Johnny Knox battling for snaps with Roy Williams

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Johnny Knox led the Bears in receptions, yards, yards-per-catch, and receiving touchdowns last year. He’s 24 years old.

You would think all of that would have him locked in to a starting gig this year, but you would be wrong. Roy Williams is challenging Knox for snaps at split end, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.

We initially figured Williams would play at the expense of Devin Hester. But Hester is apparently locked in to the team’s flanker job, while Earl Bennett plays the slot.   Williams and Knox were splitting first team reps before Knox missed a few days with a minor back injury.

‘We need a position battle,’’ Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake said. ‘‘Roy isn’t going to be handed anything. He’s got to earn his stripes, and Johnny’s got to improve from where he’s at.”

Knox should feel threatened. Mike Martz said Williams could catch 70-80 passes, which would be tough to do off the bench.

Ultimately, the Bears should be able to figure out how to keep Knox on the field. Even if that means putting Williams or Hester on the sideline more.

UPDATE: Knox had some interesting quotes on the matter Saturday, via the Chicago Tribune.

“It is hard to accept,” Knox said. “It’s kind of tough because I’ve been here. I understand [Williams] has been in this offense. He’s a veteran receiver. But at the end of the day, it’s all about competition. And I do want to compete for the starting job.”

37 responses to “Johnny Knox battling for snaps with Roy Williams

  1. lol… thats great news for packers.

    Knox is way more dangerous than Hester.

    The winners of the rex ryan preseason champions award may lose thier title.

  2. Hester/ returns
    Knox, Williams, Bennett/ offense
    Make sense? Not to DaBears. Please fire everyone from line coaches on up, then sell the team.

  3. WTF? The Bears would be a better offense with Williams and Knox on the field at the same time. Bring in Hester on 4 WR sets and let him use his speed. Doesn’t make sense to me.

  4. If we are able to check the egos at the door and play with a sense of urgency, all the players will be happy because all of them are talented and we need options to be successful…..GO BEARS!

  5. It would be stupid to keep Hester on the field over Knox. Then again, they are the Bears.

  6. I am a die hard Bears, Knox is one of the top 3 softest receivers in the league. All he is, is fast. If the ball isn’t thrown to him, it is an incompletion or a pick, I’ve never seen him go get the ball. With that said, not a strong Roy Williams fan either. The first time he does his little 5 yard catch at midfield in the first quarter on a 2nd and 5 and he does his first down motion, I hope fans or players tackle him and tell him to knock it off.

  7. Not surprising. Bears have some love affair with Devin Hester. I think they think he’s invisible when he’s on the field.

    Everybody outside the organization can see he’s not a WR yet he still listed as the #1 for years now. Everybody else gets more catches.

  8. I agree with woodg8, Hester should not start. He is by far the fastest player on the team and the best return man but, not a starting reciever. When will Chicago realize this, when he is about to retire?
    Knox gives you a much better chance on 2nd and 3rd downs, and gives Cutler a better target in the redzone.

  9. Because recreating the 2007 Detroit Lions is the best way to go about competing for a championship.

    Good luck with all that, Chicago.

  10. How much more work are the Bears going to put into becoming the 2007 Lions?

    As a Lions fan, this excites me to see so many key elements of Millen’s Dream Team in one place.

  11. ‘‘We need a position battle,’’ Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake said.

    You need someone to plant real turf in your Giant Bedpan.

  12. annnnnnnnnnnnnd here is another player (looking at you tebow) whining about losing his starting about going out and competing? that being said, i’d rather have the bigger/stronger williams out there too, knox gets pushed around and out of the way too easily, leads to interceptions.

  13. In the NFC Championship game, Sam Shields (a Packer) caught as many Chicago passes as Johnny Knox. That number would be two. That would be two more than Hester. Chicago needs options, we’ll see how this plays out.

  14. sissy-boy knox will cut his routes short or change his routes to avoid contact. you just can’t have that in the NFL. you can’t teach toughness and determination. to their credit, the coaches have identified this problem.

  15. To all you morons making fun of the bears, do you realize we went to the NFC championship game? quitting or not quitting, lucky or not lucky, we were 1 TD away from a SB. the goal of a team is not to have the shiniest team in NFL. But the most competent. We may have our problems but we work well with it. How is SD with phillip rivers working out? and they play in a crappy division. or how about matt schaub? tony romo? You know what I say? Hatas keep on hatin’, playas keep on playin’

  16. As for the WRs, why dont they try fanutz in there. The dude is 6’4 and can take a lot of contact. also bennett should be in the mix for a starting gig. He developed quite a chemistry with cutler late last year

  17. spartytime says: Aug 7, 2011 3:58 PM

    To all you morons making fun of the bears, do you realize we went to the NFC championship game? quitting or not quitting, lucky or not lucky, we were 1 TD away from a SB.


    And three quarterbacks, an offensive line and a BJ Raji pick six. Besides, with the Bears buffoonery in the front office, Urlacher’s mouth that has gained the speed while he has lost in his legs, and a playing field that would insult a herd of grazing bison, you set yourselves up for abuse. Along with the accompanying hysterical comments.

    BTW, it’s spelled “haters.”

  18. @jeffrey723

    Do you even have a point saying the Bears are turning into Millen’s Lions? Let’s see here…

    Marinelli has helped the Bears D get back to an elite unit….win for the Bears.

    Williams may be considered a bust, but his talent is still there and he had his best year in this offense. He’s a much needed redzone and 3rd down option for a struggling offense. Win for the Bears.

    Martz has turned Forte into a sub-par runner and made him into an all-around threat on the ground and through the air.

    That’s three wins for the Bears!

  19. Knox shouldn’t worry because they’ll be plenty of opportunities in this offense. Plus, he had a ton of targets that turned into interceptions and incompletions. Increase the efficiency and there won’t be much dropoff at all.

    Hester haters can go blow for all I care. If Cutler doesn’t over throw him twice in the first half (wide open twice), he has two TDs and the Bears a better chance to win the game.

  20. It’s funny how so many people are hating on my Bears. Especially the genius calling for a 5-11 season.

    We were one game away from the Superbowl. We beat a lot of good teams last year and we didn’t lose but one core player and he was pretty much over the hill anyway.

    This team isn’t going to fall off but it will be competitive in this division. Hester or not.

  21. impact42 says:
    Aug 7, 2011 9:51 PM
    Knox is better. This year will prove it. Can someone please tell me what Martz has done lately?


    Martz got a below average offense with a terrible O line and really bad wide receivers to the NFC championship game, in his 1st year as offensive coordinator.

  22. Johnny Knox and Devin Hester were ok receivers last year. They both really bulked up this year if they did not lose a step they going to be much improved. As far as Roy Williams he has to challenge these guys to improve there game. IDK what everyone else is seeing but the bears O-line is looking good with those huge tight-ends we should have an awesome run game but time to throw for cutler is a different animal that we got to wait and see.

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