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Cruz enjoying his time as King of Albany

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30: NFL athlete

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30: NFL athlete Victor Cruz attends The Breast Cancer Research Foundation's 'Hot Pink Party' at The Waldorf=Astoria on April 30, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images) Credit: Getty/Stephen Lovekin

If there was any doubt who the most popular Giant at training camp is, it was cleared up yesterday. While the 5,100 gave polite applause to many of the players who had strong performances at the second workout of camp, it was Victor Cruz who received screams, chants and wild cheers … in some cases for the most routine of plays.

“Anytime the fans take a liking to you, it’s always positive, especially when it’s for something positive,” Cruz said of his popularity. “I’m all for it. I do this for myself, but I do it for the fans to enjoy themselves and to bring some fun back into the game and to bring some life back into it. Whatever I can do to bring some life back into the position is what I want to do.”

Cruz did deserve a huge reception for his one-handed catch early in practice, even though there were no defenders on the play. His later catches also elicited an excited reaction even though they were more mundane. While some fans were calling for him to salsa, Cruz said that he would not be dancing during training camp.

Fans aren’t the only ones watching and appreciating Cruz in this camp. General manager Jerry Reese said he remains open to the possibility of working out a long-term contract with Cruz at some point this season. Cruz will be a restricted free agent after 2012.

“Right now we’re just focused and Victor is just focused on being a good football player again,” Reese said. “The contract situation will take care of itself.”

Cruz said much the same on Thursday, noting that he is not using a new contract as motivation this season. He is, however, as aware of his upcoming windfall as he is of his blooming popularity.

“You can’t take it too much to the head,” he said. “Just have fun with it. You only get to live this life once. Your life span in the NFL isn’t long. You’ve got to take every day and enjoy every day and take it as a compliment.”
 

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