Johnny Knox facing uphill battle for starting job

Johnny Knox didn’t figure to be in a position battle for the Chicago Bears this summer.

Not after he led the team in receiving by a wide margin last year with 960 yards.

But in comes Roy Williams and now Knox has seen himself running with the second team as Williams and Devin Hester take reps with the starters.

"It is hard to accept," Knox told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. "You have a little bit of pride in front of it. But no matter who they bring in, I know there's always competition.

“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."

Knox has missed practice the last two days with a minor lower back injury but should be back on the field. When he is, he’s got plenty to prove.

It’s not like the team is ditching the speedster, who has bulked up a little bit for this year. The fact is Mike Martz’s offense is going to emphasize wideouts more this season with the departure of tight end Greg Olsen. There should be plenty of reps to go around, even if Knox doesn’t approach the 88.2 percent playing time he had a year ago.

“You don't bring a Roy Williams in here to sit on the bench," said receivers coach Darryl Drake, who coached Williams at the University of Texas. "Johnny has a lot of room to improve, and he's got to improve. Johnny did some real good things last year. He had some nice numbers. But he still has a long ways to go."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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