Giants coaching camp started final August with predictive tales of a wholesome Victor Cruz being a mentor for mercurial star teammate Odell Beckham Jr. The season ended with Cruz, 30, standing subsequent to Beckham, 24, on a Miami celebration boat on Jan. 2, six days previous to a 38-thirteen blowout Wild Card playoff loss in Inexperienced Bay.
It ended with Cruz sharing in a pricey mistake together with his a lot-youthful and extra naïve teammate quite than being the voice of purpose or the constructive affect.
Cruz, it appears, lastly understands virtually a month later that it was flawed to go clubbing with Justin Bieber and boating with Trey Songz, with medicine allegedly current, simply days after Giants staff leaders gave speeches about how day by day, follow and second from then on mattered within the Tremendous Bowl chase.
Cruz, voted the media’s 2016 Giants Good Man Award winner for his constant cooperation and honesty, principally handed the distinction again when the Giants’ season went down in flames. He refused to reply questions concerning the Miami journey after the playoff loss at Lambeau Subject after which skipped out on assembly with reporters on breakup day, becoming a member of the absent Beckham in a single final last dangerous look.
Monday, at the least, Cruz admitted in a podcast “Timeout with Taylor Rooks” that he had made a mistake.
“Wanting again on it, it undoubtedly wasn’t value it,” Cruz advised SNY’s Rooks. “I imply, on the finish of the day, you need to put your thoughts in a spot the place you need to succeed at no matter your subsequent activity is, particularly in a soccer setting and a soccer environment. You simply (gained) a recreation. Granted it’s New Yr’s Day and also you’re an grownup and also you pay your personal payments and it’s an off-day, so that you need to simply exit and luxuriate in your self. I feel the truth that the photograph, the photograph is what made it. As a result of an image is value a thousand phrases.”
Cruz’s half-hearted mea culpa for his New Yr’s Day cruise, although, comes too late.
The Day by day Information referred to as the Miami journey for what it was from the get go. Eli Manning and Jerry Reese on breakup day in their very own methods admitted the potential of a distraction and a necessity for individuals to make higher selections.
The sometimes out there Cruz, however, refused to speak with reporters that Tuesday at his locker, deflected questions on the topic Wednesday and Sunday, and prevented breakup day.
No Giants would publicly scold their teammates, however a number of stated some model of “I wouldn’t have finished it, however…” and one other stated he was okay with it so long as it didn’t have an effect on participant efficiency that Sunday.
“It had nothing to do with Miami.” Cruz stated in Monday’s podcast of the Giants’ 38-thirteen loss.
Nicely, it definitely didn’t assist.
Really, probably the most alarming a part of the entire Miami saga wasn’t that Beckham had made a questionable determination or that rookies Sterling Shepard, 23, and Roger Lewis Jr., 23, had gone alongside for the experience.
It was that Cruz, so veteran and seemingly degree-headed, was proper there with them, standing in all black sporting a pink hat beneath the recent Florida solar; that he was half answerable for placing Shepard within the place of getting to say no to Adderall, a drug on the NFL’s banned substances record.
Cruz’s admission that the journey “wasn’t value it” displays some contrition, however it comes off as half-hearted when he insinuates that the photograph of the receivers on the boat made this an actual concern, not the gamers’ actions themselves.
Victor Cruz (l.) and Odell Beckham
“You simply have to know the market you’re in, the place you’re enjoying,” Cruz advised Rooks. “These are all issues which might be going to be put right into a microscope and nitpicked till it’s over, till you win. Then if you win, it’s like, okay, all is nicely once more. However whenever you lose, they’re going to seek out these issues to pinpoint and blame.”
That’s incorrect. It wouldn’t have been a very good determination to go to Miami even when the Giants had gained. And Cruz’s reluctance to be absolutely accountable for that mistake is regrettable, contemplating the place we have been in September.
Cruz obtained wholesome once more for the primary time since early 2014. He was on the sector. Everybody was joyful for him. He caught 4 passes for 34 yards and the sport-profitable landing in a 20-19 Week 1 win in Dallas.
Popping out of the Week eight bye, when Ben McAdoo decreased Cruz’s position within the offense, the Day by day Information defended Cruz on this similar area, saying the coach was enjoying Cruz out of place and scapegoating the flawed man.
Cruz’s public disagreement that week with McAdoo, although, was the one occasion this complete season of a participant publicly difficult the rookie Giants coach. And Cruz’s last stats supported McAdoo’s midseason actions: six video games of 1 or fewer catches, together with zero Week 5 in Inexperienced Bay and three for 30 yards within the season-ending defeat.
Cruz’s hefty remaining contract doubtless means the Giants will half methods this offseason. So it was particularly thrilling to see him get wholesome in 2016. With restricted influence on the sector, although, Cruz was being paid simply as a lot to be a steadying veteran presence as a receiving choice on the sector.
Via most of a tumultuous Giants season that featured the Giants’ employment of admitted home abuser Josh Brown, numerous Beckham wrinkles, and Donald Trump’s election as president, Cruz crammed that position admirably.
That made Cruz’s presence on the boat, and his silence till Monday, that rather more disappointing.
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