WR Victor Cruz
August 12, 2013
Q: Saturday night you looked sharp. Howíd you feel?
A: I felt good. It felt good to get back out there in the swing of things. We got some real action against some real opponents; somebody not wearing blue. It felt good to get back out there and continue to do some good things.
Q: Do you feel like youíre at the speed and synced the way you want to be at this point in camp or did the OTA stuff affect you at all?
A: No, I feel good right now. I think me and Eli are just continuing to work. Weíre working on our timing and Iíve been working on my routes, crisp and clean. That was just another step towards that. But I feel good, I feel confident right now and I just want to continue to build on that.
Q: If Hakeemís healthy and able to play the way heís played in the past, how good do you think your receiving corps is?
A: I think we could be really good. I think as long as we come together and understand each otherís rolesóI play the slot, outside, and Hakeemóif everybody could just understand each otherís roles and just compete to the best of their ability, I think weíll be just fine. Weíre a talented bunch in that receiving room and I think the skyís the limit for us.
Q: When youíre out on the practice field, do you ever look out at MetLife Stadium with the mindset that thatís the goal for this year?
A: Sometimes, but any year, any time, no matter where the Super Bowl is played, thatís our goal at the end of the day. It just so happens that itís being played right in our backyard. Itís obviously some added motivation that we want to play in it, but we want to play in every Super Bowl. We definitely look over there sometimes and we understand how monumental that is, but we understand that weíve got to take it one game at a time.
Q: Is there any different feeling on the field having your contract in hand?
A: Not really. Itís the same thing. Itís just me playing with the guys. When Iím out there Iím not thinking about my contract or how much money Iím making. Iím just out there playing football with the guys that I love and that I see every day; that I hang out with. Thereís really nothing different for me out there.
Q: We spend a lot of time out here asking you about the Big 3, you, Rueben, and Hakeem. What about the 4? What do you see from Louis Murphy?
A: Louis is extremely fast. He has a good ability to separate from the defender. He just has to continue to grow in the offense. I think heís taken huge steps since I met him down in North Carolina with Eli. He really understands and heís building off that. I think he has tremendous talent and heís definitely a burner on the outside.
Q: Itís been a few years since youíve had to learn the offense, but whatís the burden like for him trying to learn what a receiver is expected to do here?
A: Itís tough. Itís definitely a huge learning curve for him, not just understanding what you do, but the terminology and the vernacular that we use thatís different from where he was previously. Itís tough, but we help him. He talks to us all the time. I talk to him in and out of the huddle, even if itís a run play or a pass play. I just remind him, even if he knows what heís doing, I just remind him of what heís doing. Things like that. Itís definitely a work in progress, but heís getting there. Heís a quick learner.
Q: If you had any complaints about your own game last year, what did you do to correct that?
A: Just concentration. I think even out here on the practice field Iíve been training myself to look the ball all the way in, whether Iím in traffic or getting to the ball late or see it late. Iím just looking it all the way into my hands and then making the move later. I think a lot of my drops were me trying to make a move before I actually caught the football. Now I just want to focus on catching the ball first, looking it all the way in, and then taking it from there.
T Justin Pugh
August 12, 2013
Q: How are you feeling?
A: I feel good, I feel great. I mean I got cleared by all the doctors, I went through all the protocol, so Iím good to go, practicing today.
Q: Is it scary?
A: First time I ever had a concussion, so I didnít really know what it was all about. The doctors here did a great job handling everything and Iím symptom-free so itís been good for me now.
Q: How did it happen?
A: It was on a hit. I was pulling around and I hit someone head to head, it was the first time I ever experienced that kind of headache so I knew something was up and went through the proper protocol for that.
Q: How bad was it?
A: The headaches were pretty bad and it was a little nausea, it got better each day. You have to go through a variety of different steps once it happens; I wasnít really aware of it. The medical staff did a great job of helping me out, going to be back to 100%.
Q: Do you talk to a guy like Chris Snee at all, guys who have been through it, just for any advice and how to manage it?
A: Yeah, they all say you basically have to wait till the headache goes away, thereís nothing really you can do. You canít really go out there and workout or rehab it. Itís just kind of resting it, and itís something where they told me to keep my head up. I donít really worry about it. Obviously I wanted to still be in there in the meetings, and once I was able to, I was sitting in the meetings, so it worked out, it worked out well, and Iím back today and couldn't be happier.
Q: When you miss time like that, obviously if itís a leg, or an arm or something like that, you can still be sharp in the meetings, but when itís your head and you canít really focusÖ how do you keep up and not fall too far behind on the classroom stuff?
A: You know, just getting back in there now, getting ready to get after it. I only missed, I think, two days in the meeting room and I was able to come back in and get that stuff working. So obviously you lose out on two days of film which is crucial but to get back in there and spend a little extra time now to get back to where you should be.
Q: Was it a knee to head or-
A: No, it was a head to head. I pulled around; I forgot who I hit.
Q: Headaches and nausea were the two main symptoms?
A: Yeah, I mean you have some sensitivity to noise and light but that kind of subsided after the first couple of days.
Q: How much do you think this did set you back (Ö)
A: Obviously missing the reps, thatís something thatís big. I wish I could get those back but right now Iíve just got to go out there and play. I really canít control that now.
Q: Missing the game hurt, I imagine?
A: Oh yeah definitely, I mean when I had to sit home and I couldnít even travel with the team and had to watch, that was definitely something that definitely hurt me but getting back out there today, Iíve got a big smile on my face. Iím ready to go.
Q: When you have an injury like that, in the back of your mind does it kind of force you to adjust your technique so that it doesn't happen again or is it just one of those things?
A: You know itís something thatís part of the game, youíve got to keep your head out of it and play heads up football, so itís something where I know when I go out there, make sure youíre conscious using your hands and when youíre going down field and going after guys in the secondary where there is a lot more room for that, youíve got to make sure youíre using the proper technique.
Q: Do you feel like you can make up the time pretty quickly?
A: Yeah definitely.
Q: In what ways?
A: Weíve done things with the veterans, helping us out and then taking some quizzes and stuff and getting extra work in; every day we stay a little bit extra in our meeting rooms, the younger guys, to make sure weíre where we need to be, and then going out there today and getting those reps. I know weíve got some other guys banged up so Iíll be able to get more reps today than I would have normally.
Q: When you woke up this morning, just describe what your state of mind was, knowing, when you came to the facility, you were going to be working?
A: I mean I was excited, I was excited to get back in here and be with the guys because sometimes when youíre injured, you donít get to do everything with the offensive line and youíll be sitting on the side or riding the bikes, so itíll be good today to go out there and actually be in the drills with my teammates.
Q: That was a crazy day, that was like the first day you took first team reps too, right?
A: Yeah, it was the first day, first day I was able to go out there, so obviously that hurt but definitely Iím past that now. Iím ready to get back out there and be with my teammates.
Q: Did you have to kind of go through a period of frustration or anger that something set you back because youíre so excited as a rookie to take advantage of being their top pick. Was there a period of frustration that you had to manage?
A: Definitely those first couple days when I couldn't even be in the facility, I had to be back at the hotel, you kind of are like, I feel like Iím letting everyone down by being out, but itís the right thing and I know the way the NFL is handling concussions now you have to make sure that youíre held accountable and you tell somebody because itís a major thing.