New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz could only watch from the sideline as teammate Odell Beckham Jr. found himself in a physical outing with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
However, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Cruz believes the Jaguars’ secondary spent too much time focusing on hitting OBJ rather than actually playing the ball during New York’s 22-12 victory last Saturday.
“I was a little unhappy last week because I felt some of those DBs were gunning for him. 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.”
“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. 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.”
The veteran receiver is referring to Jacksonville safety Sergio Brown, who likely would’ve destroyed Beckham on a vertical route down the left sideline had OBJ not alligator-armed a pass.
Beckham was visibly upset on his final target of the game, too. Following a clearly overthrown pass, OBJ sped up and intentionally chipped Brown.
Beckham received five targets but failed to record a catch, and it’s fair to say Jacksonville’s physicality affected OBJ’s mindset.
Regardless, Eli Manning, Beckham and the Giants will benefit greatly from Cruz’s return, whenever that ultimately happens. Head coach Tom Coughlin is concerned about Cruz’s latest injury, though, since the 28-year-old is nursing a calf injury while still working toward a full recovery after knee surgery.
New York opens the 2015 regular season against the rival Dallas Cowboys on Sep. 13, an NFC East clash that will be featured on Sunday Night Football. Perhaps Cruz will be ready for that matchup and be able to ease the ever-mounting pressure on Beckham.