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CRUZ WILL ARRIVE AT GIANTS' TRAINING CAMP AS ESTABLISHED STAR

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  • CRUZ WILL ARRIVE AT GIANTS' TRAINING CAMP AS ESTABLISHED STAR

    CRUZ WILL ARRIVE AT GIANTS' TRAINING CAMP AS ESTABLISHED STAR

    "Victor Cruz caught up with Hakeem Nicks the other night at the ESPYs and Cruz
    noticed that Nicks was walking on his own, without any crutches.


    ďThatís definitely a good sign,íí Cruz said on Friday at a Time Warner Cable
    event at the Queens Theatre.




    Nicks fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot back on May 24 and the
    Giants set a recovery time of three months until he could get back in the
    game.




    ďHe told me heís gonna take training camp to continue rehabbing and continue
    getting his foot back right but I definitely expect him to be ready by Game
    One,íí Cruz said.




    That sounds about right and as a result, Cruz suddenly is the one established
    receiver for Eli Manning to throw to once training camp kicks off July 26 at the
    University at Albany. One year ago, Cruz did not have a single NFL reception and
    was preparing for a camp battle merely to survive the roster cuts. In two weeks,
    he heads north as a young star, a Super Bowl champion with a franchise record
    for receiving yards in a season, owner of a magnetic salsa end zone dance, an
    incredible local-kid-makes-good tale, a bright smile and, seemingly, a
    burgeoning career awaiting him.




    ďI wake up every morning, a part of me is just grateful Iíve been able to
    accomplish everything Iíve been able to accomplish this year and this
    off-season,íí Cruz said. ďI just wake up and Iím like ĎMan, a kid from Paterson
    [N.J.] that came up and has been able to cross all those barriers and now heís
    coming into camp as a guy thatís a staple in the Giants offense now.í Itís all
    good stuff, itís good timing, Iím not too stressed out going into camp this
    year.íí




    This year is also different from last year in that Cruz, amid the post-Super
    Bowl hubbub, admits he hasnít worked out as often. ďI think last year I actually
    got more time because of the lockout, I spent a lot more time working out and
    training,íí Cruz said. ďThis year, among all the things Iíve been doing as far
    as off-the-field stuff Iíve been able to manage three, four days a week for me
    to go in and work out.




    ďItís not so much finding time, just making sure I get there on time. All
    these events are great but I make sure I plan time and set time aside for myself
    to work out and get ready for my real job, which is playing football.




    ďNone of this stuff is going to hinder what I do on the field, just stuff
    that comes along with what I wanted to be. It was always my dream to be shooting
    commercials and photo shoots and stuff like that. I just did things I only
    dreamed of doing. As far as on the field stuff thatís going to take care of
    itself. I havenít gone Hollywood at all, at least I donít think so.íí




    His mindset heading into camp, Cruz says, is not the same as itís been in the
    past. His goal is to sharpen his skills while also helping the other receivers
    on the team, as thereís no longer the need to open eyes in order to stick
    around.




    ďThis year I just want to go in and maintain my same play and make sure Iím
    staying sharp on the plays, staying sharp on my football as well as getting some
    of the young guys acclimated and getting them ready to go,íí Cruz said.
    ďSomebodyís got to fill that third role, whether it be an older guy like Ramses
    [Barden] or a younger guy like [Reuben] Randle or Jerrel Jernigan. Those guys
    have to be ready so itís kind of double-duty, making sure Iím good to go, making
    sure Iím sharp and making sure the younger guys are getting in the
    playbooks.íí


    As far as not having to fight for a roster spot, Cruz said ďItís gonna be a
    little weird, but coach Coughlin always tells us no matter what year weíre in
    always treat training camp like youíre a 19-, 20-year-old kid trying to make the
    team. I think thatís how Iím gonna approach it, making sure Iím still at the top
    of my game, still competing, still getting after it just like all the other
    guys, because thatís the only way you can get better. If youíre just sitting
    back and youíre timid and ĎI donít want to go out there and show too much
    because Iíve already done thisí thatís either when you get hurt or you donít
    prepare yourself for the upcoming season.íí
    ďNever argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.Ē MB Rule # 1
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