Does Desmond Bishop change Vikings’ linebacker dynamic?
The Minnesota Vikings may have found a better solution for the linebacker dilemma they have had to deal with for some time now. Taking definitive action to bolster their linebacker group, the team made certain that ex-Green Bay Packer Desmond Bishop really didn’t have the opportunity to seriously consider any other offers. So desperate did the team’s situation look, outsiders felt that they could not let Bishop get away, and obviously Minnesota must have felt the same way.
Erin Henderson has moved to the middle linebacker slot, and that is where he was expecting to work during training camp, but Bishop gives the Vikings something they haven’t had for a while: options. Now, Henderson’s grip on that position seems tenuous at best. No longer is the job simply his to ride.
While Bishop has told the press that nothing was promised to him regarding a move to a particular position and that all the positions were interchangeable, it seems highly unlikely that the Minnesota coaching staff would permit Bishop, a talented and experienced middle linebacker, to slide to the outside to accommodate Henderson’s move inside.
By placing both men where they have the most experience, the Vikings can create a stable and talented group and can now confidently toss their linebacker issues into the ashcan. If the coaching staff wants to fool around with this situation, they had better come up with a compelling reason for placing players experienced at a specific task into unfamiliar positions, and then prepare to defend those decisions to a wary press and fan base.
Earl Richmond is a long-suffering Detoit Lions fan and NFC North observer and writer for TPF. He can be reached at ERichmond@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com