Anger, confusion, and distress plagued the New York Giants in 2017, and cornerback Eli Apple played an integral part in the demise of the locker room. His lack of effort on the field and his immaturity caused several conflicts with teammates and anonymously ripped the coaching staff.
Apple has returned under new management in 2018, and this time around his superiors are watching over him closely. They know he’s a wild card with erratic tendencies, but his potential is still present. The former Ohio State corner entered the league with big expectations in which he failed to live up to, but the Giants gave him a second chance at life in the NFL. After-all, he was just 21 years-old and dealing with a mother that needed brain surgery.
“Right when they told me, I was just like, you know what, just the way stuff ended (last season), I didn’t want it to ever get to that,” Apple said in a report by Dan Salomone of the Giants. “So every day I’ve just been thinking about just being better, being more positive.”
“I’m just trying to grow with the defense and get the techniques down that the coaches are teaching,” said Apple. “Just keep a positive mindset because the whole team, the defensive guys, we know it’s going to be a grinding season. So we’re just trying to take it a day at a time.”
Manifesting positive thoughts and actions will ultimately be the only way for Apple to become the mature player he needs to be. The starting corner finished with similar numbers last season as his rookie year. That can be depicted as a downward trend when considering development.
Eli Apple managed just 41 total tackles in 2017, failing to record a single interception and defending eight passes over the course of 11 games.
With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie departing this offseason, Apple will play an integral role in the secondary this season. He must show signs of improvement if he wants to remain a Giants for the foreseeable future, but time is running out.