Landon Collins: Eli Apple ‘has to grow up’
Landon Collins was quick to come out and publicly support Eli Apple when his New York Giants teammate was having issues at work and in his personal life, but things seem to have changed in a hurry.
Apple has been benched for several games this season in addition to fined by the team, and Collins said last week that he has sat down with Apple numerous times to speak with him about the importance of being a good teammate. Apple later told reporters Collins was lying. In an appearance on 98.7 ESPN’s “The Michael Kay Show” Monday, Collins offered a much harsher assessment of Apple’s season.
“I can’t tell you man. That’s a hard topic to speak on,” Collins said, via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. “As a player, he’s a great player. As a man, he has his ups and downs. But when he’s on the field, I think he’s trying to be as much accountable as he can. He understands, I think the business side of the game did it to him, because this game is not for long. And I think he finally understands that even if you’re a first-rounder, you can always be cut.
Even if Collins did try to mentor Apple in the past, he seems unwilling to do it going forward.
“Look, we’re all grown men in there,” he said. “He has to grow up. Mentor and raising are two different things. Right now, I feel like we’re doing one more than the other.”
Apple said last week that other teammates like Brandon Marshall and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have tried to help him, but he claims Collins wasn’t one of them. Apple is 22 and Collins is only 23, so perhaps Apple feels he isn’t the right person to hand out advice.
Apple has dealt with issues in his personal life this year after his mother underwent brain surgery, but there have been more than a few reports indicating he is having problems with his teammates and coaches. It would not be a surprise if the 2016 first-round pick tries to convince the Giants to part ways with him this offseason.