Blast from the past: Former Patriot QB Michael Bishop reflects on Brady, his time in Foxboro
Yesterday we featured a story on the draft of Tom Brady and his evolution of sorts into the player he’s become. One player who had a front row seat was former Patriot backup quarterback Michael Bishop.
Bishop, at the time in 2000, had his fair share of hype and was one of four quarterbacks on the roster along with Brady, John Friesz and Drew Bledsoe. During Brady’s rookie season the Texan was ahead of him on the draft chart and played more, appearing in seven games.
In his first NFL pass attempt, he completed a 44-yard yard touchdown pass to Tony Simmons at the end of the first half, prompting many fans to call for him to takeover for Bledsoe.
As history would have it, Brady took over for Bledsoe in 2001 and is now set to start his fifth career Super Bowl. Though he says he didn’t envision Brady having the type of career he had, he does remember talking to him about making the most out of every opportunity.
“I remember hanging out with Brady one time and he and I were both talking about, you know, if we ever got the opportunity to play and how we wanted it to play out,? Bishop said from his Texas home. “His opportunity came when Bledsoe got injured and he took away with it.
“I knew what we discussed that once you got the opportunity to take it, never look back and don’t let it anyone take it away from you. It’s great what he did. I didn’t expect for him to have as much success as he had but in the end, once you put the work in and get comfortable with what’s going on around you, the players, the opportunity, the sky’s the limit for you.?
Bishop has stayed busy throughout the years. The 35-year-old has enjoyed a successful career in the Canadian Football League. From 2002 to 2009, Bishop recorded 11,772 passing yards and thrown for 66 touchdown passes. He has also rushed for 1,404 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He was set to retire in 2009 but was on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers rosters this past season for five games. Right now, he’s coaching high school football in Texas and says he has his sights set on that as well as staying healthy. Bishop says he is in discussions with several CFL teams for the 2012 season, but is not at liberty to go beyond that at this time.
About coach Bill Belichick he says, “his knowledge of the game is outrageous? and when he looks back to his time on the Patriots, the thing he remembers the most is his relationship with everyone and locker room banter.
“Once you’re with a group of guys for a period of time you become friends for a lifetime,? Bishop said. “Just the small conversations, the laughter’s, the times hanging out outside of football, things like that. It’s something you always remember.
He recalled his time spent with Brady saying, “Tom was I guess was one of the skinniest dude on the team, at that time. Tom came in and did what he needed to do. Paid attention, stuck around and it paid off for him in the long run. We hung out a couple of times. There was a pool hall in Boston, me and him went together couple of times. Shot some pool and hung out a little bit.?
The former 1999 Patriots seventh round draft pick says he’s remained a Patriots fan and predicts a close win for his former team come Sunday.
“I always have been. Along with Brady and Kevin Faulk, I think they’re the only guys still on the team when I was there. I’m always rooting for those two guys and wish them success,? Bishop said.
“I got to go with the Patriots and I hope they have the ball last because I think that’s what it’s going to come down to.?
–email@example.com / mdaniels06