Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz was described as "fuming" Sunday night after a loss to the Steelers in which he was not targeted once.
Monday morning, amid a visit with Good Morning Football, it seems cooler heads have prevailed.
"After the game obviously, I was a little angry," Cruz said. "So some of the comments stemmed from anger. But I didn't say anything bad. But just out of anger, you know you lost the game, you want to contribute and honesty, I just want to go out there and contribute at the end of the day. And we'll see how it goes tomorrow when I step into work and have a conversation with coach McAdoo, which I plan on doing, and we'll take it from there. But I'm not angry, I'm not a disgruntled employee, I'm not like 'screw this.' I'm a team guy first and I just want to make sure that everybody's interest is at heart."
As we've said in the past, the system which punishes Cruz for his honesty is fundamentally broken. He's being questioned moments after a frustrating loss, one where his offensive line could not keep Pittsburgh out of the backfield and one where quarterback Eli Manning was clearly missing open receivers. Cruz's "fuming" comments amounted to him saying "take a guess" when asked if he was bothered by getting ignored and shut out.
Of course he was. And that's not to say that reporters covering the team shouldn't ask him about it -- but let's not paint Cruz as a malcontent for his restrained honesty in a tense moment.
The Giants (8-4) saw a six-game winning streak come to an end in Pittsburgh. It was a game that taught us a few things, but mostly that their quarterback play needs to be elevated down the stretch. Cruz can't say that, nor would he. Clearly, he's not the kind of player interested in causing a scene even when that is entirely understandable.
He is not talked about as much anymore thanks to the emergence of Odell Beckham, but Cruz has made some of the team's biggest catches this season late in games. While his top-end speed may not be what it was five years ago, he is still a sure-handed, dependable wide receiver who knows Manning better than anyone. Hopefully, whatever conversations he has with head coach Ben McAdoo Monday reaffirm that point.