EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --When it was over, when the final gun sounded on his first preseason and vaulted wide receiver Rasheed Bailey into a restless night and uncertain future, he circled the perimeter of one side of the field and reached up into the stands to say his hellos to friends, family and Eagles fans who were there to congratulate him.
Bailey has every reason to be pleased with his performance in the preseason, which he punctuated with a back-shoulder catch of a Tim Tebow throw for an 18-yard touchdown play. Bailey caught two passes for 30 yards on the night and had 10 receptions for 100 yards in the preseason.
And when reporters had a chance to find out his thoughts, the natural question was, "Did you do enough to make this roster, or at least the practice squad?"
Bailey was having none of it. He knows he put forth a complete effort, and that was his goal at the onset. That he made the jump from Division III football to entering the conversation - at least - to stick on this 53-man roster or the practice squad is icing on his substantial cake.
"I think the one thing I showed was maximum effort," Bailey said. "I left it all out there. No matter what happens, I can go home and say, 'I gave it everything I had.' So, I'm happy."
Bailey grew up in Philadelphia as an Eagles fan and, of course, playing for his favorite football team would be a remarkable experience. But it's a numbers game at this point and Bailey is going to have a tough time cracking a talent-laden group at wide receiver.
"The game is slowing down a little bit for me," Bailey said. "Surrounding myself with guys that are smarter and guys who are going to keep pushing me to the next limit. I still have a long way to go. I'm still growing every day. I came from a Division III school. It's going to be beautiful when I reach that pinnacle."
Bailey's touchdown catch, his first, was wildly celebrated as he came back to the sideline. He made a fantastic grab, but he's been doing that all spring and summer. Bailey has not allowed the big leap from Delaware Valley University to the NFL to overwhelm him.
"Wow, it was an awesome, awesome feeling," he said about scoring. "That showed that I accomplished something. I scored a touchdown in the National Football League. Wow. I wanted that. I wanted to score."
He got it, and now Bailey waits as the Eagles trim the roster from 75 players to 53.
The #Eagles traveled to New York for their fourth and final preseason game against the Jets. View the full gallery here...