Despite venting his frustrations to reporters following the Giants 24-14 loss to Pittsburgh in which he did not have a single pass thrown to him, WR Victor Cruz reiterated to NFL Network on Monday that he is a team player first and foremost, and is not angry about his lack of targets against the Steelers.
"After the game, obviously I was a little angry so some of the comments stemmed from anger," Cruz said on Monday. "But I didn't say anything bad. I didn't say anything bad, but just out of anger you lost the game, you want to contribute and I just want to go out there and contribute at the end of the day. We'll see how it goes tomorrow when I step into work and have a conversation with coach [Ben McAdoo] which I plan on doing and we'll take it from there. But I'm not angry, I'm not a disgruntled employee, I'm not like screw this -- I'm a team guy first and I just want to make sure that everybody's interest is at heart."
Eli Manning attempted 39 passes to seven different targets against Pittsburgh on Sunday, but not one of those throws was to Cruz.
When asked why he was ignored in the passing attack following the loss, Cruz was visibly upset.
"I have no idea," the wide receiver said. "That's not a question for me to answer. … I'm going to talk to somebody. Somebody's got to give me an answer as to why."
McAdoo told Newsday's Tom Rock he would welcome a conversation with Cruz to discuss his role in the team's offense as the Giants prepare for their final four games.
"When you have been as inconsistent as we have on offense, it's a challenge," McAdoo said. "Victor, like everybody else, including myself, wants to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. So my door is always open for any of these guys that want to come in and have a conversation."
Cruz has 27 receptions for 462 yards and a touchdown this season after missing most of the last two years due to severe knee and calf injuries.
He has a total of three receptions for 131 yards with no touchdowns over his past four games. (He missed the Giants-Bengals game on Nov. 14.)
By comparison, Odell Beckham Jr. has 25 catches for 288 yards and four touchdowns; Sterling Shepard has 12 catches for 121 yards and three touchdowns (including a no-target game against the Browns in Week 12); Roger Lewis has four catches for 64 yards with one touchdown; and tight end Will Tye has 10 catches for 79 yards and one touchdown in those same four games.