CRUZ CONTROL: IS VICTOR CRUZ THE NEW AND IMPROVED WES WELKER?
saw Wes Welker on a 1-15 Miami Dolphins team
drive Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots defense nuts, until
the old trick, “if you can’t beat him, have him join your team”. Welker
redefined the slot position, turning it into a high production safety
Tom Brady. He also had the versatility to slide outside the numbers and
notch corners. Teams envy such a commodity, something so rare in the NFL
team a great advantage. Victor Cruz represents the 2.0 version in the
of the slot position. Coming in at 6’0 205 pounds vs. Welker’s 5’9 185
Cruz looks to be the next breed that can dominate a game. Wes Welker
gets by on
great hands and heart, but he won’t outrun many top corners. Cruz, on
hand has the size and speed to cause utter disarray against them. Cruz's
blip on the radar came on a Monday night in a 2010 pre-season game
New York Jets when Cruz contributed to the Giants win 31-16 by catching 6
passes for 145 yards and 3 touchdowns. He ended the preseason leading
with 297 receiving yards and 4 touchdown catches.
However, Cruz never caught a regular season ball in 2010, injuring a
hamstring and placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the year.
In 2011, Cruz took full advantage of an injury to Mario Manningham, one of
the Giants starting receivers, and never looked back as he has passed Hakeem
Nicks as Eli Manning’s go to guy in the passing game.
Cruz has had monster season, recording 8 REC, 1536 YDS, 9 TDs, in comparison
to Welker’s 122 REC, 1569 YDS, 9 TDs. Those are elite receiver numbers, and his
ability to take something small and turn it into a huge play emerged as his
With Manningham back in the lineup, it allows the Giants to move Cruz inside
and exploit the middle of the field. Linebackers can’t cover him and
3rd and 4th corners struggle badly against him. He has a
physical style that allows him to break tackles.
Cruz had 91 YDS against the Patriots in their week 9 matchup, and his impact
could be devastating if not given the proper attention."