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One-on-One with the Pirates
, August 28, 2011

By Ron Cherubini

Q&A with Michael Dobson

By Ron Cherubini
All rights reserved.

Coming into the spring of 2011, Michael Dobson represented the only experienced that the East Carolina running backs had. It was limited action, but Dobson executed to the tune of more than 5.5 yards a touch. Clearly a position that was addressed in recruiting and through personnel movement, what now is taking place in camp is an all-out battle for what appears to be a singular job in the offense.

Though Dobson knows that he could come out somewhere in the depth chart other than No. 1, it doesn’t bother him because he knows for that to happen, someone has to be pretty darn good to beat him out. Still, he also witnessed a two-back rotation in 2010 that was pretty powerful. Given that he is a bigger, more physical back than his counterparts and that he is oriented with the offensive requirements for a back in this offense, it is a safe bet that Dobson will get his chances no matter how the running back battle ends up.

Michael was kind enough to sit down for a chat with Bonesville to share his insights on the upcoming season.

Michael Dobson (35) in action last season (ECU SID photo)

One-on-One with Michael Dobson

Q: You had a taste of what could be last season, getting 11 carries in game conditions (5.6 ypc) and may have the inside track to the position in 2011. What is your mindset going into Fall camp?

A: My mindset is to take my experiences and what I learned last year and try to build on that. Just try to get better each day. I think that as a running back unit, we have all been getting better. Keeping that mindset of coming out here working hard every day, taking steps forward every day, you know? If you’re not getting better, I think, then you are getting worse, and I think we all have done a good job of getting better every day out here.

Q: Last year got a first-hand look at a successful two-back rotation. How are you differentiating yourself from the other backs this year and do you see an opportunity for a couple of backs impacting this offense on a game-by-game basis this season?

A: I think that the rotation last year was good for us. We had two good running backs and that worked out well for the offense. You know, as far as this year, I can’t say if that would work or how the rotation is going to be. We have a lot of talented guys and I feel like we all could play and help this team win. But we just have to keep going at it and see how the rotation works out this year.

Q: Explain what is asked of a running back in this offense?

A: To be a running back in this offense, you have to be a complete back in this offense. It is a fast-paced offense and you have to be mentally strong because you have to think fast and play fast. You have to be able run, block and catch equally well. Catching is a big part because, as you know, with the type of offense we have, we throw the ball a lot, so you have to be able run routes and catch well out of the backfield. Of course, it is also a given that you are going to be a very good runner as well.

Q: What player on this team do you most respect and why?

A: I don’t think I can say one over the other… it is the entire team. As far as this camp, everybody… I mean everybody has been working hard. We have been working harder than we ever have before in my time here. The respect level from everybody has increased by a big margin… I look at it as an entire unit. I have the highest respect for every guy here. We have been working very hard.

Q: What player on our defense puts the best pop on you when you are going live?

A: [ Laugh ] There are more than one out there… hmmm… Justin Dixon. You know, he’s a pretty big, serious dude and he likes to hit you and tell you about it to let you know.

Q: Give me your thoughts on the offensive line out there right now for the Pirates?

A: I see a lot of improvement. Some of the guys are inexperienced as far as game experience, but I have seen through the spring and in this camp steady improvement. The biggest thing I see is the mentality and attitude of the guys. They are going to get the job done and get their blocks no matter what. They seem meaner and more focused on doing their job as a group. They are doing a great job and I am proud of them.

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Ron Cherubini Archives

08/28/2011 02:50 AM


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