Victor Cruz, Post-Game, 08.16.10

Q: Did you hear LeBron James tweeted about you?

CRUZ: Did he really? Wow. That's crazy. I didn't hear that.

Q: Is this a little bit more than you could have expected for your first taste of NFL action?

CRUZ: I mean yeah. You never ome into a game thinking you're going to have three touchdowns and all that, but I just wanted to come in, work hard. I've been working hard all camp and just wanted to come in and kind of show what I can do on the main stage.

Q: Do you think you're a lock to make the roster ?

CRUZ: I don't know. I'll leave that up to the coaches and the guys up top. I just come out and just take care of what I've got to do on the field and let all those guys make the decisions.

Q: What's been the biggest adjustment from the beginning of training camp to now?

CRUZ: I would probably say just the speed of the game-just trying to run my routes fast and crisp because it's definitely a lot quicker pace. DB's on you are a lot faster so I just wanted to up my game speed a little bit so I could adjust to the speed of the game.

Q: Could you take us through the first touchdown catch?

CRUZ: My first touchdown catch I made a move to go outside and he threw it up and I'm running for it. I didn't think I was going to get it because the DB was right on me, but the ball came down and I kind of stuck my hand out late and it stuck and I just tucked it in and ran.

Q: Did you notice you cupped his head as well?

CRUZ: Did I really? I didn't even notice that at all. I was focused on the ball, caught it, tried to get out of the tackle and just ran into the end zone.

Q: Talk about your transition from college to here.

CRUZ: The transition from college is a lot different. There's a lot more attention to detail. The playbook is a lot thicker so you have to get in your playbook a lot more and be mentally sharp. If you're mentally sharp, then the physical should kind of take care of itself.

Q: Have most of the reps in practice been with Eli (Manning)?

CRUZ: I've had a few reps with Eli, but most of them have been with Jim (Sorgi) and Rhett (Bomar) most of the time. So me and Jim and Rhett kind of have a good rapport, and me and Eli talk all the time too. So I have a good rapport with all of the quarterbacks.

Q: After the touchdown did you tell Sorgi ‘Keep feeding me the ball?'

CRUZ: No. I didn't say anything. He kind of came up to me and said ‘Keep making plays and I'll keep throwing you the ball.'

Q: What does it mean to you to play for the Giants?

CRUZ: It means a lot. It's definitely a surreal feeling to even be up on this podium talking to you guys. It's just growing up watching the Giants, seeing that blue all my life and things like that. I feel like I'm dreaming right now.

Q: Were there any jitters?

CRUZ: Definitely. There's always jitters before every game. I had the butterflies. I come out, and I see all the lights and everybody. Everybody is cheering and definitely-you always get the butterflies. But once the ball is kicked off and I got a chance to touch that field, I felt good.

Q: Did you have family and friends here tonight?

CRUZ: Yeah. My mother was here, my little sister and my high school coach was here and a bunch of guys.
Q: In terms of making this roster, what do you think this game means?

CRUZ: Obviously I hope it means a lot. I got a chance to just show what I can do and just show that I'm a pretty good player. I just want to come out and just hopefully make the team. All I can do is just leave it up to the coaches and the guys up top and they make the decision.

Q: How many times have you made that one-handed catch?

CRUZ: In games? Probably only once other than today. I had a few in practice and some in college, but nothing like that today.

Q: Coach has been raving about you up until this point. What does it do for your confidence?

CRUZ: It kind of boosts my confidence a little bit, but I've got to just stay humble, stay grounded and just stay on the right path because nothing is guaranteed in this league. So I've just got to keep grinding, keep putting the work in throughout my entire career. Hopefully I can have a long career and just keep putting in the groundwork and everything will kind of take care of itself.

Q: After you make a catch like that, obviously you know you have the talent, but does that put you on the map a little bit in your mind as well?

CRUZ: A little bit. When you make catches like that, and it was kind of shocking when I caught it, but you just kind of think about it ‘wow, if I can make plays against this talent then who knows what the future holds?' Again, you've just got to keep grinding, keep putting the groundwork in and everything else will just take care itself.

Q: What's the name of your high school coach?

CRUZ: Coach Benjie Windels (?)

Q: What kind of game had you hoped?

CRUZ: I was just hoping to go out and make my blocks. During practice I was just trying to hopefully stay on my blocks and make sure I gave the running back two ways to go because during practice I was kind of doing it to one side, and coach was telling me ‘Stay square, stay square.' So that was my main thing and I just wanted to hopefully catch everything that was thrown my way.

Q: Did you talk to your old college teammate (Jets OL Vladimir) Ducasse (from UMass)?

CRUZ: Yeah. I spoke to him right after the game. I asked him how he was doing. He said it's been a little bit of an adjustment, but we're in the same boat. Obviously he was drafted, but it's always an adjustment going from college to the NFL. But he's doing good. He looks healthy so that's good.

Q: A week ago you said ‘the Jets play in our stadium.' Did you hear a lot of smack talk today?

CRUZ: Yeah. I got a little bit of riff about that. I knew I said it, but I didn't mean it in terms of downplaying them or anything like that. They're a good team. They're a solid team and everything like that. I've been definitely getting a lot of grief about that, but we do share the stadium and I have a lot of respect for coach Ryan and the whole Jets program.

Q: Who's been an inspiration to you in your life?

CRUZ: Growing up, my dad definitely. He was a fireman. He worked for the Fire Department for over 30 years. He taught me how to play football so he was definitely a good inspiration in my life until he passed about three years ago.

Q: Did he play football?

CRUZ: No. He played football but not at the major level at the pro level or anything like that. He played just growing up as a child. He didn't go to college and play anywhere like that.

Q: Where did he grow up?

CRUZ: He grew up in Patterson, New Jersey.

Q: Was there a certain firehouse he was at?

CRUZ: He was at Riverside Firehouse.

Q: It's one thing to do it in the NFL but also in your backyard.

CRUZ: Like I said, it was a surreal feeling and I'm sure my phone is going crazy right now. So I mean it's just a great feeling just to do it at home in front of friends and family.

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