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Beating the Odds

The Emergence of Victor Cruz

Victor Cruz of the New York Giants is headed for the playoffs, and he’ll get more attention from the Atlanta Falcons than he did in the 2010 draft.

That’s because Cruz has emerged as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL after being passed over by every team in the league. That’s right. Less than two years ago, no one wanted the player who today is making plays that show up on ESPN highlight packages.

“I’d be lying as we all would if we said we envisioned this,” offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in this New York Post article.

People go undrafted for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they seem too small. Sometimes they lack a work ethic. And sometimes the people in charge of drafting just make a mistake. Cruz’s emergence is a reminder to all coaches about cuts. Keep as many players as you can. You never know which player will blossom. Look beyond the physical package for signs of desire and improvement.

Cruz has definitely shown a desire to get better. This time a year ago, he was improving through off-season meetings with Giants wide receivers coach Sean Ryan. Once a week or more, Cruz and Ryan watched film together, and did that until March.

“I didn’t have to call and chase the guy down,” Ryan said. “He was here when he was supposed to be here. I’ve got to give all the credit to him because he has no obligation to be there.

“He took notes and he studied it. Even though it wasn’t on the field, he got a lot of the offseason mental reps and mental part of it before the lockout ever took place. It was important to him, and he understood that. And he got a jump in that way. I think his preparation has been a big part of [his emergence].”

Cruz is still looking at film. Last night, after helping the Giants defeat the Dallas Cowboys to qualify for the NFL playoffs, he spoke about the week before the team’s game against the Falcons.

“If we pay attention in the film room, we should be fine,” Cruz said.

He’ll being paying more attention to the film than teams paid to him.

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2 comments for “The Emergence of Victor Cruz”

  1. Hi Mike
    Cruz is a great story!
    The kid is a constant learner on and off the field- he was in a bad situation in a night club incident and said and did the right thing afterwards.
    He was hot dogging in the endzone early on this season after a touchdown when his team was losing and next time just handed the ball to the ref and got off the field

    Physically he wants the ball and goes and gets it as well as he never gets caught from behind

    Again Victor Cruz a great story we all could use more of !

    Posted by kevin reilly | January 4, 2012, 3:08 am
  2. Hi, Kevin! THanks for the comment. It sure seems like Cruz is the real deal. Lot o teams kicking themselves now.

    Posted by Coach Tully | January 4, 2012, 1:22 pm

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