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Transcript: WR Victor Cruz

Eric from BBI : Admin : 12/24/2014 2:35 pm

WR Victor Cruz

December 24, 2014

Q: How痴 the rehab coming along?

A: It痴 coming along one day at a time. I知 just making sure I知 doing all the little things it takes to get back to peak professional shape, so I知 just taking my time.

Q: Where are you at in your rehab?

A: I知 10 weeks out. This past Monday, I made 10 weeks. I知 on the treadmill. I知 not running just yet. I did some light stuff on the trampoline. I知 able to bend it. I get full range of motion. I知 on the elliptical. I知 doing calf raises, leg raises, knee extensions all the fun stuff that comes along with rehab. I知 pretty much fully mobile, but just not running just yet.

Q: How has it been being out and watching the team play this season?

A: It痴 been tough being out, obviously, during that span of those games that we lost because you feel helpless, like you want to do something but you can稚. But watching Odell has been fun. He痴 been great. That kid is a heck of an athlete, heck of a ball player. Just seeing the things that he痴 doing out there is motivating me to come back and be able to play next to him and do some really good things next year.

Q: Have you been able to coach Odell Beckham Jr. up when you致e been around?

A: Little things here and there, but more so, I知 trying to coach him up as a person on how to attack this media and this New York area and how to just be someone that痴 held accountable for your actions and be a good person and things that he痴 had trouble with that he痴 confided in me early on. I try to just help him out with that.

Q: What kind of advice do you give someone who has had such sudden stardom?

A: Just stay grounded. Stick with the people There痴 going to be a lot of new people reaching for you, tugging for you and trying to be next and close to you. Just stick with the people that brought you here, that took care of you when you were younger, that took care of you when you had nothing essentially. Stay grounded, and I think he痴 done that so far. He痴 a good kid and he痴 really learning on the fly, which is good.

Q: I know Odell is a first round draft pick and you were undrafted, but do you see a little bit of what you went through and what he痴 going through now?

A: A little bit, especially early on with him not playing a couple of weeks and then trying to find his way in his rookie year and then actually playing and then making a splash the way he did. Yeah, I definitely see some similarities there and it痴 really fun to see. I知 just excited to get myself together and play alongside that kid next year.

Q: Do you remember having to go through that period where you had a target on your back like Odell went through this past Sunday against St. Louis?

A: Obviously, the St. Louis game wasn稚 the most fun for me to watch because of how You can kind of see that they were going after Odell and they wanted to I don稚 want to say take him out of the game because that makes it seem like they want to injure him and take him out, but kind of make him a nonfactor, and I definitely had some moments of that in my career so I can definitely relate. But he handled it well. Obviously during that one situation things kind of went astray, but he understands that people are going to be doing that to him and he handled it well, in my opinion.

Q: Do you remember the first time that you had to deal with that type of situation?

A: I can remember the first handful of times, but the one that comes to mind off the top was against Pittsburgh. I believe it was last year where you can just kind of see the little things after whistle, the little things after a tackle or after a play that there was a little extra shove here and there just to kind of make you mad and make you upset. I致e been there before.

Q: Did you have to reach out to anyone in terms of your injury and your comeback?

A: I致e spoken to a couple of people just in passing. I haven稚 necessarily reached out to anyone. At certain games, like with Michael Strahan and the game he got honored, he kind of came and spoke to me and said sometimes time away is good to kind of refresh your mind and really realize what you play this game for and spend time with your family that you haven稚 spent probably in the past two, three years; just certain things of advice that has helped me a lot during this situation. Larry Fitzgerald reached out to me and said some really good things. It痴 just good. This NFL is a fraternity and it痴 something that I値l never take for granted ever again.

Q: What did you learn from patella injuries and how long it takes for guys to get back to where they were before?

A: I spoke to a couple of guys actually on the team. Zack Bowman had an injury like this. Marcus Harris had a similar injury years prior and they said it痴 tedious in terms of the rehab, but they were running again, I think, in about six to seven months. Hopefully I can beat that, but without rushing things. I want to make sure I知 100 percent with no ailments, with no pain or anything like that when I知 running or when I知 doing all the things I need to do to get back out there on the field. But according to them, they致e come back stronger, they致e come back faster. They池e working muscles that they didn稚 even know they had in their legs, in their groin, in the quads and things like that. I知 excited for what痴 to come. I知 excited for how I値l feel once I知 100 percent, if I値l even be stronger. I知 just excited for that. I致e never had an injury where I致e been out this long or this strenuous of a rehab. I知 excited to see how far I can push myself.

Q: When do you think you値l be back out on the field?

A: I don稚 know. It痴 kind of up to the trainers. I like to put it in those guys hands to see how far they think I知 progressing, but personally, I壇 like to be back by training camp, obviously, so I can get back with the guys and get that work in that I need before preseason and before the regular season starts up again.

Q: Do you have a message to Giants fans about what this offense might be like next season?

A: It痴 going to be a lot of fun. I don稚 like to get into next year and start promising things, but when I reach my peak health and I知 100 percent again and everything is clicking the way it should be and the receiving corps and Eli and everybody is on the same page, it should be a fun offense to watch. I知 excited for the opportunity and I think for me right now, it痴 just taking it one day at a time.

Q: How have you seen the offense grow since you致e been injured? When you left, it seemed very much like a work in progress.

A: It痴 grown a lot. You can see Eli being a little bit more assertive back there. You can see the receivers I was just talking to those guys. I知 proud of those guys. They致e been working so hard this year, just scrapping and fighting and figuring out a way to win and stay in games and try to win games. I can just see those guys getting more and more comfortable with the offense and it痴 been fun to watch. It痴 been fun to watch them grow throughout the season because the early part wasn稚 too much fun to watch.

Q: Rueben Randle has had a couple of up and down weeks recently. Have you spoken to him?

A: I said some small things to him. I think at the end of the day, he痴 still adjusting. He痴 still trying to figure this thing out. He痴 getting through it one day at a time, but he痴 made some real progress this year, especially on the football field making some plays and doing some things that we know he can do. He痴 making some big catches and I think he痴 grown a lot this year. Obviously, as with anyone, there are ups and downs that you face within any season, whether it be on or off the field. But I think he痴 done a great job this year of handling himself, being more assertive, especially in the film room. So I知 excited to continue to see him grow.

Q: How has Randle adjusted this season in the offense?

A: He痴 even reached out to me and I said a couple of words to him and I think he痴 just a guy that he likes the assertiveness. He likes to feel wanted, to feel like he can go out there and do what he can and has the confidence in his teammates and his coaches that he can go out there and perform. I think he痴 done that this year and I think he痴 had a growth from year one to year two.

Q: You池e a guy that has a career in celebrating after a touchdown. Do you have any advice for Odell?

A: I don稚 think he痴 taunting. In my opinion, he痴 just doing what he has to do for his football team, scoring touchdowns, and like anyone else who celebrates in the end zone, that痴 his celebration. That痴 what he wants to do. I don稚 think he痴 taunting. I don稚 think he痴 that type of player. I don稚 think he痴 the type of guy that would taunt another team, but I think it痴 just a way of expressing himself - the same way I express myself in the end zone, the same way I express myself when I make a big play such as him when he makes a big play. It痴 all about expressing yourself in this league.

Q: Was there a point where anyone told you to tone it down or that you池e putting a target on your back with your celebrations?

A: No, never. If anything, when I would run into people, especially Hispanic people, they tell me to do it more and more. It was quite the opposite for me.

Q: What did you think of Tre Mason痴 salsa?

A: At first, I was like I知 not even playing and he痴 doing my salsa dance? But then later on, I actually asked Odell and I guess him and Odell are friends and he said he did it to pay homage, as a tribute thing, and I moved on.

Q: This is the second season in a row where you致e been hurt or missed the end of the season. Is there any doubt in your mind you値l be the player you once were?

A: No. There痴 no doubt in my mind that I値l return to form and I値l return to the type of player that I was in years past and I知 excited to put myself through this. I致e overcome a lot of obstacles and I feel like this is just another one that痴 come across that I have to conquer it and move forward. I知 excited for this opportunity, but there isn稚 a doubt in my mind that I値l be back playing and playing like myself again.

Q: Have you learned something about yourself going through this adversity?

A: Absolutely. I致e learned patience. I致e learned that this game isn稚 guaranteed for anyone. Just because you致e been here a couple of years or you signed a contract, it doesn稚 mean that this game is guaranteed for you for 10 or however many years you want to play in this game. I think it痴 something that I didn稚 take for granted, but I kind of took it as I知 going to go out there and play and it痴 going to happen week in and week out and when it痴 taken from you, you really learn something about yourself and what type of person you are, and I know for sure that this game is what I love and what I want to do and I値l never take it for granted again.

Q: With this being Christmas Eve, you致e had your moments on this day. Does your mind ever go back to that game against the Jets and how it sent both teams on a different trajectory?

A: I think about it from time to time.

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