Victor Cruz: Hakeem Nicks wants to prove last year’s critics wrong

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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 “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.

14 responses to “Victor Cruz: Hakeem Nicks wants to prove last year’s critics wrong

  1. Nicks doesn’t need to prove last year’s critics wrong, he needs to prove last year’s performance wrong. His critics were right. It’s easy to see how the media and fanbase can get to a player but when Cruz is saying “Fresh Start” and Pep is talking up his “special talent” it all points to one thing: Underachiever.

    “But we don’t know what he’s going through.”
    And that’s absolutely correct. But since we don’t we can’t sympathize, so what exactly is the clamor? Exactly what are we supposed to feel sorry for? That he performed terribly in a contract year?

  2. So is he going to “prove people wrong” by actually playing hard this year?

    You know, actually run and finish routes and not stop in the middle of them?

    Shut your trap about Nicks already Victor, move on. The kid made a fool of himself last year, he did this all to himself.

  3. He will when he states, “I can’t wait to catch a pass from a real quarterback”. I know, Eli won 2 super bowls…not sure how, not sure why…

  4. I have watched the giants for over 50 years, and this kid had huge talent being our “go to WR” when a catch was needed.
    He out jumped, out played any DB, and made catches when he had guys on his back. So what happened?
    Hey, when you play in NY, you have a chance to make a name for yourself, and last year Nicks changed agents, and he was never again the same!
    If he had an issue, why did he hide it? Why did the giants literally let him go?
    Many questions, no answers!

  5. Eli has won 2 Superbowls with different receiving cores. Fairly confident, Eli helps make receivers better and vice versa.

    2007: Burress, Toomer, Steve Smith(rookie year) Boss
    2011: Nicks, Cruz, Manningham, Ballard

  6. The best indicators of NFL opinions about Nicks’s worth ethic are:

    * The team that drafted him, the Giants, didn’t even make him an offer to return. It’s not as if the Giants were loaded in receivers. They even drafted one in the first round of the draft after not making Nicks an offer to return.

    * The lack of interest Nicks got in free agency this offseason from teams. Nicks got a short-term, midlevel deal from the Colts late in free agency. Nothing like the offers and interest that Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, Eric Decker and DeSean Jackson have gotten in recent years (including this past offseason).

    * The lack of interest Nicks got from the Carolina Panthers. Nicks is from North Carolina, went to college there and has said many times he would like to play there as a pro. Not only that, but Dave Gettleman, the Panthers GM, was in the Giants front office for almost 15 years, including the first 4 years of Nicks career in the NFL and the 2 years that Nicks had 1,000 receiving yards.

    Nicks doesn’t show common sense in managing his career. Last year, his “walk year” for free agency, he didn’t protect himself by buying an insurance policy that would pay out if he was injured. There’s nothing wrong with not buying that type of insurance. Some players buy those policies, including Nicks’s former teammate Victor Cruz, some don’t. But Nicks’ reason for not buying a policy was consistent with being a prima donna (his reputation) who wants to be given everything for free and treated like royalty. This is what Nicks said about why didn’t buy insurance:

    “The bad is you have to pay $40,000 to $50,000, and then if you don’t get hurt, you don’t get your money back. That’s not a win-win situation in my book. I’d rather keep my money and pray about it and ask the Lord to keep me healthy.”

    What a fool. He didn’t buy insurance because he didn’t want to pay a premium unless he would get it all back if didn’t file a claim. If he hadn’t bought it because he thought it was too expensive that would have been a reasonable choice. But he didn’t buy it because he wanted his “money back” if he didn’t file a claim. How does he think insurance companies stay in business?

    Does Nicks think insurance companies are there just to give him free money and protection? I’d like to get home insurance and collision insurance for my career that gets fully refunded if I don’t file a claim. I’d also like to eat at restaurants for free and fly on airlines for free. But I have common sense and know that everyone expects to be paid for providing goods and services.

  7. This probably means Nicks will have a huge week 1, loudly call out his critics, then go back to sleep and underperform the rest of the year.

  8. Nicks came to Colts camp out of shape.

    He didn’t do well (at least early on).

    I find that sad when he came to Indy on a one year low ball contract because he could NOT get a high dollar multi year deal anywhere…

    He has to play and prove this year to get a big buck multi year deal and he came to camp out of shape and didn’t do well early on…

    (haven’t heard about recently)

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