Bailey: ‘I’m Preparing Myself For a Fight’
Rasheed Bailey had already agreed to terms with the Eagles, but it wasn’t until he received a message from Jordan Matthews that everything finally sank in.
Welcome to the family @ShowTimeSheed ! Let’s get to work!! #RunAllDay
— Jordan Matthews (@jmattjmattjmatt) May 2, 2015
Observers may have thought that the two had an existing relationship, but that wasn’t the case. Matthews went out of his way to reach out to Bailey, the Delaware Valley University wide receiver who signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent.
“I actually don’t know him too well,” Bailey explained last week. “But once I saw it, that’s when it seeped in, and I knew it was real. I was so ecstatic at the time. I was happy, but I’m still trying to pinch myself like, ‘Is it real?’ And once I opened my phone and saw that he Tweeted ‘Welcome to the family’ I said, ‘Alright, let’s go. It’s time.’ It definitely made me happy and made me feel a part of the team and part of the family.”
Bailey (6-2, 205) is a local product who could very well become a fan favorite this summer. He attended Roxborough High School before moving on to the D-III university in Doylestown.
Last year, Bailey caught 80 balls for 1,707 yards and 19 touchdowns. He averaged 155.2 receiving yards per game and finished his college career as Del Val’s all-time leader in receiving yards.
“I’ve still got a lot of work to do,” he said. “I have to prove it on another level, and that’s why I’m here. I’m ready, and I’m preparing myself for a fight. Let my play do the talking and not my numbers.”
Bailey faces an uphill battle. Matthews, Josh Huff and Riley Cooper return from last year’s squad. The Eagles signed Miles Austin and Seyi Ajirotutu as free agents. They also selected Nelson Agholor in the first round.
Bailey seems to know the journey won’t be easy, but he’s used to playing the underdog role.
“I always had expectations to play at those big schools, but it never happened,” he said. “I see it on TV, and I see guys playing in front of big crowds, and I say to myself, ‘I can be that person.’ I’m just excited to be here. I’m excited to compete. Regardless of all those things, it doesn’t even matter anymore because it’s done. Now it’s time to compete and compete against the best people in the world. Now it’s… take full advantage of my opportunity. I’m gonna do it.”
Bailey grew up as an Eagles fan and will have plenty of local support. Even if he doesn’t end up sticking on the Eagles’ 53-man roster, Bailey has a shot to make the practice squad or catch on with a different team.
One way or another, he’ll try in the coming months to make people notice No. 18.
“I have that drive, that passion, everything that Philly is, and I’m trying to bring it to this football team,” he said. “I’m excited. I’m gonna wear that chip on my shoulder coming from a small school and being a fan to now being a player. I’m gonna give it everything I’ve got every day.”