Cruz: I want to be the player that I once was

The Salsa dancing wide receiver is ready to get back onto the field and prove his naysayers wrong.

After a couple of disappointing seasons ravaged by injuries, Victor Cruz is ready to make his return to the gridiron in top form for the 2016 season. Cruz has been optimistic since posting a video of himself running before offseason workouts began and that feeling has continued till now.

 “I’m pretty confident,” Cruz said. “I feel good. I can only go off what my body tells me, and so far my body tells me that I’m feeling good. I’ve been doing everything that’s been asked of me that the guys have been doing throughout this offseason program and there’s been no adverse effects, no negativity, nothing going in the wrong direction in terms of my health and in terms of my trajectory to get back on the field. I just want to continue that and continue in an upward path.”

 As long as there are no hiccups of any kind, New York Giant fans can remain calm. The hype following Cruz’s return last year was met with nothing but disappointment.

 “It’s been extremely difficult, as you may imagine,” Cruz said. “But obviously you’ve just got to stay the course. The key is not just to be ready for week one, but to be ready for all 16 (games) and into the playoffs. So that’s kind of where my mindset is to get my body ready for the long haul and not just for tomorrow and the day after that.”

 The long haul is what the New York Giants will need if they want to make a run for the playoffs. Since winning Super Bowl XLVI, the Giants have not delivered in the regular season and have failed to make the cut for the playoffs. But in response to being asked if he could return to top form, Cruz was rather unambiguous about his feelings on the matter.

 “Absolutely,” Cruz said. “I’m not in the business to go out there and be half of myself or half of where I was. I want to go out there and be ready to go 100 percent and be the same player that I once was. That’s the goal and I want to be able to build up to that and make sure that my body is responding to that level of what it once was. That’s definitely the goal, for sure.”

 With a healthy Cruz, the Giants could potentially have one of the most dangerous passing attacks with Eli Manning spreading the ball around to both Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr. Cruz even believes Beckham’s presence will be a valuable asset to the offense as a whole.

 “Just him(Beckham) being himself,” Cruz said. “Just going out there and taking the top off the defenses, catching everything thrown his way. Defenses have to account for him and then it makes it difficult to account for more than one threat out there. We’ve got a bunch of offensive threats on our team with Larry Donnell and Shane Vereen and guys like that. We understand if everybody is healthy and able to perform, we’re going to be a tough team to stop with all of those different weapons. Odell just has to be himself and everything else will take care of itself.”

 The idea is a tantalizing one. Cruz and Beckham are a duo that is going to be giving opposing defenses headaches all year. But with such a limited time on the field spent together, one could question the amount of chemistry the two have had a chance to develop.

 “He’s(Beckham) like a little brother to me on and off the field,” Cruz said. “It’s definitely important to continue to build that more on the field than off because it’s an area where we haven’t had as much time together. We want to just continue to build that and continue to grow on what we see from each other from an on field standpoint and we’ll see how it goes. I think it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be fun to watch him on the field and I know he feels the same way.”


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