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November 15, 1993 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-11-15

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, November 15, 1993 - 3

0' ' ''

The former Wolverine fullback comments on the NFL,
and reflects on his years in Ann Arbor

From 1987 until 1990, the block-
ing of fullback Jarrod Bunch was a
big reason for the success of Michi-
gan tailbacks Leroy Hoard, Tony
Boles, and Jon Vaughn.
In the 1990 NFL draft, Bunch was
.the first pick of the New York Giants.
In the two-and-one-half years since
then, he has become the Giants start-
ing fullback.
Recently, the Daily's Jared
Gerstenblatt talked with Jarrod Bunch
abouthiscollege career with Michigan
and his experience in the NFL with the
Daily: Do you enjoy playing with
the New York Giants?
Bunch: Yes, I enjoy playing here.
It gives me a great opportunity to do
a lot of different things besides foot-
ball. I enjoy my role on the team. It
has given me more things and more
opportunities to do as a fullback than
I had at Michigan.
For example, I get to catch the ball
out of the backfield, do a little bit of
*running, and it's a much more diver-
sified role than at Michigan.
D: How do you compare Rodney
Hampton with some of the players
you played with at Michigan like
Ricky Powers?
B: Well, Ireallydidn'tgetachance
to block for Ricky because he was a
freshman but I blocked for Jamie
Morris and Tony Boles and Leroy
board and Allan Jefferson. The dif-
erence really is everyone on the de-
fensive team is so much better than
they were in college.
For the pros, actually, it's not
harder but it's not easier, either. It's
totally different. You just have to
adapt to the speed and getting your
position of blocking in a position
where the defender can't make the
tackle. Whereas in college, a lot of

times, you can really just dominate,
dominate, dominate on every person
or all the players on the team. On
different plays you can dominate dif-
ferent people.
Here the key is just to get the

what you would like to do. The reality
is the coachesjust coach to win. If you
are not man enough to take care of
those things that keep you in shape
and keep you mentally alert to play
the game, you'rejustgonnabe moved

'This Is your job. There Is nothing else that you
have to do while football season is in. This is
your job. This is what is paying the bills for you
and what you would like to do. The reality is the
coaches just coach to win. If you are not man
enough to take care of those things that keep
you in shape and keep you mentally alert to play
the game, you're just gonna be moved on.'

defender to your side of the block to
make sure that he does not make the
tackle. Sometimes you get the knock-
out shot and some other times they are
moving so quickly that if you can get
in front of them and just block them
from getting the tackle, you have done
your job.
D: How do you think the coaching
compares from Michigan to the Gi-
B: It's totally different because in
the college ranks you're a college
athlete and the football is really an
extracurricular activity besides the
school. Here, football is your job,
youroccupation. In college, there were
coaches and coaches' assistants that
tried to make sure that they could
work around your schedule, make sure
that you had time to get to a class if it
was late at night or to get to a study
hall or something like that. Here, it's
your job. You're a grown man.
This is your job. There is nothing
else that you have to do while football
season is in. This is your job. This is
what is paying the bills for you and

In college, the coaches, they try to
work with you and make sure that, as
much as possible, you can stay up on
your books and the classwork as well
as learning the game plan for that
coming week.
D: How would you compare (new
Giants coach) Dan Reeves and (pre-
vious coach) Ray Handley?
B: I really don't even know, be-
cause, to be honest, Dan has come in
and taken over so much. It's so posi-
tive that we have really just forgot
about the last two years. The only
thing we remember about the last two
years is that one year was 8-8, the
other was 6-10. He has changed so
much and has made it so positive for
us here that we don't even try to think
about the previous years.
D: How is Reeves' style and phi-
losophy different from othercoaches?
Is he more intense or laid-back?
B: As a coach, no.'That is the big-
gest difference that I have seen from
college to pro in the coaching style is
that, like I was telling you before, itis an

occupation and it's their job, it's your
job and there is not too much hollering,
period. There is no hollering because
these are grown men. We're grown
men being coached by grown men
whereas in college you have young
men being coached by men.
The difference is, you know, there
are some coaches on the staff that are
younger than some of the players.
Players have been playing for 14 years.
Phil Simms is 37 years old. We have
coaches on the team younger than 37.
But there is no hollering because
you're a man, they're a man.
Their job is to put you in the right
position. Your job is to do everything
you can to win by doing what the coach
tells you to do. If you have a problem
with what the coach tells you to do you
can say it. You can say, "Listen, I think
that this would work better." You have
that option to come to him as a man and
talk to him about it. In college, the
coaches told you to do this because
they've been around for so long.
They've been in the game for so
long and you're a young adult, some-
times coming from all over the coun-
try. You may be 18, 19 years old, 20
years old, 21 years old where you are
still learning.
'Sometimes they are
moving so quickly that
If you can get in front
of them and just block
them from getting the
tackle, you have done
your job.'
D: Do you keep in touch with
anybody from Michigan? The play-
ers or the coaches that you see around
the league?
B: The players, I see around the
league, yes. As a matter of fact, Chris
Calloway plays for us, and Bobby
Abrams played for us the first year
that I was here. Jumbo Elliot, he also
plays with the Giants
So in the last three years, I have
played with, on this team, three other
guys from Michigan that I played
with at Michigan.
D: Do you ever talk to any of the
coaches from Michigan?
B: No, I haven't, except for coach
Morrison, who recruits in this area.
Usually when he's in town recruiting,
which is usually during the summer, I
get a chance to talk to him.
D: What do you think of the cur-
rent Michigan team?
B: Surprising, very surprising.
Another surprise was that they were
favored to win the Big Ten again
when they lost the whole offensive
line and a quarterback and some spe-
cial teams players. I still thought that
they would have been able to play
better than they have been.
What I've been reading about
people leaving and quitting, it's been

4 The R.H. Factor
OSU-Michigan week is a
reminder of family roots
r my family, it is that time of year again.
Sure the holidays are slowly approaching, but that is quite
secondary to what will transpire next Saturday at Michigan Stadium.
You see, it is the 90th Ohio State- Mich ... I mean the 90th
Michigan-Ohio State game.
Please, pardon my faux pas. I know this is my fourth year in Ann Arbor,
but one must understand that in my family it is considered the Ohio State-
Michigan game. After all, my Mom and Dad went to school in Columbus.
So did my grandfather.
And my other grandfather.
And my great grandfather.
And two uncles, two aunts, a cousin-- in fact, if one goes three
generations into my family tree (the Buckeye variety, of course) he or she
will uncover 15 graduates of The Ohio State University. Heck, even the
Old English Sheepdog we had when I was a kid was named Buckeye.
As one might believe, bleeding scarlet and grey was the only option for
me growing up. I have baby pictures of myself in a mini-OSU jersey,
holding a OSU football which played the school fight song. My grandfather
was friends with Woody Hayes and dreamed that I would one day play
football for the fiery coach (If he were still alive, I would not have been
allowed to go to school in Ann Arbor).
Thus, I became hooked on Buckeye football. I accepted that Woody
was the greatest coach of all-time, despite the way he treated his players on
the sidelines. I rooted for Art Schlichter, before his gambling problem. I
cheered for Mike Tomczak, the last Ohio State quarterback to lead his team
to the Rose Bowl. And, yes, even ... OK, I admit, I even rooted for Tom
So this week has always meant something special to me. Almost every
year the game was played in Columbus, my family (with Buckeye in the
back) would drive out from our home in Connecticut to Ohio the Friday
before and stay with my grandparents, and Mom and Dad would go to the
game. When we got into range of the Ohio radio stations, all you could
hear was talk about the game and how the Buckeyes had the Wolverines'
number that year.
There was a sportcaster in Cleveland by the name of Pete Franklin who
I remember most vividly. He would go into a tirade about the game,
simultaneously slandering Michigan with every word that came from his
mouth and poking fun at beloved Michigan announcer Bob Ufer.
"Meeechigan doesn't stand a chance. Meeechigan is a bunch of sissies.
Harbaugh can't hit the broad side of a barn."
Alas, those days are gone. I have been converted from the dark side. I
am a true blue Wolverine fan (as anyone who has seen my ankle can tell,
which bears a maize block 'M' tattoo). OK, I still think Woody was a better
coach than Bo, but besides, that my allegiance to OSU has died.
That being the case, this game is now kind of a sticking point in my
family, especially considering that Ohio State has not beaten Michigan
since I enrolled here in 1990. Actually, the Buckeyes have not beaten the
Wolverines since my sophomore year in high school - a 23-20 victory in
what was Earle Bruce's final game as head coach. Suffice it to say, that is
not something my relatives are very proud of. That, and the fact that their
alma mater has not played a game in Pasadena since 1985.
But this year has been radically different. It is the Buckeyes who now
come into the game with the decided advantage and the Wolverines
wondering what happened to all their talent. OSU fans take as much joy
from seeing Michigan falter as they do from seeing their team still
undefeated heading into its final regular season game.
While one of the most important goals in any Buckeye season is
defeating Michigan, the incentive to beat the Wolverines runs even deeper
this year as a victory Saturday will send Ohio State to the promised land of

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