MANKATO, Minn. (WCCO) – The first week of training camp is an adjustment for everybody, leaving that offseason mindset behind and focusing entirely on football.
For the new guys on the team, that adjustment is even bigger. But two days in to training camp, former Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop feels like he’s off to a good start.
“It feels good. I never thought I’d look so good in purple,” Bishop said. “I think I look pretty handsome.”
Bishop can only hope he looks as good when the games start, after leaving behind the green and gold for a fresh start with the Vikings.
“Right now I’m just trying to learn as much as I can. It’s a little bit different than what I’m used to, but I feel like I’m a smart guy and I’m picking up everything rather quickly. So I think it’s going really good,” he said.
For Bishop, the adjustments are many: it’s not only a different team but a different defensive scheme – a four-three instead of a three-four. And there’s also a different philosophy.
“For instance, [in] a lot of the coverages – I like never took my eyes off the quarterback. Whereas before, you know, I could do that and that would be alright. So from that standpoint, that’s one thing that’s really different, it’s quite a bit of an adjustment. But I kind of like it because I’m more of an instinctive player anyway,” Bishop said.
Add on to that yet another adjustment – a different position. Bishop is moving from inside linebacker to outside.
“People, you know, put a lot of emphasis on outside linebacker and middle linebacker. You know, it’s all the same pretty much to me. It’s really playing football,” he said.
Despite all the adjustments, there’s a part of Bishop just happy to be playing anywhere. He missed all of last season after tearing his hamstring in the preseason.
“Man, it feels really good. I’m having so much fun. I feel like a kid in a candy store, really,” he said.
What would make this year’s training camp a success for Bishop?
“I think my actions will have to answer that,” he said.
Bishop is currently in a three-man rotation for the starting linebacker job, opposite Chad Greenway. There’s a chance the Vikings could eventually move him back inside, but they’re hoping that Erin Henderson plays well enough so that won’t have to happen.