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August 16, 2005

Bunkley talks about his absence and return

Which was tougher -- being out here in shorts and getting your conditioning or sitting and watching the rest of the team?

I think it's better to be out here and see what the team looks like and get acclimated to the weather. It was a hot day today. I wasn't able to do every drill, but the next couple of days I'll be (cleared for) full participation.

Have you completed everything you need to do?

Everything is going good right now. Basically, I'm just looking forward to the season.

Does that mean everything has been completed?

Like I said, everything is going good right now.

How much of a relief is it to be back out here?

Oh man. I did so much work. It came from countless hours of studying. I was there at 7 o'clock in the morning until 10 o'clock at night. Things worked out for me.

They say you learn a lot of lessons growing up. What kind of lesson have you learned from this?

Don't fool around. It's that simple. Learn that you are up here to take care of school and football. Both of those are very important.

Is it hard to keep those things in order?

It can be. When you first get here, you're thinking parties. It's a shame it takes me almost leaving here to get me back on track.

Were you able to stay in shape in football?

I did some things at home. I came out here a couple of times and ran with another guy a few times. I've been training pretty well the last couple of weeks. I think I'm in pretty good shape.

Do you think you're behind?

I'm not where I want to be, but I'm real happy with where I am right now.

The next challenge is to be a productive player. How much of a drive is that?

I've been dreaming countless nights over this summer -- actually over this whole year. This is my last season. I know I have a lot to do.

Do you find inspiration in Travis (Johnson) and the year he had after the injuries he had as a junior?

Of course. You look at a situation like that and it always gives people hope. Especially looking at all the seniors that went to the league last year. It makes you want to try a little bit harder.

What kind of shape do you feel like you're in?

I feel like I'm in decent shape. We still have two or three weeks left of hot days, so I have plenty of time to improve.

How bad was it today?

It wasn't that bad. I didn't take part in a lot of the contact drills. The heat -- I've been here in the heat at 12 o'clock, 5 o'clock. I'm used to it right now.

Talk about it on the Football Message Board or on the Tribal Council

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