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Ahmed “The Sauce” Gardner had a stellar rookie season with the New York Jets, earning first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. He was also a finalist for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
Thus, Gardner earned immediate respect for what he did on the field. But he’s also aware of what he’s doing off the field, and in an interview with Complex’s Zion Olojede ahead of the AFC Championship Game, he said he doesn’t care that the trash talk that Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple is spreading on social media is on his team. Media after beating Buffalo Bills in divisional round:
“I see it. I’m not going to be that upset because I’m too upset Respect the game so don’t be so upset. I’m not the social media type. I love social media but I don’t tweet like other people because I respect the game too much. I don’t condone. I feel like he Should be humble because they’re still in the playoffs because you never know what’s going to happen. I think that’s why a lot of people hate him, his performance doesn’t match his words.
“I talk a lot of trash in the game, but I don’t I really don’t do a lot on twitter Real talk, especially if someone gets knocked out of the playoffs because I know how I feel if I get knocked out of the playoffs. ”
Here are some of Apple’s comments after the Bengals beat the Bills 27-10 Crap:
Eli Apple @EliApple
Someone put them in couples therapy @JoshAllenQB and @stefondiggs I will pay for God 🙏🏿 https://t.co/MIOzAuWdbF
They won’t do it after the game 🤔 https://t.co/B0t45N7cEv
Eli Apple @EliApple
Cancun 3 🏿 https://t.co/oOHSw1AMsT a>
A rookie cornerback making negative comments about the actions of one of his peers may not always play well in NFL circles. But consider that after his first season, Gardner added another Pro Bowl selection, an All-Pro selection, and only three fewer interceptions than Apple had in his seven-year career — Gardner Twice in his rookie season, Apple has five career interceptions — in this case, it probably won’t piss anyone off.
After all, Apple is a controversial figure.
Meanwhile, Gardner has bigger ideas.
“Oh yes, absolutely,” when asked if he thought he could be an all-time great At cornerback, he replied.
“There are a lot of great guys, like Deion Sanders. I’m still working on their game. The fact that I can get in and keep the pace I want to finish is a real blessing. But I’m hoping to win a Super Bowl. That’s my main goal. That’s the main goal I’m trying to get out of.”
Gardner, in his first season , leading the football with 20 pass defenses.
If he can build on his stellar rookie season, he will undoubtedly be on a unique path. The Jets certainly won’t regret taking him with the No. 4 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
His level of play really speaks for him.