Bishop ready to take on his ex-teammates

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 26, 2013 - 6:48 AM

The new Vikings linebacker said he wants to play the best, and that means playing the Packers.

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Desmond Bishop recovers a fumble against Pittsburgh in 2011.

Photo: Lynne Sladky, Associated Press

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Linebacker Desmond Bishop, the latest former Green Bay Packers player to come to Minnesota, said Tuesday that he joined the Vikings largely because of the opportunity to play against his old team twice a season.

Bishop signed a one-year deal reportedly worth between $840,000 and $1.35 million, depending on incentives.

“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.”

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 the Vikings. He said it felt like a good fit for his family. He enjoyed meeting 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.”

As for Rodgers, Profootballtalk.com asked Bishop if he would be able to bring any secrets about playing the Packers star quarterback 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.”

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