CB Eli Apple
October 4, 2017
Q: What does the defense need to do to play better?
A: Just come together and get on the same page and communicate better.
Q: What has been missing with the defense?
A: Just the communication could be a lot better. The execution [could be better]. And understanding how offenses are going to attack us because they saw the way we played defense last year and I think theyíre trying to scheme us and weíve just got to adjust better.
Q: What has been your reaction to the criticism the defense has taken the last couple of weeks?
A: I mean, that comes with the territory. Thatís why I love this game because thatís how it is, the outside world, they go crazy. But we know ourselves and we know how weíve got to fix things, itís just about executing it.
Q: How important is it for the team to stay together right now and has that been a message?
A: Yeah, itís been a message. But we just know how good we are and thatís why so many people are so mad. Weíre just underachieving kind of. So, we know that and we just want to get it fixed.
Q: Do you see tentativeness on the defense?
A: A little bit. I think weíre kind of thinking too much a little bit out there on the field, instead of just going out and playing like we did last year. And weíve just got to try to just get the communication down, thatís the main thing. If we donít get that down, weíre not able to move fast out there.
Q: Is it surprising that communication has been such an issue?
A: Yeah, itís very surprising. It is, itís very surprising. But weíve really been going hard in practice and weíve been trying our best to fix it. But itís going to come together hopefully.
Q: Have you noticed that teams are going after you early in games?
A: Itís not a matter of teams just coming at me early. And if that is the case, I welcome it, to be honest. But, it happens, you know? Anytime youíre lined up against great receivers, like [Tampa Bay wide receiver] Mike Evans, heís going to get the best of you sometimes and it happens. I just wish I was able to stay on him more in the game, they kind of took me off of him and put me on [Tampa Bay wide receiver] DeSean Jackson. But, this is a learning curve, itís a learning lesson and thatís how I take everything.
Q: Would you rather follow one receiver in a game?
A: Not follow him, but after that touchdown, they kind of just took me off of [Evans], you know what I mean? I just wish I had another crack at him because I feel like Iím a good enough corner to cover anybody, to be honest.
Q: Did you have a discussion with the coaches about wanting to stay with Evans?
A: No, itís just flow of the game, you know?
Q: How do you look back at Evansí touchdown against you last week?
A: Youíve just got to know the situation. Being left out on an island, youíve just got to understand that youíve got to know the tendencies of somebody like Mike Evans. The likelihood of him running a slant in that situation is slim, so you should expect him to do a fade. Thatís on me, awareness-wise. And then at the point of attack, you should know that he likes to push off, so I was thinking about just trying to stay off and split the difference between where the ball was and the goal line, but I just decided to press and I shouldíve just sat back and gone on top and then look back. But with him, anytime youíre on his hip, heís going to push off. So, itís just a learning thing. Just take it one game at a time and learn from each game, try to get better.
Q: Are you still confident, even after you give up a big play?
A: Yeah, because I know anytime something does happen, I take the approach that I didnít really give it up, kind of. It was just something that I did, that I made a mistake. It wasnít, the dude was just better than me. I never think that on the football field. I always think like, ĎDang, if I wouldíve done this differently, I wouldíve made the play.í So, anytime I line up on the football field, I have 100 percent confidence, no matter what.
Q: How do you eliminate those mistakes?
A: Once again, learn a lesson. So, you watch the film and you correct it and you just try not to make the same mistake twice. And if it does happen again, you just continue to learn from it, continue to rep it in practice. Itís going to take time sometimes, but youíve just got to continue to stay at it and keep grinding.
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge with going up against Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers?
A: Just his receivers, Keenan Allen is really good, possession-wise, underneath on the slant routes. He probably has the best slant route out there, the way he sets up corners. And you have Travis Benjamin, who also is very fast in the slot. He can take the top off any defense. And then they have a couple other guys as well who you canít sleep on. So, they have receivers all across and their tight end is really good. So, itís another challenge and weíre definitely looking forward to it.
Q: Did you play in the slot more than usual last weekend against Tampa Bay?
A: I donít believe so. No.
Q: Is it helpful to be able to assume that teams will try to attack your side more because you have a shutdown corner like Janoris Jenkins on the other side?
A: No, I never think about that at all. I just go out there, play my game, try to make the plays that come my way.
Q: Do you think that teams are attacking you early in games?
A: I mean, their approach is their approach. I know Iím playing my game anytime Iím out on the field.