Bears' Hass passes one test, faces another
Mike Hass was involved in the best individual position battle of the Chicago Bears’ training camp.
Speculation kept going back and forth on whether he or Brandon Rideau would catch on as the sixth receiver. Hass had the lead going into preseason games, and then Rideau flashed his considerable talent. But a season-ending injury to Rideau ended the suspense.
“Obviously, I was excited,” Hass said about making the 53-man roster. “It was something I worked real, real hard for. It’s been a couple of years in the making to get to this point. So I don’t want anything to stop that.
“It’s impossible not to think about (getting cut). But you just go in and do what you do and hope it works out for you. Luckily enough for me, it did.”
Now comes another battle – to move up the depth chart and onto the field.
“You kind of go through the same things,” he said. “You have to work your way up. You’re down below some people, you have to be consistent every day and do the right things because there’s not a lot of room for error.
“I know I can play, and I guess I proved that to some people. A lot of people didn’t expect it, but I did.”
The former Fred Biletnikoff winner at Oregon State was drafted by New Orleans last season, was cut and then signed to Chicago’s practice squad.
The next step, he said, is “to continue to get better and do the things they ask me to do, and try to get on the field during the regular season.”
Head coach Lovie Smith observed the competition between Hass and Rideau as intently as anyone.
“It was just a case of a guy coming in, behind the eight-ball a little bit, working his way onto the roster,” he said. “You guys (media) were in training camp. Mike made plays every day, and he finished up with a good last preseason game (with a leaping 9-yard touchdown catch).
“That’s the beauty about training camp. There are a couple of guys who come in and take a spot, earn a spot, and Mike was able to do that.”
Reed Schreck is the NFL Writer for the Rockford Register Star. Reach him at 815-987-1381 or firstname.lastname@example.org.