Cruz On Replacement Officials: ‘What We Didn’t Want To Happen Actually Happened’
NEW YORK (WFAN) – Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is focused on the upcoming Sunday night contest against the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles — not the replacement officials debacle — but even the mild-mannered Paterson native can’t help but throw in his two cents on the matter.
Analysts, coaches and players have been vicious in their criticism of the replacement officials — and there is certainly reason for them to be dissatisfied — but the soft-spoken Cruz was respectable in his analysis of the situation when he spoke with WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Tuesday afternoon in this weekly spot.
Cruz admitted that the refs haven’t been a major distraction for him on the field thus far in 2012, but he couldn’t help but acknowledge the unfortunate and controversial finish which occurred in Seattle on Monday night.
“I just feel like, what we worried about and what we thought about — what we didn’t want to happen — actually happened,” Cruz told Francesa. “It came down to a final call in the game that was really going to decide who wins or loses it, and the refs came up short in this one. It’s unfortunate and it’s what we didn’t want. We all were scared to see it, but it happened. Now it’s up to the NFL to really look into this and see how far they want to go with these refs.”
As a result of the subpar officiating, many have accused defensive players of being overly aggressive with wide receivers off the line of scrimmage because they feel that they can get away with it.
And the second-team All-Pro selection has certainly been conscious of that.
“It’s not just at the line of scrimmage, but more so down the field (the defensive players) are pulling and grabbing because these refs aren’t trained to see those type of calls as much as the normal refs are,” Cruz explained. “It’s definitely been tough to deal with, but as an athlete and as a competitor you don’t want to make any excuses. You just want to go out there and play football, do what you do best, make plays and catch the football.”
The aggressiveness of Tampa Bay’s cornerbacks certainly didn’t hinder Cruz’s performance in Week 2 against the Buccaneers, but the six-foot-0, 205-pounder didn’t have much of an impact in the Giants’ Week 3 pounding.
After catching 11 balls for 179 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay, the 25-year-old caught six passes for 42 yards in Carolina.
In two games against the Eagles last season, Cruz had a combined nine receptions for 238 yards and three touchdowns.
Have you noticed defensive players blatantly taking advantage of wide receivers and getting away with it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…