New York Giants: Pro Bowl

Cruz and Giants star in Pro Bowl

January, 27, 2013

Victor Cruz’s first Pro Bowl appearance was one to remember.

The wide receiver had 10 receptions for 96 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown came off a pass from teammate Eli Manning, and Cruz celebrated with his trademark salsa dance.

Manning completed five passes for 43 yards to Cruz on the drive that resulted in their touchdown hookup that put the NFC up 17-14 in the second quarter. The NFC went on to rout the AFC 62-35.

On the drive that led to Cruz's touchdown, the wide receiver said the NFC -- coached by Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy’s coaching staff -- called some plays the Giants like to use.

And Manning looked often for his security blanket.

"Yeah, no doubt," Manning said about targeting Cruz in an interview on the sideline during the game on NBC. "So anytime you need a completion, go to the guy you know [who] you’ve thrown 100 balls to the last two seasons. I got into a groove."

All four Giants in the Pro Bowl contributed to the win. Manning completed 16 of 23 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed a 52-yard bomb and a 3-yard touchdown pass to Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, who was the game's MVP with five receptions for 122 yards and one touchdown. Manning did have one mistake; he threw a pick-six to Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson early in the second quarter.

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul finished his season with a sack of Peyton Manning and even made a rare leaping interception in the end zone at the end of the game while covering Houston defensive end J.J. Watt, who was used a couple of times in the red zone on offense.

"That interception by JPP in the end zone was pretty impressive," Cruz said in an interview on NBC. "I know I am biased, but it was impressive."

Giants guard Chris Snee, who said he will undergo hip surgery after the Pro Bowl, started and played both guard positions.

But it was Cruz who shone the most of the Pro Bowl Giants, and he got to deliver his trademark salsa touchdown dance. Cruz said he did think about incorporating some hula dance into his celebration to do a Hawaiian salsa.

"I gave it a little bit of thought," Cruz said. "But my first Pro Bowl, I felt like I got to keep it classic."

Stevie Brown added to Pro Bowl ballot

December, 12, 2012
[+] EnlargeStevie Brown
Jim O'Connor/USA TODAY SportsStevie Brown is second in the NFL with seven interceptions.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Giants safety Stevie Brown has been added to the Pro Bowl ballot, a team official told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Brown has started the team's past nine games and is second in the NFL in interceptions, with seven. He had two interceptions and a forced fumble in the Giants' 52-27 win over the Saints on Sunday.

The Giants signed Brown in April to add depth in their secondary. He was inserted in the starting lineup when Kenny Phillips went down with a knee injury, and has thrived in that role.

Brown, 25, was drafted in the seventh round by the Raiders in 2010 out of Michigan. He had 30 tackles in 15 games with Oakland his rookie year. He was with the Colts last season, playing in eight games and recording five tackles.

Cruz a little surprised about Pro Bowl snub

December, 28, 2011
Victor Cruz isn't going to lie. The receiver was a little surprised he wasn't named to the NFL Pro Bowl roster, instead being nominated as a second alternative.

"You always want to come in and be optimistic and understand that all those guys [who] made it deserve it, and they all had a heck of a year," Cruz said. "I am happy for those guys, congratulations to them. Hopefully we are playing in the Super Bowl."

Cruz is third in the league with 1,358 yards and has 76 catches and eight touchdowns on the year. He is the Giants' single-season leader in receiving yards and has a chance to add to that total this weekend against Dallas.

Despite those numbers, he did not make the Pro Bowl, with the four spots instead going to Detroit's Calvin Johnson, Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, Carolina's Steve Smith and Green Bay's Greg Jennings.

As Cruz said, he hopes to not even be eligible for the Pro Bowl; players from Super Bowl-bound teams don't play in the all-star game. But the Giants must beat the Cowboys on Sunday to simply make the playoffs.

For Cruz, it's a chance to knock out the team that he grew up rooting for. He said he doesn't have hatred of the Cowboys just yet.

"I was a pretty big [fan]. I was pretty upset when we lost to the Giants a couple of years back when I was in college," Cruz said. "I was a pretty avid fan. I had a Deion [Sanders] old throwback jersey.

"It's huge. I will be thinking of my Dad the whole time, he was the one who made me a Cowboys fan. It will be one of those games that you dream about playing your while life and I am excited for the opportunity. "

In his first game against the Cowboys, in which he had six catches for 74 yards, he said that it was an amazing feeling to play at Dallas and he had goosebumps going into that game. He said that it helps playing Dallas less than three weeks ago, since the Cowboys likely won't change up much of their defense. The Giants scored 37 points in that game.

"I think it will help me a lot," Cruz said of facing the secondary before. "Initially that was my first time going up against those guys. I watch a lot of film, but you don't really get to see it unless you are out there. I know them a little bit better now and some of the tendencies and stuff like that. Should be a good matchup."

He added about playing for the NFC East title: "We are very excited. Anytime you get to play the Cowboys for all the marbles, tension will be high. Makes for a great game and a great environment. Giants fans will be at the game in full force."
Four Giants and two Jets will participate in the Pro Bowl (7 p.m. Sunday).

Two New York centers -- Nick Mangold of the Jets and Shaun O'Hara of the Giants -- were named to the Pro Bowl but will miss the game because of injuries.

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US PresswireThe Giants' Antrel Rolle will start at free safety for the NFC.

Zak DeOssie, Giants, long snapper: The NFC coach, Mike Smith of Atlanta, named DeOssie to his second Pro Bowl squad. DeOssie, 26, also made the team after the 2008 season.

D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Jets, offensive tackle: Ferguson, 27, made the team outright this season and will start. He replaced an injured Jake Long of Miami last year.

Darrelle Revis, Jets, cornerback: This is the third Pro Bowl in a row for Revis, 25, who will start. He had an interception in the 2009 game.

Antrel Rolle, Giants, safety: Rolle, 28, made the Pro Bowl in his first season with the Giants. He will start at free safety; the original starter, Nick Collins of the Packers, will miss the game because of the Super Bowl.

Chris Snee, Giants, guard: This is the third consecutive Pro Bowl for Snee, 29, who will start.

Justin Tuck, Giants, defensive end: This is the second Pro Bowl for Tuck, 27, who also earned a trip to Honolulu after the 2008 season.