Bishop has led the team in tackles during the preseason in two of his three years with the Packers, and he has picked up where he left off from that in the first two days of camp. In the opening practice on Saturday, Bishop delivered the hit of the day when he leveled rookie tight end
“I think he is having another good camp,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “I think he is even really positioning himself to take his game to the next level. We have excellent depth. We have four very good inside linebackers. It clearly was part of our discussions as a defensive staff of making sure we are able to get those guys more involved.
“The challenge is you can only play 11 players at once, but we feel very good about that whole group and Bishop is off to another excellent start of training camp. Very instinctive, tough, hard-nosed football player. I love the way he plays.”
Bishop has found his niche as a key special teams contributor with Green Bay, leading the team with a career-high 22 tackles in ’09 after making 15 stops the previous season. He saw more time on defense in 2008 because of injuries to
The majority of his defensive snaps last season came as the fifth linebacker in defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ ‘Psycho’ package, and Bishop is hopeful that his continued production will allow him to see more time in a deep inside-linebacker group.
“Right now I am just a core special teams guy, and special teams is a big part of the team,” Bishop said. “If that is how I have to contribute, I want to contribute as much as possible. Of course I want to play defense, but special teams is my calling right now.
“They just tell me to keep going. The coaches are gaining confidence, gaining trust in me, so I have got to just keep going. Hopefully they put in more packages and try to get me in there somehow.”
Camp is only two days old, but rookie cornerback
Undrafted out of the University of Miami, the speedy Shields figured to factor into the competition for both the punt and kick return spots, but has also flashed at cornerback.
On Saturday, Shields jumped in front of rookie wideout
“I think he is going to be able to play for us,” cornerback
Shields played wide receiver for his first three seasons at Miami before switching to the other side of the ball for his final year. He posted an 84-yard kick return vs. Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl in 2009 that set up a touchdown, and was named U of M’s Special Teams Player of the Year as a junior.
With the depth at cornerback, Shields knows that contributing on special teams will be a must if he hopes to stick on the final roster, and he had some struggles during OTAs fielding the ball as a returner.
“I’ve just got to keep focusing on catching the ball in practice, showing the coaches that I can field the ball, judging the ball, and things like that,” Shields said.
Rodgers, who recently appeared on the cover of ESPN The Magazine’s fantasy football preview, said that he receives more comments from fans on the popular activity than any other subject.
“It’s some sort of fantasy remark like, ‘Hey, thanks for the money you won me,’” Rodgers said. “Or, ‘Thanks for the points.’ Or, ‘I should have drafted you' or 'I shouldn’t have drafted you as high as I drafted you.' Or, ‘I needed more points against the Bears last year.'
“Any number of comments like that, and it always makes me chuckle.”
In addition to his 30 passing touchdowns in ’09, Rodgers led all NFL quarterbacks with five rushing touchdowns, the most by a Packers quarterback since Don Majkowski posted the same number in 1989.
“I think my rushing touchdowns, people tell me, is what kind of puts me over the top as far as gathering points,” Rodgers said.
Four players who missed time during the offseason due to injuries, Barnett (knee), wide receiver