(Before we begin: Our “2010 training camp stew” posts will begin Tuesday night. At that point, the Packers will have practiced six times – enough where we can start weighing in on some specifics.)
Well, it certainly sounds like Desmond Bishop is upset, eh?
Only this time, his beef does not lie with yours truly.
The fourth-year inside linebacker vented his frustrations with his current role on the team to reporters after practice Monday. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“I know what I can do, but I’m not sure they do. I think I’m just caught in a situation where my talents can’t flourish here. It’s frustrating because I love the guys that we have and everything, but I feel like I can be, and I will be one of the top tier linebackers in the NFL if I get the opportunity.”
You don’t have to read between any lines to see that Bishop is definitely reaching his breaking point with the organization. In a sense, I can see why.
Over the course of his first three seasons, Bishop has shown some flashes of real potential. He’s consistently turned in solid training camp/preseason performances. The majority of his regular season playing time came during the second half of 2008 after Nick Barnett tore his ACL. Bishop was, for the most part, solid in those showings, highlighted by a 12-tackle, two forced-fumble, one sack performance against the Houston Texans in early December.
He’s got good size (6-feet, 2-inches, 238 pounds), solid athleticism and he knows how to deliver some big hits. And, really, the two guys directly ahead of him on the depth chart – A.J. Hawk and Brandon Chillar - are certainly not All Pros or anything.
But. for whatever reason, these factors have not been enough to move Bishop past the No. 4 position on the team’s depth chart at ILB. Bishop, who just turned 26, likely feels the clock is ticking faster and faster on his pro career and he’d like his shot now, please.
Again, I see his point. But expressing such displeasure via the media is never the correct way to go about things. That’s true even if you’ve already made your feelings known to the coaches/other players on the team (something Bishop almost certainly has done).
When a player puts that stuff out there through the press, it creates a level of distrust between himself and the organization. The team could very well start to wonder whether or not Bishop is truly in it for the good of the group or just the good of himself. Last time I checked, that’s not a quality coaches want in the players on their squad. Again, it’s different if a player keeps those issues in-house. At least the trust is still there, somewhat.
The value of zipping one’s lips with the press is worth its weight in gold in the NFL, remember. Bishop didn’t. Will the coaches look at him differently now? That’s hard to say, but it wouldn’t be surprising if there’s some backlash from these statements. And an already uphill battle will have been made worse for Bishop. So, sure, he got if off his chest – but what good will it have done?
Players in these situations need to simply keep quiet and go out and do their damage on the practice field. If you do that, your current team will either be forced to play you or forced to trade you as someone will want you and will make an offer your current team can’t refuse (see: Hasselbeck, Matthew).
In our little Twitter clash, Bishop told me he was going to make me “eat my words” after I joked about his inability to see regular playing time.
On Monday, someone should have told Bishop to eat his own words before he spoke them. He’d have been a lot better off.