Eli Apple spent a good deal of time studying and preparing to face Brandon Marshall. He wanted to go against the big-bodied receiver not only to test himself but also because he felt it would be an opportunity to prepare for his possible Week 1 assignment against Dez Bryant.
So what did Apple think when he learned just before kickoff Saturday night that Marshall would not be playing because of injured hips?
“Shoot,” he said.
Instead, Apple locked up with Eric Decker for most of the game. Targeted three times, he did not allow a reception and broke up two of the passes.
“It was interesting for sure,” Apple said. “He’s a guy who is a physical receiver, very fast. They tried to target me a lot in the beginning and I kind of expected that. I just wanted to compete and show my stuff.”
Apple said he welcomes such challenges.
“As a corner, you want to get your chances to make an impact on the game,” he said. “Anytime they target you, it’s an opportunity . . . Because I’m a rookie, they want to see if I’m a guy who can actually hold up his end. They’re definitely going to test me. That’s how it’s going to go this year.”
How did he feel he did in his first test against the Jets?
“I think I responded pretty well on a couple of throws,” he said.
Just not against Marshall.
“I wanted a chance and an opportunity,” Apple said. “But he’s a great receiver and I might be able to see him down the road.”