Victor Cruz isn't concerned about being a non-factor in the Giants' offense through two preseason games. But that doesn't mean he wouldn't mind a pass or two coming his way.
"I would love some," he said with a big smile Monday. "I would love a few targets, a few catches. Who wouldn't? Any receiver would love a few targets."
Cruz hasn't gotten any in seven offensive series with Eli Manning at quarterback. It may not be alarming (yet), but it is conspicuous. Manning has not thrown a single pass to either Cruz or Rueben Randle, instead focusing on short checkdowns in the opener against the Bills, when he was 6-for-7, and working on the running game against the Steelers, when he threw only two passes, both incomplete.
Manning and Tom Coughlin hinted that the next phase of installation for the new offense will be adding the longer, bigger plays. And playmakers. Such as Cruz.
"It's only a matter of time before we get the full thing rolling and the passing attack gets rolling and things like that," Cruz said before sitting out Monday's practice, resting his surgically repaired knee. "You're seeing very little of [the offense] right now. The full gamut isn't in. It's still a long process of getting our footing back under us. With every day, we're building, we're putting more and more in, we're getting more and more comfortable on the practice field. It's only a matter of time before you see everything come to fruition."
In the meantime, Cruz said he was happy with some other aspects of Saturday's game against the Steelers. He said the receivers did a good job of working against the Steelers' zone blitzes, adjusting their routes and peeking at the quarterback when needed. He also liked the run-blocking downfield. And most of all, he said he was happy the Giants won.
"I'm a team guy," he said. "As long as we're winning, as long as I'm doing all the little things right, as long as I'm continuing to listen to the offense and listen to the calls and make sure I'm getting everything clearly and making the right reads and making the right plays, that's all I'm worried about."
Then he paused and smiled again.
"A couple of catches on top of that wouldn't hurt."