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Knox impresses - and frustrates
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Staff

The Bears' Johnny Knox hauls in a TD in front of Green Bay defender Tramon Williams in the second quarter.


Rick West | Staff Photographer

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Published: 12/13/2009 9:10 PM

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On some plays Sunday, rookie wideout Johnny Knox looked like a wily veteran.

A perfect example: Just before halftime, he held off Green Bay cornerback Tramon Williams with his left arm and created enough space to make a 19-yard touchdown catch just before halftime.

"I really wasn't trying to do that," said Knox, who earned his fifth TD reception on the play. "If it was pass interference, I got away with it and you've just got to keep moving."

On other plays, Knox reminded everyone why he's still a rookie with holes in his knowledge of NFL defenses.

With 10 minutes to go and the Bears facing third-and-10 on Green Bay's 44, Knox read the defense while running downfield and decided he ought to turn outside and curl back.

Jay Cutler read the defense and figured Knox should cut to the inside and threw his pass accordingly. The throw was so far from Knox, the Packers couldn't even adjust quickly enough to pick it off.

Cutler then walked downfield, met Knox as he headed toward the sideline and offered some tips on the proper read.

"It's frustrating when you and your quarterback aren't on the same page because you want to be," Knox said.

Knox settled for 5 catches and a season-high with 83 reception yards.

Lack of development: Even before Sunday's loss, general manager Jerry Angelo seemed to imply that the team's problem this season has been a failure to develop talent rather than a lack of talent.

Angelo was asked on WBBM's (780-AM) pregame show if he shared the popular opinion that the roster is in need of an upgrade.

"I know that is the perception given how the season has gone so far," Angelo said. "But I don't feel that personally. I feel we have a good nucleus. We need to continue to develop players."

Personnel evaluations will begin immediately following the season finale at Detroit Jan. 3, and Angelo said the final games will weigh heavily in those assessments.

"Obviously, we are going to need to do some things in the off-season," Angelo said, "and at the end of the season we will sit down and evaluate each and every position like we do every year. These last four games - and who knows, maybe something really good happens - but (they are) very, very important to us."

Playing it safe: Late in the third quarter the Bears had a fourth-and-1 at the Packers' 45-yard line and punted rather than going for it.

"It was a difficult decision," coach Lovie Smith said. "But at the time we were playing really good defense and thought we could pin them down there. Those are always good decisions. We'll be a little bit more conservative in those situations based on how we're playing at the time defensively."

The defense forced the Packers to punt after three plays but Jay Cutler was intercepted on the ensuing possession.