Eli Apple was a bust in his first season with the New York Giants, but he has quickly become Cincinnati’s starting cornerback. He credits this turnaround to staying focused on what matters most: not only defending his opponents but also himself.
The “bengals defense 2021” is how Eli Apple went from bust to starter, helping the Bengals to the playoffs.
CINCINNATI, OHIO — After a rout of the Baltimore Ravens in October, Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple could be heard before he was spotted running into the visitors’ locker room.
He peeled around the corner of Cincinnati’s locker room at M&T Bank Stadium and let loose with a little light teasing.
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Apple responded, “Big truss,” referring to the Ravens’ catchphrase throughout the years. “This is a massive truss. The truss is not large, but it is quite astronomical. Astronomical.”
It was an unvarnished moment of excitement for someone who had little of it during one of the most topsy-turvy NFL careers in the previous decade after the first of two blowout victories this season against Baltimore.
Apple, in his fifth season in the NFL, is enjoying his finest year ever and has played a crucial role in the Bengals’ drive for their first postseason appearance since 2015.
Apple told ESPN, “I’ll say I’m absolutely having the most fun.” “I’ve been the healthiest.” I’m feeling the happiest I’ve felt in a long time.”
Considering the slew of experiences Apple has had since the New York Giants took him with the 10th overall choice in the 2016 NFL Draft, those words are noteworthy.
The brief version is as follows: He was moved to the New Orleans Saints after just two and a half seasons in New York, after being dubbed a “cancer” in the locker room by a Giants colleague. He joined with the Carolina Panthers after two seasons in New Orleans, where he battled injuries in his lone year there.
In retrospect, Apple confesses that he “didn’t handle things brilliantly in New York” and lacked the ability to deal with hardship and avoid being affected by unpleasant occurrences.
“I’ll have a nice moment, then something else happens, and it’ll be a negative moment,” Apple said. “I wouldn’t be able to recover as quickly as I need to.”
Apple needed a new club after his season with the Panthers, and the Bengals wanted to add cornerback depth.
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All of these are instances of Apple’s recent expansion.
“It takes time for most of us to find the correct pace,” Annie Apple told ESPN. “It takes time for us to truly build not only our talents and abilities, but our resilience.” “And I believe he’s bang on the money.”
In Cincinnati, things haven’t always been simple for Apple. Early in the season, he had some low points, such as surrendering a score to Donovan Peoples-Jones in a defeat to Cleveland in Week 9, which drew considerable criticism from the fan base. Despite this, Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor and his staff backed him up.
When questioned about the cornerback position, Taylor remarked last month, “It’s one of the toughest positions to play in all of football.” “It’s one of my wife’s favorite quotes, and she’s right.
“I don’t envy those folks their jobs, but he does a fantastic job.” He plays with a lot of self-assurance, and he’s done a lot of positive things for us this year.”
Apple will be a significant contributor as the Bengals prepare to face the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET on CBS), with Cincinnati (9-6) needing one victory out of its last two games to capture the AFC North championship.
Apple is now self-actualized and experiencing an enormous feeling of freedom, which has resulted in moments like the one after the triumph in Baltimore. It’s a reflection of Apple’s delight and self-assurance in Cincinnati. And it will take a lot of effort to alter that.
“You simply have to care about yourself and realize that whatever you believe about yourself is much more significant than what you think about someone else,” Apple stated. “You don’t have to worry about anybody else as long as you work hard and put in the effort.”
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