Allen, Joey Bosa, Rashawn Slater, our franchise quarterback, Herbert is dealing with something. You definitely feel that as a team, but like I mentioned earlier, I feel like we have a lot of depth.

Whereas maybe in years prior, we would have felt it a lot more. I think when you look across the landscape of the NFL, we see it last night with Tua. Every team in some shape or fashion is dealing with what we call the injury bug.

It's just inevitable in the game of football. We like our chances. We like our depth in our locker room.

We're going to be ready to go. We certainly miss those guys and they're a big part of our team. It's cool to see those guys still out there at practice, still hanging around, coaching up the next man in.

We're looking forward to the opportunity this week against the Tech Boys. Tom and Brandon addressed the defense this offseason and they were aggressive with some of the shortcomings that happened last year. What do you think this defensive unit can be this season, Drew Tranquil? I think we have a ton of potential when you look at how they've invested on the defensive side of the football.

We're great at all three levels. I think when you can have your rush and your cover working together, you can be a good football team. Certainly, we're not happy with how we've played specifically on third down thus far in the season, but we're optimistic that we're three games in and we have a lot of new guys playing together.

There's a lot of continuity that has to get formed, has to get shaped. We're developing that on a week-to-week basis and we're going to continue to be a better football team. Take me inside your locker room when it comes to the belief level in your head football coach. Last year, when the aggressiveness was working, everyone loved it.

When it didn't work, everyone was critical of it. Are you guys fully bought into your head football coach, Brandon Staley? We love Coach Staley and I think a great example of that is we have onboarded so many new guys.

When you look at Kyle Van Noy, when you look at J.C. Jackson, I'm specifically talking the defensive side of the ball, Khalil Mack, Austin Johnson, Sebastian Joseph Day. We've brought in so many guys and these guys come in and they're like, man, just sitting in a team meeting with him, he's so bright. I think guys really believe in his understanding of the game, how much he puts into being a great football coach. This is his second year as a head coach.

He's a young guy. He's figuring it out as he goes, just like we are, but I think more than anything, we can see his commitment to being a great coach, to investing in his players. He shows that on a day-to-day basis.

When you talk about the belief, the belief is very, very high when it comes to Coach Staley. What has been your impressions for the first two years of what we've seen from Justin Herbert and what he's been able to do so far as now he's in year number three in the NFL? Because, man, you can't really say many negative things about the guy.

Yeah, Justin is fantastic. He's a fantastic teammate and he's an ultra competitor. I think he's such a unique leader in that he's the guy, he literally doesn't have to say anything and he has the full respect of the locker room, the full respect of the organization and the coaching staff. You look at what he's done the past two weeks with banged up ribs and he's out there.

He wants to be out there. He's battling through it and you just can't say enough about his toughness and his leadership as a player and the intangibles he brings. We all know the tangibles, the arm strength, his decision making, but when you look at the intangibles and what he brings to our organization, it's unbelievable. Last thing I'll ask you before we let you run Drew Tranquil, and I really appreciate the time, this team, like we've been talking about, loaded with talent, big expectations this year. Really the last decade, decade plus, the Chargers have had a lot of talent and they haven't gone where they're supposed to go, so some fans say it's the same old Chargers now with you guys getting off to that one and two start. What do you say to that fan that is doubting that your football team isn't going to get to the level where you guys should get to this year? It's a great question.

It's a valid question. I think as a football team, we onboarded a ton of players this offseason and Coach Staley addressed it kind of in the team meeting this week. We've got a lot of guys that have not played a lot of football together, and so from a communication, from a timing perspective, from all these things that really, really matter, if you look at all the great teams over the course of history, even look at the Tampa Bay team, when they onboarded all those great players, they struggled early and they went on to win the Super Bowl. You look at basketball, like the Miami Heat when they onboarded LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, all these guys, it took a while for them to learn to play together. I think we're just figuring out ironing out the wrinkles, specifically on the defensive side of the football, learning to play together. You insert a rookie there at right guard, Zion Johnson, they're figuring out continuity in the offensive line. You get Rashawn Slater going down, Corey Linsley missing time. There's a lot of continuity that has to be formed to execute on all three phases, and I think we're feeling that early on, but I like our progress and how we're looking on a day-to-day basis in practice, and I think you're going to continue to see a better and better football team as the year goes on.

Drew Tranquil on the Zach Gelb show on behalf of the Cute Collar, which is the only FDA cleared sports equipment proven to help protect the brain from repetitive head impacts. Drew, safe travels, good luck this weekend, really do appreciate the time and perspective. Yeah, Zach, thanks so much. Download the Odyssey app today. So get started and download the free Odyssey app today.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-29 09:39:38 / 2022-12-29 09:46:20 / 7

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