I recognize that this is a way, way out there possibility (hey, it's the slowest sports day of the year) but the more I watch the linebacking corps from last year, the more I think there's a distinct possibility that Desmond Bishop could shock Packers observers and possibly take one of the starting inside jobs from A.J. Hawk.
Now, I know that the company line on Hawk is that he was hurt last year, and that is most likely true. But it sure looked like Hawk came into camp last year stockier and a step slower. He never seemed to play with any kind of suddenness or explosion, even long after his injuries reportedly occurred.
Then, of course, there is the fact that Hawk has just never, at least at the pro level, shown any aptitude for getting to the passer. As I've written before, the guy is just terrible at the point of attack, seemingly preferring to play patty-cake with a blocker rather than explode through him or fly around him.
Yes, it's one play in one game. But it is the perfect example of the type of athletic play that Hawk has never, even pre-injuries, been able to make. Notice how Bishop anticipates the blitz pick-up from the back and deftly slides around him. That's something you never see from Hawk, no matter how healthy.
Yes, Bishop has his limitations, mostly in coverage. In fact, if you watch the highlights from the Texans game, you'll see a veritable cut-up of all that is bad and good about Desmond Bishop. (And a reminder that, for some reason, none of the clips on NFL.com include the sweet play where Bishop shoots through the line and drops Slaton for about a 5 yard loss in the 1st quarter. However, this play IS included on the ITunes highlight. Curious.)
Now, having said all this, perhaps Hawk shows up at camp and just surprises us all and starts to dominate. And I've covered Hawk's pros and cons. But, especially given Winston Moss' comments at the end of the year, I think people might be sleeping on Bishop just a little bit.
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