ESPN Chicago blogger Nick Friedell had a recent one on one interview with Abilene Christian University head coach Chris Thomsen, who coached both Danieal Manning and Johnny Knox. Here's the full blog, Leaving their mark.
After the jump I'll highlight some of their chat...
The Abilene Christian University head coach never saw either man have a bad day at practice, and neither of them ever seemed to fear playing on the big stage or making a play during a crucial moment of the game.
"I'm telling you, man, they're just different cats. Both of them."
Am I the only one that finds it cool he refers to them as "cats"?
Drafting players with high character is such an importance these days for many teams, it's good to hear some positive info on Manning and Knox.
"[Johnny] and Danieal, they don't even know what trouble is," Thomsen explains. "They don't even go near it.
"I'll get a guy that'll get in trouble here and they'll say, 'Coach, I'm getting a bad deal.' I'll say, 'Look, guys like Knox and Manning were here. Never, not one time, were they in my office. You're telling me you can't do right.' That's what you hold those guys up as: guys that were just great off the field, just great people and great leaders."
Coach Thomsen again pointed to the players attitude and work ethic when asked about going from Division 2 football to the NFL.
You want to know what I really think about both those guys? I think they're tremendous people. They've got the ability, and there's no question about that. But, those two guys, they're two of the most unique people that I've ever been around. Not just in football, but they both have the innate ability to show up every single day with a smile on their face, and work their tail off. They're just not that many people in your business or my business or any business that does that, that's just a gift. I only got to coach Danieal [for] one year, but I coached Johnny [for] two. But, I've never seen either one of them have a bad day. [They] never show up with their lip poked out [saying], 'I didn't get enough touches.'
And of course no Johnny Knox talk can happen without the nickname question popping up, and contrary to the caption on the picure on the espn blog, Johny Knox had no nickname at ACU.
I'm trying to think if Johnny had a nickname ... I don't think he did. I don't think the guys called him anything crazy ... Johnny just kind of carried himself with such a presence and people just kind of respected him. He'd joke around and cut up and he loves to laugh and have fun, but he was kind of the man around here.
Sticking with ESPN... did you notice the new power rankings are out for Week 6?
Someone tell me how the hell the Bears can win one week and not move up in the rankings, then after the bye week, they somehow move up 2 spots?!?!
Oh well, these power rankings are meaningless anyway so... then again, the Bears do play 2 teams ranked ahead of them in the next 2 weeks, so they could move up...