Desmond Bishop passes first audition, awaits second on Thursday
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The longest look of any non-starter in the Minnesota Vikings defense went to linebacker Desmond Bishop during Sunday's preseason loss at the San Francisco 49ers.
Bishop led the team with eight tackles, four for a one-yard-or-less gain, on 33 plays at the weak-side or nickel linebacker role.
"I'm getting there," Bishop said Tuesday. "I definitely feel comfortable with the system...because at the end of the day, it's football. I feel like I have a good comfort feel with the calls, after that, it's just preparation. I think I'm there."
Bishop joined the Vikings two months ago after being cut by the Green Bay Packers. He had been rehabbing a torn hamstring tendon that sidelined him for the 2012 season and has played just two preseason games (both in purple) in a year since the injury.
Coach Leslie Frazier said he was pleased with Bishop's performance on Sunday, which was the first time the linebacker saw extended reps with the first-team defense.
"I was impressed with some of the things [Bishop] did in that ballgame," Frazier said. "He showed some things, we got to be able to continue to put him out there, put him in situations and see how he does."
Bishop should get an extended look during the final preseason game against the Tennessee Titans. Frazier said starters should be limited, meaning linebackers Chad Greenway and Erin Henderson will play very few, if any, snaps.
Bishop lined up as one of the nickel linebackers for the first time in purple on Sunday and should see much more of that look on Thursday.
But after being cut by a team he logged consecutive 100-tackle seasons for, Bishop said he's not expecting anything.
"I don't assume anymore," Bishop said. "I learned that nothing is guaranteed. I definitely don't have a sense of entitlement."
Bishop was set to make $3.5 million in 2013 from the Packers, but is now on the hook with the Vikings on a one-year, veteran minimum deal -- which for a six-year player is around $700,000.