If the NFL had an award for Cockiest Player of the Year Without Any Good Reason, then Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple would have taken it home at this year’s NFL Honors award ceremony. Apple has had quite the bit to say during the Bengals’ surprising run to the Super Bowl for a player with zero accolades in his career and who’s considered a first-round bust, and was overshadowed by is mother Annie the first years of his career.
Not only is Apple unabashedly overconfident, but he makes matters worse by running his mouth. Like a lot of people today, Apple takes to Twitter and starts spouting off about whatever comes to mind. A couple of weeks ago, Apple trashed two of his former teams’ fans in the Giants and Saints on back-to-back days.
But Bad Apple wasn’t done there. He decided to double-down on the Saints and, unlike most, hasn’t deleted either Tweet from his page. Give him credit for standing by his nonsense, but he did go pretty hard at New Orleans, and they took a chance on Eli after New York no longer had any use for him.
Before his playoff run during this postseason with Cincinnati, Apple had played in three playoff games and had zero interceptions, 11 tackles, 2 pass defenses, and 1 QB hit. Most people had forgotten he was even in the league at one point. And his feelings toward Saints and Giants fans are mutually shared.
Of all the players on the Bengals’ roster, Apple should be the last players to open his mouth so often in such a negative manner. We’re talking about a player that has yet to be named to a Pro Bowl, All-Pro, or any other individual NFL award you can think of. He’s been a below-average player for most of his career. Now Apple is riding the coattails of the Bengals’ offense and top performers for the defense, and it’s landed him in the Super Bowl.
We know the names on the Bengals offense, and they’ve done an outstanding job this year. Most notably, Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, but if anyone on the defense has earned the right to run their mouth, it would be defensive end Trey Hendrickson. Hendrickson made his first Pro Bowl this season and is the only Bengals defender so honored. Nobody wants to hear from Eli anymore. Apple could get roasted five times in one quarter, but if his team manages to win, he’ll be more unbearable than ever.
I can’t wait to see how Apple deals with guarding Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. at different points of this game. I’d be shocked if there weren’t a couple of Eli Apple memes that come directly from this Super Bowl. He’s going to be roasted no less than a time or two in this one. It’s just a matter of how bad it is and if the rest of this Bengals defense can pick up Apple’s slack after he’s been dusted off by the Rams’ offense.