The pros and cons of starting CB Eli Apple in 2020

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) Eli Apple
(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) Eli Apple /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Eli Apple /

CON: Confidence issues

Another big problem that could potentially arise with Eli Apple is confidence. The player might be making all the right noises during media availability. But there is just no telling what the first mistake is going to do for his chances to contribute in 2020.

This is a problem that the Carolina Panthers need to keep a close eye on. Apple’s body language has been a strong indicator of how he is feeling on the field in recent seasons, and any slump in his shoulders could spell trouble for the organization.

It could go one of two ways with Apple. He is either going to embrace the last chance saloon from a starting perspective and prove his doubters wrong. Or the player will crumble in the face of concerted pressure to end up back on the free-agent scrapheap.

The stakes are incredibly high for Apple in no uncertain terms. He will all-too-well what the ramifications will be if he continues to regress. But we won’t know whether his lack of confidence is past the point of no return until he gets out onto the field.

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Carolina’s coaching staff will be monitoring his progress and demeanor throughout. And it is going to be interesting to see whether Apple can do enough to make people think differently about his long-term aspirations.