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Max Bullough, Grandson of Former Packers Player and Coach, Refuses to Talk About Suspension

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Max Bullough, Grandson of Former Packers Player and Coach, Refuses to Talk About Suspension

Michigan State linebacker Max Bullough at the NFL Combine. Photo by Brian Carriveau of

INDIANAPOLIS––Max Bullough, the grandson of former Green Bay Packers player and later defensive coordinator Hank Bullough, declined to discuss why he was suspended for Michigan State's appearance in the Rose Bowl in a session with media at the NFL Combine on Saturday.

In what can perhaps best be described as a combative approach during an interview, Bullough admitted to making a "mistake" but refused to elaborate.

“I’m not discussing it right now," said Bullough. "It’s a personal issue, I’m moving forward from it, I made a mistake. I let down my teammates, I let down my coaches, I let down my family but right now I’m moving forward.”

Bullough was curiously suspended on Christmas Day, a week before the Rose Bowl, for reasons neither anyone from the university nor Bullough himself has publicly disclosed since that time.

With Bullough being a captain and highly-productive player on Michigan State's first Big Ten championship team and appearance in the Rose Bowl in 26 years, it's been a topic hotly debated.

Pressed by the media about his suspension, Bullough appeared to grow agitated, acknowledging that he's been forthcoming with NFL teams but defending his right to not talk about it with the press.

“I’ve talked to the NFL teams, they all know what happened, the situation," said Bullough. "Moving forward, it’s not going to affect my draft status whatsoever."

While Bullough may believe his suspension will not affect his draft stock, ultimately the decision is not up to him.

The characteristic he displayed in becoming combative with the media wasn't a good one, although one he likely doesn't display in interviews with individual teams.

As the Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin saga has played out in Miami, that situation has shown the important nature of locker room atmosphere and the personalities inside it. To say Bullough would be combative with his teammates or coaches or anyone else in the NFL would be pure speculation, but his suspension and refusal to talk about it publicly is likely getting club decision-makers to dig deeper into Bullough's background.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson was reportedly observed talking to Bullough on the practice field at the site of the East-West Shrine Game, a rare occurrence in a public setting, according to Cheesehead TV draft guide analyst Paul Guillemette.

In adding to Bullough's bizarre situation, he weighed in a heavy 265 lbs. for an inside linebacker at the Shrine Game, although he's since lost significant weight.

"I weighed 249 today at the Combine which is what I was getting ready for," said Bullough. "I was eating a lot and working out a lot. When I say eating a lot, I’m talking about good foods. I was on a diet giving me a lot of protein. ... I’m down to 249 my natural playing weight and I feel great."

Prior to the Combine, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock believed Bullough's stock may be dropping, although that was before Bullough went through official Combine measurements.

"Max Bullough has really hurt himself a little bit," said Mayock. "I thought his junior tape was pretty good.  He was a solid player, understood the game.  He put on some weight, didn't like the way he moved around––I think Bullough is going to get drafted a little later, somewhere in that fifth round, plus or minus.  He's a smart, tough kid but he just doesn't move, especially at 265 like he did at 245."

Bullough's grandfather Hank is also an alumnus of Michigan State and was drafted by the Packers in the 1950s. He played only two years in the NFL, but was later hired by former teammate Forrest Gregg to become the Packers defensive coordinator in 1984 and since joined the Buffalo Bills in 1985 and '86 as their head coach.

"My grandpa coached in the NFL for a long time," said Bullough. "My uncle Chuck, he's a defensive coordinator at Syracuse. He's been in the league before. Just having that experience, just like at Michigan State, that lineage and having that pressure everyone called it, to me it's an opportunity, to me it's an advantage. It's people I can go to that understand my situation, that understand what I'm going through, can give me advice that's not only helpful, but it's useful. It's useful and it's relevant and it makes sense for what I'm going through."

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (21) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Jake's picture

Good for Bullough. The media doesn't need to know why he was suspended. He only owes an explanation to the teams.

Wendall Bare's picture

Jake, I agree that the media blows things out of proportion. Look at the later statement in the article where the author obliquely stated his stock is dropping because he refused to talk, even though the author stated previously that Bullock had talked to the teams only. trying to drum up readership I guess.

Zippy Joe's picture

I agree, but the media won't stop asking questions until the reason for the suspension comes out. It will be difficult to keep the issue private with all of the NFL teams aware of the situation. Tough end to a great college career.

4thand1's picture

Some wet nosed reporter will try and push to get a heated response. He has to keep his cool no matter what. He looks like another AJ Hawk. Good LB but not great because of his speed. Great 5th round pick.

Eraserhead's picture

So he also plays like a bitch?

Stroh's picture

Agree about Bullough... He's a poor mans AJ Hawk more than likely. No matter his heritage as a coaches son. He's just a big lumbering MLB. More than likely a one down player on run downs and maybe a good ST player. Personally wouldn't bother drafting him.

Tom R.'s picture

Wait a minute, let's see what this person did or didn't do. One of the Pack's defensive linebackers is now wanted in six states for rape and is finished as a TV reporter. How long did the Pack hide this idiot from the public? This guy is a public figure, not a private person watching the game.

Bert's picture

Tom. Which Packer linebacker "is now wanted in six states for rape?" That's news to me and most everyone else. There is an EX-Packer SAFETY under arrest for multiple rapes but I didn't know their LBs were also getting into the act...

Tom R.'s picture

Bert. Correction made Safety, linebackers next.

4thand1's picture

So why don't you call him an ex Saints or Viking safety? What an ass, not talking about Sharper.

4thand1's picture

How long did the Vikings hide this idiot (4 seasons) or the Saints (2 seasons). He was gone from GB for 6 years.

Tom R.'s picture

Speak his name he lives forever, end of comment.

Bert's picture

I'm not excited at all with Bullough. I mean if he is an upgrade over Hawk, Jones, Lattimore or Barrington that's great. But in reality given our need for more speed I don't him as an upgrade to what we already have. Just bigger and slower.

4thand1's picture

The guy that took his place in the rose bowl was the defensive player of the game. Pick him.

Tom R.'s picture

Excellent comment Bert. You need speed on the defense, not big. Let's see how much baggage this guy is going to bring to where he goes.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I agree that Bullough wouldn't be much of an upgrade over their existing ILBs. But he wouldn't be a downgrade, either.

The Packers could really use 2 new ILBs. Jones is always hurt and Hawk isn't getting any younger (or cheaper). Bullough would be an option to be one of them in the back half of the draft...depending on the reason for the suspension.

Ideally, I'd like to see the Packers cut Jones and sign a FA replacement. Then draft a guy to groom for a year as Hawk's replacement. Doubling up on draftees would be Plan B, IMO.

Stroh's picture

I think signing a FA safety would be higher than an ILB. We need another dependable player in the back end. And if its a playmaker, all the better. But we've got to get the miscommunication issue in the secondary fixed and a rookie won't do that. Finding a playmaking ILB to take Jones' spot would be easier than a Safety. Look for a Safety and possbibly a DL in FA, draft the ILB that is athletic enough to cover and run to the ball sideline to sideline.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I agree that Safety is the biggest priority for improvement over 2013. But they have a young and presumably ascending player there. I mean Micah Hyde, not the collection of schlubs they tried in 2013. I also think Burnett will play better in 2014. So I think they have the guys in place now to be much better at Safety in 2014 even before the player acquisition season (where they should still look to add a Safety).

I hold no such hopes for ILB. They need to add players at ILB.

Stroh's picture

Even moving Hyde to Safety may not fix the Safety position immediately. Hyde will likely struggle in his first year at Safety IF he is indeed moved. I think Safety is his best position but I would still sign a Safety in FA before anything else. We need to get the miscommunication and missed coverages cleaned up and while I think Hyde's best position is Safety he'll still struggle w/ aspects of Safety other than coverage specifically helping make the calls. He can still play the dime CB role if he is a Safety in base D. Moving Hyde won't provide an immediate fix to the communication issues like a veteran Safety would. Hyde will surely be better than Jennings but I'm not sure he's an immediate solution, more likely a solution in a year or 2.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I think they need new guys at both spots. I really don't care which one is added first. That should be dictated more by the target acquisition than by some in order checklist for filling out positions this offseason. I'd start talking to S, ILB and TE FA options immediately when the FA period opens. If one of those positions sat atop the draft board when the Packers were on the clock, I'd run the card up to the table.

BTW....Any acquisition may not fix any position immediately. Vet or rookie, in-house move or new player, everything is prone to tentative play, growing pains, assimilation issues and injuries.

Tony's picture

Doesn't have the speed you might want, but he has the leadership (well, he did until his suspension) and the badassery needed to play the position. There are worse LBs you could take in the later rounds.

Who knows!

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