Excerpt: "Victor Cruz spent his offseason sitting for photo shoots, walking on red carpets, and even posing with a giant donut for National Donut Day. While his teammates were working hard at the Meadowlands, he was a fixture on the celebrity scene.
That’s what the public saw during Cruz’s long contract stand-off with the Giants over the last four months. Sean Donellan saw something different.
He saw Cruz sweat.
“Believe me,” Donellan told the Daily News, “every fashion shoot you see him doing, he’s put in the time in the gym before or after.”
Donellan, the New York Islanders director of sports performance, knows that better than anyone because he’s the one who has been training the Giants’ star receiver this offseason, making sure Cruz didn’t lose a step while his agents worked on what he hopes will be a lucrative, long-term contract. Three or four times a week, every week since mid-February, Cruz has worked out with Donellan’s Ultimate Athletic Performance program with several other NFL players in an Oakland, N.J. gym.
The idea was to make sure that when Cruz — who recently signed a one-year, $2.879 million tender — decides to report to Giants training camp, it won’t look like he’s missed the entire offseason program.
It’ll be as if he’s been training with the team all along.
“It’s funny,” Donellan said. “He gets all these appearances and obviously he’s trying to capitalize on that stuff to the best of his abilities. But he’s very good at organizing and prioritizing his time, and he’s very, very good at staying grounded. He’s never lost sight of what’s gotten him there, what made him successful. And he’s dedicated to that.” Read more...