Johnny Knox Muscles Up to Beat Press.........
Hardened Knox: Bears receiver muscles up
http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/...0-02130004.jpg Johnny Knox makes a catch during training-camp drills. (Brian Cassella/Tribune Photo)
By Vaughn McClure Tribune reporter 3:00 p.m. CDT, August 2, 2011
BOURBONNAIS -- It’s hard not to notice Johnny Knox’s biceps bulging through his various arm tattoos. He is far from the skinny little receiver who led the Chicago Bears in receiving yards last season with 960 on 51 catches.
No, Knox hasn’t reached Terrell Owens status in terms of his physique, but he obviously did some heavy lifting during the offseason.
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"I just had to get stronger up top," said the 6-foot, 189-pound Knox, who said he put on 10 pounds this offseason. "That was my goal during the lockout. When I curl, I curl light for repetition. When it comes to bench or incline, that’s when I do heavy stuff."
"I did a lot of lower body, too, but my legs are little. They’re not going to get much bigger than this."
Knox, like a handful of his teammates, spent the majority of his offseason at EFT Sports Performance in Highland Park. Owner Elias Karras put the players through a rigorous training regime that included a climb up "The Hill" off the expressway near Lake Cook road. He joined Devin Hester, Matt Toeaina, Rod Wilson, Chester Taylor, rookie Robert Hughes and ex-Bear Tommie Harris in making the climb twice a week.
"We’d run up, walk down backward, come down and go through five, six drills, take a minute break, then run up again,’’ Knox said. ``We would do it like five times."
Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake was encouraged to see Knox taking the necessary steps to become a stronger receiver.
"For a receiver, you have to be strong in the legs (and) you can’t get pushed around," Drake said. "Johnny needed to get a little bit stronger in his upper body. He also needed to get stronger in his legs. Those are the things that make the difference."
We’ll see how much of a difference when the Knox goes up against the pesky, physical Green Bay defensive backs.