Wide Receiver Victor Cruz
June 14, 2016
… It’s definitely a step in the right direction, so I felt good and route running felt really good, so I just want to continue to take good steps forward.
Q: This was planned? I mean, you knew that you would kind of push the issue or they [the training staff] would push the issue? How’d it work?
A: Well, I’m pushing the issue every day, but they don’t necessarily take my word for it. But this was planned— I wanted to come out here and get a good workload in and take it a couple steps higher than what I’ve been doing the past couple weeks, so it was definitely a part of the plan
Q: Knowing that obviously last year when you tried to push it a little bit there were setbacks, is that in the back of your mind at all? Are you cautious when you’re out there because of that?
A: No, I can’t be— I can’t think about that stuff. I have to trust my body and trust that the work I’ve put in has paid off, and I just want to go out there and just run and not think about it or anything like that, because that’s when bad things happen. So I just want to put everything behind me, put it all out there on the field, and just continue to do my best.
Q: Are you still convinced that come the start of training camp on July 28 that you’ll be full-go and ready to go?
A: I am. I am. That’s the plan, that’s how I feel, and that’s how the training staff is preparing me, so come July 28, the plan is definitely to continue on at full-go.
Q: How did you feel out there today if you were to evaluate yourself?
A: I was excited, man— my body woke me up at 5:55 this morning, and I was like, ‘I’m getting to do something with my teammates out there.’ So I was excited about it, whether it was one period or 12. I was excited to be out there with my teammates doing something. It felt good, route running felt good, being out there with my receiving corps felt good, and I just want to continue to take the right steps forward.
Q: What is it that you try to accomplish when you’re out in a setting like this under these circumstances?
A: Just run every route the way you know how to do it. Run every drill the way you know how to do it. Catch every ball and pay attention in every period, and get the mental reps even though you might not be doing as much physically. Make sure you get the mental reps so I can stay ahead of the curve at some point.
Q: Are you thinking about it at all when you run or after you do it?
A: Not really, no. I’m just running, man. You know, we built the building blocks up pretty good with the training staff out there on the field practicing and doing the drills— the rehab drills that we’ve been doing— so we’ve put some good leg work behind us, so now it’s kind of just putting that out there on the field and continuing to progress with the team.
Q: Was this the first time you planted and stuck your foot in the ground or had you done that in other previous sessions?
A: Well, the first time I did it was Friday. So we’ve done route running before, but it was kind of three-quarter [speed], just kind of getting myself acclimated. Friday was the first time we were like, ‘Alright. This is going to be kind of a test day— go out there and run full speed and see what happens, see how it goes.’ And it went well, and then they were like, ‘Okay, next week you’ll do a little something and then we’ll kind of progress you from there and then we’ll gear up and get ready for training camp.’
Q: So Saturday there was no aftereffects or anything like that?
A: No, no ill effects. Everything felt good— a little general soreness obviously just from running, but nothing to the point where it was worrisome.
Q: Did you ever think that maybe you should wait until the summer and not do it here in the spring? What went into that decision of why to do it now?
A: No, I think I was ready. I think the training staff thought I was ready, and I think that I personally wanted to do something this spring/summer. And they agreed— they saw that I was doing everything right and there were no setbacks after awhile, and they agreed with me that I wanted to do something before this offseason program ended, so I’m happy they somewhat listened to me and I listened to them.
Q: And is that just a psychological thing to get something in, do you think?
A: Yeah, I think so— I think it’s just for my mindset and just for me to understand and know that I can still do what I’m accustomed to doing. That I can still run routes, that I still feel good, that I can make a sharp cut and everything feels the same and nothing hurts. So I think it was definitely a mental thing for me, and I’m happy we got a chance to do that.
Q: How do you feel compared to before you got hurt? Can you put a percentage on it?
A: Uhm… right now I’m probably— I hate putting percentages on it because that’ll be the headline tomorrow morning— so, I feel good. I’m just about there. I just have to continue to get the deeper routes and continue to build the route tree, so I can continue to gain the confidence with every route that I run. But I’m feeling good— I’m just about where I feel about 100 percent, so I’m just trying to continue that pace and continue to put the good days behind me, and continue to extend my route tree and see where it takes me.
Q: What are the differences that you’re noticing between a McAdoo practice versus a Coughlin practice?
A: Music [laughs]… music. Everything else is pretty much the same. Coach McAdoo requires the same work ethic, the same attention to detail that Coach Coughlin did— the only thing is there are a couple more periods with some music.
Q: Do you think there’s more rest?
A: I think we added one extra ‘TV timeout,’ as he calls it, but yeah, I think there’s a little bit more rest to give us time to recover and get between drill to drill so we’re fresher when we get to our special teams period, our 7-on-7 period, and things like that. So yeah, now that I mention it, I think those TV timeouts help us.
Q: What would you like to see happen with the playlist if it could go in one direction?
A: I think we’re good, man— we’ve got a good mix of different genres of different music. We even have some daytime television songs in there, some Family Feud I heard today, so I was excited, man.
Q: Do you get to give suggestions, or is that just…
A: I do— I send guys a couple screen shots of what I’m listening to and a couple of Fetty Wap references in there, but they didn’t play them all so I have to get on them for that.
Q: Did you steal a couple of those reps in that team walkthrough in the end?
A: No, that was planned [laughs]. That was planned. I didn’t go rogue and jump in there. That was planned, so I definitely got to get a couple of reps with Eli and kind of hear the terminology. Line up and line up against a defense and see how it feels, so it was pretty good.
Q: It looked like when you did the gauntlet, you got a little bit of a cheer there…
A: Yeah, yeah, they were like, ‘Who’s the new guy?’ [Laughs] They always kill me with that stuff, but it was good. It was fun being out there with the team and I was definitely excited to be back.
Q: Do you see some of yourself in [Sterling] Shepard at all?
A: A little bit— absolutely. He’s a good route runner, he’s strong at the point of attack, at the point of the catch, and he’s going to be a good player for us.