Victor Cruz Developing Into Veteran Leader in Giants Locker Room
Entering his fifth season in the National Football League, wide receiver Victor Cruz is taking a leadership role in the New York Giants locker room, particularly with his position group. Not only is he the biggest name, he also is one of the more experienced wide receivers on the Giants roster this season. Only Mario Manningham, who is entering his seventh season, has more years under his belt.
With Hakeem Nicks gone, Cruz will be relied on to be a go-to guy for quarterback Eli Manning. He will also be a go-to guy for advice from the younger players at his position. The leadership role is something Cruz feels he is ready for.
“I’m still getting used to that V word but we’re getting along and everybody’s kind of looking up to me to be the guy, be the leader in the locker room, so I’m just trying to do that, I’m trying to be there for those guys,” Cruz said when asked about being a veteran.
Cruz’s numbers have dipped the past two seasons after finishing 2011 with 1,536 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. In 2012, Cruz had ten touchdown receptions but his yardage dropped to 1,092. Last season was a down year, but Cruz played in just 14 games, rather than a full 16. He finished the year with 998 yards and just four touchdowns.
This season, the Giants will have a new offense.
Cruz appears confident the wide receivers are learning and adapting well to the new system.
“I think guys are really picking up the offense quickly and they’re out there doing what they have to do to prove to the coaches that they can be out there and that they can be accountable and that they know what they’re doing,” said Cruz.
Behind Cruz and Manningham, the Giants have a fairly young group of wide receivers. The group includes some high potential players like Rueben Randle who is entering his third season, and 2014 NFL Draft selection Odell Beckham Jr.
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