This week, I got the chance to speak with former New York Giants wide receiver, Victor Cruz, who is partnered with Captain Morgan for the upcoming NFL season.
We talked about a variety of topics ranging from the Giants rough start to the season, Kadarius Toney's exit from New York, the turf vs. grass debate, and plenty more.
One of the hot topics around the Giants team over the past year has been (now former) Giants receiver, Kadaraius Toney. The team's 2021 first round pick had a rollarcoaster start with the Giants, before eventually being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs last season.
During his time in New York, he butted heads with media and fans alike. Most recently, he took to Instagram to troll Giants fans after they lost 40-0 to the Cowboys in their season opener.
Cruz, who spent seven years with the Giants, had this to say about the situation:
"I think he could've probably handled things differently. I'm sure if you ask him he'd want to take some things back and move a little differently, but I think he's in a better situation now. I know he had a couple of drops in Week 1 so he's trying to right the ship in that regard, but as receivers we've all been there and he'll be fine. I'm sure there's some things that as he matures and gets older, he'll want to take back from his experience in New York."
I had to ask him what he thought took place in the locker room at halftime against the Cardinals in Week 2. After losing 40-0 to the Cowboys in Week 1, the Giants were facing a 20-0 deficit at halftime against one of the worst teams in the league, before eventually storming back to win 31-28.
"Yeah, I don't anticipate it being pretty in there," Cruz said. "I think there was a lot of expletive words being used and a lot of things just to get the guys to snap out of it. It kind of felt like we were in this lull from the last game and couldn't turn it on.
"I think there were some adjustments made from the coaching staff, both offensively and defensively, to kind of get these guys to right this ship, and they came out in the second half and played a different brand of football almost immediately."
In my opinion, the second half by the Giants reminded me of a similar situation Cruz found himself in during the 2011 season.
The Giants had lost five of their last six games and were losing to the New York Jets in Week 16. Then, Cruz caught an NFL record-tying 99-yard TD reception which sparked something in the team. The Giants would not lose a game that season, eventually beating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
"Yeah for sure," Cruz said. "I think that's the lull I was talking about. That middle of the season, you're trying to figure it out, you're in the doldrums of the season, the heart of it. It's up to the coaching staff to keep you energized and keep you locked in week to week and make sure you're focused and locked in. Those are the lulls that happen but I do think the second half of that Arizona game is indicative of what this team is and indicative of what we'll see hopefully moving forward. I think that's the brand of football we're going to see from them."
To watch the full interview, check out the video above. We also touched on the grass vs. turf debate, Puka Nacua's fast start to his career, as well as his Super Bowl prediction.
Captain Morgan and the NFL are celebrating the fans that spice up gameday by bringing their own flavors of spice to create more interesting and memorable experiences – at the stadium, the tailgates, the bar, through the wins and the losses.
Now through Monday, October 2nd, fans 21+ can nominate themselves or another deserving fan for consideration to become their team's Fan of the Year at www.nfl.com/fanoftheyear.