The Giants and the Colts will square off this week, which gives wide receiver Hakeem Nicks a chance to catch up with some of his old teammates.
One of those former teammates, Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, is preparing to see Nicks in a better frame of mind than he was in with the Giants last season. Cruz said you could “sense something was off” with Nicks last season and he feels that the criticism that Nicks heard from fans and media following the Giants took a toll on the wideout.
“I mean, anytime people say things like that and try to discuss your character, I think it takes a toll on anyone,” Cruz said, via ESPNNewYork.com. “I think it did for him, and I think it’s something where he wants to prove people wrong. He wants to show that he’s a team guy, show that he gives his all and everything for his teammates. And I think the fresh start for him in Indy is gonna be just that, so we’ll see how it goes for him.”
Nicks had 56 catches for 896 yards without scoring a touchdown in 15 games last season, making it two straight years that his numbers were down across the board from his 2010 and 2011 efforts. After being told what Cruz said Monday, Nicks seemed to agree with the notion that the atmosphere around Nicks contributed to his down year.
“I think that Cruz witnessed what I went through firsthand so I can see why he would say that,” Nicks said. “There was a lot of criticism I was taking when people didn’t really realize what I was going through.”
It appeared that history was repeating itself at camp this season when offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton made some comments about wanting to see more from Nicks, but the Colts have worked to clarify that neither Hamilton nor the team is down on their free agent addition.