Notebook: Bishop Packs A Punch

In a game featuring some big hits by both teams, Packers backup middle linebacker Desmond Bishop certainly had the biggest. Early in the second quarter Thursday night, Jacksonville’s Reggie Williams caught a short pass over the middle from quarterback Byron Leftwich, and Bishop laid Williams out with a wallop that popped his helmet off. - More Audio | Video | Packers-Jaguars Gameday

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Packers rookie linebacker Desmond Bishop delivered two separate hits that knocked the helmet off of Jaguars wide receiver Reggie Williams.

In a game featuring some big hits by both teams, Packers backup middle linebacker Desmond Bishop certainly had the biggest.

Early in the second quarter Thursday night, Jacksonville's Reggie Williams caught a short pass over the middle from quarterback Byron Leftwich, and Bishop laid Williams out with a wallop that popped his helmet off. Impressively, Williams held onto the ball for a 4-yard gain.

"We were in zone, and I just dropped back, read Leftwich's eyes, and I saw the receiver coming across and it was just natural instinct," said Bishop, a rookie sixth-round draft choice. "I knew he was going to dump it off and I just broke on it.

"It's like all the X's and O's fit perfectly, and it's just a perfect play. For that one play you're on point, and that feels good."

In celebration, Bishop started to take his own helmet off but thought better of it and didn't. It's a good thing, because removing his helmet voluntarily would have cost him a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

In the second half, Bishop took Williams helmet off again with another rough tackle after a 5-yard completion near the goal line.

In all, Bishop finished with a team-high five tackles, all solo. The strong game may have elevated him ahead of second-year pro Abdul Hodge in the running for the No. 2 middle linebacker spot.

"It's up to the people upstairs and the coaches to make that decision," Bishop said. "All I can do is go play."

Finding some room, finally

The Packers' running game struggled much of the night until the fourth quarter, when Corey White, a combination tailback/fullback, found some running room.

White carried eight times for 52 yards on the drive that produced the Packers' final points, a Mason Crosby field goal.

On that drive, White carried six straight times, including consecutive rushes of 8 yards off the left side, 12 yards off the right side, and 7 yards up the middle.

For the game, White had 11 carries for 60 yards. But the other two backs, Brandon Jackson and Noah Herron, who handled the bulk of the carries for the first three quarters, combined for just 24 yards on 14 carries, or less than 2 yards per rush.

"They're a physical football team on all three phases - particularly their run defense," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "We didn't run the ball very well at all. They did some things to us early that we made some adjustments with the second group that panned out. We were able to run the ball there at the end, but we need to do a better job there."

{sportsad300}Still tight as ever

After three preseason games, there's still no real discernible edge in the kicking battle between Crosby and Dave Rayner.

On Thursday, each made one field goal - Crosby from 38 yards and Rayner from 22. Both remained strong on kickoffs as well. Rayner's two kickoffs both went into the end zone, 5 and 9 yards deep. Crosby's two went 5 yards deep and to the goal line.

"I can't say enough about those guys," McCarthy said. "They're automatic. They both run out there and do an excellent job. We have a tough decision to make and we'll take it through the Tennessee game."

Injury update

Right guard Jason Spitz left the game after the first quarter with a calf injury, something McCarthy said was a recurring injury. He was replaced by Junius Coston.

The Packers had 11 players who did not dress for the game due to injury. They were running backs P.J. Pope (knee), Vernand Morency (knee) and DeShawn Wynn (quad), fullback Ryan Powdrell (knee), receiver Shaun Bodiford (knee), offensive linemen Tony Palmer (hamstring), Orrin Thompson (knee), and Tony Moll (neck/stinger) and defensive ends DeVon Hicks (groin), Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee) and Michael Montgomery (knee).

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