Green Bay Packers: Superstar in the Making and Why Nick Barnett Won't Be Missed
He's flowing from sideline to sideline. He's one of the league's best tacklers, he doesn't over pursue in the run game, he can rush the passer and he can make impactful and game-changing plays.
No, I am not talking about Nick Collins, Charles Woodson, or BJ Raji. This guy suits up and plays at the linebacker position week in and week out.
No, it isn't AJ Hawk or Clay Matthews either. This guy was a staple of the Packers' defense and their run to a championship—and he dons No. 55.
That player is Desmond Bishop.
When you imagine the prototypical inside linebacker, regardless of scheme, you are generally thinking of a guy like Desmond Bishop, but most fans don't know this.
Bishop is that kind of player that is extremely good in all aspects of the game, and he has little-to-no flaws in his game. He can tackle, he can cover, he can pass rush, he doesn't commit penalties and he is capable of making the game-changing plays that you expect out of elite players in the NFL.
According to ProFootballFocus.com, Desmond Bishop was the fifth best middle linebacker in 2010, among a class of 50 linebackers who were involved in at least 25 percent of their team's defensive snaps.
Furthermore, Bishop was one of only four middle line backers to grade out positively or "in the green" in all categories—among of which were: pass rushing, coverage, run stopping, penalties committed and overall (the previous four categories combined).
In the offseason, the Packers rewarded Bishop with a four-year, $19 million contract and then released and re-signed AJ Hawk to a huge deal to essentially push Nick Barnett out of the starting lineup and eventually out of Green Bay all together.
Nick Barnett has been a rock for the Packers over the years. He has been a great middle linebacker and a game changer in his own right. But that shouldn't lead to concern from Packer faithful, because in Desmond Bishop, the Packers not only have a great middle linebacker, but an even better one.
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