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WR Ryan Spadola Makes a ‘Dream’ Catch

Posted by Randy Lange on August 1, 2013 – 2:28 pm

Ryan Spadola made one of the plays of Jets training camp at this morning’s SUNY Cortland practice. It could be that one play that propels him into the coaches’ consciousness as they start to trim down their wide receiving corps.

Spadola, the undrafted free agent from Lehigh, took off down the right side for the second offense in the practice-closing two-minute drill and made the diving fingertip grab of a roughly 50-yard fourth-down pass from Geno Smith, stepping up in the pocket, in front of Ellis Lankster.

“I was running for a while,” Spadola said. “I didn’t look back for the ball till I was 30 yards down the field, so I was really digging. I thought the ball was never going to come down. I laid out for it and fortunately it fell right in my hands and I was able to bring it in.”

Ryan Spadola knows he has to do more than just make one long reception on the sixth day of camp.

“Pretty much all eyes are on you when you have a deep ball like that,” he said. “Your receivers are supposed to be the playmakers and make big plays in big situations. So for me so far this camp, that was the highlight. But I’m not going to sit on that. I’ve got to continue to get better. I’m just taking that as one play to learn from and keep every single rep just like that.”

While you may not have heard of Spadola’s exploits before this, the 6’3″, 200-pounder from Howell, N.J., is no stranger to the long ball or lots of catches. He had his career year as a Lehigh junior with 96 catches for 1,614 yards (16.8-yard avg.) and 11 touchdowns. In his three varsity seasons, he had 232 catches for 3,611 yards (15.6) and 24 TDs.

“Going into my senior year, defenses used different matchups against me so it took away that vertical threat and we altered our offense a bit so I was more of a horizontal guy,” he said. “But early in my college career, I had a reputation for vertical plays and I feel comfortable going up and taking the ball in the air when it’s deep.”

Why the Jets? Spadola’s from Howell, N.J., down by the Jersey shore, and the Jets showed a lot of interest in him as a free agent addition. What’s more, as a kid, his father, Don, took him to Jets games. When Don died during Ryan’s high school years, he told lehighvalleylive.com earlier this year, “my dream [to play in the NFL] became our dream.”

It will take more than a dream for Spadola to make the Jets. A bundle of plays like today will be helpful.

Rex Cetera

Top draft pick Dee Milliner, in pads Wednesday, was in drills Thursday, getting some reps with the second defense in 7-on-7’s and then some snaps with the ones in the two-minute drill, during which he made a swipe on a pass that he tipped, didn’t deflect, but that was caught out of bounds. Head coach Rex Ryan wasn’t committing to it but said there’s a chance Milliner could participate in Saturday evening’s Green & White Scrimmage.

Greg McElroy had a strong two-minute drive, hitting Konrad Reuland, then K.J. Stroud twice, then RB John Griffin for the short TD. … Head coach Rex Ryan at today’s news conference mentioned two young offensive players who have “popped up” this camp: WR Vidal Hazelton and C Dalton Freeman. … Former Jets special teams guru Mike Westhoff was at camp today. One touching moment came during practice when Santonio Holmes, still rehabbing his foot, came over to Mike and gave him a hug. … Today’s attendance in the off-and-on rain: 662.


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Posted in Randy Lange | 39 Comments »


39 Responses to “WR Ryan Spadola Makes a ‘Dream’ Catch”

  1. By kw65fan on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    Def need all receivers to step up in a major way. Beautiful catch made by Spadola and the throw was a thing of beauty by Smith. And agree Randy, Mac did look good on that drive. Crisp passes and in total command. Just wish he was given a better chance in this so-called competition. Can’t wait till games start so we can see in full how much defense progressed with their speed and quickness.

  2. By Jersey Rich on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    Spadola is a “Jersey” kid who made many Chrebet like receptions during his college career. He has good hands, and comes down with most of what is thrown his way. I hope he gets the opportunity to show his skills. As a FA, he is a long shot, but I wish him well.

  3. By JET FAN FRANK SINCE 64 on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    Spadola looked good today. We may have a few surprises at the WR spot. Hill may be stepping up (we sure need him too). Konrad Reuland, K.J. Stroud and RB John Griffin appear sharp in practice. McElroy is also looking good was sharp and accurate…, I also like the way Geno is performing…

  4. By IRA on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    This was the best I saw McElroy look in quite some time. He played very well. Spadola’s catch was tremendous but he does have to do a lot more to make this team. I have been very impressed with Hazelton I think this kid has a real chance. Stroud too has looked good but I have seen this so many times over the years. You have camp stars like Clowney and they can’t keep it up when it’s game time. We will see very soon.
    Today Mark gets a slight edge only because he looked under more control in the 2 min drill.
    After 6 practices I give a small lead to Geno.

  5. By SCfromNY on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks again for some McElroy news I am still a fan. Good to see Geno airing it out. When was the last time the Jets, except for Kerley threw deep? I don’t feel the Jets will be there this year but if they are somehow the offense with Geno and young WRs will step up. If we can keep him at the very least I hope to see McElroy backing up Smith.

  6. By ronbo on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    IRA, you hit the nail right on the head, workout practice warriors are everywhere. Can they do it when the lights go on? That will be the question.

  7. By ELI RODRIGUEZ--We need a RB on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    Randy and Jets Fans present at the practice in your opinion a little info please: are the QB doing a better job of leading the receivers.

  8. By Karan on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    Dang, its been forever since I’ve commented on here. Just wanted to say that I’m so sick of people underestimating the Jets. I don’t think they will be as bad as people have them out to be this season. Really hope the Jets prove everyone wrong. I’m so excited about this young defense, especially the front 7. I just pray and hope there are no serious injuries. I was actually looking forward to see what Aaron Berry could do in the dime package, its unfortunate but its part of the NFL. And the offense isn’t that bad. I think Geno will ultimately win this competition but I love the return of Edwards. He probably wont be in 2010 form but its a relief to see at least a veteran, and a veteran who plays well in the Green & White back in Green……

  9. By Karan on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    ……..& White. Edwards, Holmes (when he returns), Kerley and Hill and really not so bad as the front 4 receivers. Hill just needs to hang on to the ball and I’m sure he will be better than in his rookie season. I also like hearing about the young receivers in Hazelton, Spadola and Gates. I’m sure one or even two of them might make the main roster and provide depth. The TE situation is the not the best in the league but its not horrible either. I like the Winslow addition. A veteran proven receiving TE who lost his way the last 2 years but is motivated and looking to make a comeback. With a good 2nd option as a receiving TE in Cumberland, they can be a nice 1-2 TE punch. And of course, there’s Reuland who I like as an extra blocker……..

  10. By Karan on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    ………and Smith who should hopefully provide depth. I think Ivory or Powell will ultimately win the starting job as the primary RB. Powell seems to be ahead of everyone at the moment. Hope to see Goodson back soon, not a smart thing he did but hopefully he can learn from it. The Jets do need him as a receiving RB along with Joe McKnight. I think Powell and Ivory can be the pounders as in running the ball and McKnight and Goodson can serve as the RB receivers during those screen passes, very important in the WC offense. So Edwards, Holmes, Kerley, Hill, Winslow, Cumberland, Goodson, McKnight as receivers and the rest that I mentioned are not so bad. Not the best in the league but so much better than that disaster receiving corps in…….

  11. By Karan on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    ………in 2012. I think the 2013 Jets can be special. I ultimately think they can somehow get a 9-7 season out of this but we’ll see. Go Jets.

  12. By jpheals55 on Aug 2, 2013 | Reply

    Lehigh has been producing NFL caliber players for 30 years. Spadola WILL make the team and he will be the “new Chrebet”., wowing people every week. GO LEHIGH!!!

  13. By jpheals55 on Aug 2, 2013 | Reply

    Lehigh grads have been contributing to teams in the NFL for the last 30 years. Spadola wil make the team and he will wow the fans all years a la Wayne Chrebet.
    Go Engineers!!! (not Mountain Hawks…yuck)

  14. By GaryC on Aug 2, 2013 | Reply

    It would be nice if some of these free agents make the roster instead of recycling these OLDIES BUT NOT QUITE GOODIES,any longer.

  15. By GaryC on Aug 2, 2013 | Reply

    Randy,has there been any word out of camp how Campbell is making the transition from defensive line to offensive line.

  16. By Randy Lange on Aug 2, 2013 | Reply

    GaryC, I haven’t noticed Will Campbell flashing yet but we’ll see what we can see today and at Saturday evening’s Green & White Scrimmage.

  17. By wayne on Aug 2, 2013 | Reply

    Heard Spadola’s name a lot since he played college ball in Lehigh Valley…With what appears to be some real opptys for spots at Wideout would be nice to see a couple a young guys shine…in real games…Keep the guys who hold on to balls. irregardless of speed numbers….I’m rooting for this kid.

  18. By Joe R on Aug 2, 2013 | Reply

    Speedy receivers vs. Possession Receivers? Give me a guy who can hold on to the ball ANY Sunday over a guy who runs a 4.3 40. If these free agents can run solid routes and hold onto the ball, they’re already an improvement. Keep them! I like Kerley because he has proven to be reliable in those areas.

  19. By JET FAN FRANK SINCE 64 on Aug 2, 2013 | Reply

    Spadola seems to be quick and have good hands, hearing a lot about this kid. Just might be another Wayne Chrebet or even a Wesley Walker. Time will tell. Haven’t heard much on Rogers.

  20. By Bucks County Jeff on Aug 2, 2013 | Reply

    The idea that Spadola is slower is crazy. He ran a 4.4 at the combine and was the fastest wideout in the Jets West sprint contest. No need to make excuses for his speed. This kid can run.

  21. By Mike Jet Vet on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    I actually saw some college footage on Smith, hes makes tons of mistakes plus he lacks some very important intangibles needed to be a top flight QB , which were brought to light in this footage, I see so much more upside talent wise experience, cool under pressure, not to mention winning Top honors at both levels, in G-mac compared to Smith or Sanchez, I mean if pass accomplishments are any indication of true talent.
    since politics play more a part then substance I guess we’ll never know, sad part is this kid will roam the sidelines never getting a shot at his full potential .

  22. By ronbo on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    BUCKS COUNTY JEFF, Size and speed a clearly assets for any W.R but the biggest thing guys like Spadola struggle with are the little things like reading overages on the fly and getting off the line of scrimmage cleanly. Allowing a corner to jam you up disrupts the timing on a play(especially in a w/c system so that will be a major hurdle for guys like him and Rodgers.GARY C, mark my words, Cambell and Oday are heading for the practice squad.I cant imagine either of them making this roster as they are simply not ready for prime time. Oday is not strong enough and Cambell has too much to learn at this point.Apparently Ducasse has had a good camp so far so he may take one of the back up spots with Winters and
    Slauderhoff.They usually keep 8 OL.

  23. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    Mike Jet Vet, What are these intangibles that Geno Smith lacked? That you know 100% will make him not be a good QB? What are these things that G Mac has where you see he has all of this upside? Cause Geno’s upside is thru the roof top 10 QB where G Mac’s upside is a backup #2 QB.

  24. By JET FAN FRANK SINCE 64 on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    It’s time to play football. Thursday kicks off the JETS Season and these four games will separate all the what if’s and maybe’s into what I will now call reality the next four games will make or break players as well as either giving us something to talk about or get frustrated about…. LETS GO JETS…

  25. By Mike Jet Vet on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    Spicer, G-mac upside is Championships at both levels high school and College
    . Smith not , its proven Smith can’t play well in cold weather, he over throws receivers on a regular basis , shot gun he’s OK all else needs work, So If you’re going to Rate Smith like you did Sanchez though rose color glasses, Then you’re again going to look foolish,.. How do you know G-Mac a #2 because the Jets won’t give him a chance. Well Smith is going to get a chance Lets see if he’s any better before you just anoint him OK

  26. By GaryC on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    Ronbo,a few other things on your Pennington- McElroy debate,Pennington won more games on guile then physical attributes,he was a deft ball handler and his timing on his passes was impeccable,Not great arm strength,and having Randy Moss at Marshall he could just throw it up to him and he would come down with it against players who could not compare to him.McElroy and Pennington are closer then you think.

  27. By SCfromNY on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    Tom, I prefer to see how it all shakes out before deciding who is top 10 or backup. I am sure when David Carr was the #1 pick no one expected him to be a back up as he is now. When Ryan Leaf was a #2 pick no one thought he would be gone so quickly. The list goes on of QBs that were thought to be elite like Vince Young, Jamarcus Russell, and Jeff George to name only a few more.

    My point now and always has been that I will wait to see how Geno plays before I make him top 10 or a bust. I would like to see McElroy accorded the same chance. NOT to compare but if Drew Bledsoe does not get injured where would the 6th round pick Tom Brady be now. My favorite QB with a so so arm: Joe Montana.

  28. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Aug 4, 2013 | Reply

    Mike The Ex Jet, Are those the same glasses that you used to watch Kellen Clemens with? McElroy was on a team of ALL STARS at Bama with all 1st round picks all over the D on the o line & at the skill positions. They were a running & defensive team where he managed the game & nothing more.

  29. By JET FAN FRANK SINCE 64 on Aug 4, 2013 | Reply

    It was exciting to see the JETS in action in training camp this past week. IRA I go along with you on McElroy looking sharp. I was impressed with Spadola this young man had great moves, fantastic speed and great hands. The Defensive line looked sharp and crisp as for Richardson made some mistakes (in fact they all did) but he looked determined to be a starter. As for the QB’s, some may not like what I am about to say, but McElroy looked sharper then MS and GS. GS made a few rookie mistakes but after watching him play on the 1st and 2nd’s I have to give him the edge on mobility and arm strength… Thanks to my cousin Joey I got to go to Cortland, was exciting… LETS GO JETS….

  30. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Aug 4, 2013 | Reply

    Mike The Ex Jet, Also saying that Geno can not play in the cold is a outright lie. Some time ago I posted his stats in games under 40 degrees & they weren’t good they were great.

  31. By bob schirripa on Aug 4, 2013 | Reply

    i think the jets should let
    greg mcelroy compete with the first team,ithink he has the ability and smarts to win the compertation at least be the back up to gino ,i want mark gone the jets have to admit thay made a mistake 4 years same mistakes over and over he dont have football smarts i have been a fan since the days of namath,also ryan spadola has great hands and speed and should be givin a fair shot.

  32. By JET FAN FRANK SINCE 64 on Aug 4, 2013 | Reply

    (Continued) AS for McElroy he had 127 yards passing with 2 touchdowns in 8 plays. Between McElroy, MS and GS, McElroy looked sharper, more comfortable under the center and made some nice plays. I give GS and MS a B- in performance and McElroy an A+ in performance….LETS GO JETS….

  33. By Mike Jet Vet on Aug 4, 2013 | Reply

    Spicer . Kellen Clemens LOL like I said you’re going to look foolish once again, Proof is you’re in denial. I take offense at being called a liar, real lies are coming from you , I’ll prove it unlike you, Proof is I right here on the radar called you out when you said I am a Clemens fan.I dare you or anyone for that matter to go back and read what I wrote in response to that lie of yours, I never wanted Clemens never thought him a good QB, thought you were mistaking me for someone else, So Spicer this is why I call you on most of your posts, Like Gas all stink and no substance,So lets see your proof I’m lying you brought this on yourself

  34. By Randy Lange on Aug 4, 2013 | Reply

    Gentlemen, from this point on I’m calling a moratorium on commenters referring to lies, liars and lying liars.

  35. By JET FAN FRANK SINCE 64 on Aug 4, 2013 | Reply

    Glad you did that Randy. We do not need that in here… Bickering is bad enough but name calling should is immature and shows a persons true colors. We are all JET FANS in here and want the best for o0ut team. It is okay to disagree with a post, it also okay to have wishful thoughts on a winning season. But to out right call someone a liar is so immature….

  36. By Mike Jet Vet on Aug 4, 2013 | Reply

    Sounds fair to me Randy, he who casts the 1st stone, shall not go unscathed,

  37. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Aug 4, 2013 | Reply

    Mike The EX Jet Fan, That is the screen name you used to go under & every post was about how bad the Jets were & about how you were no longer a fan of the team. Than the Jets got good you jumped back on the bandwagon & changed your screen name to Mike The Jet Vet. When Mark Sanchez first came to the Jets you wanted them to start Kellen Clemens & you acted like Kellen was the best thing since sliced bread. You lived or still live in Saint Louis. Come on now guy don’t bring stuff up about other guys if you don’t want stuff brought up about you / don’t give it if you cant take it.

  38. By Mike Jet Vet on Aug 5, 2013 | Reply

    Sp[ice Lol take it, Best you just give it up, as usual open your mouth insert foot, I lived in NY my whole life , and Now in Florida, I never been to St Louis let alone lived there , Where do you get this stuff, same place you get your stats I’m guessing, Wow.

  39. By JET FAN FRANK SINCE 64 on Aug 10, 2013 | Reply

    If I had to grade performance by 3 QB’s MS although he had a TD pass started off where he left off last year with an interception. Although GS looked sharp he really did not move the offense. As far as McElroy’s passing down field Rogers should have had that ball. McElroy looked sharper then both GS and MS. As for penalties that really set the Jets back. As for Spadola and Hill both looked sharp. Defensively very improved on stopping the run. I give the entire team a “B”. Which is not bad for their first pre-season game…

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