Tim Bulman Interview Part Two

In part two of his interview with Eagle Insider, Tim Bulman talks about some of the changes at Boston College since he left for the NFL. Tim has a lot to say about the move to the ACC and the changes to the coaching staff, particularly the firing of Jeff Jagodzinski. He also talks about his former teammates at Boston College.

The next big move for the BC program after the move to the ACC was the change in head coaches from Tom O'Brien to Jeff Jagodzinski. Tim shares his thoughts.

"There comes a time where everything is going to come to an end eventually. I feel that O'Brien did an unbelievable job at BC, getting to bowl games, we were a very stable program, no issues as a team, we were tops in graduation. I think he went in there cleaned shop and ran a tight ship. Obviously he wanted to go a certain direction and (Gene) DeFilippo wanted to go a certain direction.

"I have respect for both of those guys. I thought O'Brien did a great job when I was there. If a guy wants to leave for an opportunity for his family, and he had a chance to bring a lot of his coaches down there with him, and some money that BC wasn't willing to offer, you have to consider that. From seeing the professional side of things now in the NFL and how the business actually works, I think you would have to be crazy to not to hear some offers.

"You think you are doing a great job and producing nine win seasons and some team wants you to come down there and fix their program and get them back on the track that they saw you put BC on. And they are going to pay hand over fist, dollars and dollars more, you have to consider that.

"I thought for him, and what he did bringing down his whole staff, I thought was a really big move on O'Brien's part. I thought what he did at BC will not be forgotten there, I believe he is the winningest coach there. I think that foundation of what it means to be a BC player was the biggest thing of his preaching.

"The kind of person he wanted and the kind of team he wanted. I'm sure he is doing it down in NC State, I talked to a couple former players at NC State and I asked them how they liked O'B, and they said he went in there and is running stuff his way and is getting things done the way he wants. That is exactly what he is being paid to do and I think it was a really good move for him."

The final big change, since Tim's tenure at BC, was Jeff Jagodzinski being fired for his interest in a NFL head coach position and Tim's college defensive coordinator being named head coach.

"I thought when they put Jags there, I didn't know much about the guy other than he had professional experience, which is always a really good thing for a college to boast about and market. That you have connections to the professional level, that is how you get recruits that obviously want to go there.

"They're thinking of going to the next level and that is a good draw for them. Jagodzinski had that kinda flare that Tom O'Brien didn't have, he obviously produced as a coach with really good players that were left behind by Tom O'Brien and were recruited by Tom. Jags really utilized that and put in a new system, a new type of offense that was different from the typical Big East style that BC was still running at that time. I think he did a great job.

"The one thing about it though, if you're going to be winning eleven games a year and winning championships, I feel that you are going to get recruited. If you're doing your job that good and you're doing it that well, other places will look at you. And professional football is one of those places. I'm not sure about the whole contract and if it was in writing that he couldn't go or if it was an agreement.

"Who is to know what the real situation behind that was. Obviously BC wanted to retain this coach but in any business situation if that coach is doing a helluva job and he is being recruited, I think that it looks really good on your program that professional teams want your coach. Or want to at least interview him, which doesn't mean he is going to get the job.

"I guess I am playing a little bit of devil's advocate because I can see both sides. I could see how BC and DeFilippo would be upset because they have their coach that they have signed to a long-term contract and they really want him to be the face of BC for a while. He comes out and has these stellar years, now they have to be worried about him leaving. They wanted to make it clear that they wanted him here and don't want him looking at other places.

"But in the other sense I think it is kinda hard when you are coaching that well and getting double digit wins, I feel like people will start calling and kinda seeing what your price is and to get a feel for you. I think it is just one of those hard situations and kinda one of those things that is just part of the business.

"Jag's is obviously still coaching, I think he went back to a coordinator job, and BC got a helluva coach in Spaziani. He is a fiery type of guy, I loved playing for Spaz. You could feel his passion but you can also feel that respect that you had for him, and you felt that you really wanted to bleed for him. That is really important when you are a player, that you want to bleed for your coach, that you want to put your butt on the line for your coach because you really believe what he says.

"I know I wanted to when I was there, I know Mathias did, we all REALLY loved playing for Spaz so I could imagine that those young guys really want to play for him. In the end I think everyone kinda got what they wanted. BC got a coach that will provide that continuity and stability and still have that fire, and the other guy went his way."

Tim, with his big personality, is a sure bet to keep in touch with many of his former teammates. He elaborates on who he still talks to the most.

"I pretty much keep in touch with all my former roommates. Jeremy Trueblood and I talk to all the time. He is on the Buccaneers now and doing well. So we're kinda on the same schedule and doing the same thing. I talk to Mathias. I talk to Quinton Porter and Chris Miller. Jazzmen Williams, I have seen him a bunch because he has been in Boston so we catch up every now and then. I am going up to a wedding this weekend, Francois Brochu is getting married up in New York this weekend. A bunch of us are going up there.

I keep in touch with Snee, Phil Mettling, and we're all getting up there. It is going to be really good to go up there, as I haven't seen a bunch of those guys in a while. When one of these guys gets married, it's great, you get to see everyone again. I got to see Peter Shean the other week with Grant Adams. It is really cool to see these guys and it is like you didn't miss a beat, you go right into it and have a great time, we played together and had a great time at BC together, and it just kind of a testament to the type of program that we have there."

Tim goes on and expands on former teammate offensive guard Chris Snee, now a pro bowler with the New York Giants.

"When everyone asks who was the best offensive lineman you ever went against, I always say it was Chris Snee from BC. I feel like now after he has started in the Pro bowl, everyone knows who he is now and knows who I'm talking about."

During college who of his former teammates who did Tim find as the funniest and the biggest joker?

"That was probably me (laughs). I thought Kiwi was hilarious, Al Washington was one of my best buds, we roomed together on all of our away trips. Al was a funny guy. I talked to him recently and he is coaching d-line, which is awesome. He was a G.A. with O'Brien at NC State and got hired at Division II Slippery Rock. Al and I really had some great laughs."

Hearing Al Washington and Mathias Kiwanuka mentioned in the same sentence will remind many BC fans of a rainy game in Chestnut Hill when Kiwi was cheap-shotted in the knee by a UVA offensive lineman, prompting Al Washington to react and protect his teammate and captain. Which resulted in the ejection of Al Washington from the remainder of the game.

"I saw that and I remember talking to him and it was one of those plays where if you're Al you can't do anything but that. That's like your brother, you played with him for four years, and nobody is going to be mad at you for retaliating because that was pretty cheap stuff that was going on. You could only hope that one of your teammates and one of your buds would stick up for you like that. I think he gained a lot of respect from coaches and players with how he stood up for his buddy and his teammate."

On the topic of UVA, Tim's agent is a former All-American offensive lineman at UVA. Will he and his agent have a friendly wager on BC's game down in Charlottesville in November?

"I would love for him to bet as much that he could because I have all the confidence in the world with BC. I'll always bet on BC. They don't have the quarterback now but they'll get that squared away and somebody is gonna step up. There's always a person that can become that next Matty Ryan."

Reminiscing again on former teammates again, when asked who was his most intense teammate at BC Tim names the same former teammate that Chris Snee did, while also going on to name a few other guys as well.

"I'm going back in the memory bank here. You know who was pretty intense, a guy that sticks out to me as being one of those guys, maybe it was because I was a freshman, Marc Columbo. Even when I talk to him after a game I'm like, ‘man he was an intense guy.' He was huge, he's tall, that guy is a beast. I remember being a freshman and looking up at him and being like, ‘holy moly, that is the wrong guy you want to piss off.' We had a bunch of intense guys on our team, myself included. I put on the game face. I felt Mathias always put on the game face. Al did.

"Trueblood was pretty intense. With Trueblood he was tricky, if you pissed him off he plays on a different level. He plays on that psychotic level. I've watched his film in pro and it's the same thing. That's always how he played, if someone pisses him off by sticking their hand in his throat or giving him a cheap shot, the guy is going to turn it up about twenty notches. True was definitely intense on the field."

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