Preseason Rewind: Desmond Bishop Is Desmond Bishop

Aug 16, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Desmond Bishop (59) on the sideline during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Vikings 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

What if anything did we learn from Friday night’s sloppy, ugly, pretty much unwatchable preseason game against Buffalo? Not a heck of a lot. Mostly that game was a write-off, at least from an outside analysis point-of-view. Leslie Frazier might be able to glean a few things from the film and give some guys a kick in the butt at practice but that’s about it. For our purposes, I’d say that game taught us almost nothing new.

At best the game merely reaffirmed a few things we were already pretty certain about. It confirmed all over again that, when Adrian Peterson sits, the Vikings offense just looks plain ugly. It also demonstrated – again, not an earth-shattering revelation – that the Vikes have a lot of work to do when it comes to picking up blitzes. That goes to recognition – a lot of that is on Christian Ponder even if the Ponderheads don’t want to believe it – and it goes to the blocking itself. But this was a preseason game and I think some of that can be forgiven.

But what about specific players? Look at someone like Desmond Bishop, who is firmly on the roster bubble. Did Friday night’s game do anything to advance or hurt Bishop’s cause?

Right away there’s one play that everyone is going to focus on, the play where Bishop apparently blew a coverage and allowed a touchdown. Blowing coverages is never good especially for guys whose jobs are on the line. Of course Bishop is new to the team and, to make matters worse, has missed some practice time due to injury. So maybe he has an excuse. Then again, he is a veteran, and picking up a defense shouldn’t be that hard.

It wouldn’t be fair to only focus on that play however. Bishop did come back later and make a couple good plays, including putting a good stick on a Bills ball carrier. So take everything together and what did we learn? Desmond Bishop: bad in coverage, good as a physical, downhill linebacker.

In other words, we learned nothing new about Desmond Bishop. He is the player the Vikings thought he was when they signed him. A guy who will struggle in coverage but can give you a physical presence and will make plays on ball carriers. The coverage issue is why Bishop is not getting a shot at MLB. He is strictly a Will in this scheme.

And frankly, if Bishop can just do what he did Friday night, he will be good enough at the Will. The coverage thing isn’t a huge deal as he will not be featured in nickel packages. If he can just play downhill, come on some blitzes, blow up some running plays in the backfield, he will give the Vikings what they need at the position.

So I wouldn’t get too crazy about the blown coverage. I imagine the coaches aren’t too concerned about it themselves. And anyway, what other options do the Vikings have at the Will? Gerald Hodges? Tyrone McKenzie? Desmond Bishop is their best option there. Friday night he at least showed that he can get on the field and compete. That was the first hurdle. If the coaches think he looks comfortable enough, he’ll be on this roster, and he’ll be starting week one.

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  • MikeH123

    Erin Henderson isn’t good in coverage either and they have him playing the crucial MLB position that must cover the seam down the middle of the field. They should have drafted Teo.

    • TrueVikingsFan

      LOL really? So you would rather us have drafted Teo, who has been largely invisible so far this preseason, over Patterson, who is making plays left and right? Leave your idiotic ideas in your head where they belong…

      • MikeH123

        Teo has a foot injury after being one of the most impressive rookies during all of the camps. He could have been drafted instead of Rhodes, who has also been injured and is now a backup. But what I really don’t like are people like you that resort to personal insults like calling people’s opinions idiotic.

        • TrueVikingsFan

          Do you realize we play in a division with Aaron Rogers, Jay Cutler and Stafford who throws to the best WR in the game right now. So what position do you think we needed to get drastically better at? If your smart, which it seems your not, you would say getting elite corners. While it would of been nice to get a linebacker in the first couple rounds, we did a heck of a job getting some serious first round talent. So keep your Teo loving retarded idea and go watch a chargers game and try to see how Teo is “impressive”… idiot

          • MikeH123

            Do you realize what a jerk you are?

          • TrueVikingsFan

            Yes i realize that by you calling me a jerk your conceding that im right and that your worthless and have little to no actually knowledge of the Vikings or football. Hope you learn your lesson and actually use your brain next time you make a comment. Idiot….

          • MikeH123

            I won’t debate those that must resort to person attacks.

          • TrueVikingsFan

            Hardly call this a debate, most debaters have factual arguments. You just have idiotic nonsense that has no bearing. So sorry Mike but this was never a debate…

          • Rob

            Rhodes will be a starter this year, and he will be their best DB after Harrison Smith. Not being called a starter right now means nothing. That’s just Frazier being respectful of veterans and making Rhodes ‘earn’ the title. Almost all coaches do that, and they did the same with Harrison Smith last year. He wasn’t named the starter until the regular season began, and even then, they hedged it by saying he’d ‘rotate’. He never came off the field. Rhodes will do the same. I like Teo and think he will do well, but with the ridiculous media coverage that still hasn’t gone away, Rhodes was the better bet for a team that doesn’t want drama.

          • MikeH123

            The Vikings needed a MLB (as well as a CB), especially one that could cover deep down the seam especially against the strong arms in the division. They could have selected Floyd and Patterson in the first, traded up WITHIN the second round for Teo and then traded up WITHIN the third round for Blidi Wreh Wilson. Sure, Rhodes is better than Wilson but not enough to be without a MLB that can cover the seam. PS It is fun to debate the Vikings fans that are not rude and a disgrace to the state like “true Vikings fans”..

          • TrueVikingsFan

            Rhodes was the second rated Corner in the entire draft, you cant pass up elite talent like that. You cant get every position in one year and Corners were a bigger need than MLB. So quit your butt hurting and just admit your wrong you little baby.. The only disgrace to this state are idiots like you that think you know better than Rick Spielman….

          • MikeH123

            The Vikings have looked like crap. I am predicting maybe 6 wins this year. Spielman has really messed up this team, especially with the drafting of Ponder but also his inability to get a MLB. This is going to be a fun year for the boo birds. Dump racketeer Wilf! Dump screw-up Spielman! Dump follower Frazier! Dump poopy Ponder!

    • TrueVikingsFan

      Oh and Mike, you realize they have Bishop playing Weak side linebacker right? So right there your proving you don’t know anything.

  • 3kolu

    The blown coverage wasn’t his fault. Yet, he is still suspect in the nickel.

  • 3kolu

    Also, this grey backing is horrible. I can’t read the article for squat.