Victor Cruz and Janoris Jenkins of the New York Giants made headlines Wednesday by taking Josh Norman of the Washington Redskins to task for not following Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver Antonio Brown all over the field on Monday night.
That story and anything that mentions Norman and Odell Beckham Jr. will continue to get way too much attention. Let’s move on from that, though, and see what Giants players — including Jenkins and Cruz — are saying about the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are, after all, the team the Giants are playing this week.
Podcast: Talkin’ Saints ... and Josh Norman
The latest “Big Blue Chat” podcast with Pat Traina (Inside Football) and yours truly is available for download. We talk about the Saints, and, of course, about Norman.
Cruz: Giants’ receivers could be best in NFL
Cruz, sort of the way he was baited into the Norman discussion, was asked if the Giants’ wide receivers could be the best in the league. He certainly wasn’t going to say no.
“I believe so. I think we have all the talent, all the tools, but obviously it is going to take one week at a time,” Cruz said. “These practices are important in being able to build our roles and continue to focus on what each and every one of us do exceptionally well and excel on that, but I do think we have the tools to be the best that we can possibly be.”
Respecting New Orleans’ corners
With Delvin Breaux sidelined by a broken fibula, the Saints will employ a cadre of inexperienced cornerbacks on Sunday. Giants’ receivers are trying not to drool in public at the prospect.
“You have to face every opponent. They got drafted and they are in this league for a reason,” Cruz said. “They have some talent, so you have to be able to understand that and prepare the same way that you would prepare for any other team.”
Odell Beckham was asked if this game was a “big opportunity” for the passing attack?
“It’s a big opportunity for the Giants. Period,” Beckham said. “It’s a chance to improve, win games, be 2-0 and like I said, get better on offense. Running the ball, passing or whatever the case may be.”
Beckham was also asked how much experience matters.
“I think that goes for any position,” Beckham said. “If you’re inexperienced and someone else has more experience, they may be in favor. It’s all about making plays. At the end of the day, if it was a 10-year receiver going against a rookie cornerback, it doesn’t matter if he’s out there making plays. It’s just about who wants it more.”
Jenkins “just here to play football”
Signed to an expensive free-agent contract during the offseason, Jenkins earned raves for his work on Sunday when he shadowed Dez Bryant (one catch, eight yards) for much of the game. Jenkins is neither calling himself a shutdown corner nor saying he expects to shadow the opposition’s best receiver each week.
“At the end of the day I’m just here to play football. I’m not here to talk the talk, I’m just here to play,” Jenkins said. “I just consider myself a cornerback. I’ll let you all do the rankings. I just play football. I have been doing it for a long time. At times I get recognition, but at the end of the day, I’m just here to play football.”
Technically, there are zero “injured” players on the Giants’ active roster. The only Giant on the injury report Wednesday was defensive tackle Robert Thomas, who continues to battle an illness.