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Bishop faces training camp battle

February 22, 2001


NEW England Patriots quarterback Michael Bishop will have to prove himself in NFL Europe League training camp if he is to lead the Frankfurt Galaxy into battle in 2001.

Despite Bishop's NFL pedigree, Galaxy head coach Doug Graber has admitted he will also take a long look at Cleveland's Kevin Thompson in Tampa Bay next month.

"We will be looking at what both quarterbacks can do," the first-year NFLEL head coach said. "Both quarterbacks will play some this season and how that playing time is divided is based on training camp and the games.

"We plan on Michael being our starter right now, but at the same time, every player is competing for playing time."

Bishop joins the Galaxy as one of the hottest young prospects in the NFL. His first pass as a professional in 2000 was a 44-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Tony Simmons, who has been allocated to the Barcelona Dragons this season.

The former Kansas State star was used several times in 2000 because of his strong arm and ability to throw Hail Mary passes. He ended the season having completed 3-of-9 passes for 80 yards and 1 touchdown.

Graber said: "We are very happy to have Michael Bishop coming to Frankfurt. He was a Heisman runner-up and in addition to being a great player, he's also a great kid.

"He personifies what NFL Europe is all about. Mike just needs to play, he wants to play, and we are certainly going to give him that opportunity."

Bishop added: "I am very excited to come to Frankfurt and have the opportunity to play. I can't wait to work with my teammates and coaching staff to give the fans something to cheer about.

"I am very competitive. I want to win and I expect to win. There will be pressure but I welcome the challenge and I look forward to getting out there and doing my best to help us win."

In preparing for the 2001 NFL Europe League season, Bishop is keen to follow in the footsteps of quarterback success stories such as Kurt Warner, Brad Johnson, Jon Kitna and Jay Fiedler - but not at the expense of his Galaxy teammates.

"I am very aware of the success of other players, especially quarterbacks, have had in the NFL after playing well in NFL Europe," Bishop said. "I can't think about what might happen down the road though. I just have to concentrate on playing well each week for Frankfurt and helping us win a championship."

f Bishop splits time at quarterback in 2001, the Galaxy should be well served by Thompson, who enjoyed a productive career at Penn State before joining the Cleveland Browns in 2000.

Thompson completed his only NFL pass in 2000 for a gain of 8 yards.

In finalising his preseason roster ahead of training camp in Tampa Bay, Graber admitted he was pleased with the squad he had assembled, saying: "I have spoken to all our players and they are excited about coming to Frankfurt.

"We will work hard to give the great fans in Frankfurt something to cheer about."



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