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Desmond Bishop Will Not Be Handed a Starting Job

Desmond Bishop

We’ve been wondering what’s been going on with Desmond Bishop. He missed all of last season with a hamstring injury and then the Green Bay Packers tried to trade him during the draft.

That didn’t make any sense to us considering, when he’s healthy, Bishop has been the Packers best inside linebacker. Throw in the re-signing of Brad Jones to a $11.75 million, three-year contract and A.J. Hawk‘s pay cut and Bishop’s status becomes even murkier.

Well, now we know the Packers aren’t about to hand Bishop his starting spot back.

“I think there’s a mindset that when you get on that field, you’ve got to stay on the field,” inside linebackers coach Winston Moss said. “Because if you come off that field, having a job waiting for you when you get back is not a sure thing. You better make well sure that you don’t give somebody else an opportunity because everybody who’s gotten that opportunity has been able to take advantage of it, and that’s a credit to those guys.”

So far this offseason, Bishop hasn’t had anything to say about who starts because he’s been sidelined with the injury. Moss’ comments don’t bode well for Bishop’s chances at the moment, though.

In a way, he’s sending the message that players better play through injury if they expect to keep their jobs. We know how well that worked for Tramon Williams the past two seasons. It hurt the team, especially in 2011.

If there’s any good news here, it’s that Bishop is taking this as a cue to be even better.

“Bishop is a man on a mission,” Moss said. “He’s made comments that alluded to that and based upon what I’ve seen and how he’s treated this whole process, he’s a guy who is just waiting for his opportunity.”

Bishop has also stated that his goal is to be the defensive MVP this season. So we’ll see how that shakes out.

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. Ger May 30, 2013

    Hell yes. I think Winston Moss is saying you don’t automatically get your position back, Bishop will have to prove he deserves it. This is a great mindset to have, and the players need to know it’s a ‘What have you done for me lately’ mindset on this team.

  2. Chad Lundberg May 30, 2013

    This almost has “we’re not planning on even having Bishop with us next season” written all over it.

  3. Shawn May 30, 2013

    When I hear a coach say “man on the mission” that suggests Bishop is still trying to return from his injury and there is some doubt about that.

    Bishop is only protected by $1.6 million in dead money right now. If the Packers cut him after June 1st, they would count 800K against the cap this year, which they can easily afford, and 800K next season. In doing so, they would save about $3 million in salary.

    That is still a bite for a GM adverse to dead money, but it is not unthinkable.

    In other words, if Bishop doesn’t start, do you keep him on as a back up at around $4 mill a season or do you go with Terrell Manning and Robert Francois, who are still around and much cheaper alternatives?

    At this point, Bishop better beat out Hawk for that spot. I don’t see him overtaking Brad Jones.

  4. FITZCORE1252 May 30, 2013

    Bishop doesn’t play Hawk’s spot, he will be competing with Jones. Even if he was going for Hawk’s spot – which he’s not – haven’t we learned that Hawk is not going anywhere (including the bench)? The coaches love him and one of the two ILB positions is his… No matter if we like it or not.

    1. Abe Frohman May 30, 2013

      That’s exactly right. Bishop is in the “I’m gonna take your head off” spot. Hawk is in the “let me get run over 5 to 7 yards off the line of scrimmage” spot.

      Jones is not a “I’m going to take your head off” kinda player, unfortunately. We need Bishops ass kicking mentality out there.

    2. Shawn May 30, 2013

      Not necessarily. The coaching staff has shown no reluctance to force players to switch spots and constantly preaches “versatility.” If they at least ostensibly stick by the credo- “the best two play”, then Bishop could take Hawk’s spot.

      Hawk has been on the bench before and was forced to take a pay cut this offseason. So, his experience and reliability gives him an edge on his spot, but it isn’t a guarantee.

      Brad Jones has the size and athleticism that you look for in pass coverage. I doubt he’ll be supplanted in the dime package, which was Bishop’s old role. Hawk has essentially turned into a rushing down defender. If Bishop is the better player against the run, then why not pair him with your best coverage LB?

      Until Bishop gets back onto the field, this all means exactly nothing.

  5. Bill Clinton May 30, 2013

    Bull as to your first argument Fitzcore, the ILBs in a 3-4 are interchangeable. There’s no argument that Bishop can’t take Hawk’s spot. Your second argument is the correct one – Hawk starts no matter how much he sucks because the coaches want it that way.

  6. Savage57 May 30, 2013

    There’s no place for sentiment here or in any other place where pro football reigns supreme. The Packers will put the best two atheletes at the ILB positions – period. Hawk, Jones, Bishop, Godzilla – no one cares as long as you produce. It’s the heartless nature of the beast.

    This isn’t a bunch of high school guys trying to figure this out on the fly, it’s one of the best management and coaching groups in the WORLD setting the table for us as fans to enjoy.

    So stop thinking that it’s anything to the contrary. Or, that any of the multitude of our stupid opinions tossed about here are worth a rat’s ass in the grand scheme of things.

  7. FITZCORE1252 May 30, 2013

    “Bull as to your first argument Fitzcore, the ILBs in a 3-4 are interchangeable.”

    Bill, buddy, that’s just not a factual statement. I’m not saying Bishop couldn’t play AJ’s spot, but they are not “interchangeable”, there are differences in duties and assignments.

    Below is just something quick I came across, hopefully it helps you understand, and I accept your apology:

    “However, in many of the 3-4 scheme’s seen today you see the “MAC” backer playing more of a weak side linebackers role and the “MIKE” can likewise find himself in the strong side role. The strong-side “MIKE”, must have an attacking style of play to come up and meet a ball carrier at the line of scrimmage and be fast enough to string him out to the sideline. Though his first priority would be to stand the blocking back up in the hole yet plugging another running lane. The weak-side “MAC”, is responsible for backside pursuit and must be disciplined enough not to overrun a play which could result in a big gain. “

  8. Vijay May 31, 2013

    You don’t get better by eliminating playmakers on either side of the ball. If Bishop is healthy, he starts…if not, we will not have any swagger on D. Where do we get that “amped up” leadership from making big plays if not from him? You could say Clay, but he seems to be more of a goofball type than a leader to this point. Who knows, maybe now he steps up into the rah rah leadership role (speaking of Clay). If not, Bishop’s play should help his cause if he becomes the vocal leader of the D.

    1. Phatgzus May 31, 2013

      DialTone may bring that swagger, from reports it really sounds like he’s a vocal leader, even if he is a rookie, if he has the right swagger his teammates will listen to him. I agree about Bishop, he has that nasty attitude and is an excellent player when healthy, unfortunately the issue here is he’s never played an entire season as a starter, and I’m guessing the Packers are sick of paying a player a significant amount of money to sit on the bench or IR.