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.