Victor Cruz turns 30 today. The New York Giants wide receiver doesn’t want to hear about being old, though, at least in NFL years.
“Don’t get crazy on me,” Cruz said Thursday when asked about his age. “I am only turning 30. Don’t give me the age factor just yet.”
The age thing came up not only because of Cruz’s birthday, but because he was seeing a reduction in his playing time Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles even before he suffered an ankle injury putting his status for Monday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals in doubt.
“I want to play every snap. I am a competitor in my own heart, in my own soul, but obviously I listen to the coaching staff and the training staff and they want what is best for me and that is what I adhere to,” Cruz said. “I think coach is just taking care of me a little bit. He came up to me and said that they were going to move some guys around and just making sure that everyone is fresh and that they are using all of our tools out there.”
McAdoo: Perkins “still learning” pass protection
The job of an NFL running back goes well beyond simply carrying the ball. One of his most important tasks is pass protection, being able to identify his assignment when defenses blitz, and to execute a block that keeps his quarterback safe. It is a job Giants’ rookie Paul Perkins has yet to master.
“I think all offenses in this league, that's probably the biggest hurdle for a rookie to overcome is to try to learn the protection and be able to play. Not just learn them, but when the ball is snapped, to be able to play fast. Not just where your number one is, but where your two and your scan shows up,” coach Ben McAdoo said Thursday. “He's still learning. He's made some progress but he's still learning.”
Beckham: “Great opportunity” for Giants
The Giants fell far short of the playoffs in Odell Beckham Jr.’s first two seasons. Halfway through the 2016 season they are in position to change that. Odell Beckham Jr. is excited by the possibility.
“I think we’re right there at 5-3. Of course, you could sit here and could’ve, would’ve, should’ve won games that we could’ve won. We could’ve done this different. That’s not the case. We’re 5-3. We are a 5-3 team right now. Just trying to progress each and every week. Want to make this run towards the back end of the season,” Beckham said. “We have a great opportunity ahead of us. A position I haven’t been in since I’ve been here. It’s great to feel this way. It’s great to be 5-3 at the moment. You can’t sit here and be complacent with it. You have to keep going and pick up wins.”