Class-act QB sacked

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:22 AM ET

CALGARY - It’s not often you hear heaps of praise for a player who’s just been issued a pink slip.

Count Michael Bishop among the exceptions.

Bishop, who served as the Calgary Stampeders’ backup quarterback for five weeks while Drew Tate recovered from a dislocated shoulder, was released Wednesday morning in a move that should come as a surprise to nobody.

Tate will resume his role as Henry Burris’ sidekick for Saturday’s clash with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, leaving Bishop as the odd man out.

“While he was here, he was definitely a great teammate and did everything he was asked to,” Burris said. “He was such a great teammate and a great friend.

“He was a guy that whenever I would come to the sidelines, he would give me tips on certian things because he’s been out there and he’s seen it and he’s done it and he has a wealth of knowledge.

“He’s definitely going to be missed. It’s just a sad part of the game.”

With Tate sidelined in the pre-season and rookie Brad Sinopoli still learning the ropes, Bishop was called upon to serve as the Stamps’ short-yardage specialist for the first five games. Bishop registered 17 yards on six rushing attempts and scored one touchdown. He moved the yardsticks every time he was called upon.

After conceding most of the second-string snaps to Tate during Tuesday’s practice at McMahon Stadium, Bishop said football “is not your entire life” and that he had no control over his future with the team.

“Every time that I had an opportunity to go in and contribute, get a first down, I went in and got the job done,” Bishop said. “Crucial situations, when we needed that first down and my number was called, I went in and got it done.

“So I feel like I did my part and did what I was asked to do.”

Stamps head coach/GM John Hufnagel agreed with that analysis Wednesday.

“He did a nice job for us,” Hufnagel said. “We asked him to do the short-yardage package, and he was very successful doing it. He really didn’t need to get on the field to play the quarterback position, so to speak, because Henry was fine. So we appreciate what he did for us and wish him luck.”

Once again, three-down football fans will wonder whether we’ve seen the last of the 35-year-old Bishop as a CFL quarterback.

His resume also includes stints as a starter in Toronto, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg. In the Stamps’ locker-room, he’ll be remembered for handling his status as a short-term solution with a lot of class.

“That’s one of the reason why they brought a guy like Mike up. He’s a true professional, and he understands the position he was in,” Burris said. “He’s got something great to go back to in Texas. He can go back and be with his family, and he’s coaching a high school program down there, so, really, not all is lost for him.

“Of course, you always want a chance to be part of the game and be able to be out there and put on the pads and score some points like he did and make some things happen to be able to impact the game’s outcome.”

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca


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