After the AFC championship game, the former New York Giants’ top-10 pick went on a tweetstorm targeting Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman and Chiefs Kingdom as a whole. Both KC wide receivers decided to take the high road, responding that Apple should contact them privately, rather than starting “Twitter beef.”
Heading into the Super Bowl, it looks like Apple is still caught up on the Chiefs. During an exclusive interview with NFL journalist Tyler Dunne of the “Go Long” newsletter, the cornerback had a lot more to say about Hill, Hardman and Kansas City.
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Apple Claims KC Offense ‘Got Cocky’
During the original Twitter rant, Apple told Hill and Hardman to “dm me yall number and I’ll hook yall up wit them super bowl tickets on me.”
The confident DB reiterated that to Dunne. “The offer was out there. They never hit me up,” Apple told the journalist. “They never followed through. I’m sure they’re busy in Cancun or the Pro Bowl. They can hit me up, though… I actually do have two available. I really do. That’s the funniest part.”
Apple has already failed with four NFL franchises since being drafted in 2016. There’s no doubt about it, 2021 is the height of his career so far at age 26, and he’s enjoying every second of it.
He told Dunne that the Bengals’ defense came out of the locker room furious over their first-half performance. “We’re like — ‘We know what they’re going to do. Let’s just go out there and make the plays that come to us. Let’s lock up,'” Apple stated.
After stopping KC on the first drive of the second half, he explained how the momentum had shifted. Apple elaborated: “I was like, alright now, they’re going to feel like — ‘Oh s***. We made a mistake.’ And they’d start pressing. And they did… They got cocky. They wanted to pass. They wanted [Patrick] Mahomes to have the ball in his hands to get rid of us.”
He continued, claiming that Cincinnati knew the Chiefs’ play calls: “We knew the concepts that were coming at us. Before the snap, we had a tell of what they were going to do, and then it was about beating their guys to that spot and competing for the ball… They’re one of those teams that knows what they want to do. Especially when they’re in dropback mode. There’s only so many things they can do with different sets. It’s just about their athletes being fast and our athletes being fast, too. Who can keep up with who?”
This is where Hill and Hardman came into the story. Apple took exception to their “trash talk” and “dancing.”
“They were throwing a big party in that first half. So that second half, the energy kind of shifted and [Hill] started arguing more with the guys instead of celebrating with them. So, it was fun to watch that transpire,” the CB told Dunne.
He highlighted Hardman’s touchdown dance that put the Chiefs up 21-3. “They f***** up,” Apple noted. “Any time anybody does that, it makes you mad as a defense. It makes you want to clean up stuff and make sure they don’t do that anymore. And they didn’t… Once you start getting stops, it’s like — ‘You all f***** up.’ And they knew it.”
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Mahomes ‘Still Not Over It’
After the brief initial replies from Hill and Hardman, the Chiefs have gone radio silent on the topic of Apple and the Bengals. That defeat is in the past and although Mahomes recently admitted that the loss still stings, Kansas City is already looking to 2022.
“I’m still not over it,” the Chiefs QB told reporters at the Pro Bowl. “I don’t think I’ll be over it until we’re playing in another Super Bowl. I’ll have to use that as motivation going forward.”
Motivation is key when it comes to the game of football. In a physical sport like this, it’s not always about talent or strength.
Most times, the winner is the team that’s willing to dig deep for that extra inch and battle for that final score — or stop.
It’s inspired an underdog like the Bengals all year, and according to Apple, motivation even got Cincy the win over the Chiefs. It’ll be up to team leaders like Mahomes and Hill to find new motivation next season.
Maybe it will even be a quote. Something like: “They got cocky… they f***** up.”