In prove-it mode, Bishop wants more time

Desmond Bishop (John Emms/Viking Update)

Desmond Bishop is fighting for a starting position in the Vikings defense and getting his bearings back on the football field after a year away from playing in games.

Desmond Bishop's time with the Minnesota Vikings didn't really start until the first practice of training camp.

Bishop signed with the Vikings as their minicamp was wrapping up and players were getting ready to leave for their time off before reconvening in Mankato on July 25. That left Bishop, with six seasons in Green Bay's 3-4 defense, behind the curve in acclimating to the Vikings' 4-3 defense.

"I feel like you always have something to prove, whether you are Adrian Peterson who rushed for so many yards, I believe he feels this year he has something to prove. And if he has something to prove, then we all do. I feel like I have a lot to prove," Bishop said as he prepared for only his second preseason game with the Vikings (he didn't play in the preseason opener because of a groin injury that limited him early in training camp).

Bishop played in 26 defensive snaps, almost one-third of the total, in his first preseason action with the Vikings Friday night, mostly with the second-team defense. For now, Marvin Mitchell, who has more experience in the team's defensive scheme, is the starter.

Bishop is looking for even more playing – and proving – time in the defense Sunday night as the first-team defense is expected to play into the third quarter.

"I'd be elated. It would really be something exciting. Looking forward to it," Bishop said.

"I want to be a lot more efficient. And I think with better efficiency comes more plays and I think that will give me a little bit of comfort to play better. I'm looking forward to it."

Although Mitchell has started both of the team's preseason games at weakside linebacker, Frazier said that position is still up for grabs.

"It's too early to declare jobs won. We've got another ballgame this week and another one the following week," Frazier said. "We'll let these guys continue to battle and if he can show enough, a lot of it depends on the other guys at the position as well. We're still taking a look at Marvin to see how he progresses, along with Gerald Hodges to see how he progresses. And (Tyrone) McKenzie is in a battle as well."

Mitchell led the Vikings with seven tackles Friday while Bishop had four , along with a half sack and a quarterback hit.

When they arrived at training camp, Frazier said Bishop's ability to blitz was intriguing. Mitchell's experience in the defensive system, however, has given him the edge to this point.

"With Marvin, he's been with us. This is his second season. He's gone through an entire offseason program, so that helps him in that way, understanding what our defense is and what we expect from that position," Frazier said. "They both are experienced guys in our league. They both run fairly well, good tacklers. So they've got a lot of the same similarities and we'll see how it plays out in the next couple weeks."

After about a full year not playing in any games, Bishop was happy be back in a lineup last Friday.

"I think it was very important after a long period to get out there and get my feet wet, so to speak, help me build my confidence, and I was able to come out unscathed and my injuries held up good. It was just another stepping stone and I'm looking forward to the next one," Frazier said.

"I think coach always preaches being smart, being tough and being disciplined. I feel like those are the principles I embody as a player. I just want to go out there and prove that. So, to prove those three things I think I'll be good."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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