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New York Giants’ Victor Cruz: Hakeem Nicks’ Character Questioning Took a Toll on Him

August 12th, 2014 at 1:00 PM
By Doug Rush

All off-season long, Victor Cruz lobbied for the New York Giants to re-sign his teammate and good friend Hakeem Nicks, but the two sides seemed ready to move on from each other after five years together.

It had been almost two years since Nicks looked like a number one receiver and the guy the team drafted in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft which is why he had to accept a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts instead of the multi-year deal he had hoped for when free agency started in March.

On Saturday, Nicks and Cruz will see each other again when the Giants come to Lucas Oil Stadium and face off against Nicks' new team in the Colts. This past week in practice, Cruz talked about the tough year Nicks had to deal with having his character being questioned all year from people around football, which may have lead to his departure from the Giants.

"You could just sense something was off," Cruz said. "But you know, I tried to help him stay positive, stay in his ear. It was a tough year for him but I think he's able to clear his mind now and kind of lock in. Anytime people say things like that and try to discuss your character it takes a toll on you. And it did for him. It was something he wants to prove wrong. He wants to show that he's a team guy, that he gives his all on every play and gives his all for his teammates. I think a fresh start for him in Indy will be just that, so we'll see how it goes."

One particular moment that could be looked at as far as character questioning came into place was when Tom Coughlin said Nicks didn't fight him hard enough to allow him to play in the team's game against the Dallas Cowboys this past November, although Nicks had said he was dealing with injuries at the time.

But maybe the Giants had it right all along with Nicks, especially since Nicks' conditioning was brought into question by Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton; Nicks had trouble staying healthy during his entire tenure with the Giants.

The Giants moved on from Nicks with their drafting of Odell Beckham, Jr. in the first round of this past year's draft, although he's had his share of injuries as well that has kept him from taking the field this preseason, but he could see his first action against Indianapolis if the team feels that he's healthy enough to face off against live competition.

Also…

Seeing your team play in the SuperBowl is priceless. Watching the SuperBowl live in the stands for $1 per week is beyond priceless. Find out how at TicketScore.com, the future of Championship Tickets. Tags: Football, Hakeem Nicks, Indianapolis Colts, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz

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19 Responses to “New York Giants’ Victor Cruz: Hakeem Nicks’ Character Questioning Took a Toll on Him”

  1.  fanfor55years says:

    Hakeem Nicks will remain, for me, a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

    I have to assume that some combination of the way he was handled after his injury in 2012, his observing the way teams treated their players when their usefulness was diminished, the bugs put in his ear by others that 2014 was his shot at financial security, a few comments by TC, perhaps the unwillingness of Reese to discuss his contract any earlier than mandated, and an early observation that the 2013 Giants were going nowhere and that the offense was going to be awful thanks to the offensive line, led him to believe that no one was going to look out for him besides himself, and that his best approach was to play defensively in order to minimize the odds of a career-ending injury.

  2.  GOAT56 says:

    Repost:

    GOAT56 says:
    August 12, 2014 at 12:56 PM
    Robinson is not the smartest so I don’t know he realized how he sounded. If that’s really his mentality he’s in trouble. He sounded more focused in OTAs. Hopefully he means he’s extremely disappointed at his position on the depth chart but not discourage. He’s completely confident in his abilities so he believes he will change the the depth chart with his play in the coming games.

    Reply
    GOAT56 says:
    August 12, 2014 at 1:03 PM
    The first 4 games give us a chance to get some wins even though we might be trying to figure things out. Weeks 1,3 & 4 we face teams with new head coaches. Arizona in week 2 we get at home. And in week 5 we face Atlanta that is switching to a 3-4. So even with all the questions with our schedule we need to get off to a 4-1 or 3-2 start because then we face a really tough stretch. The goal really might be getting to 5-5 or better in our first 10 games. Because our last 6 games on paper look favorable.

  3.  Dirt says:

    There should be a 201 level class on the meaning of “JPP of”. It would be fascinating stuff.

    Does it mean being a physical freak?

    Does it mean having never really played football before?

    Does it mean having a French background and adpoting English later on in life than many others around one’s self?

    Does it mean, literally, “the best example of”?

    The world may never know, so we should explore. Because in the meantime, you can only assume it means “the best example of”, and therefore I stick with my claim:

    Robinson is the JPP of nothing.

    •  Dirt says:

      FF, you mentioned that rollout play a few times now. I replied a few threads late the first time you mentioned it, but I recall specifically play which sounded a lot like you recall, except I remember him initially cutting inside, turning around and noticing that Nassib was rolling out and, rather unathletically I might add, tried to reverse course and go outside, with no chance of getting there on time.

      Who knows if I recall it correctly, but if I do, the nuiance is important. Because, it’s not only the phyical element of not being able to athletically arrive where you’re supposed to, but it’s also the mental of ever thinking it’s a good idea to start running toward one sideline on a play designed to have the quarterback run to the opposite sideline.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        That’s the one, but he was supposed to chip the LB too and missed it. Then he almost tripped and then rounded out his route. Just awful.

    •  skinnydoogan says:

      Dirt, that is some funny s***

    •  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

      How abt since 0 is as close as you can get to 1-(Aleph Null) We make him the -(Aleph Null [Cannot write Hebrew letters) of JPPs

  4.  BigBlueGiant says:

    LOL! this article makes me laugh.

    Just saying it now… anyone who lets ANYONE who let’s what critics or anyone else say about them and have that effect their performance on ANY level in life should go seek some way to balance their inner peace. Because being insecure and not confident about yourself is a terrible thing.

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    Would it make sense to call Idzik and see what he’d offer for James or Hosley? He has to be pretty desperate.

  6.  Krow says:

    Let me see if I have this right … people questioned his character … so he decided to suck and thereby cost himself millions. Hmmmm … OK, now I’m questioning both his character and his intelligence.

    •  James Stoll says:

      don’t know what happened with Nicks, but there does seem to be a bit of a pattern emerging under JR’s leadership
      I count 5 players who were one-time greats in blue who literally fled the giants — Shockey, Osi, Steve Smith, Kenny Phillips, Hakeem Nicks

      a couple like smith and Phillips were injured; others were not

      I’M NOT SAYING JR TREATED ANY OF THEM INCORRECTLY OR BADLY, BUT IT DOES SEEM HE IN SOME WAY EMBITTERED THEM SUCH THAT THEY SIMPLY WANTED OUT

      •  nick86 says:

        JR treated smith fine…he offered him 35 million right before he blew out his knee.

        Osi was always a headache. He got a great contract at a young age, which he was happy with until after a few years he saw other DE’s getting paid more and realized he was locked in for 3-4 more years.

        KP fell apart physically

        Shockey had worn out his welcome and it was time for him to move on. We got a great deal for him. He needed to go so Eli could step up

        Nicks- who knows. I hope it was the injuries that were the cause of that nightmare. Otherwise Hakeem is just mentally weak and couldn’t handle the criticism. It doesn’t make sense that with tens of millions of dollars on the line last year he couldn’t go balls to the wall IF he was healthy. This whole idea of him protecting himself makes no sense to me.

      •  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

        Come on: Shockey was a very dumb partying self indulgent **** and a bully—-Smith turned down 8 Mill —They paid and rehab-ed phillips for a year If he was worth more why did he sign for a min contract–Osi stated later, “Stay with the Giants” and if Hakeem was dragged down by negative remarks concerning his character he had every chance to change that including finishing his routes.

        Fellas. If you own a company and one of your salesman does great for 5 yrs and then does nothing for the next 2 do u give him a raise. (Only if he is your son-in-law–Right Kwow?)

  7.  nick86 says:

    What concerns me more is JRs track record of bringing in super talented guys rounds 1-2 who fall apart physically very quickly.

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