Just being on the field again for Vikings LB Bishop felt like a big deal to ex-Packer

  • Article by: DAVE CAMPBELL , AP Pro Football Writer
  • Updated: July 27, 2013 - 2:25 PM

MANKATO, Minn. — Desmond Bishop forgot for a moment the new teammates he's meeting, the new terminology he's learning and the new environment he's adjusting to.

That first practice with the Minnesota Vikings was satisfying simply for what it was. This linebacker was finally playing football again, his helmet buckled and his heart full.

"I felt like a kid in a candy store out there," Bishop said, following the first workout of training camp. "It's been almost a year since I lined up and just got in my stance and listened to the quarterback's cadence and called plays and covered somebody. So it's been a long time for me. I had so much fun."

Bishop's transition from Green Bay's 3-4 defense to the 4-3 scheme here, as well as his condition coming off the torn right hamstring that kept him out all of last season, will be among the most scrutinized developments of the year for Minnesota. He acknowledged the challenge of mastering so much information at once, having just joined the Vikings last month after offseason practices were finished. But the 29-year-old brushed off any concerns about being out of position or out of shape.

The 4-3? He played in that alignment his whole career until the Packers switched in 2009.

"Football is football," Bishop said.

His hamstring? He's been running full speed for more than two months, even though he didn't take part in any on-field workouts with Green Bay before being let go.

"I tested it as much as I possibly could. I'm 110 percent positive that it will hold up. So I have no fear. No limitations," Bishop said.

The easily taken-for-granted experience of putting on the pads again is what's on his mind. Beating the Packers, his former employer and now fierce rival, well, even that can wait.

"Maybe some games will be more important, honestly speaking, but I really circled every game. I'm that eager to play. To miss a whole year, I'm just excited to get back," Bishop said.

The Vikings are set at the strong side spot with Chad Greenway, who's starting his eighth season. Erin Henderson was moved to the middle this spring after free agency and the draft didn't yield a starting-caliber replacement there for Jasper Brinkley. So that left an opening at Henderson's prior position, the weak side. Bishop has been rotating there with veteran Marvin Mitchell and rookie Gerald Hodges, but that doesn't mean it's not his job to lose.

"He was a very good blitzer. He has some good athletic ability, and that's what we try to find in our outside backer guys," coach Leslie Frazier said. "And the ability to win one-on-one against halfbacks and fullbacks, but yet they're good in coverage as well and they can take on lead blockers. And he's shown that he can do that."

Henderson approached Bishop on Friday afternoon as the newbie spoke to reporters about his first practice with the Vikings, putting his arm around his new teammate.

"We're probably going to be best friends before it's all said and done," Henderson interrupted, before walking away.

Bishop had a built-in kinship already here with wide receiver Greg Jennings, the other free agent this season to leave the Packers for the Vikings. They're rooming together during training camp.

"We're definitely going to get closer as just teammates and as young men," Jennings said. "What he brings to the table is something we need. He's a guy who has experience. He knows how to do things. He knows how to go about winning. He's experienced winning. But at the same time, he's had to work to get everything that he's had. Nothing has been handed to him. He's had to work for everything he's accomplished. So he knows how to go out and get what he wants."

Jennings was drafted by Green Bay in 2006, Bishop in 2007.

"He's definitely a good player. But his character, I think the way he motivates, the way he talks, a man of God, he's a powerful figure off the field. That means a lot," Bishop said.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


St. Louis 5
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Minnesota 2
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Washington 1
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 4
NY Yankees 10 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
Tampa Bay 0 Cancelled
Baltimore 0
Detroit 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Chicago WSox 3 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 6
Texas 6 FINAL
Oakland 7
Cleveland 2 FINAL
Arizona 3
Arizona 7 FINAL
LA Angels 2
Miami 0 Cancelled
Houston 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 5
San Francisco 8 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Colorado 5 FINAL
San Diego 7
Milwaukee 8 FINAL
Cincinnati 6
Detroit 111 FINAL
Orlando 97
LA Clippers 119 FINAL
Philadelphia 98
Charlotte 107 FINAL
Washington 110
Boston 96 FINAL
New York 92
Cleveland 98 FINAL
Brooklyn 106
LA Lakers 83 FINAL
Toronto 94
Miami 86 FINAL
Atlanta 99
Golden State 107 FINAL
Memphis 84
Sacramento 88 FINAL
New Orleans 102
Minnesota 110 FINAL
Houston 120
Dallas 76 FINAL
San Antonio 94
Utah 91 FINAL
Denver 107
Portland 87 FINAL
Phoenix 81
Calgary 2 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 5 FINAL
Chicago 2
Dallas 0 FINAL
Edmonton 4
Gonzaga 74
NC State 65 FINAL
Louisville 75
Utah 57 FINAL
Duke 63
Kent State 73 FINAL
Northern Ariz 74
Michigan State 62 FINAL
Oklahoma 58
(15) North Carolina 65 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 67
(18) Iowa 66 FINAL
(5) Baylor 81
(9) Arizona State 65 FINAL
(7) Florida State 66
(14) Stanford 60 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 81
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9




question of the day

Poll: What should the Vikings do with Adrian Peterson?

Weekly Question