Q&A: Knox welcomes competition
August, 16, 2011
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastJohnny Knox doesn't believe the new kickoff rules will negatively affect the Bears.BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- We caught up with Chicago Bears receiver Johnny Knox coming out of the cafeteria on Tuesday at Olivet Nazarene University.
Here's what he had to say about a variety of issues ranging from where he sits on the depth chart, new kickoff rules, and rookie quarterback Nate Enderle.
How much of an impact will the new rule moving kickoffs from the 30 to the 35 have on kickoff returners like you?
It's too early to tell right now. As far as in our first preseason game, it went really well. If it's like that every time I'm happy with it.
Teams will probably try and kick it higher, get their guys down and pin us in. But, like I said, as of right now, our team did a good job of adjusting to it and hopefully we'll keep it up.
Given all that's happened with you over the last week or so, how are you feeling?
I feel real good. Roy [Williams is] a great receiver; it's all about competing. If I wasn't competing, I wouldn't be getting better. At the end of the day, it's just all going to be just fine.
Do you think it helps for the Bears to have so much depth at receiver?
It helps out a lot. In this offense guys are running in a lot, and if you've got fresh legs running in and out, and the other guy's tired, it helps. And different guys do different things. So other teams are going to be getting different looks, types of size, speed, and that's going to help us out a lot.
Is there any way the receivers can help with all the sacks the quarterbacks are taking?
Oh yeah, most definitely. We can, as far as going through our hots and our sight [adjustments] a little bit better, we can. And like you said, just getting rid of the ball. It's on all of us, not just one guy, and that can be fixed.
What do you think of rookie quarterback Nate Enderle?
He's been pretty good. He's got a strong arm and he puts it where it needs to be. Just like the position I'm in, it's all about the competition. We're just going to have to take it from there.
Were you surprised to see Enderle take reps with the second team so quickly?
I really don't know how all that works. I really don't know how they're going to take the rotation at the quarterback position. So we'll just keep going through this preseason and see how things work out.
The coaches aren't afraid to make bold moves are they?
Oh yeah, I saw it last year, and I'm seeing it this year. It's all competition. It's the NFL. It's going to happen every day so you have to be able to sit there and just keep fighting.
Doesn't it seem like you're always in that position, where you're fighting?
Oh yeah, my whole career, from Division II to right now, a lot of people didn't expect me to do what I'm doing now. My whole life I've been turning doubters into believers, my whole life. So I just have to keep making them believe.
What aspect of your game do you need to improve the most to make these coaches believe?
Everything, from receiver to returner, just knowing where I'm supposed to be in this offense. If I can do that, everything else will take care of itself.
Are you ever unsure about your responsibilities?
No not this year, probably my first year in this offense, but this year it'll be my second time going into this same offense in the NFL, and I'm a lot more confident going into this year.
You made a nice move on that 70-yard kickoff return. Can you explain how it opened up?
Yea, I made a pretty good move, on the kicker. My team opened it up real nice for me; I was really surprised. That really kind of shocked me when I saw all that green grass, but we will get it next time.