Packers LB Bishop to prove he’s learned from wait
Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop is making the most of a second
chance to be a starter.
Bishop started one game in 2008 after Nick Barnett went out with
an injury, but didn’t get a chance to finish the season as the
starter. Last season, he remained a star on special teams but
rarely got chances on defense, contributing just 14 tackles all
”It was some hard times and I had doubts,” Bishop said. ”I
just felt like a caged lion and then sometimes I was thinking,
‘Well, maybe I’m not a lion. Maybe I’m a koala bear or
But Bishop listened to teammates who told him to stay patient
and stick with it.
Barnett landed on injured reserve on Oct. 15 after wrist surgery
on Oct. 13, and Bishop found himself in the middle of one of the
biggest plays in the Packers’ 28-24 victory over the Vikings.
Midway through the third quarter, Bishop was in the right spot
at the right time when a scrambling Brett Favre fired to his left.
Bishop intercepted the former Packers quarterback and returned it
32 yards for a touchdown that gave Green Bay a 28-17 lead.
Bishop said he’s kept the ball and hopes he’ll get a signature
on it one day.
”I wonder if Brett would sign it for me? That’d be awesome,”
Bishop is in his fourth year after working through a shoulder
injury as a rookie and an ailing Achilles’ tendon in his second
season to keep his roster spot. He’s been healthy, something
welcome for a defensive unit that’s missing four starters and has
eight players already on injured reserve.
”With Desmond’s situation, it’s been more injuries, and having
been challenged on, now you have your opportunity that you’ve been
waiting for,” inside linebackers coach Winston Moss said. ”Bishop
has had a bigger challenge to come in and be a starter in that he’s
replacing someone, and he has to step up. So far, so good.”
Packers coach Mike McCarthy believes that Bishop probably
thought he was ready for more action earlier in his career.
McCarthy said he’s certainly comfortable with his expanded role
”Desmond is making a lot of plays out there, very productive,
and that (interception return) was obviously a huge impact play in
the game,” McCarthy said.
Bishop believes he’s far from done improving, and that his body
has adjusted to playing more than just a few plays each game. He’s
also more comfortable with his position after learning what he said
were five different positions at one point in his career. More
importantly, he’s gotten over his moments of doubts.
”I just felt like it was me against the world,” Bishop said.
”Not being able to get the opportunity was everybody’s fault. I
was angry at times, but at the same time, I kept my faith and I was
having tons of fun with special teams. I was just waiting in the
wings, waiting for my opportunities.”
And while he flubbed his first chance a little in 2008, he’s
been patient for the current opportunity that he’ll likely keep
through the rest of the season.
”When I go out there and practice and I go to practice against
arguably some of the best offensive players in the league and I
held my own at practice, that gave me the confidence that you know,
maybe, I can do this, I am a lion,” Bishop said. ”The
opportunities that I did have, I tried to take advantage of those
and I pretty much felt like I could play at this level.”