Michael Bishop

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Michael Bishop

Post by portland »

From Yahoo Sports Canada

"Bishops move diagonally. That's why they often turn up where the kings don't expect them to be."

That quote, from Terry Pratchett's Small Gods, originally compared the actions of a bishop of the fictional Omnian Church to the actions of a bishop in chess, but it's just as applicable to former CFL quarterback Michael Bishop. As Sportsnet's Arash Madani first reported late Saturday night, it looks like Bishop is back in the league and on his way to the Calgary Stampeders. He's still dealing with some issues renewing his passport, but could be at practice as early as Wednesday. Given that Bishop hasn't played a CFL down since the 2009 season and the Stampeders seemed relatively set at quarterback quite recently, that's definitely a place few would have expected Bishop (seen above in 2009 with Winnipeg) to turn up.

What's motivating this is an injury backup quarterback Drew Tate suffered late in Friday's pre-season clash against Edmonton. Tate reportedly dislocated his left, non-throwing shoulder in that game and will be out indefinitely, leaving the Stampeders short of quarterback depth behind Henry Burris. They do have Brad Sinopoli, the lone Canadian quarterback left on a CFL roster after the Toronto Argonauts cut Danny Brannagan Friday, but Sinopoli hasn't played a down in the CFL regular season and still has a ways to go from a developmental standpoint. Bishop at least has some CFL experience as a starter, and that makes him much more attractive as a short-term fill-in than say, young former NCAA quarterbacks with more potential; as I discussed when talking about Terrelle Pryor, it takes plenty of time to adapt to bigger fields and 12-a-side football, and the Stampeders need someone who can potentially step in right away if Burris gets hurt.

The Stampeders reportedly looked at other quarterbacks and even made an offer to former Argonaut/Alouette/Stampeder Cody Pickett (who Wikipedia still lists as a member of their roster), but Pickett apparently elected to remain in Idaho with his family and his business instead. Of the other quarterbacks they apparently looked at, you can make a case Bishop's the best option. Chris Leak struggled in both Montreal and Saskatchewan, Casey Printers made one of the worst exits the CFL's seen in years. I'd have picked Jason Maas over Bishop, but he officially retired in May and didn't play much over the last couple of years, so he may not have been interested either.

Bishop found plenty of success in the NCAA ranks at Kansas State but struggled to repeat that in the pros, bouncing around from the NFL to NFL Europe to the CFL and the Arena Football League and playing for such teams as the Frankfurt Galaxy, the Grand Rapids Rampage and the Kansas City Brigade. In the CFL, he had some great moments with the Toronto Argonauts but plenty of bad ones as well, and was eventually traded to Saskatchewan for a conditional draft pick. He didn't do all that well there, made another cameo with Winnipeg and was eventually released before the 2010 season, so it's been a while since he's seen a CFL snap. He's apparently been playing some indoor football, though, so he may still be in decent shape.

In any case, Bishop is certainly a surprising addition. However, he may not as crazy of a pickup as it might have seemed at first glance, given the lack of other experienced options out there (and the likely reasonably short-term nature of this role if Tate's recovery goes well). Now that Bishop has turned up unexpectedly, we'll have to wait and see what kind of impact he's able to have.

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