Bears Beat Super Bowl Champs

Rookie Johnny Knox goes big time

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Johnny Knox #13 of the Chicago Bears runs for a first down after a catch against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    If Jay Cutler was Jerry Angelo's prize move this off season, the 5th round pick that Denver sent with the quarterback may be his second best.

    Meet Johnny Knox, the 140th pick overall out of small Texas college Abilene Christian and the offensive hero from Sunday night's 17-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

    "He's a confident player," Lovie Smith said. "He set the bar the first time and we judge him by his improvement each week."

    Knox went from riding the bubble during preseason to becoming a potential starting wide receiver after following up last week's 82 yard performance with 70 more yards Sunday.

    "Really quickly,"  Jay Cutler said of the development of the Texas product. "He's going to be one of the guys we're going to look to in the future," Cutler said.

    Knox wasn't supposed to see this much playing time, but an injury to Devin Aromashodu three weeks ago left a spot. The Bears weren't sure which receiver to turn to but they took a chance on the diminutive speedster and that decision looks to be paying dividends.

    "You never really know when the light's going to go on," Cutler said of his new favorite target.  Or as one Bear veteran said, "Cutler's next Eddie Royal."

    Knox showed poise under pressure during his first two NFL games.  He played his first NFL game at Lambeau Field under the National TV lights of NBC Sunday night football, then faced the Super Bowl champs at home for the opener.

    "I'm always nervous," Knox smiled. "But then you take that first hit and its smooth sailing."

    Peggy Kusinski is a sportscaster for NBCChicago. She has covered the Bears for 17 years. Get at her on twitter @peggyKusinski.