By Julian Benbow, Globe staff
FOXBOROUGH Just before the start of training camp on Thursday, Tim Bullman got the call from his agent. The veteran defensive end had just worked out for the Patriots earlier in the summer, and the day after, the phone rang.
He played high school football at BC High and then college ball at Boston College where he was second team all-Big East in 2004. So he jumped at a chance for a homecoming.
I was like, 'Oh, man,' as surprised as anyone. So it was like, 'Okay, it's happening. I told my wife and mom and I was like, 'Hey, I've got to roll.' They were like, 'What?'
After spending five years with the Arizona Cardinals and two with the Houston Texas, a long way from home (Way too far, Bulman said.), his family was able to see him in camp.
Which was pretty cool because my parents I don't think have ever seen me in camp other than maybe a game.
He can remember watching the Patriots draft teammates Ron Brace and Dan Koppen. He was a freshman at the Heights when they won Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002.
I remember I had workouts the next morning, but I had to stay up and watch that game, he said. I was going nuts with the rest of the Boston fans.
He's carved out a career for himself after going undrafted, now he's looking to contribute in New England again.
It's great to be a part of a great organization, Bulman said. I was fortunate to be able to get an opportunity to work out for them. And I'm just very glad to have an opportunity to come to camp, compete, try to get better, try to do good things and possibly help this team out.
He's put in work so far.
In one-on-one pass blocking drills in today's practice he lost a matchup against right tackle Matt Kopa, but later on showed his veteran awareness by getting inside of Nate Solder's long arm reach and dominating the matchup.
By the end of the day, he walked off the field with a cut above his lip that was still bleeding just slightly.
I think my chinstrap came up, Bulman said, he said grinning. I can't even see it yet. They said I might need stitches. I'm like, 'Come on.'
He's already gotten requests for tickets and swag. His response: Not so fast.
I think jokingly, and I told them, I'm not even thinking about that, he said. I'm trying to take it day to day, learn this, learn that, don't get ahead of yourself.