And he didn’t even play in Saturday night’s game. In fact, he hasn’t played since the preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers, when he tore his right hamstring.
Linebacker Desmond Bishop, who watched the Packers’ loss from the sideline, said Sunday that the issue is not the defensive effort that shows up in the playoffs, but the attitude of the defense as a whole.
“We just need a better mindset as a defense,” Bishop said. “You see it in a few people, but you need an entire team in order to be successful. I think that’s what we need to change the most.”
And while the need for a new defensive approach may point to a new defensive coordinator, Bishop is a firm believer that the current man in charge, Dom Capers, should be back next season.
“Coach Capers is a great coach,” Bishop said. “You can’t have a great defense and win the Super Bowl one year and then be kicked out the next year, or a year or two later. I don’t think it should work like that at all.
“It’s just something I think we have to look at internally as a team and not really worry about going outside of the team. It’s something we have to look at within ourselves. I think we will address that and be fine.”
It’s easy to wonder how much a difference Bishop would have made not only in Saturday’s game, but throughout the whole season. After Bishop’s injury, linebacker D.J. Smith took over the position until the Packers’ Oct. 14 victory in Houston. Smith tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and relinquished the job to linebacker Brad Jones. While Jones impressed late in the season, the Packers have missed Bishop in the middle of the defense.
Still, Bishop said although he believes he could have helped out a defense that allowed 579 yards to the 49ers, he doesn’t want to play the guessing game.
“That’s a question you can’t really answer; it’s hypothetical,” Bishop said. “Of course I believe I could help. I’ve always believed that, since the first day I came here. Nothing has changed, nothing ever will change.”
– Sarah Barshop
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