Bears travel to Knox(ville) to find WR answer


By Soxman

No, this is not going to be an article about that guy who had a hit show on MTV by “creatively” beating up himself and his friends.  However, it is about a daring stunt that would otherwise be posted as a warning to anyone who starts a 5th round rookie wide receiver yet hopes to win in the NFL:johnny-knoxville-melanie-clapp-wife-divorce-2-2-0


Yet the Bears’ risky move, albeit a very desperate one due to injuries, has proven to be beneficial thus far:  152 yards on just 8 receptions and a touchdown through your first two games-  Greg Olsen? Devin Hester? Earl Bennett?  Matt Forte?  Nope. 

Johnny Knox, the 140th overall selection in the 2009 NFL draft and a throw-in pick in the Jay Cutler trade, is helping the Bears avoid the “Jackass” label for not acquiring a proven wide receiver this past off-season. Shredding double end zone coverage to make a leaping catch against the defending Super Bowl Champions, Knox has risen from the roster bubble, to special teams, to third on the Bears wide receiver depth chart in just three short weeks.  He is quietly drawing early comparisons to Panthers great Steve Smith, a non-traditionally framed, smaller sized wide receiver who overcame critics to have a superstar career.

Thus far for the Bears, SIZE DID MATTER.

It was likely size in terms of his “small” frame (exactly 6 feet) and his “small” school, Abilene Christian that lowered him on the scout’s depth charts despite his running a 4.34 second 40 yard dash at the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine.  The Bears reluctance to not super size this draft pick could lead to the extra value meal of this year’s rookie WR class. For those who still think the name Johnny Knox belongs to the wannabe actor who fumbled for laughs in “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “The Ringer”, think again. This school of hard knocks player has a much more impressive resume:

In just two seasons at the school, Knox set the ACU and Lone Star Conference all-time record with 30 touchdown receptions.

In just 25 games for the AC Wildcats:

Knox caught 118 passes, (7th best in AC history)

2,227 receiving yards (5th best in AC history)
2007 second team All American Honors

2006 11 TDs and an average 23.95 yards per reception (First in the National Junior College Athletics Association)


What will happen the rest of the season or even in week 3 remains to be seen.  However, if history is a lesson, it appears as though Knox likes proving critics wrong.  Unlike his acting namesake, he does not have to strap rockets on to fly downfield.

I’d call him a sleeper, but there has been nothing tiring about watching him thus far.  If there is anything positive about the Bears receiving corps we can say at this point…they are untraditional.  Let’s hope that Knox is the most unnatural of the bunch. To the Bears AV squad, feel free to queue up the Jackass theme song every time this rookie makes a great play.  I’d bet my spot on the PSL waiting list that Bears fans will tire of it quickly. With Cutler’s cannon arm and rocket speed, the Bears could  “quietly” create some shock and awe in the passing game this season.  From history, I bet Knox wouldn’t have it any other way.

Bears should bring WR Hank Baskett, Kendra to the Chi


By Paul M. Banks

Against my will, I became very familiar with the E! channel’s reality series “Kendra” this summer. So  much so that I’ll probably spend the rest of my time on Earth unable to expunge traumatic memories of it’s IRRITATING and factually inaccurate theme song. (The song ends with the phrase “you’re on your own now”- despite the fact that the former Playboy Playmate is knocked up by and engaged to NFL receiver Hank Baskett). kendra-wilkinson-pregnant1

But now that the Philadelphia Eagles have cut Baskett, to make way for Mike Vick (replacing a “reality star” with a dog murderer, stay classy Philadelphia), I’m actually looking forward to watching one future episode of “Kendra” this season. Despite the fact it’s a program that even the lobotomized would find low-brow and stupid. However, the episode where Baskett gets cut should be fun, right?

And what NFL division would be the best home for a reality star? The NFC North of course, since it has more dramatic story lines than a season of MTV Real World. It also houses a team, the Chicago Bears, with a receiving corp that could be considered mediocre- if they resided in the SEC or Big 12.

Devin Hester topped the 90 receiving yards mark again last Sunday night, and he appears to be showing progress at the position. So finally, after 2 1/2 years, Hester has learned Ron Turner’s “Midwest Coast Offense”. (The place where fullback screen passes RULE!) Other than #23, I don’t see any current Bears wide-out as an upgrade over Baskett. Hank’s 1 catch for 6 yards in week one means he’s had a more productive year so far than Juaquin Iglesias or Rashied Davis. Iglesias is TERRIBLE, but no team in the NFL is more loyal to their crappy draft picks than the Bears, so he’ll stay, even though that’s who I would cut first. The Bears could put any of the “Girls Next Door” out there, and they could be more effective than Iglesias.

Davis is a serviceable #4 receiver, but nothing more. Johnny Knox is….well, not really good at getting open and catching passes. He did make a big play last weekend, but look at what he did the rest of the night. Knox had no clue what he was doing most of the time, and often not finishing his routes. And since we’re on that topic, we also have Earl Bennett. I think he could make a decent number three with Baskett as your #2. Despite the Bears receivers being similarly awful last season, Bennett never recorded a catch; which says something. I’ll admit he’s improved and had a decent game last week. But he also has blood on his hands for one, if not two of QB Jay Cutler’s interceptions.  Bennett really must step up his route-running and knowledge of the playbook.

And of course, here’s the kicker. This gift Baskett comes complete with another special present: Kendra Wilkinson, who fills another huge void the Bears have. Since Chicago has no cheerleaders, they’re without any barely dressed women with huge implants to enthusiastically support the team.