Eli Apple learning on the fly: Some good, some bad as defensive back settles in with Saints secondary (1 Viewer)

By Nick Underhill | The Advocate

Every team plays some variation of the same coverages.

There are only so many ways a secondary can line up and defend an offense. But the smaller details of how those coverages get played vary from location to location, and those details often determine success or failure.

“You could go to any defense and say, ‘Do you play Cover 3?’ I’m sure they have a Cover 3 in their repertoire,” Saints safety Kurt Coleman said. “But it’s a matter of how do they want you to align, how do they want you to play certain formations? That stuff can only be gained through experience and time together.”

That’s why this week’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is essentially the seventh game of the season for the New Orleans secondary. That might sound like ample time to get Eli Apple, who was acquired in a trade with the New York Giants in October, fully acclimated, but also remember he didn't get to spend an offseason learning the defense.

The cornerback has been learning on the fly. There have been some games where the results have been good. New Orleans shut down the Philadelphia and Cincinnati passing attacks, save for Apple surrendering a touchdown at the goal line against the Bengals. And despite Falcons receiver Julio Jones picking up 147 yards, not all of which were on Apple, it felt like the cornerback limited the damage to a certain degree. ...

Full Story - The Advocate
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Andrus Whitewing

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