New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) makes a catch during the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. The Steelers won 24-14. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
Jared Wickerham
December 07, 2016

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) After failing to be targeted once against the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz had a talk with rookie coach Ben McAdoo.

What was interesting on Tuesday was Cruz said that it was McAdoo who sought him out as the Giants (8-4) returned to work and started looking forward to playing Dallas (11-1) on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium.

''I came into the building, we were getting ready for our first meeting and he came up to me and was like, `You are coming to see me, right?' I was like, `Yeah, I am coming to see you.' Shortly after, I came and saw him and we spoke and then that was it.''

Cruz said the conversation was an honest exchange between the coach and the 30-year-old veteran who is playing again this season after missing all but six games the past two years with knee and calf injuries.

''It was just two guys trying to problem solve,'' said Cruz, who was a little frustrated after Sunday's game.

''There was no anger, there was nothing back and forth. It was just two guys trying to figure it out and try and continue how to make this team and this receiving corps as productive as possible.''

One thing is obvious this season. Cruz is not the playmaker that he was before being injured. He has 27 catches for 462 yards and one touchdown, that coming in the season opener against the Cowboys.

His 17.1 yard average is the best on the team, but the Giants' offense clearly now goes through Odell Beckham Jr., who leads the team with 75 receptions for 1,015 yards and eight touchdowns.

In his past four games, Cruz has had three catches for 131 yards. He missed a game on Nov. 14 against Cincinnati with an ankle injury.

Through it all, Cruz has remained the ultimate team player. He didn't complain about being the field for only 26 plays. He also doesn't feel the need to talk to Eli Manning about his lack of targets.

Cruz, who was only on the field for 50 snaps in games earlier this season, said there were times that he was open in the loss to the Steelers.

However, Manning either didn't have the time to get him the ball or he was flushed out of the pocket to the opposite side where the receiver was running his route.

Cruz hopes to be back in the mix this week, and doing it against Dallas would make him happy.

Even better, would be scoring a touchdown and getting the chance to salsa again before the home crowd.

''I want to salsa dance every game,'' Cruz said. ''I want to get in that end zone as much as possible, but to get one at home would be that much sweeter as we go down the stretch here. But I just want to get the ball in my hands and getting into the end zone is part of it.''

Cruz said the biggest problem for the offense has been consistency across the board. The team has yet to score 30 points in a game this season.

''We just have to stay the course and understand that we didn't go on a six-game win streak for no reason,'' Cruz said. ''It happened for a reason because we are a good team and we felt what winning feels like in this locker room and we just want to get back to that.''


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