WASHINGTON — Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger is quickly making a name for himself in Washington.
A second-round pick in 2013, Swearinger struggled to live up to his early career projections in Houston, but bounced back on his third NFL team, Arizona, with a productive 2016 season, before signing a three-year contract with the Redskins last offseason.
Thus far through 2017, Swearinger — named defensive captain in his first year with the Redskins — has emerged as a clear leader on the field, and is often seen helping young defenders, like rookie safety Montae Nicholson, get set in the right position pre-snap.
Washington’s Week 3 blowout of Oakland was somewhat of a coming out party for Swearinger, who laid this unforgettable hit on Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, en route to Washington’s defense holding the Raiders to 128 yards of total offense.
Swearinger’s performance earned high praise form one host of NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” broadcast Monday morning.
Host Kyle Brandt noted the Redskins defense faces a tall task in shutting down running back Kareem Hunt Monday night. The Chiefs rookie has already amassed 401 rushing yards, 137 reception yards and six touchdowns through three games, and, last Sunday became the only player in NFL history with a score of at least 50 yards in each of his first three professional games.
“There has been a voice on this program to my right — a small, negligible Jersey accent, great hair — very, very big fan of the Redskins’ defense, making it sound like the Steel Curtain, the Monsters of Midway,” Brandt said, mocking his co-host, Peter Schrager. “D.J. Swearinger: the safety is Ronnie Lott-meets-Wolf Greene.”
“I don’t know what he is,” he said. “The idea now, let’s see it, because here comes big, bad Kareem Hunt. Let’s see something. Peter, I hope you’re right. I’m into it. I want to see that defense, because you’ve got to put a stop to that streak.”
Schrager says he’s looking forward to D.J. Swearinger’s coming out party against Kansas City: “He wears No. 36; he is one of the most ferocious hitters; he’s been around the league, but he finally has a home here.”
“I hope — I hope — we get him on display,” Schrager added. “I think he is the next great star of this league.”