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Cruz and 49ers Rodgers share respect


Two months after Carlos Rogers last did the salsa, the apparent mocking of Victor Cruz's patented touchdown dance was revisited during the week's buildup to the Giants and 49ers rematch in the NFC Championship.

Cruz was asked about it on Wednesday and said it was a "little bit of disrespect," but he knows the Pro Bowl cornerback wasn't the first nor will he be the last.

"Obviously it's something I do and to do it on me, in front of our sideline, was a little disrespectful," Cruz said* *"But I understand that's all part of the game. Things happen and guys are going to do that and he wasn't only one to have mocked that dance throughout the season. So it's fine with me."

While it will be an intriguing storyline on the outside, Rogers in fact has a lot of respect for Cruz and his emergence this season. So much so that the seven-year vet voted for him on his Pro Bowl ballot.

Cruz was named as a second alternate to the NFC squad. Meanwhile, picking up two of his six interceptions against the Giants, Rogers made the starting roster.

The two should see plenty of each other again this Sunday.

"First and second down, there's no telling who comes to my side," Rogers told the Bay Area media. "But on third down, a lot of my work is going to be on the inside facing Cruz. He's a good receiver who's come a long way. I'm going to have to do the same this game. They're going to get [Hakeem] Nicks the ball. Each and every down I know my number will be dialed up and I'll feed off that. Any turnovers I can get, I'll try to get."

Cruz was unable to find the end zone during New York's 27-20 loss to San Francisco, but still led the team with six catches for 84 yards with a long of 36. He was targeted 11 times by Eli Manning.

"It's just a matter of seeing him again and understanding that there were some positive things I did against him in the first game," Cruz said of Rogers. "I'm probably going to have to stick to those things. Watching film, he's gotten a lot better since then. He's been doing a lot of good things. It's just a thing where as the game goes on see where he's favoring, see which way he's leaning towards and try to calculate and maneuver off of the way his body is shifting, things like that."

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