Chicago Sun-Times

Undrafted rookie receiver stands out

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I get lots of questions from readers about Freddie Barnes. But the undrafted rookie receiver who has consistently made the most plays is Greg Mathews, who played at Michigan.

Mathews has made some highlight catches, and he's been a regular target of backup quarterback Caleb Hanine.

Here are a few questions I recently asked Greg, since I didn't know much about him.

SJ: What has this experience been like so far?
GM: This is an honor, just to get to be a rookie and stand in the huddle with veterans. I just try to take advantage of every opportunity I get, so they can evaluate me and show my talents.

SJ: What's it been like to get reps with the second-string offense?
GM: I just rotate in there, when the veterans get a little winded. I make sure I know the plays. I don't want the coaches to worry, then I can just play.

SJ: Why did you go undrafted?
GM: Well, I think I had a poor senior season, and I didn't run the 40 well. I ran a 4.5. As a big receiver, you got to be able to run with the little guys. I look at not getting drafted as a blessing, so I have a chip on my shoulder to come out here and work hard and show the coaches they should have drafted me.

SJ: Do you feel the Bears are giving you a chance?
GM: They're giving me opportunities. I may not get many reps, but I just try to go hard, and stand out. I'm on a lot of special teams.

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I've learned not to get too attached to kids like Mathews. It seems like the Bears have an undrafted wideout that gets noticed almost every year, but then doesn't quite make it. Guys like Mike Haas and Brandon Rideau come to mind.

Guys like Mathews have a chance, albeit slim and they seem to really raise the bar for the players in front of them. Somebody like Iglesias knows that he better bring it every time or Mathews is going to be right there making the most of the opportunity. It makes the team better, but it's tough.

Even if they don't catch on with the Bears it still matters. Look how Aromashudo eventually got a job last year. Didn't Haas get picked up by Seattle recently? Hadn't heard anything about Rideau.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 9, 2010 2:01 PM.

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