The Eagles corners play a very physical brand of coverage. Both Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie prefer to play press man and have done so to great effect this season. But will their physicality hurt them now that the real refs are back?
"Not just at the line of scrimmage, but more so down the field they're pulling and grabbing, because these refs aren't trained to see those type of calls as much as the normal refs are. It's definitely been tough to deal with, but as an athlete and a competitor, you don't want to make any excuses."
While Cruz may perceive this, the numbers don't seem to bear out that these guys are letting the defenders get away with more. In fact, pass interference penalties were up under the replacements.
Either way though, Cruz told WFAN this week that he expects a tough matchup from the Eagles corners.
"They've got some pretty good corners in Cromartie and Nnamdi, so it's going to be important for us to get off to a good start, to come out there and really play our best football early on. ... They like to play press coverage, which is what we've been seeing. We're excited about the challenge."
Cruz certainly didn't have a tough time of it against the Eagles last season with 9 catches 238 yards & 3 TDs in 2 games.