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After breakout year, Cruz “hasn’t missed a beat”

Victor Cruz Pic Getty Images

Giants receiver Victor Cruz went from 2010 undrafted free agent to the NFL’s third-leading receiver in 2011, but he’s not getting complacent. According to Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, Cruz has looked every bit the Pro Bowl receiver he should’ve been last season during OTAs.

“That’s what’s nice about now,” Gilbride told Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star-Ledger. “It’s like he hasn’t missed a beat.”

Only Calvin Johnson of the Lions and Wes Welker of the Patriots put up more receiving yardage than Cruz in 2011, and neither could match Cruz’s 18.7 yards-per-catch average.

Gilbride acknowledges that Cruz is already a “special” slot receiver, and hinted he may move around more in certain packages this season.

“Where he was at the end of the year, in terms of ‘I’m going to do the right thing …’ I think he proved he’s a special guy inside,” said Gilbride. “He’s a special guy inside as a slot receiver and now he has the chance to be playing some outside.”

Cruz is entering the last year of his rookie contract, and is owed just $540,000. Johnson is making $21.75 million this year. Welker’s salary is $9.515 million, and it’s fully guaranteed.

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34 Responses to “After breakout year, Cruz “hasn’t missed a beat””
  1. Slim Charles says: May 30, 2012 7:32 PM

    Cruz should really hold out for money, one injury and he gets Forte’d.

  2. thegreatgabbert says: May 30, 2012 7:36 PM

    A Salsa beat.

  3. plum13sec says: May 30, 2012 7:40 PM

    I am not a giant fan and even I dont think that he come out of nowhere. He had a beast preseason game against the cowboys his rookie year where he burned them for 3 huge touchdowns. I had a feeling he was going to be a great WR

  4. classicjake says: May 30, 2012 7:45 PM

    Mr salsa won’t have a big year again. Last
    Year was a fluke. The only place he will be
    Dancing is in those new York clubs.

  5. kingcarlbanks says: May 30, 2012 7:53 PM

    Best believe Cruz will have a new contract before the season is up. I’m surprised his jersey isn’t in the top 5 considering every one of us Boricuas in New York has a Cruz jersey now, even ones that don’t root for the Giants..

  6. easternshoresfinest says: May 30, 2012 7:59 PM

    This dude made some outrageocantus plays in 2011. Can’t wait to watch him this year. CAN’T WAIT

  7. doctorfootball says: May 30, 2012 8:00 PM

    Cruz is a very good receiver, but let’s not make him out to be the second coming of Christ just yet. I think we all saw in the Super Bowl that he’s not that difficult to stop. Even his touchdown catch was a botched play by Mayo that could have easily ended up as a pick six.

  8. easternshoresfinest says: May 30, 2012 8:01 PM

    This dude made some outrageous plays in 2011. Can’t wait to watch him this year. CAN’T WAIT

  9. deathtoromo says: May 30, 2012 8:03 PM

    Is this the land of lollipops and unicorns in Giants camp now? Wow. You’re a 9-7 team that got hot at the right time. Enough of the feel good stories out of New York…or Jersey…whatever

  10. jakek2 says: May 30, 2012 8:05 PM

    Giants are gonna Cruuuuz to another division title at the least. Him and Nicks are twice as good as any WR tandem in the East even if you matched up 2 players from different teams. Couple that with the top QB in the NFL, a great pass rush and a team heII bent on becoming a dynasty….well….let’s just say that doesn’t bode too well for the rest of the NFL.

  11. jakek2 says: May 30, 2012 8:16 PM

    doctorfootball says:
    May 30, 2012 8:00 PM
    Cruz is a very good receiver, but let’s not make him out to be the second coming of Christ just yet. I think we all saw in the Super Bowl that he’s not that difficult to stop. Even his touchdown catch was a botched play by Mayo that could have easily ended up as a pick six.
    ————
    He had 10 catches for a buck forty-two against the best defense in football in the NFCCG. Don’t let those facts get in the way of your obvious hatred though.

  12. cooklynn17 says: May 30, 2012 8:17 PM

    plum13sec says: May 30, 2012 7:40 PM

    I am not a giant fan and even I dont think that he come out of nowhere. He had a beast preseason game against the cowboys his rookie year where he burned them for 3 huge touchdowns. I had a feeling he was going to be a great WR.
    ————————————————————
    The game you a referring to was against the loud mouth Jets.

    Just saying.

  13. cooklynn17 says: May 30, 2012 8:20 PM

    Face it, the league is going to see plenty of the salsa this year.

  14. victorycruz says: May 30, 2012 8:31 PM

    Absolutely not, Slim Charles… He understands he out-played his contract, but has to prove his worth 1 more year then he’ll get paid. There’s too many one hit wonders that an organization doesn’t want to throw it’s money into something unless they are determined it’s the right decision, and Cruz looks like a model citizin playing his contract without even one word about holding out, or complaining. That’s how a football player should be, not a whiney headache like Osi.

  15. goldrush36 says: May 30, 2012 8:51 PM

    Gotta agree with Jakek2…. Cruz is legit. I do find it annoying that he ducks hits so much to stand up and dance afterwards (that time will probably eventually come like DeSean’s) and don’t get me wrong I am not hoping for him to get his clock cleaned. It’s just all the more frustrating because he just keeps eating away at and frustrating the D. The kid is electrifying

  16. tangysizzl says: May 30, 2012 8:57 PM

    I didn’t expect him to be the 3rd best WR in the league but I did draft him and Cam Newton on all 4 of my fantasy teams last year and made out like a bandit with 4 league championships.

    I happened to see that preseason game against the Jets and wondered why he didn’t play more that year. Even the Giants didn’t know how good he truly was until last year. They would be wise to sign him long term as soon as possible, hes not a one year wonder.

  17. nygdriveforfive says: May 30, 2012 9:02 PM

    Cruz in the slot, Nicks and double R outside, jerrigan, Bennett and the new rb Wilson… No plax to shoot himself…That 5th SB is coming Giants fans and its coming this year.

  18. dino2997 says: May 31, 2012 12:51 AM

    Slim Charles says:
    May 30, 2012 7:32 PM
    Cruz should really hold out for money, one injury and he gets Forte’d.

    —————————————————

    You mean Cruz would get the franchise tag and the average salary of the top 5 WR’s after having turned down a very lucrative contract offer?

  19. andyb02 says: May 31, 2012 12:53 AM

    Not sold on this guy yet. There are a lot of guys who have huge years then their play declines. Anyone remember Roy Williams? Once defenses figure him out it will be a lot harder for him. Especially now that teams expect it.

  20. hedleykow says: May 31, 2012 2:17 AM

    $540,000 is close to what he made me last year. Crazy.

  21. jsrdc says: May 31, 2012 2:32 AM

    @nygdriveforfive,

    And when the Giants DON’T win their 5th SB this year (let’s remember what happened to them in 2008 after their SB victory in 2007, and 2007 and 2011 were so similar, it is prudent to compare 2008 to 2012), what are you prepared to do and say?

    You are obviously still heavily drinking the kool-aid, but reality has a way of sobering you up in a hurry. Whoever wins it in 2012, it is going to take a perfect storm, and the Giants just won’t get it done. They had a good run in the playoffs and won it all like they did in 2007, but the odds say they will end up one and done in the playoffs, or even more likely will collapse the last 4 weeks of the season like they did in 2009 and 2010.

    The Cowboys, 4skins, AND the Eagles will all be better, and the Giants will have their hands full in those 6 games, and will lose at least 3 of those 6 – mark my words. The only thing coming this year for the Giants is every team, focusing on that huge target (aka the defending SB champs) on their backs. It ain’t going to be pretty or easy for the Giants this year…….

  22. kappy32 says: May 31, 2012 4:13 AM

    Watch out ladies (Cowboys, Eagles & Redskins fans), the Giants are going to dominate the division next year.

  23. jag8917 says: May 31, 2012 7:25 AM

    So happy to have this guy on my favorite team. And last time the Giants won a Super Bowl, in the following year they went 12-4 with the 1 seed in the NFC. They’re capable of beating any team with Coughlin, Eli, and Tuck leading the way and when their confidence is through the roof.

  24. gpete1962 says: May 31, 2012 7:51 AM

    While Cruz and company might not be the best receiving corp NFL, there definitely in the top 5.

    As far as NY Giants are concerned, It’s the best group of receivers the team has ever had !!

    The upside for Giants fans is, There only going to get better as the Running game improves.

  25. n0hopeleft says: May 31, 2012 8:51 AM

    deathtoromo says:
    May 30, 2012 8:03 PM
    Is this the land of lollipops and unicorns in Giants camp now? Wow. You’re a 9-7 team that got hot at the right time. Enough of the feel good stories out of New York…or Jersey…whatever

    ___________________________________

    We got hot because we got healthy.

    The Packers were 10-6 the year before, and were considered the best team at the end of 2010, were they not?

    And stop talking like everytime you play us, you aren’t nervous. You aren’t fooling anyone – we hear this type of BS every off season.

    When was the last time the Giants finished with more losses than wins? I CAN’T EVEN REMEMBER.

  26. illbillgiantz4lif says: May 31, 2012 8:58 AM

    Victory Cruz is the definition of a gamebreaker.

  27. electionconfidential says: May 31, 2012 9:13 AM

    Cruz is a very good receiver, but let’s not make him out to be the second coming of Christ just yet. I think we all saw in the Super Bowl that he’s not that difficult to stop. Even his touchdown catch was a botched play by Mayo that could have easily ended up as a pick six.

    ————-
    So was Christ a great receiver? Also, isn’t it a little bit of a stretch to say that this was almost a “pick six” when the guy would have had to run 105 yards with the ball?? LOL

  28. illbillgiantz4lif says: May 31, 2012 9:47 AM

    @ electionconfidential

    Cruz caught a couple of passes on the first drive including a TD before NE clamped down on him. So Manning threw 15 times to Nicks and Manningham.

    They really didn’t shut him down since he drew double coverage the entire game and allowed the other two receivers to get open.

    Remove the double team and he probablly catches another 6 balls easily.

  29. jag8917 says: May 31, 2012 10:47 AM

    deathtoromo says: May 30, 2012 8:03 PM

    Is this the land of lollipops and unicorns in Giants camp now? Wow. You’re a 9-7 team that got hot at the right time. Enough of the feel good stories out of New York…or Jersey…whatever

    ———————————–

    “We got to have the mind-set that we were a 9-7 team last year, not a Super Bowl-winning team,” Eli Manning told the Daily News on Wednesday.

    Yeah I think they realize what their record was. But feel free to keep drinking the haterade.

  30. 49erstim says: May 31, 2012 10:49 AM

    I like V Cruz. Seems to be a solid guy with a good head on his shoulders. Best of luck to him.

  31. bigblue518 says: May 31, 2012 12:45 PM

    Cruz,Knicks,Randall,Hixon..Giants are going to be in Beast Mode this year…………

  32. youdownwithjpp says: May 31, 2012 6:24 PM

    bigblue518 says: May 31, 2012 12:45 PM

    Cruz,Knicks,Randall,Hixon..Giants are going to be in Beast Mode this year…………

    ——————————————-
    I see what you did there. Very clever lol.

  33. bleedsnyblue says: Jun 1, 2012 1:44 PM

    Cruz is terrific- humble, great work ethic, and a team player. Refreshing! Jerry had best reward him this year…he isn’t just a flash in the pan, he’s the real deal.

  34. bosspower says: Jun 5, 2012 9:35 AM

    Cruz is the Real Deal. The Giants showed him Loyalty by keepin him on roster after he was out for season his rookie yr, and he rewarded us with Big Time plays last season and now he is gonna honor his contract and be rewarded with a new deal either during or after season. But he is not gonna Steve Smith the G-men and go to Philly.

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