Linebacker Desmond Bishop, the latest former Green Bay Packers player to come to Minnesota, made the interview rounds today.
Bishop signed a one-year deal reportedly worth between $840,000 and $1.35 million, depending on incentives. But the biggest incentive might have been the opportunity to play his former team twice a year.
“That was part of the reason,” Bishop told the NFL Network. “I had a lot of people call and text saying, ‘Oh, you want to get back at the Packers.’ It’s not about that. I think it’s more of trying to play the best. If I can get the chance to play against Aaron Rodgers, I think that, right there, is motivation. You want to play against the best. When I was playing for Green Bay, the games I cherished the most were against the Vikings, because I got to play against Adrian Peterson. That’s my mindset. I want to play against the best. The opportunity to play Aaron Rodgers two times a year, that was something I liked.”
Indeed, Bishop said he had no hard feelings for the Packers, who released him early last week. Bishop is recovering from a severe hamstring injury – one that kept him out of the entire 2012 season -- and he said he understood the business aspect of the decision the Packers had to make.
But that wasn’t the only reason Bishop chose Minnesota. He said it felt like a good fit for his family. He enjoyed meeting Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and recalled that Vikings assistant Mike Singletary coached him in a post-college all-star game. That, plus the opportunity for playing time, won him over.
“I try to feed off different motivation,” Bishop told Profootballtalk.com. “Like the Vikings never having won a Super Bowl. I want to go there and try to help them reach that pinnacle. The fact that I’m going to go there and try to get us to that level, that’s going to wake me up every day to go out and grind, for that reason.’’
But back to Rodgers. Profootballtalk.com asked Bishop if he would be able to bring any secrets about playing Rodgers with him to the Vikings.
“First of all, I played against him for a couple years in practice,” Bishop said. “So I know all his strengths. He really doesn’t have any weaknesses. But I know his strengths, and I know his fiery competitiveness. So I can kind of get the defense to understand what he sees, how he feels about things. That’s from a mental standpoint. I think from a physical standpoint, I’m just versatile, as far as blitzing or covering or helping to stop the run, having a good feel for what’s coming next with Aaron Rodgers.”
Here are some other topics Bishop touched on:
- His health. Bishop said he was feeling good, was working out hard, and would be ready to go when training camp starts. There will be no PUP (physically unable to perform) list for him. “I’m in Arizona training to get to 110 percent, to get through the entire season, which I’m sure I will,” he said.
- His new quarterback, Christian Ponder. “I think he’s close,” Bishop told Profootballtalk.com “I think he’s nipping on the heels of a lot of the good ones. I think, obviously, he has to go out and prove it this year. But I think the fact he can throw, he can make all the throws, the fact that he has mobility, will help him as well. To be a good quarterback nowadays, I feel you have to have a certain level of mobility. With that, and with his experience, I think he’s going to be a good player.”
- On where he’ll play. Bishop played inside linebacker in Green Bay, but there has been some talk he will work both at middle linebacker and on the outside with the Vikings. Has he been told what his role will be? “They told me all the positions were interchangeable,” Bishop said. “Nothing is set in stone. I feel like I’m versatile. I can play middle or the two outsides. We’ll see how that unfolds during training camp.”