The New York Giants went through some tumultuous times in 2017, but the road is clearing up and the players are changing their mentality wholeheartedly.
The biggest feud last season was between star safety Landon Collins and struggling cornerback Eli Apple. After anonymous rippings of the coach and players, Collins began to publicly attack Apple for his transgressions, claiming he was a “cancer” in the locker room. This began to spill over into games, as Apple would lack effort completely and eventually would be benched.
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It’s important to recognize the factors that played a part in the demise of Apple — his mother was having brain surgery and was cheating on her husband with his best friend. Apple’s step-father was his biggest influence, and his departure left the young corner in total disarray. Now that his personal life seems to be in a better place, his efforts on the field are improving as well.
In OTAs, Apple made several highlight plays, blanketing receivers and defending several passes. It’s nice to see the No. 10 overall pick is finally taking his role seriously. The Giants will need his services in 2018.
Where does his relationship stand with Landon Collins?
When Collins was asked about his current relationship with Apple, he stated:
â€œIt was a great building [experience], getting on the same page, and making sure [we know] how we feel about one another,â€ CollinsÂ said on Tuesday at a Thuzio question and answer event at Slate with Tiki Barber in Manhattan,Â via The Post. â€œThatâ€™s my little bro.â€™â€
Earlier in the offseason, Collins stated that he had buried the hatched with Apple and things were on the up-and-up. Since saying that, it has proved to be true. For new defensive coordinator James Bettcher, Apple is perfect for his system. He’s an aggressive cover corner with elite speed and the ability to cover one-on-one. Being that Bettcher loves to utilize his linebackers, he will expect the secondary to hold it down in single-coverage, or cover two.
“Yeah, I’m glad to see him back,” Collins said to reporters,Â via Big Blue Interactive. “He’s a great corner. He is very smart, I love that he comes up and lays the boom on guys and he’s a great coverage guy. We need him and we’re glad to have him back.”
After new general manager Dave Gettleman allowed Apple a second chance at life with the Giants, the young corner stated:
“I’m going toÂ come in with a different attitude and just be positive out there on the field and just do everything that I can to make myself better as a player, and everybody else better as a team,” Apple said to reporters after Monday’s practice. “This offseason,Â I just cleared my head and talked to the guys I needed to talk to, the veterans, speaking to the coaches and spending some good quality time with good people…Â Was I embarrassed? Of course. Nobody wants to go out the way I went out…I mean, it was all over the place, so of course.Â Â I think Iâ€™m growing every day as a person. Iâ€™m still young, so I just want to continue to grow and try to learn as much as possible…I think Iâ€™m aÂ 22 year-oldÂ guy, just ready to get to work and continue to work hard and just build on that.”
At 22 years-old, Apple has not even entered his prime. He will have a chance at redemption in 2018, and if things go well, he could complete a major turnaround in his playing career, and his personal life.