Vick, Eagles Not Familiar to Bishop, Hawk

Neither Desmond Bishop nor A.J. Hawk played defense against Michael Vick in Week 1 when the Packers traveled to Philadelphia.

Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk have formed the Packers inside linebacking duo for so many games this season, it's easy to forget that they weren't the starters earlier in the season.

The injury woes of the Green Bay Packers are well documented with 15 players placed on the season-ending disabled list, but they've been hit particularly hard at inside linebacker where they've lost both Nick Barnett and Brandon Chillar.

Not only did Barnett and Chillar start against the Eagles when the Packers traveled to Philadelphia back during Week 1 for the regular season opener, they played every single snap on defense.

Because the Packers played exclusively in the nickel and dime formations the entire game, Bishop and Hawk didn't even see the field. They played in that game but were relegated to special teams.

As a result, they've never had the pleasure–or displeasure–of facing Michael Vick.

"I didn't get to play the first game, but the guys who was in there, they remind us, 'Hey, he's fast. So be prepared,'" said Bishop.

While they've never experienced the swiftness and versatility of the dual-threat Vick, they're working hard to get up to speed.

"You just got to film study," said Bishop. "And I take the guys who played that game, I take their word for it."

Not only did the Bishop and Hawk not face Vick in Week 1, they've never faced him throughout the course of their entire careers either. The Packers didn't play the Eagles in 2009, and Vick was out of football during 2007 and 2008.

In Hawk's rookie season of 2006, the Packers didn't happen to play Vick's former team, the Atlanta Falcons, either.

Head coach Mike McCarthy attempted to describe on Monday what they've been missing.

"Michael Vick is having an MVP-type year," said McCarthy. "He is an impact player. Anytime an impact player has the ball in his hand every play, I think that in itself says how you have to approach the football game and that’s how we view Michael Vick and their offense.

"Their statistic for explosive plays speaks for itself, No. 3 in the league in scoring. We’ve got to stay fundamentally sound and we’ve got to do a very good job of tackling when we get him on the ground."

Bishop, who signed a four-year $19 million contract extension before the regular season finale against the Chicago Bears, has been a revelation for the Packers at inside linebacker this season. His 121 tackles are second on the team behind only Hawk.

And he seems to have gotten the message about Vick.

"We've got to do a good job of not going to sleep on him because a lot of things he does, he kind of lulls you to sleep and then he'll take off," said Bishop. "And then if you're not at full speed … he's arguably one of the fastest guys in the NFL.

"You got to always know where he's at on the field. That's pretty much it. We've got a few calls and adjustments depending where he is, and you gotta know where he's at at all times."

And even though Bishop didn't play on defense Week 1 against the Eagles, he was there and he saw what Vick is capable of.

"I was on the sideline," said Bishop, "so I kind of could tell he was blazing."

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Comments (4)

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FITZCORE1252's picture

January 06, 2011 at 09:50 pm

Eagles not familiar with Bishop, Hawk. 2 way street.

GBP 4 LIFE

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lebowski's picture

January 07, 2011 at 12:24 am

Tackling when they get him on the ground. Umm, okay.

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al's picture

January 07, 2011 at 01:17 pm

"We've got to do a good job of not going to sleep on him because a lot of things he does, he kind of lulls you to sleep and then he'll take off," said Bishop. "And then if you're not at full speed … he's arguably one of the fastest guys in the NFL.

I believe that he was speaking about Jackson in this quote though not Vick.

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Doug In Sandpoint's picture

January 07, 2011 at 02:27 pm

Aaron: Please rewrite as "Bishop, Hawk Not Familiar To Vick, Eagles". I must say the current crew of backers is every bit as good as what we had on the field in the first game. But you are right...they need to be ready for a bit more speed and illusiveness than they've seen before.

I can't believe I have to wait until Sunday afternoon. I can hardly stand it. This is so much better than not making the playoffs. I say in my best Flounder voice, "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy."

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