When asked if his players had any input on draft day decisions, New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese gave a flat-out "no." Yet at least one of his players — wide receiver Victor Cruz — got almost exactly what he asked for. No, it wasn't Mike Evans, but it was wideout Odell Beckham Jr. — close enough for Cruz to poke fun at the situation.
"Somebody's listening up there. That's all that means," Cruz joked Tuesday night at the United Way Gridiron Gala at the Waldorf Astoria. "Beckham is good. It's good for our team. The more weapons the better. Odell is a good player and a good person as well."
Although he admits he didn't really watch the NFL Draft — something he's not exactly a fan of after going undrafted himself — Cruz did acknowledge having familiarized himself with his new teammate and how well he should fit into Big Blue's new offensive system. Ultimately, he feels, it's another tremendous weapon for quarterback Eli Manning.
"I know he has a lot of speed. I know he runs good routes. I know he’s good at stretching the field," Cruz said. "He’s a good player. He’s very agile, very quick. He’s good to have him on our team, he’s good to have him as another threat in our offense."
Despite Cruz's excitement over the addition of Beckham Jr. and Ben McAdoo's new offense, he did also admit that he took Kevin Gilbride's retirement from the Giants quite hard.
“It was a tough thing for me to hear,” Cruz said. “He was a guy who believed in my ability early on. Coming in as a rookie free agent, you have to have some guys that are in your corner, and he was 100 percent one of those people that really went out on a limb for me day-in and day-out, and really taught me how to play the game properly as a professional.”
While many Giants fans would be thankful for Gilbride's belief in Cruz, few would go as far as to say they took his retirement as hard. Shotgun draw, anyone?
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