Giants' Cruz on fast track back; hopes to "re-enact" 2011 season


(Photo courtesy of the New York Giants)

Talk of Fame Network

Here’s what we know about Giants’ wide receiver Victor Cruz in his comeback from a torn patellar tendon: He feels good about his post-surgical progress; he’s begun his pool running; he’s building strength in his leg and he thinks there’s no reason he can’t be himself again … meaning this year.

“With the technology and the rehab and the things we do in this day and age,” he said on the latest Talk of Fame Network radio broadcast, “it’s definitely possible for me to come back from this injury -- not just the way I was before … but stronger and faster and better. So we’ll see how it goes.”

Now, here’s what we don’t know about Giants’ wide receiver Victor Cruz: Let’s say he’s stronger and faster and better. How, then, do opponents cover him and Odell Beckham, Jr. at the same time? Because they couldn’t cover Beckham last season, and they couldn’t cover Cruz the year before that.

“It should be very interesting,” he said. “I’m focused on getting myself to 110 percent so I can go out there and battle with him because I definitely miss playing football, not just with him but with all the guys on the team. With him and myself … I was telling someone, the last time we had two or even three receivers – with Mario Manningham – that were athletic and explosive the way we were out there, we won a Super Bowl.

"Hopefully, we can get back to that … and all of us clicking on the same page … and everyone getting everything down pat so that we can conquer those same dreams and re-enact the 2011 season.”

That’s the hope. The reality is that that’s a long way away for a 6-10 team handicapped by the loss of Cruz and the absence of defense. The Giants are hopeful Cruz returns to form, but they’re cautious -- with GM Jerry Reese at last month’s combine saying he would remain that way until he saw Cruz on the field.

Cruz understands, but he’s confident he becomes an impact player again – mostly because he knows how motivated he is to get there. And, he said, that motivation is stronger now than it was in 2010 when he was trying to make the Giants as an undrafted player.

“Obviously,” he said, “there was some adversity then within myself and within my family … people that knew me and knew what I was facing. But now that it’s on a bigger stage, people kind of know who I am now -- and that’s more motivation for me; more motivation for me to come back and be the player I was in the past; be stronger and just physically healthier and go out there and give it all I’ve got.

“Now I’m to the point where I faced the hardest part I can face as an athlete, and I just want to go out there and give it everything I’ve got. And I know that as soon as I get that opportunity … as soon as I’m full strength … I want to be a different player. I want to be a player that’s just going to give it everything he has each and every time, without any regard, without thinking about my knee, without thinking about anything (except) just being in tip top shape. So, definitely, this time there’s more motivation for me.”


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