Aug 25, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins (4) is called for unsportsmanlike conduct against Minnesota Vikings linebacker Desmond Bishop (59) after making a catch during the fourth quarter at Candlestick Park. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 34-14. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Desmond Bishop Impressing During Preseason

When new Vikings Linebacker Desmond Bishop stepped on the field for the Vikings for the first time, it was during the team’s second preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.  As a fan watching the game, I felt that Bishop was slower than usual and out of place.  I went as far as to begin questioning whether or not he had fully healed from his injuries that led him to be released by the Green Bay Packers.

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

Then came game 3  against the San Francisco 49ers.  Bishop looked like a totally different player.  He showed speed and athleticism while amassing 9 tackles in the game.  I started to wonder if my previous evaluation of Bishop’s condition was incorrect.

The last chance Bishop got to prove himself was in the Vikings final preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.  He continued to look like the player from the 49ers game and made me eat crow.  He got 5 solo tackles and 2 assists in limited play.

Now, two games removed from nearly writing him off, I firmly believe that he will be starting at Outside Linebacker for the Vikings in week 1.  Working alongside perennial workhorse Chad Greenway and rising star Erin Henderson, Bishop can really help solidify this Vikings Linebacker grouping.

He will still face competition at the position from guys like 4th round draft pick  Gerald Hodges, but for now the Minnesota Vikings should be happy to have a healthy, determined Bishop at their disposal.

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  • Ragnar

    The linebacker position looks a lot better now than was expected at the beginning of the preseason. Secondary however is still largely a concern, mainly with Cook always getting hurt.

    Good news however is that Antoine Winfield is supposedly available whom is on the verge of being cut by Seattle. It would be awesome if we could get him back, especially since Josh Robinson has been struggling at the slot as of late. Now is the perfect time for the Vikings & Winfield to make amends. Both need each other more than they know.

    • Daniel Laxen

      I’m not calling Erin a rising star either! His size hurts him in coverage and I’m concerned about the accurate QBs in our division dropping balls right over him on seam routes down the middle of the field. The 49ers showed how vulnerable our middle was in week 3 of the preseason. I’m also concerned with Bishop in coverage. He’s great in run support and on blitz packages, but until we see him improve on the passing side of his craft he’s a liability. Reggie Bush may well have a field day on his side of the field week 1? I’m all for a Winfield signing should he decide to take a pay cut this year…

  • MikeH123

    I agree Bishop has looked great but Rising star Erin Henderson??? Neither are particularly great covering the pass but they should move the more experienced Bishop to MLB. And move Ponder to third string QB.

  • 3kolu

    Desmond Bishop really looks the part. He is a hard-hitting playmaker that has a nose for the ball. He is adequate on passing downs and will be starting week 1. While Chad Greenway is one of our elite defenders, I can’t wait till Michael Mauti takes his place among the starters. He is another hard-hitting playmaker who has a nose for the ball and is very good in nickel situations. If he and Hodges can make their moves, we will have one of the best LB crews in the league. Mitchell has played well in the pre-season and would be a top-tier reserve. The best we could hope for Cole would be the practice squad to hone his craft this year.

  • Dennis

    By my count he had 13 tackles