David Tyree visited his old team on its new stomping grounds, bearing books for his former teammates and hoping to meet wide receiver Victor Cruz.
Tyree, who had a momentum-changing catch against the side of his helmet as the Giants won Super Bowl XLII after the 2007 season, said he sees some remarkable similarities between that year and this one.
"I think all the parallels are there," Tyree said.
Tyree pointed out a few of those things, such as earlier this season when Jake Ballard had a catch in a win at New England that reminded many onlookers of Tyree's own catch. He also noted that the score of the loss to Green Bay, 38-35, this season was the same as the loss to the Patriots in the '07 regular season. That game sparked the Giants' run to the title.
"Honestly, there was just so many points to this season, some moments that make you say, 'Hmmm,'" Tyree said.
Perhaps the most notable similarity revolves around the rise of an unheralded wide receiver. Tyree feels a bit of a connection between his trip from obscurity to fame and that of Cruz.
"Obviously you've got the Jersey native not known at all prior to the season," Tyree said. "I said this -- I think I was talking with Amani Toomer just randomly -- I don't think I've ever seen a season like this before for a receiver in NFL history, just from the anonymous detail of his life to coming in and leading the NFL in receiving."
Cruz set the Giants' single-season record with 1,536 receiving yards, the third-best total in the NFL. He hauled in 82 receptions and scored nine touchdowns.
Tyree had never met Cruz and peeked up from the scrum of reporters to spy his locker so as not to miss him. Tyree, who just had his sixth child, also brought copies of his book, "More Than Just The Catch."
"Obviously there’s a lot of excitement around New York and for all the right reasons," he said.
Tyree said he hadn't been in to talk to the Giants, that the team is pretty focused on its goal, but that he had been at the Green Bay game and would be at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. All the parallels are nice, but there is one similarity that bodes well for his former team's future.
"Most importantly, the New York Giants are playing their best football going into the playoffs," Tyree said.