D.J. Swearinger didn’t get the nickname “Swag” by just going about his business on the football field.
“On the field I’m a trash talker,” Swearinger said. “I’m a cocky dude; I’m a bad dude on the field. I mean being real, you can call me what you want because I’m going to get the job done.”
Swearinger came into Texans rookie camp as a loud, energetic and confident safety. He was a player that flew around the massive stadiums in the SEC with a reckless abandon. When the veterans arrived during OTAs, Swearinger didn’t shy away or quiet down.
“He always says this stuff like, ‘DeeeeeeBeeeees’,” safety Danieal Manning said. “He does that a lot and so we’re all like, ‘look at him’. It’s cool; he comes in, has that chant, and guys here it across the field.”
“As a DB (defensive back) you got to have some swag, you got to have some good personality too. You know, have fun,” Swearinger said. “You know after the play man I’m an emotional guy. When I’m out there playing and I make a big hit, a big play you know I feel it. It just comes out of me you know, whatever I feel I got a little signature thing I got to do.”
Swearinger has always had that “Swag” and he brought it everywhere he went. Sam Montgomery’s mom actually gave Swearinger the nickname back when he was on a basketball court at nine years old.
During his senior season against in-state rival Clemson, Swearinger got the crowd going even before kickoff with his unmatched intensity.
“I knocked the ball down on Clemson’s side before the game,” Swearinger said as he started to get excited as he told the story. “You know when we were walking through to go to the other sideline, I saw the ball and I just knocked it down. Like ‘ya’ll going to get that all game’. There was a lot of trash talk and I mean, I like talking trash.”
When Swearinger came into camp the veterans in the secondary fell in love with his confidence and motor.
“I just liked his work ethic when he came in,” Manning said. “He listened to the guys and when he saw something that wasn’t (good) he took charge. I liked the way he led his group. When he came in he had his little chant that he always does.”
Manning feels players that bring a little something extra like Swearinger does, can help a team get over that final hurdle.
“It lights a fire,” Manning said. “That’s what I said about that friendly competitiveness that both players, both teams have. I like it, he challenges me, I challenge him, that’s what you do when you’re at the work place. I think that’s what you need to make your Super Bowl run, guys like that.”