Eli Apple said he has sought and received counsel from several members of the Giants during this frustrating season. He mentioned speaking with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Brandon Marshall.
What about Landon Collins?
“No,” Apple said emphatically on Thursday. “No.”
Interesting. Because on Wednesday, Collins said he and others had initiated several heart-to-heart “sit-downs” with Apple during the season, including as recently as this week.
“Yeah,” Apple said, acknowledging the comments from the safety. Then he indicated that was not the case.
Collins, approached shortly after Apple’s remarks on Thursday, was shocked at the denial.
“He did?” Collins said when told Apple said there had been no conversations with him. “That’s what he said? I guess he don’t remember things then.”
It’s a classic case of DB said, DB said.
Collins said he did not want to “start a controversy with me and my teammate,” but he stood by his version of the relationship between the two young players. Or at least what used to be a relationship. That might not be the case any longer.
“I know what I did,” Collins said. “I spoke highly of him. It is what it is.”
Add it to the swirl of controversy that has enveloped Apple’s sophomore season. The first-round pick from a year ago has missed the last four games, three of them as a healthy scratch. He’s been practicing with the second team this week and interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo did not guarantee that he will play against the Eagles on Sunday.
“It’s not about those four weeks anymore,” Apple said. “It’s about getting out there now. . . . I’m excited to get back on the field and have some fun.”
Before this latest showdown with Collins, Apple was busted for tweeting during the Giants’ game against the Cowboys. It’s a violation of league rules and Spagnuolo said he was “disappointed” in the act. “There wasn’t any confusion, it was just a mistake by me,” Apple said. “It was just a mistake.”
That he retweeted a highlight of Cowboys running back Rod Smith’s 81-yard catch-and-run for the game-sealing touchdown did not sit well with fans and some teammates. “I talked to some guys and explained to them and we’re moving forward,” Apple said.
All of which creates an impression that he has little desire to remain with the Giants. It’s a perception he denied.
“I’m blessed to be where I am right now,” he said. “I appreciate everything. I’m alive, playing football, that’s a blessing. I definitely want to be here.”
Even during this awful season for the team and for him personally.
“You just learn from it,” he said. “I think it’s a great learning experience for everybody.”