Coughlin, Rice applaud Cruz

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tom Coughlin could not have been prouder of Victor Cruz than he was on Wednesday.

The Giants' head coach lauded his receiver for visiting the family of Jack Pinto, a 6-year-old who was buried in a replica Cruz jersey. (Read Cruz's emotional account of the trip).

Pinto was among 20 children who died Friday during the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn.

"Incredibly proud of what he's done," Coughlin said of Cruz. "Incredibly. That family will remember that all their days. Hopefully, at least some of their grief may temporarily be spent in being able to embrace Victor Cruz.

"The fact that he went and did that speaks volumes about what he has in him, inside."

Baltimore running back Ray Rice, who will play against the Giants on Sunday, was touched by Cruz's gesture as well.

"Heart," Rice said, to describe Cruz's visit. "You've got to be able to put yourself in that family's situation to understand at least what they're going through. That's what it's about.

"You do it from the heart. You do it from within. What he did was amazing because, honestly, I was affected by that more than I've ever been affected before."

Rice continued: "We get caught up, wrapped up in our own little world of fantasy football and winning and losing, that we sorta forget that there's people out there that's really hurting. And those people of Newtown are really hurting right now. That's not an excuse for going out there and laying an egg on the field, but after the game's over, you've still got to face life. We all need to realize that."