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New York Giants’ Victor Cruz Getting “Back to the Little Things” After Forgettable Week One

September 11th, 2012 at 6:30 AM
By Casey Sherman

'Victor Cruz 2012 Shankbone' photo (c) 2012, David Shankbone - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz was a pleasant discovery after being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2010 from the University of Massachusetts. Last season he emerged as a top weapon for Eli Manning, setting a franchise record with 1,536 receiving yards. However, in the first week of the 2012 season, Cruz had his worst game of his career after dropping three passes and being called for two penalties.

After such a successful season in 2011, it was only natural that Cruz would receive a great deal of attention in the offseason. He became the guest on several talk shows, handed out an award at the ESPY's, was on the cover of GQ Magazine, appeared in several commercials and released his own book. Victor was seen doing his signature 'salsa dance' everywhere and some blame his sudden celebrity status for his poor performance in the season opener.

Terry Bradshaw is one of those who blame all the attention he's received for his lackluster play. On FOX Sunday's pregame show he stated that Cruz caught more balls in his commercials than he did against the Cowboys. Cruz told USA Today Sports that he is well-aware of people doubting him.

"They are, people are (anticipating the drop-off). At the end of the day, there are people out there that want to see you fail. I'm not saying Terry's one of them, but there are people out there who don't want to see you succeed, no matter how good of a guy you are," Cruz said.

NFL Network's Rich Eisen is another expert who chimed in on Cruz's performance. Eisen tweeted Cruz "Has a lot of salsa on his fingertips."

Cruz has made it clear that he understands last week's performance was unacceptable and his teammates are counting on him to play better than he did. That's why in practice this week, he's working on the basics.

"Obviously, I was thinking about (the drops) and wanting to redeem myself. That's why today I was trying to catch everything and just try to focus on the ball and get back to the little things. I guess that's one of the things I had to get back to — catching the ball and looking it all the way in. I think I did that today (in practice), and I regained my focus a little bit. I'm all right," he said.

Victor believes last game was a fluke, and so does his quarterback Eli Manning. Manning saw what Cruz was able to accomplish last season and isn't worried about his receiver.

"You're going to have days like that," Manning said, "and as long as he keeps getting open, which he's done a great job doing, he'll start catching the ball and we'll start making plays and we should have a great season," he said.

If Eli isn't worried, we shouldn't be either.

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Tags: Eli Manning, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz

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7 Responses to “New York Giants’ Victor Cruz Getting “Back to the Little Things” After Forgettable Week One”

  1.  jfunk says:

    That’s one thing you have to give Cruz…the reason he had the opportunity for all those drops is because he was consistently wide open. On a night when Nicks couldn’t get much separation, Cruz was often seen drinking a cup of coffee in the middle of the secondary.

    Of course it doesn’t matter if you don’t catch it.

  2.  Krow says:

    No one cares about his dance moves … or his shirts … or his fashion sense … or his ability to hawk products … or that book someone wrote that he put his name on. All that stuff happens only because of football. That sidebar crap is the ‘little things’. Because without football you’ve got none of that. Football, the NY Giants, and anything associated with them are BIG things.

    Oh, and the ‘poor me everybody wants me to fail’ bit is a truly disgusting card to play. Especially after an off-season of legendary a$$ kissing. Seriously dude, has anyone been wined and dined like you after basically 1 big year? You’ve gotten more butt smooching in 6 months than most players get in a lifetime. Niggah please …

  3.  GOAT56 says:

    Look it’s one game. No one is blaming Webster for celebrating too hard for his bad game. Eli was around the circuit just as much as Cruz. Cruz even last year had some drops. Of course this game was worse but not completely out of character. He is not the normal possession WR because of his elite RAC ability so in doing so you have some drops. The amount of drops and the times of drops are not acceptable but Cruz will likely have other games of multiple drops. We need him to not only catch the ball but to make plays after the catch.

  4.  GOAT56 says:

    Before we all judge the OL let’s play at least a few games with our starting unit. Beatty should return to his LT position vs TB. Diehl could be done as could Blackburn as solid starters but one game is not a fair judgement. I know TC tends to play vets longer than many of us would like but many times there’s not anyone that is clearly better. I think the same goes for Bradshaw. The difference is that at least Wilson will get a shot to earn more carries but his leash is short. Maybe Herzlich or Rivers gets a chance a MLB as we rotate LBs. But Diehl being replaced as Kujo pointed out is unlikely at this point. Though if Diehl continues to struggle badly then I could see TC given Lockear a look because he’s also a vet. Brewer never really had a chance to play but Lockear does.

  5.  JimStoll says:

    Injury Report:

    LB Keith Rivers (hamstring), S Kenny Phillips (back), and CB Michael Coe (hamstring) did not practice yesterday.

    “(Phillips will) go Wednesday,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “His back was bothering him after the game.”

    “It’s just precaution – nothing serious,” Phillips said. “No major injuries, nothing like that. Just trying to be smart. I’ll be back Wednesday for sure.”

    “I feel pretty good about going in and practicing on Wednesday and Thursday, so I’m pretty hopeful for that,” Coe said. “I ran about 75-80 percent today. I was able to do everything and backpedal and change and do some of those things, so I feel good about it.”

    CB Prince Amukamara (ankle), OT Will Beatty (back), OT James Brewer (back), and DT Marvin Austin (back) practiced.

    “Prince came out and did some work,” said Coughlin. “Hopefully he’ll be fine. We’ll see how he is tomorrow…He did some of everything (in practice).”

    “I did everything today besides special teams,” Amukamara said. “I went out there to see what I could do and see if I had any limitations. I didn’t aggravate it today. I feel like I am still not running how I used to but I still feel good out there. I’m just taking it day by day…Yesterday was my first time running and then the trainers saw how confident I was and they allowed me to go today…I’m very optimistic (I will play on Sunday).”

    “We’re moving along (with Beatty), trying to get more and more each day,” said Coughlin. “He’s done pretty well with what we’ve asked him to do…We’ll see how it goes; he has to make up for a lot of lost time.”

    “For me, if I don’t feel any pain,” said Beatty, “I feel good. Last week I felt good and ready to go during the game…I’m still preparing myself for me starting the game (against Tampa Bay)…The last two weeks, I had no problems, no setbacks. We had that three-day break. Felt good coming in today. They still had me rotating with the ones. I took my full reps, but I took with ones and I then took them with twos, so it’s not like I’m limited at practice. It’s just bringing me back.”

    Coughlin was asked if Austin might play this weekend. “We’ll see,” said Coughlin. “I think how he comes back tomorrow, we’ll know a little better.”

  6.  fanfor55years says:

    The reason I wasn’t convinced early last season that Cruz was “all that” was simple: he dropped a few balls, and then he stumbled and didn’t complete a route that cost the team the game against Seattle. Then he was given a second chance against the Eagles and we all know what happened thereafter.

    I don’t see any difference now. I don’t think it was the off-season stuff. I think he’s young, cocky, incredibly talented, and seemed to forget, once again, that the fundamentals count. He will be okay.

    You could just as easily wonder what Corey Webster, Osi Umeniyora, Justin Tuck, Chase Blackburn, David Diehl and David Baas were doing last winter and spring. They all not only stunk, but failed to play with sound fundamental technique against Dallas. The team was, very simply, not prepared to play. It was an effort eerily similar to what we saw against the Redskins twice last season. And it had the same affect on the crowd. I know a few of you have commented that the crowd was “electric”. I can testify that down near the Giants’ bench that wasn’t the feeling I got at all. I thought the crowd was taken out of the game pretty early after having started out with great enthusiasm.

    I’ve tried to explain to people for years that this “loss of home field advantage” is not simply a product of the up-scaling of the average ticket-holder thanks to dramatic price increases. It is also because this team tends to play poorly to start almost every game, throws in too many games in which it’s obvious they aren’t ready to bring top energy, and saps the crowd of their enthusiasm to the point where there’s a negative feedback cycle and the crowd cannot do enough to help the team get its energy and adrenaline running high. I’ve seen it for at least 7 years now, and it always seems the same. Give the crowd an effort like the one against the Cowboys at the end of last season and the place rocks like the old days. But give a half-hearted effort like the one last Wednesday and people eventually start responding in kind.

    •  kinsho says:

      Yes, we always had this consistency issue ever since I started following the Giants a couple years back. I suppose the one exception was the year following the first Super Bowl against the Pats, but that didn’t end so well either.

      Not sure why this team has such a morale issue at times. Luckily, we have Eli, who’s usually been consistent in leading game-winning drives in the 4th quarter. One more reason why we should be thankful we have him on our team….

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