Insider Exclusive: Q&A with OT Tyler Luellen

SDBoltReport.com's Michael Kranzler continues his interview with rookie OT Tyler Luellen, this time for Insiders only. Luellen talks about his father's Multiple Sclerosis, his experiences with Coach Gary Pinkel in Missouri, and his tutoring sessions with Marcus McNeill. Find out what else Luellen has to say in this Insiders exclusive.

Michael Kranzler: Your father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. What does it mean to you to see how he pushes himself to move forward even with the disease?

Tyler Luellen: It's been a really hard challenge for me and it's one of the reasons I stayed close to home for college because I wanted him to see me play college football. Me being pushed everyday helped him push himself, which I think helped him battle the fatigue he has. He's still fighting strong. He was diagnosed around 1990 and he's one of the lucky ones.

MK: What does it mean to you to have been a part of one of the greatest seasons in Missouri's history?

TL: You know, it was an honor. When I first went there, I went on a gut feeling that [Tigers head coach] Gary Pinkel and the staff at Missouri had something special about them. Throughout my years at Missouri, they started to show what Missouri football is all about.

MK: Many people believe that your team got the short end of the stick in terms of the BCS Bowl picture because you beat Kansas yet they got the bid to the Orange Bowl. How did that give your team the motivation to rout Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl?

TL: You know, we were upset a little bit, but we were honored to be in the Cotton Bowl. It was very special for us and I think we had a chip on our shoulder going in and it felt like we were underestimated and got the short end, like you said. But we went out and fought hard and played our game.

MK: Have any of the Chargers veterans started to mentor you on the field?

TL: I try to talk to and take coaching pointers from Marcus McNeill. When I have questions, I ask him. He's not afraid to help me out. He's a great player and I want to mold myself to be a great player by learning from those who are great players.

MK: Is there anything you want to say to all the Chargers fans out there or that you would want them to know about you?

TL: This year is going to be exciting. The team aspect right now, everybody's pumped and we're ready to make it to Tampa Bay in February.

Click here for the rest of this interview, where Luellen talks about making the leap from a spread offense, keeping in shape year-round and dealing with the hairy aspects of life in the trenches.


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