He's finally found his arena
Catching up with Michael Bishop
HOUSTON, Texas -- He was one the most athletic players on the New England Patriots.
Michael Bishop played one season (2000) with New England and showed incredible athletic ability. In fact, not only was Bishop ahead of Tom Brady on the Patriots depth chart, but also many fans loved his potential Michael Vick ability they wanted him in the line-up.
I was excited to have the opportunity to play at the next level coming out of college, said Bishop. I enjoyed the time I was there and wish I was there longer. I definitely wish I had more playing time and a lot more opportunities than what I had. Certain situations didnt permit that at the time, but I loved every minute of it.
Bishop had the unique opportunity to play and compete with Brady and is not surprised at all with the level of success he has achieved.
I think Brady is one of the top players in the National Football League, said Bishop. He is a great guy on the field and off the field. I spent a lot of time with him when I was with New England just talking about life and where he wanted to be and where I wanted to be years from now. When I was there he was working hard, was in the weight room and doing the things you need to do to be in the situation he is in now. Im not surprised at all with the success he has had."
These days, Bishop, who resides in Houston, Texas and has a daughter Nia, 5, continues to play professional football in the Arena Football League.
(Nia's) had a big impact on me, said Bishop. As my daughter she understands football more than any other five-year-old that I could imagine. Shes been around my highs and my lows. I try and teach her what Im doing in life so she doesnt have to go through the same things I went through to get where Im at.
In the AFL, Bishop is the starting quarterback for the Grand Rapids Rampage.
I am loving it there and its a fast-paced game, said Bishop. Its a different game for a quarterback. You can expect 70-point games and the game is not over until the last seconds tick off the clock. You can score in a heartbeat."
Its a great game and there is a lot of attention on the game and a lot of guys vying into the game. Within the next couple of years it will continue to grow.
Bishop is enjoying a tremendous amount of individual success with Grand Rapids. On February 5 against the Colorado Crush, Bishop sent an AFL record by becoming the first quarterback to rush for 100 yards in a game.
I had no idea about breaking a record like that, said Bishop. I had six carries for 100 yards and they were all designed runs for me to get outside. With my ability I was able to get out and take it to the endzone with some moves and speed. Thats something I have been blessed with. Once they call my number outside the pocket I do what I can do.
Prior to joining Grand Rapids in 2004, Bishop was playing in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts. He joined the Argos in 2002 after playing in NFL Europe during 2001 with the Frankfurt Galaxy.
With the Argos, Bishop made an immediate impact and helped lead them to the post-season and a trip to the Eastern Final, where they lost 35-18 to eventual Grey Cup champion the Montreal Alouettes.
The CFL gets a lot of support from their fans and they love the game, said Bishop. Its another game that is also growing that is getting the attention from a lot of guys from different leagues. If you cant make it anywhere else, thats a league that is giving players an opportunity. I am thankful to them.
Outside of playing football, Bishop enjoys spending time in Houston with his family.
I have a big family and when Im not playing football I always come back home, said Bishop. You never know what could happen and I just try to be around them. I have a lot of nieces and nephews who look up to me and want to be around them as much as possible.
Bishop was the eighth-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2000 and came out of Kansas State as one the schools all-time greatest quarterbacks. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1999 to Ricky Williams and posted a 22-3 record (.880) starting at quarterback.
A lot of the credit goes to my (Kansas State) teammates who went out to battle with me week in and week out, said Bishop. They made sure I was on the right track and doing the right things.
As far as the current Patriots, Bishop harbors no ill-feelings towards the club and is very excited to be an alumni of one of the most successful teams in the NFL, fresh off their third Super Bowl victory in four years.
I keep in touch with a lot of the guys on the team, said Bishop. They have a good thing going right now, especially with the chemistry. I am proud of those guys and hope they continue to play well.