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V-Word Victor Cruz Happy with New York Giants, Ready to Take on Leadership Role

June 11th, 2014 at 3:00 PM
By Dan Benton

What a difference a year has made for New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz. Long gone are the days of lengthy contract negotiations played out in the media, and long gone are the days of being the youngster of the group. Rather, the fifth-year wideout and Patterson, New Jersey native is now considered a v-word among his fellow receivers and is more than prepared to assume a leadership role if necessary.

"People are telling me I'm the vet and everything," Cruz said at an event for Frosted Flakes at Citi Field on Wednesday. "I'm like 'my fifth year in and I'm already getting the V-word?' It's pretty cool. It's something that comes along with the territory and be able to help others.

Even with the added pressure of finding himself in a veteran role, Cruz welcomes his current situation to the one he was facing a season ago. The long, drawn-out contract negotiations took a toll, but with that now well in his past, Cruz has no regrets and is beyond happy to be with the Giants and able to focus on football.

"I'm extremely happy," Cruz said. "I'm finally at the point where I can just relax and play the game and get better as a player and get better as a teammate, a leader and an individual.

"It's been a lot of fun, just building a rapport with my wide receivers, getting to know my teammates more and I'm really just having some fun out there this time."

Just assuming a veteran leadership role won't be enough to quench Cruz's thirst, however. Although he's not openly campaigning for a "C" on his jersey at the advice of Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan, the Super Bowl XLVI champion still hopes to get that nod from his teammates.

Also…

Tags: Football, Michael Strahan, New Jersey, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Super Bowl XLVI, Victor Cruz

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11 Responses to “V-Word Victor Cruz Happy with New York Giants, Ready to Take on Leadership Role”

  1.  Nosh.0 says:

    GOAT-
    No, I don’t expect Jernigan to play ahead of ODB. I expect ODB, Cruz, and Jernigan to be our top 3 WR. Meaning I think Jernigan will catch 50-60 balls with close to 800 yards as our #3 WR. Odb and Cruz will be the #1 and 2 options. MM is depth, and Randle should be the 4.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?

      Stop. JJ is NOT going to be ahead of Randle on the Depth Chart. Not a chance.

      Randle, Cruz in the slot, ODB on the outside, MM/ JJ as the 4th

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Yep. And they need Randle to have a good season. he needs it too. It’s time for him to justify himself.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          Yeah Nosh I have to agree with BBG and F55 here. I like Jernigan and think he can contribute. I think it’s possible he can get snaps ahead of or as much as ODB. I think Randle is a lock starter and our #1 WR. Randle given his different skill set than Cruz, ODB or Jernigan is IMO our most important WR this year.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    Not that Victor ever really needed motivation, but seeing what happened to his running mate Hakeem must have been bracing. How often does a guy with that much innate talent get told, in effect, by his team “We don’t want you here.” Slacking off for Tom Coughlin doesn’t turn out too well.

    While it’s definitely good news for us given our Week 5 game, I feel sorry for Weatherspoon and the Falcons. Torn Achilles tendon, out for the season. Happened running with their medical staff. A lot of folks around here wanted to draft him and had Reese done so, he’d now be considered another “Reese bust” based on how little he has played for Atlanta. That would be unfair, but that’s fan for ‘ya.

  3.  skinnydoogan says:

    Dan, it’s spelled “Paterson”

  4.  skinnydoogan says:

    Not that it matters, I just happen to live 10 minutes from there.

  5.  Krow says:

    So to be a nit picker … you don’t take on the role of a leader. This is not a play. You’re not acting. You don’t take on the role of a surgeon … or a general … or a Senator. Same here. In this case you have to actually lead.

  6.  Nosh.0 says:

    You know why I believe in JJ ahead of Randle. For the same reason I was sold on Victor Cruz early on. Eli looks for him.

    Those last few games of the season, especially once Cruz went down, Eli threw to Jernigan and looked his way much more than Randle. So while Randle may be the better physical specimen, more important is whether or not your QB trusts you. And I’m almost positive Eli trusts JJ more than Randle. Thus JJ>Randle. Thats called logic for all you rook posters out there.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I think your logic is very faulty. I think it’s just as logical that Eli was going to Jernigan because he was paid less attention. I think if Eli trusted Jernigan so much Jernigan would have gotten more regular snaps over the course of the year. I do think the last 3 games meant something when Jernigan emerged but I think you’re putting too much into it. Plus Randle did still have 600 plus yards and 6 TDs last year. And by the same logic what makes you think Eli trusts ODB more than Randle? OTAs?

      •  Nosh.0 says:

        I don’t know that Eli will trust ODB ahead of Randle. What I do know is that the Giants would not have drafted a WR in the first round if they had faith in Randle. The ODB pick signaled that he was the highest rated player on the Giants board, and, that they had serious doubts about Ruben Randle.

        I’ve never bought into the “this WR gets less attention therefore he will be thrown to more” argument. That was the misguided logic being used in the Nicks is better than Cruz debate. Cruz was constantly double covered last season and Nicks often singled up with a teams #2 DB and Eli still went to Cruz more. A QB throws to the player(s) he trusts to make a play, not the guy with less attention. Unless of course a player is wide open.

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