WR Victor Cruz
August 9, 2016
Q: When did this little tight groin happen? Is it something that happened during practice?
A: It happened during practice, just a little tightness. I didnít want to push it and make it worse, so I just told the training staff and they shut me down.
A: No, I kind of get one every camp. Itís just whether I play through it or it just times up on an off day or something like that. Itís just a little tightness. I just have to get in the training room, ice it up and itíll be alright.
Q: How long does it usually take you to work through it?
A: A couple of days, so weíll see.
Q: Does that complicate things for Friday night?
A: Iím sure. I havenít spoken to anybody, whether it be coach or the training staff or anybody, about Friday. Iím sure it clouds it up a little bit.
Q: Is that frustrating and how frustrating?
A: Iím not frustrated. I just have to listen to my body and make sure Iím going about this the right way. I donít want to ignore something and then have another major setback.
Q: Is this maybe a little bit of a learning experience in that maybe last year you wouldíve tried to push through it?
A: Probably, so definitely anytime I feel something substantial, thatís something that I donít want to push through. I definitely want to let the training staff know as opposed to pushing through it and counting my time out there trying to make the best of it no matter what. Itís just being smarter about things.
Q: What has your body been telling you throughout camp?
A: That Iíve been great. I went through one of my biggest workloads the last week and came back the next day and practiced and everything felt good. No pain, no ailments or anything like that, so my body has been good and responding well to the wear and tear of camp, so Iím excited about that. I just want to keep putting things forward. Obviously with the game on Friday, another practice tomorrow, weíll see how I feel come tomorrow and weíll just take it one day at a time.
Q: In your absence, some of the younger guys got to shine today. How does that make you feel to see guys like KJ Maye, Anthony Dable, Roger Lewis succeed?
A: Itís good man, itís good to see those guys succeed, especially in the meeting rooms. To see those guys understanding it, getting it, kind of going through the learning curve and the learning process in the meeting room. For them to come out here and put it together, it looks good and feels good.
Q: How have you and Eli been in terms of chemistry so far this camp?
A: Weíve done well. Obviously weíve worked into it a little bit come the upcoming days here but I think itís good. Obviously we understand each other very well. I know where he likes the ball, where he likes his routes to be, where he wants his receivers on specific routes, so itís not a big learning curve there, but weíre building our timing as we come along.
Q: Obviously youíve known coach McAdoo for a while, how has he adjusted as head coach? Is there a change in him at all?
A: Not really, itís been pretty seamless. He goes about things accordingly; the same way he did as an offensive coordinator. Obviously itís just his philosophy that heís preaching to the entire team now, not just the offense, so I think defensively it takes some time because itís just a different person applying his philosophies on what he feels like the team should be and how we want it to be this year. Other than that, everything is pretty straight forward.
Q: How about the music and some shorter meetings possibly?
A: No, the meetings are still long but the music is definitely new. I think itís just something to just continue to keep us motivated, continue to keep us upbeat out there and I think it has worked.
Q: Is it difficult to tell yourself that if you donít play Friday, itís okay because the important thing is to be ready for Dallas?
Q: I think the important thing is just my health in general, no matter when or how Iím ready. Whatever the case may be, just to continue success and having good health each and every time Iím out there is the goal. Obviously you look short-term and think Dallas, but you just want to be ready. You just want to be ready. Whenever the time comes, you want to make sure your body is fully 100 percent before you step back on the field.
Q: Do you have anything in your head at all about how many preseason games you wanted to get in?
A: Honestly, I didnít. Coming into camp, I just wanted to be in camp. I just wanted to come out here, play, run around, catch some footballs. I didnít have a particular number in my head as to when or how many games I would play, but whatever it is, whatever is thrown in front of me, Iíll handle it accordingly.
Q: Before this groin tightness, did you fully anticipate to play Friday night?
A: In my mind, yes. Obviously until spoken to or said otherwise by someone else, I thought I was going to be with everybody else and I was going to play however many number of snaps there are, but yeah, I expected to play.
Q: Over this training camp process, youíve gotten to experience some defensive newcomers first hand. Who has stood out to you in terms of guys like Eli, Janoris, Darian?
A: I think obviously Eli Apple. Guys like Janoris and DRC always stand out, but honestly everyone is coming into the fold. We have a good crew of corners out there that know how to put their hands on people, know how to cover and guard people very well, so theyíve got a good crew of guys over there.
Q: You said earlier in training camp there would be a moment in camp or a moment in a game when you knew you were back. Have you come close to that yet?
A: Iíve come close to that. I think there are a couple of routes or a couple of plays that I made, whether it be one-on-one or in the seven-on-seven, where I felt that feeling of being myself, I felt that change of direction and those cuts that feel like myself. Obviously theyíll continue to get better as the reps go on.
Q: How natural is it, though, for you to feel like youíre coming back, havenít played in almost two years in a game and that you werenít going to come back and be yourself right away. Is that accurate to say or do you think that you are?
A: I knew it was going to take a day-to-day process. Whether it be mentally or physically, I think it was going to take one day at a time for me to really feel it all over again and build it from there. I think going in, I just wanted to be ready, be prepared and wanted my body to feel ready for those routes and all those cuts and all those change of direction, and I did that. Now itís just time to build those blocks, and I think each day gets better and better.
Q: Do you have to fight the temptation of the Ďhere we go againí kind of thing for you and your body about being out of practice?
A: Not really. I think I know the difference of something that is really bothering me and will take a long time and something that is just normal football training camp soreness, things that just come about as training camp goes on, but Iím not having those doubts or those feelings in my mind right now.
Q: It was a few days ago, but when Snacks hit you at practice, was that a moment for you when you got up and realized you were all there, was that one of those moments for you?
A: Definitely, especially when you donít see it coming and youíre just running and that hit kind of blind sides you and you lay there and youíre like, Ďokay, Iím okayí and I can get up and continue to keep going. I think that was definitely one of those plays where I felt like I was coming around a little bit.
Q: In the future would you prefer those lessons to be not with a 350-pound man?
A: Yes, obviously in the future, I donít want the largest man on the team hitting me, so hopefully if we can refrain from that, that would be okay.
Q: Is there any specific expectations youíve set for yourself for this upcoming season?
A: Just to be the player I once was. I donít want to be out here feeling less of myself or feeling anywhere below of how I feel I should be out here. The only expectation is for me to come out here, feel like myself, be in and out of my breaks, run proper routes, be at the proper depths of what I need to do from an assignment perspective and let everything else take care of itself.
Q: Thatís still achievable you think?