The Jets' had a great showing in the preseason finale against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night. The coaching staff got a good look at the third and fourth string players, determining who to keep on its opening day roster for the 2013 season. One player that needed to continue his great performance to stay on the roster was Ryan Spadola.
The undrafted rookie out of Lehigh was "really excited and wanted to "get the game underway." He was well aware that his spot on the roster was uncertain and his emotions were running high. Early into his young career, Ryan knew the importance of this final game.
"It was probably the biggest game of my career," admitted Spadola. "We were playing another tri-state team. I knew I was going to get a lot of playing time." With a lot of playing time, Spadola had to play well to keep his name from being on the list of final cuts."
Even though the Lehigh graduate fumbled; resulting in a turnover, he finished the game strong with six catches for 47 yards and averaged 7.8 yards per catch. He would have tallied another touchdown reception from third-string quarterback Matt Simms, but pass interference prevented him from bringing in the ball. His stats against the Eagles were not exactly jaw-dropping, but he continued to prove his value to the offense. His consistency in running routes and catching the ball is something that Gang Green desperately needs in their receiving corps, being a weakness the past couple seasons.
With limited playing time due to a crowded receiver depth chart, Spadola finished the preseason with a total of 16 receptions, 216 yards, and one touchdown.
After the game, Spadola was pleased with his performance.
"I think I put my best foot forward," noted Spadola. "I worked hard every single day. I (got) better day-in and day-out. Now, everything is left out there on the field and it's the coaches' and front office's decision. I really can't control anything else."
The depth at receiver is loaded with great, young talent. Spadola seemed to prove that he should keep his spot on the depth chart, backing up Stephen Hill and Ben Obomanu, as the third string receiver. With Santonio Holmes' status uncertain for the first couple of games, Spadola may see some time early in the season if the coaching staff chooses to keep him.
The Jets have until 6:00pm ET on Saturday to reduce their roster to 53 players. They have to cut 12 more players before Saturday night and Spadola hopes that he does not receive a phone call between now and Saturday.