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One-on-One with the Pirates
, August 15, 2010

By Ron Cherubini

Q&A with Reggie Bullock

By Ron Cherubini
All rights reserved.

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Depending on your perspective, last season was somewhat of a glass half-full or half-empty for Reggie Bullock. With an outstanding resume from the junior college ranks, including All-America honors, Bullock’s arrival in Greenville was highly anticipated given that two proven backs were moving on via graduation in Jon Williams and Giovanni Ruffin.

What East Carolina saw out of Bullock was very good. An innate runner, Bullock is adept at setting up blocks and, as offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley stated, a guy who “always gets at least the yardage you expect from every play.” The problem was that we didn’t get to see enough of Bullock as he was injured relatively early on and was not able to really produce the way he appeared he would. There were other factors as well — including an offensive line not quite ready for prime time, particularly in the run game.

All healthy now and looking to run behind a much more experienced offensive line, Bullock appears to be the front-runner for at least the top position on the depth chart, if not for the role of primary back in this offense. He can run, catch and pass-protect, which means he has the goods to do what the job requires.

As Riley has said, “We are a better team with Reggie in the line-up.” No deference to the other backs but, now a senior, Bullock could be set for a break-out season just when the Pirates are going to need it. What Bullock and his running back colleagues are able to do production-wise will make all the difference this year while the new quarterback settles into the rigors of playing every snap.

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

Reggie Bullock in action
(ECU SID photo)

One-on-One with Reggie Bullock

Q: Last season, you seemed to be really on track for a great first season, then you got injured, an injury that Lincoln Riley and Coach Ruffin McNeill refer to as a “freak” injury. Are you fully recovered and what has it been like trying to get yourself ready to pick up where you left off?

A: Oh yeah, I feel a lot stronger thanks to the off-season work. My upper body is much stronger and so is my lower body which is important considering the leg injury last season. I am fully, 100% healthy and ready to compete every day. I am excited for this (competition).

Q: A year ago, the running back corps was not a healthy group and not a very stable group. This season, back in spring, it was clear that the cupboard was full of quality backs. What has the competition meant for you and your game?

A: The competition is always hard out here and we have a couple of backs here who are just outstanding and capable of being the main guy. Competition, for me, really helps me focus on each opportunity I get. You work hard for reps out here and each one counts a lot. So for me, I go hard each rep knowing that I have to put each one together. I am fighting to be that guy on the field for the first snap. The competition is good for all of us.

Q: Coach Riley has said that several backs would get their chances in games, but also has said it is important that there be a main back, one with all of the needed skills. He said with Bullock in the game we are a better running team. While we see different backs out there this season, does it make a difference to you to be the main guy?

A: Yes, and I think that all the guys would say that. For me, rhythm is an important part of it. Being that (main guy), you have an advantage of getting into a rhythm with the offensive line and quarterback. I want to be that guy. All of our backs are capable of being really good and any one of us can have a breakout game, but, yeah, of course, I would prefer to be the main guy.

Q: You ran behind this offensive line last year and in the spring and now this fall. Describe what you are seeing? Are they better and if so, what do they do better this year than last?

A: They are a lot better right now. They have all worked hard, and in camp you can tell how much bigger and stronger they are. It is amazing how much they have improved. They also work very hard in the film room and it shows on the field. You can see that power in front of you.

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

A: Probably Andrew Bodenheimer because he works his butt off out here every day without saying much at all. He never has an attitude and he always is out there leading by example. He is a leader for us.

Q: What player on our defense leaves a lasting impression on you when he puts a lick on you?

A: Man, they all hit pretty good. But I will say, last year, when I first got here, when I first got out there with pads on, I remember I was running a play and I was running too high and Damon (Magazu) came up and got up under my pads — that was memorable for me. Didn’t run high anymore after that.

Q: Thoughts on the QBs? Can you describe each one from your perspective?

A: OK. [Rio Johnson:] Great arm, got some experience last season against Houston, really sees the field well; [Shane Carden:] He’s a competitor. He reminds me some of Brett Favre and how hard he goes to the whistle, always looking to make a play. He hasn’t had game experience but I think his competitiveness and passion would make him good out there; [Brad Wornick:] Consistent, very, very accurate, makes plays with his feet as well. Starter quality quarterback.

Those guys are competing hard out there.

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08/15/2012 02:24 AM


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