WR Victor Cruz
April 26, 2016
Q: Did today mean anything to you?
A: Just the fact that I was out here with my team and out here with my teammates, the camaraderieÖ Just being in those stretch lines after a long offseason and a long season last year for myself, it felt good just to be out here. Hearing the music, being out here with my guys and feeling the energy and then doing a pretty good workoutÖ It felt pretty good today.
Q: Your coach and Odell seemed pretty confident that youíd be back. How confident are you that this recovery is going to go better than what happened last year?
A: Iím pretty confident. I feel good. I can only go off what my body tells me, and so far my body tells me that Iím feeling good. Iíve been doing everything thatís been asked of me that the guys have been doing throughout this offseason program and thereís been no adverse effects, no negativity, nothing going in the wrong direction in terms of my health and in terms of my trajectory to get back on the field. I just want to continue that and continue in an upward path.
Q: How hard has it been for you? Iím sure youíre dying to get out there.
A: Itís been extremely difficult, as you may imagine, but obviously youíve just got to stay the course. The key is not just to be ready for week one, but to be ready for all 16 (games) and into the playoffs. So thatís kind of where my mindset is to get my body ready for the long haul and not just for tomorrow and the day after that.
Q: How much do you feel you have to prove to yourself?
A: Thereís a lot. You want to go out there, but first thing is first and thatís being on the practice field. Getting out there against my teammates, against each other and making sure I can compete at a high level against them because thatís when you get your work in. I practice to where I play. When I practice, I understand that thatís the way Iím going to be able to perform and then thatís going to give me the confidence to carry that through onto the game field.
Q: Is there a way that some of the adversity you went through the last couple of seasons will motivate you going forward?
A: Every single day. Every single day I think about those moments that I wasnít on the field, that I was at home or up in that box, watching the games or on the sidelines. I use those moments of despair to use that to understand that thereís a long haul, thereís a goal at the end of this and thatís to be out on that field suited up on the field ready to play. I use that as motivation each and every day, each and every workout, each and every rehab session, to get myself ready.
Q: When you think about what kind of player you can be, is it the same player you were?
A: Absolutely. Iím not in the business to go out there and be half of myself or half of where I was. I want to go out there and be ready to go 100 percent and be the same player that I once was. Thatís the goal and I want to be able to build up to that and make sure that my body is responding to that level of what it once was. Thatís definitely the goal, for sure.
Q: The Giants have to make some decisions during the NFL Draft this week. Some people think the team needs to add another receiver. Would you barge into the office upstairs and say youíve got your receiver right here?
A: Iím not barging into anywhere. Iím not trying to risk my job here, but Iím just going to prove it on the field. Thatís the only thing I can do is prove my worth and prove my abilities with what I can do on the field and the rest is up to the GM and the staff. I canít control any of that stuff.
Q: Do you feel confident that you can be Odellís running mate?
A: Absolutely. I definitely believe in my abilities and believe in my talent level and believe that if Iím healthy, Iíll be out there alongside Odell and Eli and the rest of the offense, that I can compete at that high level and perform.
Q: How can Odell make you better out on the field?
A: Just him being himself. Just going out there and taking the top off the defenses, catching everything thrown his way. Defenses have to account for him and then it makes it difficult to account for more than one threat out there. Weíve got a bunch of offensive threats on our team with Larry Donnell and Shane Vereen and guys like that. We understand if everybody is healthy and able to perform, weíre going to be a tough team to stop with all of those different weapons. Odell just has to be himself and everything else will take care of itself.
Q: How important is to build the chemistry between you and Odell?
A: Itís very important. Heís like a little brother to me on and off the field. Itís definitely important to continue to build that more on the field than off because itís an area where we havenít had as much time together. We want to just continue to build that and continue to grow on what we see from each other from an on field standpoint and weíll see how it goes. I think itís going to be fun. Itís going to be fun to watch him on the field and I know he feels the same way.
Q: If this was the regular season, would you be able to go out there or do you still have time?
A: Obviously if the regular season was tomorrow, Iíd want to be out there. Iíd be out there playing and doing what I can to help this team, but itís not, fortunately for me. I have some time to continue to build and to continue to build upon the foundation that Iíve set for myself and my body to continue to work for. But I understand the training staffís concerns in terms of wanting to continue to watch me work and watch me build to get to that ultimate goal, thatís training camp.