Many of us saw what Victor Cruz did stepping in for Mario Manningham at the outside “Z” receiver position on Sunday and wondered how they could ever think about putting him back inside in the slot.
Turns out the Giants can’t wait to get him back there.
“When you think of an outside guy you think of a tall, big guy that can run and that doesn’t describe him,” offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said of Cruz. “But it is easier to be an outside guy from an intellectual stand point. There are less variables that come into play. For a young guy it is much simpler because you have a corner and a safety and that is it. Sometimes the corner roles and the safety rolls over the top or drops down so it is just two things. When you go inside, there is a lot more. There are linebackers, there are nickels and corners and safeties so it is a lot harder from a learning standpoint.
“Eventually, I think that is going to be his spot,” Gilbride continued, “but to his credit, when he is outside, he reaches up and he is strong and can run after the catch. He has shown that from day one. If you throw the ball near him, he will go get it. We will move him around, just like all of our guys, but right now, we have a desperate need for inside guys so we are trying to bring him along as fast as we can … I think he is getting better but it is a process. It is a lot harder to learn and become confident inside there.”