Patriots Draft: Focus on LB Desmond Bishop

Ability to be a playmaker and self-confidence are admirable traits for Draft prospects. For Desmond Bishop, it's good fortune that he's been blessed with the first, and he's in the process showing anyone who will listen, he has plenty of the second. Ed Thompson interviews this talented linebacker who is drawing interest from a number of teams, including the Patriots and -- of course -- the Jets.

Ed Thompson: What do you enjoy most about football?

Desmond Bishop: I love the competition and going out there and competing. I like the physicality of the game. It's like a chess match out there sometimes. You have to be thinking, you have to be cognitive. I like that part of the game as well.

ET: Would you agree that as a football player that one of your strengths heading into the NFL is your consistency and durability…

DB: Yes, as a football player you get ticky types of injuries, but I don't usually get hurt. I was always healthy.

ET: Let's talk about one of the really impressive things you did at the Combine, your 33 bench reps. And then tell us your thoughts on how your Pro Day went for you.

DB: One of my friends called me, he's the person I used to work out with. He knows the first thing I want to do when I work out is to get my bench in. That's like my favorite workout. So the 33 reps was really no surprise to him because he knows that's what I do in the weight room. That's what we go hard on. As far as my Pro Day, I think I did alright. Hopefully the scouts and some of the people close with it know that some of the drills we do for Pro Day or the Combine really have nothing to do with playing football. I think that the people who need to know the most know that I'm a football player. At the Combine my measureables were pretty much average, but on the football field, that's where you see my strong points.

ET: Tell us a little about your pass coverage skills and what you showed out there in that area during your college career?

Desmond Bishop runs after an interception (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
DB: My senior year I had three interceptions. That goes to show you I can read a quarterback a little bit, read routes and jump in front of some balls and be athletic enough to bring in interceptions. Also, you do a lot of things during a season, interceptions aren't the only thing that shows how your cover skills are. Sometimes you get into some lanes and cover some receivers so they don't throw the ball. That also shows you're in position and you know what you're doing.

ET: I saw one write up about you where they referred to you as the classic run-stuffing inside linebacker. What do you think has helped you build up that kind of reputation?

DB: My will. Before the game I tell myself that I'm going to make tackles and I'm going to stop this running back from gaining yards and scoring and I just put my mind to it and put everything I have into it. But like I said, I can drop back into coverage too. Playing football, especially in the Pac-10 where there's a lot of passing, you have to be able to be versatile and drop back into coverage.

ET: What responsibility did you feel out there when you were named team captain? What did that add to you as a football player?

DB: It added a lot. It made me mature a little bit more. To know that everybody was watching, the younger guys, the team was watching. You had to be a leader on and off the field. Off the field, you have to work hard and show your work ethic and on the field you had to lead by example and make plays. Sometimes you have to be vocal, pull people or the team to the side and get things off everyone's chest so everyone can be on the same page and be successful.

ET: As you talked to the coaches, was there anything that you wanted them to know about you as a person?

DB: For them to understand who I am and that I have a passion for the game. To understand that I love what I do. I'm willing to come into the NFL and work hard. I think if you watch my film, talk to me and get to know me it's pretty much evident - we'll see.  And I don't know if this is politically correct or if I should say this, but I really believe that in this 2007 linebacker corps I'm the best linebacker coming out this year. I don't want to be cocky or anything, but I believe that with all my heart.

Learn more about Desmond Bishop by visiting his player profile page.

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the network and syndicated through's NFL team pages.


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