Bishop answers Stamps SOS

Michael Bishop will serve as Henry Burris' backup quarterback as the Stamps' regular reserve QB,...

Michael Bishop will serve as Henry Burris' backup quarterback as the Stamps' regular reserve QB, Brandon Tate, recovers from injury.

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:50 AM ET

CALGARY - Michael Bishop never gave up on the CFL, even when it looked like the league had given up on him.

For the past 16 months, the quarterback with the rifle for an arm was awaiting the call on the next job.

Finally on Saturday, the phone rang.

The Calgary Stampeders have a need for an experienced pivot willing to come in for a month or so as a stopgap measure.

Bishop fits the bill.

“It never crossed my mind,” Bishop said when asked if he thought he was done with the CFL.

“An injury could always pull you back. You need to stay ready because you don’t know when the next opportunity is going to come. I’m playing the waiting game to see if somebody will give me a call.

“I never thought it would never happen again. I always take care of myself and stay in good physical shape just in case I get a call. It just so happens I got a call, and this seems like a good situation.”

The one problem is he didn’t renew his passport in March when it expired, so he’s working on getting it in order. Then he will be on his way from Texas.

He is set to hit the immigration office when it opens Monday and will be on the next flight out once it’s renewed.

The Stamps need a veteran pivot with Drew Tate out with a dislocated shoulder suffered Friday in Edmonton during the pre-season finale.

With Henry Burris as the established starter and Brad Sinopoli as an intriguing prospect at No. 3, Bishop could slide in as an emergency No. 2.

The job may only be for a month or so until Tate returns. For that reason, some experienced pivots — most notably Cody Pickett — didn’t want to be a temporary fix.

Bishop isn’t concerned about that. He just wants to play.

“I understand the direction they are going, and

I understand Tate went down with an injury,” Bishop said. “At the same time, you never know what will happen with it.

“All I can do is control what I do with the opportunity. The team has to figure it out, but I will make the best of this opportunity. Everything else will take care of itself.”

Bishop has come into a CFL team twice before and picked up a new system quickly. In 2008, he was traded from the Toronto Argonauts to the Saskatchewan Roughriders and quickly became the starter.

The following season, he joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers mid-season and was instantly their starting pivot.

There is no question Bishop can sling the ball, but he’s been out of action since the end of 2009.

“I’ve always stayed active,” Bishop said. “We have a lot of athletes in the family, so we’re always getting together and staying competitive. I know a lot of young guys who are still playing, so I’m always throwing with those guys.

“My arm has never been the issue. I don’t have a problem with it right now. I can still throw 150 balls and still feel the same as I did six or seven years ago.”


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