SANTA CLARA -- Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz explained Wednesday why he felt so disrespected when 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers copied Cruz's salsa-dance celebration a year ago.
"It's something I do for my grandmother and something that's sacred to me," Cruz said. "Due to her passing, and even before, it's why I do it. She taught me how to do it. Knowing that, it's a little slap in the face."
Lucy Molina died last month at age 77.
Rogers did the salsa shuffle after one of his two interceptions in the 49ers' 27-20 win over the Giants last Nov. 13.
On Tuesday, Rogers said he may feel inclined to repeat that salsa impression -- and he said so presumably without knowledge of Cruz's grandmother-inspired story.
"If I make a play or an interception, in my mind, I'll say 'Just do his dance,' " Rogers said.
If Rogers indeed busts out the salsa moves, Cruz said: "I obviously won't be OK with that. It is what it is. He'll choose what he wants to do. I won't retaliate or do something crazy. But it won't sit well with me."
Rogers said he simply likes the dance and thinks it's fun, rather than a way to disrespect Cruz.
Cruz's salsa dance has become his trademark end-zone celebration. He had three touchdown receptions in the Giants' comeback Sunday over the Cleveland Browns.
The Cruz-Rogers matchup turned out to be a highly visible one in the NFC Championship game, and Cruz finished with 10 receptions for 142 yards in the Giants' 20-17 overtime win.
Cruz had eight catches for 125 yards before halftime of that victory, when he often was matched up in single coverage against Rogers.
"I doing pretty good job manipulating him to get open and Eli (Manning) kept finding me," said Cruz, who noted that the 49ers switched to more zone coverage in the second half to contain him.
Cruz is hoping for similar coverage this Sunday in the Giants' return to Candlestick:
"From what I'm seeing on film, there's man coverage out there, some zone as well. Hopefully I expect the same as last year: a lot of Carlos Rogers on me, the usual things, so I can do the same as I did last year."