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WR Victor Cruz on Packers


Q: Everybody doing good?

A: Everybody is good, yup, thank God.

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Q: Were you there when your daughter was born?

A: I was there.

Q: Did you do the salsa?

A: No, it was a few minutes after when I started doing it.

Q: What did you learn about the playoff intensity?

A: I learned a lot, it's exciting, it's tense, I felt like once the ball was kicked off and once we were in there, all the nerves were out and we were ready to play ball.

Q: How do you like the cold?

A: I played in Massachusetts for four years and that's pretty cold, but it's nothing like-it's never 15 degrees or 20 degrees, so it will be a challenge, but we understand that we have to go in there and brace up, suit up and be ready to play.

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Q: How confident are you after the last Green Bay game?

A: I felt like we held our own that game and it came down to a few plays and a few miscues that we didn't come through on and came down to a field goal, so I think if we get into a shoot out like we did last time, I think we will be okay, but it will have to come down to who has the last touch.

Q: But why do you think that?

A: Basically because from the last time we played it was a shootout and we held our own and did what we had to do and defensively we are going to have to come out with a stop and come out with those key stops that we need in order to win the game.

Q: You have all your weapons now on offense, correct?

A: Exactly and everybody is hitting their stride and doing the right things at the right time.

Q:  Everybody knows the numbers, that the Packers statistically are the worst defense in the NFL. When you look at the film, what do you see that tells you why that is the case?

A: I think it's because- in their secondary at least, they like to gamble a lot, they like to take a lot of chances and risks, which means they either win or they lose big, which explains why they lead the league in interceptions and why they lead the league in giving up big plays, they are tops in the league in giving up big plays. So we understand that and we've seen it on film and we see the different areas that we can take advantage of and hopefully we can do that this Sunday.

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Q:  It does seem like that because you have never shied away from trying to throw deep and if it doesn't work, kind of trying it again?

A: Exactly, exactly, especially if it doesn't work the first time, we see the opening, we are going to call that play call to take advantage of it whether it worked the first time or it's overthrown or broken up, we are going to come right back to it.

Q:  How did they defend you last time?

A: They defended me pretty straight up. In the slot, Wilson was on me and he played me pretty much straight up, it was really no extra safety over the top or no extra help or anything like that so hopefully they stick to that and play me like that again.

Q:  We have written a lot about number 80 this year, who is that 88 guy?

A: I don't know, I think he is new. Is he new around here?

Q: What did you observe about him?

A: He was just doing what he has been doing all year and I am just glad that he was there and he made those big plays when we needed it the most and I am proud of Mario for coming through and getting that big touchdown when we needed it. Those two guys, I am so proud of all year, especially Mario battling injuries early on and he is finally at full health and doing some good things and Hakeem is just, he plays basically out of his mind that weekend and he is just a class act.

Q: What makes him such a big asset?

A: I think a lot of people don't credit him for his work on underneath routes. His underneath routes are great and he is able to maneuver between the defense and catch the ball as he did and turned it up and made a few people miss and was off to the races. So a lot of people don't give him as much credit for his underneath routes as they should.

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Q: How about Mario, same question?

A: Mario just stretches the field. He is a guy who works the back side of the defense and he is over there single, double out of the times and he gets the one on one matchups and he is just going to take advantage of that and that is where he excels.

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Q: Are you as confident as JPP?

A: I mean that is JPP, man, and if he says it, I have to be behind him 100% and I believe in that and I believe in JPP and I mean if you saw the way he has been playing this year it is kind of hard to go against what he is talking about. Obviously these guys are going to come to play, if he makes those kinds of comments and if our defensive line comes to play and our defense is there, then we definitely have a great shot of winning this ball game.

Q: Are you guys ready for an away game?

A: It's going to be good especially because I have been home, I have been relaxing here, I have been running back and forth from home to the stadium all day, every day and playing home so it will be different, especially the weather change and stuff like that, but it's fun man, it's fun to put a suit on and travel and get to a different place, get a different atmosphere and play some football.

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Q:  Because of injuries you haven't always had all three receivers and a healthy tight end during the season. When you got all those pieces, which it seems like you do now, how good can this offense be?

A: I think we can be very good because when everybody is rolling, when everybody is healthy, everybody is ready to go, it is hard to key in on one specific person, it's hard to double team one guy, or focus on one guy because in our offense we can hit you from different places, from different areas of the field with different personnel and different people. So anytime we can get everybody at full strength, or full health, this offense can be very dangerous.

Q: Is your confidence at its highest?

A: I think so, for sure, especially the way we won those games and knowing that it was win or go home and we had to win those games in order to keep our playoff berth alive and especially in the first round of the playoffs in the wild card game, we had to come out and play our best football when our team needed it the most and I think our confidence is sky high and I think if we can keep that rolling all week and understand our task and understand who we are facing, understand our opponent, I think we will be okay.

Q:  Jake Ballard?

A:  Makes a lot of difference. He is a guy- a lot of guys focus on him for blocking and stuff like that, but I think he is deceptive when he gets out in those routes and he has great hands and he can catch the ball and he is strong so it is hard to tackle him at times. So he can make a few people miss, a few people bounce off of him. Anytime he is out there giving us a full strength of his ability gives us a different dynamic.

Q:  How would you describe Victor Cruz as a player?

A: He is a guy who works hard every down, no matter what play is called, he is going to go out and give his full effort and he is slowly understanding what he is doing, especially from playing them one time, and he understands that he has to get open for his quarterback.

Q:  As for last year, the injury and everything with you and this year the way it started out. What does that mean to you to finally get out there?

A: It meant a lot that the team trusted me and had faith in me that I could go in there and get the job done with the specific injuries that we had and stuff like that and they trusted me and understood that I knew this offense and knew what I was doing out there and it was just tremendous for my confidence, especially having my first catch go for a touchdown, so it was just a tremendous feeling for myself and for my family and for everybody, that I knew I could really perform in this league and perform at a high level.

Q: What is your relationship like with Hakeem? A: Me and him are great friends, we talk all the time, we text each other all the time. Even when I am watching film, I will text him and ask him about something because he has a little girl himself and I just had one recently, so I ask him for advice all the time and just how he handles certain things. So me and him get along great and he is a guy that I definitely look at as a friend and a guy who is definitely behind me and supports my career 100 percent.

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