LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The look of disgust in his eyes won’t belie the resolve in his heart.
That’s the impression a red-eyed Juaquin Iglesias gave in his first public comments since the Bears released him Saturday -- a little more than a year after making him a third-round pick – before bringing him back to the practice squad. Despite other teams presenting opportunities, Iglesias couldn’t see past the time he’s already invested in the Bears.
Iglesias wants to develop into an NFL-caliber receiver in Chicago -- and nowhere else.
“Frustrated, to be honest, I didn’t really know what to think,” said Iglesias in describing his reaction to the team’s decision to cut him. “I was just chilling with the family. It was a lot of emotions, man. It’s tough, man, but you know, it’s a league. There are ups and downs. That’s what I knew when I signed up.”
Shortly after meeting with the Bears on Saturday, Iglesias -- who was still dealing with the emotions of being cut for the first time in his career -- made the decision to return to the Bears, before other teams could call to inquire about his services.
Iglesias gave a variety of reasons for his return.
“I already had time invested, I believe in the system. I think the system is good. I just didn’t want to up and move and start all over, really,” Iglesias said. “Especially when I have a wife and kid at the house, I don’t want to just move somewhere else where I don’t have any time invested.”
Now that he’s on the Bears practice squad, Iglesias said he’s sought the advice of teammate Devin Aromashodu, who has experienced similar disappointment throughout his career. Aromashodu spent time with the Redskins, Dolphins and Colts before finding success with the Bears.
“It’s been tough, man. I’m not gonna sit up here and act like it isn’t,” Iglesias said. “I try to talk to as many people as I can. I talk to my family; talk to my wife. I talked to D.A. [Aromasodu]; he’s been through it a little bit. Especially, I think it helps when D.A.’s been through it, and you see him being successful. So I talked to him a little bit. He’s just saying he knows what I’m feeling and just to be strong and be patient.”
After catching four passes for 85 yards and a touchdown in the preseason, Iglesias figured he’d done enough to earn a spot on the Bears’ 53-man roster, but learned otherwise. Now, he’s got to figure out how to adequately grasp the offense in case the Bears call him up to the active roster in the coming months.
“I feel like when I’ve been in, I’ve made plays,” Iglesias said. “I don’t know, man. It’s just a lot that went into this decision and went into their decision. I can’t control it. I’ve just got to make the best of my situation. As a young receiver, I need to work on a lot of things, but I’m just trying to go on with this situation. It’s tough on me, but I’ve just got to keep pushing.”