Green Bay Packers linebacker Bishop finally gets chance : Packers Insider

Green Bay Packers linebacker Bishop finally gets chance

November 14, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Nov 14, 2010 ~ by Tom Silverstein

~Green Bay — Sitting in his locker with ice bags on one of his knees, a hip and a shoulder, linebacker Desmond Bishop looked like he definitely got the worst against the New York Jets.

Looks, however, can be deceiving.

The other guys’ running backs managed just 74 yards rushing on 22 carries, and Bishop was a major factor in the Green Bay Packers shutting out the Jets’ offense. He finished with a game-high 13 tackles and broke up two passes, including a clutch third-and-1 deflection late in the first half that assured the Jets would remain behind, 3-0.

Since he became the starter for injured Nick Barnett, Bishop often comes out of the training room after games entombed in icepacks. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

Green Bay Packers' Desmond Bishop gets set to do the Lambeau Leap for happy fans after returning an ugly Brett Favre interception for a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field, Sunday, October 24, 2010.

“It’s a physical game,” Bishop said.

It’s especially physical when Bishop is on the field. The 6-foot-2, 238-pound inside linebacker’s speed has been questioned, his over-zealousness has gotten him in trouble and his inconsistency has been mentioned often.

But his tackling has never been doubted.

Bishop doesn’t just tackle people. He tries to make ball-carriers look to see the name on the back of his jersey as they pull themselves up off the ground.

“He’s a play-making tackler,” inside linebackers coach Winston Moss said. “I’ve seen him low tackle well, I’ve seen him go for the big hit, I’ve seen him form tackle, I’ve seen him angle tackle. I’ve seen him do all the technique tackles, but I’ve also seen him really go after guys and try to get the ball out.

“As long as he continues to get that guy down, I’ll continue to support him.”

Making most of chance

Ten weeks ago, Bishop couldn’t see himself in the role he’s in now. For three years, he has been Barnett’s backup, heading for the bench as soon as another impressive training camp was in the books.

During the games he did manage to play, he was wildly inconsistent, forcing a fumble on Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson on a fourth-down play one moment and failing to fill a gap that allowed Peterson to score the game-winning touchdown the next.

Bishop recalled the conversation he had with a reporter shortly before the start of the season. After another solid training camp, he was so frustrated that he was contemplating having his agent, Blake Baratz, ask for a trade.

Told that it was a long season and injuries could happen, Bishop wasn’t comforted.

“When you asked me this, I probably wouldn’t have seen it coming,” Bishop said. “I was always staying in tune, staying ready for my opportunity when and if it every came. It came, so I’m just embracing it.”

Bishop has started five games, and those plays that kept making people wonder if he could be trusted as a starter are few and far between. He has had double-digit tackles in four of those games, and scored his first touchdown off an interception thrown by Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre. He has five tackles behind the line of scrimmage to go with two sacks, five quarterback hits, one forced fumble and five pass breakups.

All those concerns about him being able to play well on a consistent basis are starting to fade away.

“I always knew with a given opportunity I could string them together, but I just needed an opportunity,” Bishop said. “Now it’s here and I want to keep doing it throughout the season and possibly the postseason, whatever.”

The Packers have thought enough of Bishop’s play that they have had almost weekly conversations with his agent about a contract extension. Because Bishop is scheduled to be a free agent once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, the Packers’ offer probably would have to blow his socks off.

Comments

One Response to “Green Bay Packers linebacker Bishop finally gets chance”
  1. I am the guy in the Green Bay and with the #12 jersey is the picture and my wife is to my left. We are in love with this photo and would love to purchase a copy. How can I go about doing this?

    Thanks,
    Ryan

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