MANKATO, Minn. - When Desmond Bishop opened training camp, the new Minnesota Vikings linebacker was asked if he preferred to play in the middle or on the outside.
"As long as it's football and as long as I'm on defense, I'm good," Bishop said.
Questions then focused on the transition from the 3-4 defense he played in Green Bay to the 4-3 defense he was joining in Minnesota.
"I feel like whether it's 3-4 or 4-3, I can be effective," said Bishop.
A groin injury in practice prevented Bishop from playing in the preseason opener, but he was back on the practice field on Sunday and is expected to suit up for the Vikings when they play in Buffalo on Friday night.
"I thought he had a good day at practice," Vikings defensive coordinator Alan Williams said. "Of course the guys have been calling him "fresh legs" since he's been out for a little bit."
When Bishop was released by the Packers, many thought he would fit right in in the middle, taking over for Jasper Brinkley who left in free agency for Arizona.
But, coming off of a season-ending hamstring injury, the Vikings' plan was to start him outside and move Erin Henderson inside.
While the injury seems to have set him back, coaches don't seem to be worried about the veteran missing time.
"It looks like he hasn't missed a beat and I'd expect that from a veteran such as him, but a little bit of time off did not hurt him in any means," Williams said.
As for what coaches are hoping to see?
"Just that he goes out and executes the defense," Williams said. "I know that there will still be some rust on him in terms of live football, but we still have three weeks to go in time, and time is on our side in that respect. So I'm not going to put on any new pressure on him, just let him compete and he's doing that."
Williams said that Bishop is a professional who has really dug into his new role with a new team.
"He comes to the meetings. He sits up front. He asks good questions," Williams said. "Out on the football field, he's attentive whether he's in or out and so I'm just going to wait and see and let him do what he does, which is play good football."
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