For the first time this spring, New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride made himself available to the media. And rather than discussing any number of the 63 players who had just participated in day one of rookie mini-camp, the media immediately met him with a question about restricted free agent (RFA) Victor Cruz. Surprise, surprise.
"I have great confidence that it’s going to get done, so I don’t give it a lot of thought because I know he wants to be here," Gilbride said on Friday. "The people that have to resolve that does not include me."
Although Gilbride says he has "great confidence" that Cruz will soon return, he admitted excitement in his absence. Not because he doesn't want the Pro Bowl wide receiver on the field, but because it allows other players to step up and into his role to show what they're made of. Most notably, Gilbride said, is Jerrel Jernigan.
"I’ll be honest with you I’m kind of excited until he gets back. I’m certainly looking forward to him getting back. I don’t want to give any impression contrary to that, but certainly I’m looking forward to seeing Jerrel Jernigan and what he can do inside," Gilbride said. "I think it’s about time that he steps up and I think we feel he has enough ability and he’s been here now long enough. Until Victor gets back, he’ll be the main guy inside at the slot position."
Gilbride added that now is the chance for Jernigan to "shine." He also noted that their newest addition, Louis Murphy, will have his opportunities, but they will come on the outside. In Cruz's absence, Jernigan is the sole man in the slot.
"Really it’s JJ inside is the guy that… It’s going to be a great opportunity for him," he said.
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