It was 30 months ago when the New York Giants last hoisted up the Lombardi Trophy and won Super Bowl XLVI; a team Victor Cruz was a very big part of and played a very big factor in helping get that championship.
Over the last couple of years, he's been around several groups of Giants teams and players, so he would know if there was something special between a group of players, kind of like the group that won that same Super Bowl two seasons ago
Cruz told the media during Tuesday's practice that he sees that closeness and special bond between the players on this current team; something that had been missing for quite a while with the Giants.
"Having been there, and having been fortunate enough to win a Super Bowl, I know what type of energy, what type of camaraderie it takes to get there. And I think this team is almost there," Cruz said on Tuesday. "We're a very close bunch. We spend a ton of time off the field together as well, which is rather new than year's past, having guys that spend time together off the field and spend time together with each others' families and things like that. That hasn't been the norm around here for a while now."
One of the things the Giants wanted to focus on during the offseason was bringing in high-character players; those you wouldn't worry about getting into trouble on or off the field; which they did with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Geoff Schwartz, Rashad Jennings among others. Cruz noticed that even with a lot of new players and additions, there's no groups or cliques; just a bunch of guys who enjoy being around each other.
"It just happened naturally," Cruz said. "Guys started to click and started to hang out and it started to increase from there. You can see it in the locker room. Nobody is in their own sections. Everybody is mingling together, talking, whatever the case may be. I noticed it and it's been fun to watch."
That kind of connection between all of the players on the team is something that not only gets mentioned for the 2011 championship team, but the 2007 Super Bowl team too. So if Cruz notices a similarity between the 2011 team and this year's group, then maybe the Giants will be in better shape than some people think they will this season.
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