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Eli Apple preparing to contribute defensively for New Orleans Saints

"I'm just going to do whatever I can to make this a better ball team"

Eli Apple wasn't openly courting a departure from the Giants, but if he had to be traded, New Orleans was among the preferred destinations.

"Most definitely," the third-year cornerback said.

He's reunited with former Ohio State teammates (cornerback Marshon Lattimore, safety Vonn Bell and receiver Michael Thomas) on a first-place Saints team (5-1 in the NFC South) that's preparing to play a nationally-televised game against the Vikings (4-2-1) on Sunday night at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

So, for Apple, the trade from the Giants, in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in 2019 and a seventh-round pick in '20, to the Saints was a beneficial change of scenery.

"I think so," he said." Just, new everything right now. Just the guys in the locker room, the people I know here, Coach (Sean) Payton. Everything."

"It's a lot. It's a lot of emotions. It was a wild 24 hours, but I'm happy to be here and can't wait to go to work."

It's a "good" new for Apple and a welcome addition for the Saints, who were able to add a potential starter at cornerback. The position was thinned due to the season-ending injury to Patrick Robinson in Week 3.

"I'm just going to do whatever I can to make this a better ball team," Apple said.

"I just want to go hard and learn as much as you can and talk to the guys and just get acclimated."

Apple started all five games he played this year for the Giants, rebounding from a 2017 season where he played 11 games, started seven of them and was suspended for the season finale due to a "pattern of behavior that is conduct detrimental to the team," according to the Giants.

"All about business now," Apple said, after being asked how he has changed from last year. "Just sticking to football, working as hard as I can, trying to work on my craft. That's all you can do after something like last year, is sit and learn, make sure I don't make the same mistakes twice."

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