February 4, 2012

Belichick's best performance? This year might be it

By DAN POMPEI / Chicago Tribune

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talks with strong safety James Ihedigbo (44) during practice on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, in Indianapolis. The Patriots will face the New York Giants in NFL football Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Related headlines

But in their last five games, the Giants are plus-74. Don't get too excited, though. During the same period, the Patriots are plus-97.

Front office chess

When you see Giants receiver Victor Cruz racing through secondaries, and when you look at his numbers (82 catches for 1,536 yards), it's hard to believe he was an undrafted rookie a season ago.

Even Giants general manager Jerry Reese, in his wildest dreams, could not have foreseen Cruz becoming a salsa-dancing sensation in his second year.

Reese said the Giants didn't even have Cruz ranked as a priority free agent. In fact, all three Giants scouts who evaluated Cruz before the draft ranked him the same way _ as a good "local" free agent.

That means the Giants were only interested in Cruz, who is from New Jersey, because he wasn't going to cost them much.

At 6 feet, 205 pounds, Cruz has average size. With a 40-yard dash in the high 4.5s, he has average speed. He played against a lower level of competition at Massachusetts. He wasn't a return specialist. There were plenty of receivers available.

And so no other team even made an offer on Cruz.

"In scouting, it's not a perfect science," Reese said. "I don't even know if it is a science at all. It's not a crapshoot. But every now and then, you get lucky with guys like that."

There was something about Cruz that was difficult to identify.

"He's a fighter," Giants receivers coach Sean Ryan said. "He wants that ball. ... It's an underlying theme in every facet of his success. ... He has a great desire to go get it."

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


e-Edition

paper

The daily paper delivered to your computer or tablet!

Browse page by page, including stories and ads, with interactive features that make reading a breeze from wherever you are.

Already a print subscriber?
Connect your account for continued access. Not a subscriber? Become one.

Subscriptions start at only $8/month.

Go to the e-Edition

 

Hoping to read The Root or Golden Dish? Find them at MaineToday.com.

Blogs

Commercial Confidential - Yesterday
Earth Day post: the boom in bag bans
Undercurrents - Yesterday
Every day is Earth Day - II

More PPH Blogs

Maine's Top Jobs

PROJECT MANAGER Woodin & Company, Inc.
1ST CLASS RATED LINEMAN / FOREMAN Enterprise Electric, Inc.
BRANCH MANAGER Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution
CONCRETE MIXER DRIVERS Auburn Concrete
ADMINISTRATIVE SECRETARY RSU 5 - DURHAM, FREEPORT, POWNAL
ASSITANT MANAGER POSITION ACADIA VILLAGE RESORT
PATROL DEPUTY SHERIFF York County Sheriff's Department
View all Top Jobs