Through two days, inside linebacker Desmond Bishop has had two of the more attention-getting, highlight-reel plays of training camp thus far.
This morning he stepped in front of a Matt Flynn pass intended for Donald Driver during a full 11-on-11 team portion of practice to come up with an interception.
And yesterday he laid out tight end Andrew Quarless in one of those “Welcome to the NFL, rookie” type hits.
“Me and Quarless have been going back and forth at it back through OTAs and minicamp so it was good to get the pads on and give him a little lick,” said Bishop after this morning’s practice.
It seems to be a yearly occurrence with Bishop playing well during training camp only to go on to become nearly invisible – at least on defense – during the regular season.
Whether it’s been lights-out hits, well-timed blitzes or the occasional flash in pass coverage, Bishop has struggled to become anything more than a core special teams player.
“I’ve kind of been doing the same thing for three years, I don’t really know what’s come of it, so you kind of get like … numb to it,” said Bishop. “I just go out there and do the best I can do and just hope I can get more playing time.”
But to Bishop’s credit, he seems to have impressed Mike McCarthy enough to receive praise from the head coach.
“I feel Bishop is very involved in our football team,” said McCarthy. “I think he is having another good camp. I think he is even really positioning himself to take his game to the next level. We have excellent depth. We have four very good inside linebackers.
“It clearly was part of our discussions as a defensive staff of making sure we are able to get those guys more involved. The challenge is you can only play 11 players at once, but we feel very good about that whole group and Bishop is off to another excellent start of training camp. Very instinctive, tough, hard-nosed football player. I love the way he plays.”
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers found a way to get Bishop involved last season with the “Psycho” defensive subpackage that had five linebackers and five defensive backs on the field at the same time with only one defensive lineman (Cullen Jenkins), who wouldn’t even play in a three-point stance.
Bishop, for one, hopes more of the same is in store for the season with more Psycho or some new scheme Capers is able to cook up.
“I think the coaches, Dom in particular, are gaining more confidence in me,” said Bishop. “Hopefully they’re behind the scenes trying to work something up.”
Bishop went on to say he’d welcome a trade that offered more playing time on defense, but he’s not unhappy with his situation in Green Bay. Until that time comes – if it ever comes – Bishop will keep trying to wow audiences with more eye-popping plays in practice.