Desmond Bishop: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Packers inside linebacker Desmond Bishop
Desmond Bishop

1) Introduction: It’s been a long time since Bishop was “Mr. August” (named for being spectacularly awesome during the preseason only to be equally spectacularly terrible during the regular season) and since then Bishop has arguably turned into the Packers best inside linebacker, supplanting fellow inside AJ Hawk in pretty much every regard.  Bishop is easily option 2 behind Clay Matthews in terms of rushing the passer and a solid presence in the middle against the run.

2) Profile:

Desmond Lamont Bishop

Position: ILB
Height: 6-2
Weight: 238 lbs.
AGE: 27
Career Stats


3) Expectations coming into the season for that player: High; Bishop had become a regular starter in 2010 and had shown enough to warrant him being the sole linebacker when the Packers went into the nickel package (as evidence by Hawk’s dismay during the opening regular season game in 2010 against the Philadelphia Eagles where Hawk didn’t see the field in favor of Bishop).  Bishop was again expected to bring some big play ability into the middle of the field and still maintain a presence in the box against the run.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Bishop didn’t really have one breakout game this year, but remained rather steady throughout.  One could say that his best performance was against the San Diego Chargers in week 9, where he recorded 1 sack and 11 tackles, but it could be argued that he was equally effective against the Denver Broncos in week 4 and against the Carolina Panthers in week 2.  Bishop’s lowlight was definitely being hurt for 3 weeks during the end of the regular season where he saw his back up DJ Smith play quite well in his stead

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: High; Bishop lead the team in tackles with 115, second behind Clay Matthews III in sacks with 5 (which is only one lower than Matthews himself) and also recorded 2 forced fumbles

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Bishop recorded 4 tackles and one pass defense and probably played as well as anyone did on the defense that day against the Giants in the playoffs.

Season Report Card:

(B) Level of expectations met during the season
(A) Contributions to team’s overall success
(B) Player’s contributions in the playoffs

Overall Grade for the year: B+


Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s


  • Agree 100% with this grade.

    His performance the last 2 seasons makes me wonder what could have been if he had been given the chance to play sooner

    • Thomas Hobbes

      He did get a chance to play in before 2010, and he I seem to recall he was pretty hit or miss. Maybe Bishop was more suited for a 3-4 defense?

      • Oppy

        I don’t think Bishop’s situation was helped (or harmed) in any real measurable way by the scheme switch..

        Bishop’s hot and cold performances when given the chance to play regular season games (pre-2010) were marred by mental miscues- he was horribly inconsistent, making a solid play one snap and then following it up with a glaring mental mistake the very next that led to the D getting gashed for big yardage or worse.

        He always showed the potential, but failed to capitalize on it when given those in-season shots. I personally think those errors were just a sign of his youth and (football) immaturity at the time.

        Clearly, he’s learned when to stay home and when to make a break for a big play. He’s matured, and that’s why he ran away with a starting position

        • Thomas Hobbes

          Actually coming to think of it, neither Bishop nor Hawk really had all that much trouble going from the 4-3 to the 3-4. Is that because ILB/MLBs have essentially the same responsibilities between the two defenses or is it something to do with Hawk and Bishop specifically?

          • Oppy

            You could argue (not that it would necessarily be a good argument 😉 ) that playing MLB in a 3-4 is a less demanding role than that of of a MLB in a 4-3, simply from the standpoint that a 4-3 MLB must me much more rangy than his 3-4 counterparts.

            Only 3 LB’s in a 4-3 means the MLB must be able to play sideline to sideline to assist in tackles. In a 3-4, the MLB need only cover 1/2 to possibly 2/3 the field to still be effective.

    • Steve Cheez

      Love the avatar!

      • Steve Cheez

        Um, that was supposed to follor John Rehor…
        mea culpa

  • JimR_in_DC

    Yep, Bishop and Matthews are our two best linebackers. Good evaluation, Thomas!

  • Lucas

    Is he 238lbs? How much more of a force could he be at 245lbs? It seems at times TEs could out-muscle him for the catch…may also help him finish tackles better…unlike Hawk. Any word on the staff asking him to gain weight?

    • Thomas Hobbes

      The Packers website lists him at 238lbs, though I highly doubt he actually plays at that weight (maybe he did as a rookie). As far as I know, the Packers aren’t obligated to give out his current weight (I can’t think of why that would be a competitive advantage either), so unless you’ve seen Bishop on a scale recently, 238 is all I got.

    • Lucas

      and by unlike Hawk…I mean if he could drive guys back on a tackle, he wouldn’t be like Hawk

  • Ron LC

    I think Bishop equaled CM3’s performance. 2 of the 4 LB’s played up to expectation. MM and DC need to correct this situation in the off-season.

    I’d go for an overall A.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      If Bishop had played every game, then maybe I would give him an A, but missing nearly a 4th of the season should count against something.

  • Justin Morrow

    He seems bigger than 238lbs to me. I don’t know if gaining more weight would be good for him as it would slow him down in coverage. We need more speed on D with anyone who can wrap-up to make tackles.

    Bishop’s tackling is fine with me. He missed 3 games and finished with 115 tackles while Hawk missed 2 games i believe and only 84 tackles.

    Bishop deserves the B+ grade, which is fair.

    • Lucas

      Outside of CMIII, the LBs seemed to be drag down tacklers instead of drive through. Several players have gained mass and speed. If it’s muscle and flexibility training, there shouldn’t be a loss of speed.

  • Mojo

    Bishop is clearly one of the best players on the Packers D and one of the few playmakers. Signing him to an extension last year was a good move by TT. Bishop seems to take pride in his work, which I didn’t always see from his teammates.

  • Dan

    Bishop is a keeper, not sure about his inside running mate…can hawk

  • CSS

    He’s exceeded my expectations, but a B+ is generous. He still takes too many false steps and gets exposed as an guesser in the run game. He plays down hill, and I love his style. B+ is all-pro worthy and his game isn’t there.