Victor Cruz had his first weekly meeting with Mike Francesa on WFAN this afternoon and left this self-indicting comment to fill the airwaves: He thought things would be a lot easier in Wednesday’s game against the Cowboys and seemed to question his own work ethic.
It’s unclear what Cruz was trying to say exactly. He’s been, by all accounts, focused on football despite a busy offseason that included a book tour and several television commercials which you might have seen. But after three dropped passes in the opener, here are his exact words on the radio this afternoon:
“For me personally it was I guess a couple of first game jitters. Just trying to, personally, just thinking that the game was going to come to me naturally and I probably didn’t have to, you know, work as hard. But, you know, we got a nice little wake up call, a nice little rude awakening that teams are going to be prepared for us and we’re going to get every team’s best effort. I think as a team we’re more prepared and more focused this week.”
Maybe he’s talking about the whole team working hard. Tom Coughlin and others did complain that practices during the week were not up to snuff. Maybe he’s talking about having to work hard against the new coverages teams roll at him, although later he said that the Cowboys did “nothing special” in terms of schemes.
He has a bit of a verbal hiccup when he gets to that point about working hard, so he seems to be aware that he’s saying something he shouldn’t be. He's also dealing with the recent passing of his abuela, so his mind might not be focused on every phrase he churns out for public consumption.
The verdict here: He gets a bit of a pass.
Anyway, he goes on to discuss the drops a little bit more.
“I was just trying to make something happen for my team,” he said. “We were down and I usually provide the spark whenever I get the ball in my hands … This week I’m going to pay a lot more attention to detail, making sure I catch it first before I make the move. I obviously can’t go anywhere without the football.”
Everyone obviously wants to see if Cruz is a one-hit wonder or if he can duplicate – or at least come close to – last year’s record-breaking performance. Cruz said he’s not worried about matching 2011’s production, certainly not after just one game.
“I feel like there’s going to be too much pressure to go out there every single game and duplicate every season, duplicate last year in one game or in one season, because that’s so tough to do,” he said. “So I just try to take it game by game, week by week, and make sure I prepare for every game.”
That means facing a new set of defenders and not sneaking up on anyone.
“It’s definitely going to take some getting used to, but I have to understand it,” he said of drawing the attention of coordinators, cornerbacks and safeties. “I have to understand that I’m going to get every defender’s best effort and everybody is going to be out there to stop me. I just have to come prepared and come with my A game. As much as it is going against the top defenders, they have to defend me as well. I’m excited about the challenge this year. Hopefully I can go out there and play my best and good things will come.”