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Bishop makes the most of his time in Europe

QB gets results in limited action 

By Nick Cafardo

The Boston Globe - May 2, 2001

Michael Bishop has started another quarterback controversy - in Frankfurt.

This one, he'll win.

Bishop has been so exciting the past two weeks in NFL Europe play that fans and media have demanded the Galaxy coaching staff stop platooning Bishop with former Penn State quarterback Kevin Thompson, who is property of the Cleveland Browns.

Bishop, who has played parts of six quarters through two games, has been told he'll play all of Saturday's game at Amsterdam. Bishop has produced three touchdown passes, one of them an 80-yard bomb, and a 30-yard touchdown run. He owns a 107.5 quarterback rating, tops in the league, and he's run for 94 yards on 11 carries.

The touchdown run was quite exciting.

''Basically, there was a free safety blitz and we didn't have him covered, so I made him miss and I took off around the end and made it into the end zone,'' said Bishop.

Bishop thinks the talents he showed at Kansas State that made him a Heisman Trophy runner-up have come back better than ever after two seasons of virtual inactivity in New England.

''It's just fun to compete again and be a leader on the field again,'' said Bishop. ''It's fun to be back out there with a team and developing a chemistry with the other players. It's nice to have other players depending on you.''

The Galaxy are 0-2, having lost close games to Scotland (24-21) and Berlin (28-20). Bishop started both games, came out in the second quarter, and resurfaced later.

In last weekend's loss to Berlin, Bishop hurt his ribs at the end of the first quarter, but it was Thompson's turn to play anyway. Bishop returned midway through the third quarter.

''The fans are really into it and they've been great to me here so far,'' said Bishop. ''They get to the stadium four hours ahead and tailgate and they scream from the opening kickoff until the end of the game.''

Bishop said the playbook hasn't been difficult to learn, as the offense is similar to what the Patriots do, except ''the terminology is different and there are more bootlegs and getting to the edge and throwing it downfield.''

Bishop says the cultural adaptation has been challenging at times. In fact, he said, ''I got lost yesterday and it must have taken me six hours to figure out how to get back to the hotel.'' But he says Frankfurt fans are beginning to notice him.

''When I'm out now, I'm getting people asking for my autograph,'' he said. ''I think the fans are disappointed we're 0-2, but that's something we can change this week.''

The Galaxy will have a four-hour bus ride from Frankfurt to Amsterdam.

''Long bus trips,'' said Bishop. ''It kind of feels like junior college.''

This story ran on page D03 of the Boston Globe on 5/2/2001.
Copyright 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.


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