GIANTS' KEVIN GILBRIDE SAYS VICTOR CRUZ "HASN'T MISSED A BEAT" THIS OFFSEASON
"Imagine if someone had told Kevin Gilbride at this point last year Victor
Cruz would be the most accomplished of the Giants’ healthy wide receivers right
“Amazing,” Gilbride said while shaking his head today during a session with
Nicks out for about three months with a broken foot and Mario Manningham now
with the San Francisco 49ers, Cruz’s 82 receptions for a franchise-record 1,536
yards last season make him the veteran to which all the younger players are
looking this time of year.
Cruz doesn’t have a long track record of success, which means even Gilbride
wasn’t sure how he’d return this offseason and whether the proverbial lightning
would escape the bottle Cruz was holding.
Apparently, that hasn’t been the case at all.
“It took him a while to get going (last season). He didn’t start the year
real well and then all of a sudden, in that Philadelphia (Eagles) game, he
made two phenomenal plays for us,” Gilbride said today. “But truly in the
beginning of the year, every play was an adventure. He was either going to be
right or awfully wrong but got better and better and better at eliminating the
“That's what's nice about now. It's like he hasn’t missed a beat.”
That’s an encouraging sign for the Giants. It means, despite Cruz’s busy
offseason schedule making appearances all over the place, he’s remained in shape
and has stayed mentally sharp. While he hasn’t made many big plays in the OTAs
open to the media so far, he’s carrying out his assignments as well as he did
late in the season.
So instead of getting
berated by Gilbride on the sideline, he’s being praised in the coordinator’s
“Where he was at the end of the year, in terms of, ‘I’m going to do the right
thing...’ I think he proved he's a special guy inside,” Gilbride said. “He's a
special guy inside as a slot receiver and now he has the chance to be playing