New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said today he believes the Jacksonville Jaguars defense was “gunning” for Odell Beckham Jr.
By Robby Sabo
Nothing’s gone well for the New York Giants this preseason. There hasn’t been one glimmer of solid play that could be built upon.
In games against the Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars, Eli Manning and company have failed to display the impression that these guys can be a top-five NFL offense. The defense has been even worse, not to mention taking shape as the “walking wounded.”
Even an unimportant aspect such as number of catches by Odell Beckham Jr. in the preseason is now being analyzed and criticized. Through both games Beckham is still without a catch.
At one point during the Jacksonville game, Beckham became so frustrated that he intentionally shoved Jags safety Sergio Brown after an incomplete pass off the right arm of Manning.
It was an act on the part of Beckham that should’ve garnered a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty.
The Jags did a fantastic job on ODB. Safety Sergio Brown even got a nice shot in on this particular play:
Beckham and Giants fans aren’t the only people frustrated. Apparently, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN New York, Victor Cruz wasn’t too happy about the treatment his little buddy Beckham was receiving last Saturday night.
“I was a little unhappy last week because I felt some of those DBs were gunning for him,” Cruz said before Giants practice Tuesday after being held from the game. “It was sad to see that go down because I felt like I couldn’t help him. Couldn’t go out there on the field and run routes with him, take some of the pressure off him, things like that.”
It was clear that Beckham pulled up short on a couple of Eli’s five intended passes toward him due to the safety ranging over.
“When guys have an opportunity to get an interception and they don’t even go for the ball, that’s what you don’t want to see,” Cruz said. “From the sideline you could see it. When you’re running a vertical route and you take a peek at the safety and see him, head down, trying to spear you. You can see that from a mile away.”
Perhaps some of us are old-school Victor. Or maybe, just maybe, he’s looking to get the back of his understudy.
Whatever the reasoning, Victor Cruz needs to re-analyze his thinking here.
This is the National Football League. A place where grown men who are built bigger than houses and who can run faster than wild cats roam the turf. Guys are looking to take heads off on every play. It’s just the nature of the sport.
If a safety wants to go after the body instead of the ball, that’s his prerogative. This bone-headed action benefits the offense most of the time.
Wide receivers will get hit, there’s no two ways around that fact.
Furthermore, when play-makers (or anybody for that matter) arrive on the NFL scene faster than anybody in history (Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014), other no-names will take notice. They’ll soon realize that one giant hit will get them on SportsCenter because they would have become the guy to take him out.
The hit will then give the safety notoriety, eventually allowing his own pockets to grow a little bigger.
Each and every player is playing for their own individual self; their own corporation; for they are all independent contractors.
If a receiver doesn’t want that extra attention, then it would be wise to not show off so much flash. Go about your business while declining certain offers like appearing on the cover of EA Sports Madden NFL 16, or keeping your warm-up catches a little tamer, or maybe not doing “The Salsa” in the end-zone after every touchdown.
This is the way the NFL works Victor. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it.
There’s no reason to make comments about the other team playing a perfectly fine, rough, hard-hitting brand of football.
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