A little advice from Victor Cruz to Odell Beckham Jr.: Watch your mouth.
On Wednesday, the Giants’ veteran receiver said he’s spoken with the team’s up-and-comer about being cautious with his statements. Cruz, who was doing an interview for SiriusXM Radio, said he’s told Beckham that the youngster must be careful “even when he means well.”
“I just told him to make sure he watches his words and make sure he’s mindful of the things that he says,” Cruz said. “Because anything that he says can become a headline. He just has to be very very careful of that, even when he means well or says the right things . . .
“I just want him to keep a level head and make sure he keeps his family first and keeps his mind right,” Cruz added. “Because this city and sometimes this media can swallow you whole.”
Ever since his dominant rookie campaign wrapped up three months ago, Beckham has been thrust into the spotlight, making numerous television appearances and making the rounds during the lead-up to last month’s Super Bowl. He even added to his reputation when he claimed he played the entire season on two torn hamstrings, a statement that Giants GM Jerry Reese corrected at the NFL Scouting Combine.
In his still-short career, the youngster has made his share of waves both on and off the field, refusing to cut off his celebratory TD antics despite Tom Coughlin’s protests and helping to ignite a brawl with the Rams in St. Louis. Most recently, he unleashed a bizarre speech on Twitter earlier this week, calling out people who “judge others so negatively,” and stating that “social media is the worst thing ever invented.” It remains unclear what set Beckham off.
But Cruz said Beckham is a “good kid.”
“He’s going to make mistakes, and he’s going to do things that he’s emotional about,” Cruz said. “But he’s a good kid.”
Cruz, meanwhile, continues to work his way back from the torn patellar tendon in his right knee, a shocking October injury that ended his season. He said he is “a little more than halfway there” in his rehab, and he expects to be ready for training camp. On Tuesday, he began running on an anti-gravity treadmill, he said.
“I think it’s training camp,” he said, when asked when he hopes to return. “I think training camp is definitely the timetable.”
Still, there are doubts in the franchise about his return. Last month, Reese reminded everyone that the once-electric playmaker may not regain his form. “When a guy has a big injury like Victor had, you can’t put all your eggs in his basket,” Reese said at the combine.
Cruz seems to understand the uncertainty around him. He described his rehab as “grueling” and “difficult.” But he maintains that his goal is to “be feeling almost 100%” before training camp. In a video on Giants.com, he added that he hopes to reclaim his spot as Big Blue’s slot receiver, a position that requires all of his quickness and change-of-direction ability.
“I want to continue the trend of being the person in the interior who is getting the ball,” he said.
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