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Beckham agrees with Cruz that Jaguars were "gunning" for him

Beckham says "that could be what it's gonna be like this year."

Odell Beckham and Jacksonville defensive back Sergio Brown have to be separated during Saturday's game.
Odell Beckham and Jacksonville defensive back Sergio Brown have to be separated during Saturday's game.
Elsa/Getty Images

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Victor Cruz Tuesday criticized Jacksonville Jaguars' defensive backs, who he said were "gunning" for Odell Beckham Jr. rather than playing the ball New York Giants' preseason game against the Jaguars on Saturday.

"I was a little unhappy," said Cruz, who did not play due to his calf issue. "I felt like some of those defensive backs were kind of gunning for him."

Cruz added that he was "sad to see that go down."

"I get it, I get it, it's preseason, you're trying to get a job. I understand that. Let's just keep it within the game."

Speaking on ESPN New York Tuesday afternoon, Beckham agreed with Cruz:

"In a way, yeah, I did. I agree with it, it's just the ball's in the air, it's a 50-50 ball, you have a chance at the ball and you're just throwing your body in. ... it kinda takes away from the game of football. It's not making great plays. Now your just out there and you're going after a person.

"I understand that that could be what it's gonna be like this year. Deserved or not deserved that's just what the case is going to be, so protect yourself. By the time the season comes I'm just going to have to sit there and take the hit because I want to catch the ball and I want Eli to keep throwing those balls and him giving me opportunities.

"I agree with Vic in a way. It seems no matter if you says or no you weren't trying to it looks different in real life and on film."

Quarterback Eli Manning targeted Beckham five times without success Saturday. Beckham did drop one ball, but there were also probably two occasions where the second-year wide receiver appeared to pull up short to avoid a potential big hit.

"It's just something that he's got to deal with," said Cruz, who admitted he experienced some of that when he was younger.

Cruz said he could see that Beckham was aware of the Jags' intentions.

"From the line, you can see it as you're running your route and you're running a vertical route, and you take a peek at the safety before you look at the ball, and you just see him head down trying to spear you. You can see that from a mile away," Cruz said. "He's a smart kid, he understands that, but it's just unfair. It kind of made me upset watching it."

Update on his calf

Cruz said there is still "a little bit of inflammation" in his injured calf. He added, however, that he has "no worries."

"I feel good and I feel confident that I'll be OK come Week 1."