Chiefs Newcomer Admits Andy Reid’s Blunt Message Convinced Him to Sign

Andy Reid

Getty Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid in 2022.

When former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Drue Tranquill decided to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs, it was reported that five other NFL franchises were interested (per Jordan Schultz of The Score).

So, why choose KC then? The Chiefs field a very competitive linebacker room and Tranquill clearly had other options. The veteran newcomer explained his decision during an appearance on the “Ross Tucker Football Podcast” on May 18 — and it involved a surprisingly blunt message from head coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach.

“Brett Veach and Andy Reid’s message was: ‘Drue, there’s no promises here,'” Tranquill admitted to Tucker. “‘We love you as a player. We love what you’re able to do. You’re super-versatile. You’re a total linebacker and can do it all — but we’ve got a lot of great players here, and you’re going to have to come in here and earn your way.'”

Some players might have shied away from a challenge like this and signed elsewhere, but it seemed to really strike a chord with the former Chargers rival.

Chiefs LB Drue Tranquill Likens KC Signing to Declaring for Notre Dame over Purdue

The big free agency choice reminded Tranquill of a similar situation during the college recruiting process.

He recalled a story for Tucker, detailing: “It was kind of the same message when I chose Notre Dame over Purdue. Purdue was like: ‘You’ll come in here and you’ll play right away.’ Notre Dame was like: ‘Hey, you’re going to have to earn your way.’ If I’ve learned anything in my story, it’s when I surround myself with people who are as good — or better than — I am, I always end up coming out better on the other end.”

Tranquill went on, noting that “I think the ultimate goal for me is I want to be the best player that Drue Tranquill can be.” He added that he felt the Chiefs “gave me the best chance to do that.”

That bit of transparency from Reid and Veach — plus the fact that he’d be surrounding himself with quality players and coaches — inspired Tranquill to make the jump from LA to KC. Of course, the track record of linebackers coach Brendan Daly didn’t hurt either.

“When you talk about Super Bowl winning coaches, Brendan Daly — our linebackers coach — he’s done it in New England [and] done it with the Chiefs,” Tranquill praised.

“They really wanted me [and] really pursued me hard,” he concluded later. “We’re excited to be Chiefs.”

Drue Tranquill Didn’t Feel Chargers Wanted Him Back

The other part of this interview with Tucker that was interesting was Tranquill’s comments about the Chargers organization.

“I was a little surprised the Chargers didn’t want to bring me back,” the linebacker stated candidly. “There were people in the building that really wanted me back — and there were a few people who wanted to move on. Business is business, but when you give four years so hard to an organization — and it doesn’t feel reciprocated — that’s hard.”

Tranquill enjoyed a breakout campaign with LAC in 2022, starting 16 games and appearing in 17 for the first time in his career. He finished with 146 total tackles (10 for a loss), five sacks, eight QB hits, four passes defended, one interception and one forced fumble.

“We had three kids out in LA,” Tranquill told Tucker. “We were hoping to stay out there. And it didn’t pan out.

On the other hand, the Chiefs “were adamant all week that they really wanted [Tranquill],” according to the linebacker. Sometimes, being wanted is all it takes.

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