Victor Cruz hasn’t been the same player since tearing his patellar tendon in 2014, but he’s railing against those who believe he’s washed up.
The 30-year-old caught just 39 passes in 15 games in 2016 after missing the entire 2015 season. When the Giants moved on this offseason, the veteran signed with the Chicago Bears, hoping to revive a fading career.
Cruz said at his football camp on Wednesday that he’s out to prove he’s got a lot left in the tank.
“Every day,” Cruz said, via ESPN.com. “Even after a Super Bowl or after an injury-riddled two years, I always feel like I have something to prove. I’ll always strap up my laces and helmet and have something to prove, because you do.
“You’re only as good as your last catch, your last game, your last year of production. That is what you’re marketed as. That is what they categorize you as, whatever your last showing is on the field.”
Rather than believing the Giants would purposely sabotage their own offense, which struggled to move the ball for major portions of last season, Cruz should realize a large portion in his production drop was tied to his move from the slot to the outside. With Sterling Shepard taking over the slot role, Cruz struggled as an outside receiver.
The veteran wideout confirmed that during offseason workouts with the Bears that he’s spent most of his time working out of the slot.
Even with the injury history of top receiver Kevin White and depth questions, Cruz is not a lock to make the Bears‘ roster. However, he has a chance to earn a role in Chicago during training camp. At this stage of Cruz’s career, a chance to prove people wrong again is all he’s seeking.