The NFL is a business, and that business is never as harsh as it the day teams must trim their rosters to 53 players. Wide receiver Mardy Gilyard knows this well, and hoping his play has earned him a job in Philadelphia.
Through four preseason games, Gilyard has showcased his speed and skill, catching nine passes for 151 yards and two scores. Now comes the hard part, as he must wait to hear what's in store for him.
A fourth-round pick for the Rams in 2010, Gilyard joined the Eagles in the spring. He opened eyes in the first week of the preseason with an impressive 44-yard touchdown reception and followed that up Thursday night with his second touchdown of the preseason, this one coming despite triple coverage. He attributes this to the camaraderie he shares with his teammates.
"We're like brothers," Gilyard said. "Our whole offense; whole team in general, we all feed off each other. If you're a receiver and your best friend isn't a quarterback, you have something wrong."
Throughout the preseason, Gilyard has been doing plenty right. He led the team in both receptions and yards, finishing the night with five catches for 71 yards and a score. But he also made sure to place special emphasis on doing the little things. He helped out in run support and special teams. After all, he wants to be a part of this squad.
"There's something special about this team; I can't put my finger on it," Gilyard explained. "Guys are always like brothers here. Everyone's always welcoming you with open arms ... and that's the special thing about this squad. Everybody's brothers; everybody's a big family, and that's what you want on a football team."
But as with many players on the team, Friday could be his last day as an Eagle. Gilyard is trying not to think about it, and he'll have some help. He plans to spend Friday with his family, and is taking them to Hershey Park where he will "be a big kid with the kids."
So until Friday night, Gilyard will leave his résumé with the coaches and hope to hear good news. But walking out of the locker room Thursday night, he has no regrets.
"I know, on my end, I did everything I could in my power to put my résumé down," Gilyard said. "Whether they hire me or fire me, I did everything in my power to make sure that I could make that decision as hard as I could for (the coaches)."
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