Giants’ Training Camp News and Notes: Cruz and Manning looking to bounce back
It’s no secret that Victor Cruz is Eli Manning’s go-to-guy whenever a big play is needed for the Giants and Manning will be leaning on Cruz even more heavily in this upcoming season. With a brand new offense and a plethora of young players on the team Manning and Cruz will be looked at to build some sort of stability for this team and they are ready for the challenge.
Today after practice, when asked about the relationship he and Eli have in the new offense Cruz stated, “We’re locked in on the field and in the meeting rooms. He’s looking to get better and looking to make little nuances to the offense that he’s comfortable with. That’s all that matters.”
With so many changes this offseason and coming off a 7-9 record last season, the two will have to be locked in to get New York back into contention.
The emphasis on this year’s team is to cut down on the turnovers and get the ball out quicker. It has been stated that new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo has challenged Eli to complete 70% of his passes this season. To reach this goal the new OC wants more short passes and screens and letting their playmakers, like Cruz, get yards after the catch.
Coach Tom Coughlin had this to say about the completion percentage, ” I think that number has always been used by this offense as a standard. Not that it has been accomplished that many times in history, but it is a goal like any other goal. If someone was to achieve that percentage, we would be a pretty good offense.”
Cruz loves the idea, “I love getting the ball in my hands and turning a short gain into a big gain. That’s my M.O. and I like it so far for sure.” Cruz is looking to have a big year after a season where he failed to reach 1,000 yards receiving and only had 4 touchdowns. He believes the new offense can help him regain his form. “With this [new offense], understanding it and getting it, it feels more fluent and more like a high potent offense that everyone’s been talking about. It’s starting to feel that way. I think yesterday was indicative of that. The way we were moving around and we’re feeling more comfortable with the offense. I feel it’s going to get better from here on out.”
Eli Manning also feels good about where the offense is headed, but he says they still have a lot to learn. “I think guys are just starting to understand the tempo of the offense, the timing of the routes, all of the adjustments, all of the plays we get into. It’s coming faster for the quarterbacks also so I think everything came around pretty well yesterday in just the understanding of what we’re trying to do. We have to keep working. I think we’re getting more of the install in but there’s still more plays, more concepts that have to be put in so as we learn those we have to do that and also can’t forget what we’ve learned already. We’ve still got some ways to go but I thought yesterday we had good… for the first padded practice we had pretty good speed for the whole practice.”
It’s a good sign that the leaders on the team believe that they can bounce back from a rough 2013 season. Big Blue will be relying on Cruz and Manning heavily this upcoming season and getting a grasp of the new playbook is priority number one for the dynamic duo.
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