Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

'Feels like the Same Old Me'

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

'Feels like the Same Old Me'

Article excerpt

EAST RUTHERFORD - Victor Cruz was blindsided by teammate Damon Harrison.

Turned out the Giants' former Pro Bowl wide receiver was glad the defensive tackle inadvertently decked him after a pass play during practice Thursday.

But Cruz sure did feel him - all 350 pounds of "Snacks."

"Felt like a brick wall hit me," Cruz told The Record after Friday's walk-through practice, a light workout in advance of today's ramped-up session that coach Ben McAdoo promised will be the longest and most physical of training camp. "But I kind of wanted that. I wanted to get hit a little bit, go to the ground and get up. And you know, it felt normal, it felt like, 'This is what football is, you're knocked to the ground, you get back up, you keep on moving.'

"But when Snacks Harrison hits you, after you do a '10 fingers, 10 toes check,' then you get up and keep on moving."

Cruz did just that, checking off yet another box in the Giants' master list of things one of their biggest stars must do to prove he's ready to complete his comeback after missing nearly two seasons because of knee and calf surgeries.

Asked about the collision - well, a one-sided collision for sure - McAdoo told reporters he thought it was "healthy" and he loved it. That, of course, was because Cruz hopped up and ran back to the sideline no worse for wear.

Of all the story lines with the Giants since camp opened last week, Cruz's return has been at the forefront. Everything he has done on the field has been analyzed in the media, by his coaches and teammates and fans in the stands for the four practices open to the public. Cruz, 29, continues to be cautiously optimistic about his chances and the Giants remain confident he will be able to play his part in one of the league's best receiving trios with Odell Beckham Jr. and rookie Sterling Shepard.

After his quest that was filled with so much positivity fizzled last summer, Cruz admits to dealing with the emotions of what has been a roller coaster since his devastating knee injury in October 2014. …

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