Brett Swain, WR

backrow

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here's Brett article.

Long-shot receiver Swain looks to Welker as model

By Pete Dougherty
pdougher@greenbaypressgazette.com

At first blush, probably the most puzzling pick of the Green Bay Packers' draft was the selection of receiver Brett Swain in the seventh round.


General Manager Ted Thompson had supplemented a deep receiving corps with his first pick, No. 36 overall early in the second round, with Kansas State's Jordy Nelson. He joins starters Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, and backups James Jones, Koren Robinson and Ruvell Martin for what appears to be a strong, six-deep unit.

Why spend a draft pick on another receiver who faces long odds to make the roster?

It was Thompson's shot at an underrated prospect who he and his scouts think, in a best-case scenario, could develop into something like Wes Welker, the former undrafted rookie who has blossomed into a premier slot receiver for the New England Patriots.

"He's a little bit taller and bigger than Welker, though I'm not trying to compare him. Wes Welker is an outstanding professional football player," Thompson said. "(But Swain) is a very good route runner, he's very good at understanding where he is in space, understanding when he's open, when he's not, how to run routes, how to set up defenders. The more tape we watched, the more we liked him. We think he's got a chance."

There are some similarities between Welker and Swain. Foremost, both are on the small side, and neither was considered much of a pro prospect coming out of college. Welker was highly productive at Texas Tech, but was only 5-toot-9 and 185 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash in a pedestrian 4.6 seconds. Swain is a little bigger at 6-0 and 200, but he wasn't invited to the NFL scouting combine, and scouts gave him an estimated time in the 40 of 4.65 seconds going into the offseason. Only after running the 40 in 4.41 seconds at his campus workout in March did he get on teams' radars.

For now, Swain is just a low draft pick trying to make a team, while the extraordinarily quick-footed Welker tied for the league lead in receptions last season with 112. That, only three years after the San Diego Chargers signed him as an undrafted rookie, then cut him after one game.

Later that year, Welker excelled as a returner for Miami, which gradually integrated into the regular offense over the next two seasons. Last year, New England coach Bill Belichick gave up a second-round draft pick to make him a critical piece in the NFL's best offense as a slot receiver, where Welker used his quickness to get open for short completions that he often turned into nice gains with his dynamic runs after the catch.

"Wes Welker has done wonders for guys like me getting drafted and getting guys more looks," Swain said this weekend during a break in the Packers' rookie orientation camp. "Before Wes Welker (it was like), 'Who's that white kid from San Diego State?' Well, Wes Welker kind of put us on the map."

At San Diego State, Swain played primarily out of the slot in an offense that included two other draft picks this year, quarterback Kevin O'Connell (third round to New England) and receiver Chaz Schilenz (to Oakland nine picks after the Packers drafted Swain).

Schilenz looked far more the pro prospect on paper because of his measurables: He's 6-4 and 208, and at San Diego State's pro day, he ran the 40 in 4.38 seconds and had a 43-inch vertical jump. But Schilenz had a hamstring injury in 2006 and foot injury in 2007 that limited his playing time, and Swain was the team's leading receiver those years, with an average of 11.2 yards on 47 catches as a junior, and 16.8 yards on 58 receptions last year.

"They're going to like him, especially working out of the slot," said San Diego State coach Chuck Long, a former NFL quarterback for the Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams. "There are guys out there that are very fast but don't know a lot about running routes. Brett separates himself by knowing the art of route running."

Swain's receivers coach in college, LeCharles McDaniel, likened Swain to a player he coached for one season with the Arizona Cardinals, Ricky Proehl. Proehl (6-0, 190), a third-round draft pick in 1990 who played a remarkable 17 seasons in the NFL, was built similarly to Swain and ran the 40 in 4.49 seconds.

"He really reminds me of Ricky a lot," McDaniel said. "He has good feet, can create with his feet, not a 4.3 guy but he runs 4.4."

Still, even if Swain was the Packers' sleeper pick this year, he faces a competitive battle just to make the team. Teams rarely, if ever, keep more than six receivers on their final roster. However, by drafting Swain, the Packers signaled they will give him more than a fair look.

Swain might get a shot returning punts â€â€￾ he did so late last season for the first time in his career, and averaged 8.8 yards on 10 returns â€â€￾ and has asked to play on cover teams as well.

"That's a way I can get my foot in the door and learn behind all the great receivers they have here," Swain said. "I made that a point to the special-teams coaches. If I'm not returner, make me something else, get me down there making tackles. I want to do anything I possibly can to help this team."
 

devans

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I really hope he does well, but I've read scores of these kinds of
complementary articles over the years about undrafted or lower round
draft pick white players, and they still end up getting cut. It is
almost like the NFL organizations are trying to tempt the white fans to
buy season tickets with the hope of some white representation on the
roster only to disappoint then at the last minute - when they have
already parted with their hard earned cash. And you still go to go and
cheer for the black guys wearing your teams uniforms or you would be a
racist, right?
 

Don Wassall

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And it's so ludicrous reading an article with all the comparisons to Welker when Swain is 6-0 and 200 pounds -- bigger than the average NFL receiver. Looks like 20 years ofcomparing all white receivers to Ricky Proehl and Ed McCaffreyare going to be replaced by a generation of obligatory Wes Welker comparisons. Wonder if anyonewould notice the racismif for 30 yearsrunning all black QBs were called "Doug Williams types."
 

backrow

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hey now, Don! Ricky Proehl mandatory comparison also made it into the print... how can you be so similar to two players thta have such a different style? must be the "whiteness"
smiley36.gif
 

Thrashen

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Wow, the newest craze of comparing every white WR to Welker is beyond mere racism, bigotry, etc....it's just not factually correct in many ways.

However, I like how Swain had the balls to say "who's that white kid from SD State?" Normally, every white athlete will naturally never mention the word "white" when compared to random white players who happened to play the same position (Sehorn-CB, Proehl-WR, Lynch-S).

Swain SHOULD beat out the worthless Koren Robinson and Ruvell Martin. Then again, last season John Standeford SHOULD have beaten out the equally worthless and unproved Roy Hall on the Colts. Affirmative action is so swell!
 

Thrashen

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"Koren Robinson released."

Aww, what a shame. Perhaps the NFL is actually getting sick of millionare convicted felons like Robinson (AKA Mike Holmgren's son) who are also terrible WRs and KRs. Robinson played like a woman in Seattle (one decent season) and in Minnesota, and hasnt been a decent player...well, since, ever.

Great news in a league where there is little to be optimistic about. Swain's chances just increased by one roster spot. Now if they release that worthless smurf Ruvell Martin....the Packers will officially the most anti-caste team in the league.
 

Don Wassall

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For whatever it's worth at this point of the offseason, Swain gets a favorable mention:

Brett Swain, WR: Swain (6-0, 203) was one of the stars of the offseason practices. He looks like a far superior player to when he was a seventh-round draft pick last year, when he struggled through training camp mentally and physically and wound up spending the season on the practice squad. Swain's gained 9 pounds from when he was drafted, with the strength making him better able to beat press coverage while retaining his quickness. He'll enter camp as the favorite among the six receivers challenging returning No. 5 wideout Ruvell Martin.

http://gnb.scout.com/2/878617.html
 

Jimmy Chitwood

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Swain Making Strides in Second Year.

Wide receiver Brett Swain will be the first to admit that he wasn't ready to contribute to the Packers' 53-man roster last season, but his time on the practice squad and hard work in the offseason has moved him into the mix for a roster spot in 2009.

There is no doubt that Swain faces an uphill battle at a position that kept five wideouts on the roster last season in Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Ruvell Martin, all of whom return this season. Even with all of that depth, Swain has caught the eyes of the coaches in his second training camp.

"He is really a much improved player," offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. "He is a very sound, fundamental route runner. I really like what he does in that area, and he is catching the ball well. He's working his butt off blocking.

"The guy is just a better football player all around than he was last season. He's playing faster. He is more confident in what he is doing out here, and that is showing in the precision in his route running. Brett has been impressive."

Swain has displayed his improved pass-catching skills in the opening two weeks of camp as well as his poise returning punts, evidenced in the opener against Cleveland when he ran up to field a third-quarter punt at Green Bay's 32-yard line.

"I think he is playing with a lot more confidence," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "He did a real nice job on special teams in the game against Cleveland. I thought he did an excellent job particularly in the return game coming up on that one punt in all of the traffic.

"But he is a much improved player. He's had some tough opportunities and we just want to see if he can take that next step."

Drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of San Diego State, Swain appeared overmatched last offseason. Given a chance at both wide receiver and punt returner, he looked tentative in the return game and had problems hanging onto the ball as a pass catcher.

Swain attributed much of those struggles to not being prepared physically for the jump from college to the NFL.

"A big emphasis last year was strength, speed, physicality, and it just wasn't there," Swain said. "My body wasn't ready last year. I was sore, I was tired, and most of the time I wasn't feeling good. A focus this offseason was getting into the weight room and getting bigger and stronger to be able to compete with guys like Al Harris and Charles Woodson because those guys are very strong players and they'll push you around a little bit.

"I didn't want that to happen again. I wanted to be a physical player and I wanted to be able to get in there and get around these guys and be able to make plays."

The 6-foot Swain, listed at 203 pounds, looks noticeably bigger compared to last season, adding muscle and strength, especially in his upper body. He said he concentrated on improving his balance and core strength, as well as adding the upper-body strength, speed and agility.

Following a 2008 preseason that saw Swain catch five passes for 28 yards, he was released in the final roster cutdown at the end of camp, but was given an opportunity to stick with the Packers on the practice squad. While admitting that he had some disappointment initially, Swain quickly turned his energies to making the most of another chance with the team.

"I kind of knew that it was coming (getting cut)," Swain said. "I wasn't really prepared last year. I set my mindset that if I really want to do this at this level, you've got to come here and you've got to work hard, especially being a seventh-round draft pick coming into one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. You've got to really be ready, and last year I wasn't.

"And it took me a while to learn the playbook. I probably wasn't really clicking until mid-season last year. As soon as it came, I was able to jump in on the reps that I got and really concentrate on what I needed to do. It took a while and it wasn't easy for me. I came from a college that really didn't run an NFL-style offense. Once I got into it and learned the concepts, it started clicking for me and I was more confident in the routes that I was running."

While working with a deep, experienced receiving corps made making the team that much harder, the tradeoff for a young player like Swain was the knowledge he was able to glean from players like Driver and Jennings.

"I work around Jennings and Driver and they shape you as a player," Swain said. "They helped me in every area. It's in watching film, on the field, in the weight room, even when you are not here. What are you doing to get better?

"Everybody is just continually getting better here and that is what is so crazy about this league. A guy like Driver is going into his 11th year and he is just continually getting better. You watch that as a young player and you've got to form yourself to be able to do that, get better every day."

The reception Swain got from his fellow receivers during his rookie campaign was much appreciated, but also unexpected.

"The word from college to here from guys that have been in the league was kind of every man for himself, but nobody had been with the Packers," Swain said. "I got here and it's really a team emphasis here, especially with the older guys. They try to bring the young guys around. They look up for you and they stick up for you, and you've got to relay that to people that come in after you.

"I try to help guys out too because in the end everybody is looking for the same goal. We are all working for the same thing and in this league you never know what is going to happen."

Swain knows that if he has any chance of making the final roster, it will be imperative that he makes an impact on special teams, either in the return game or covering and blocking on kicks.

Regardless of what might happen the rest of the preseason, Swain said his focus will be on the things that he can control, and he can accept whatever comes after that.

"You've got to always have your goals and try to reach those goals, and the goal is that everybody wants to make the team," Swain said. "You've got to do everything you can in training camp to do that, and if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. That's the way this business works. You have to stay confident, prepared, and focused, and you can't get down on yourself.

"Once you get down on yourself, things start to go south and your confidence goes and you start losing it. All of your work ethic is being seen on film and you never know what is going to happen."
 

backrow

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good news (btw Don, can we move that thread to 49ers forums please?)

Coordinator Greg Roman suggested Thursday that Brett Swain could start opposite Michael Crabtree in Week 17.

Kyle Williams (concussion) and Ted Ginn (ankle) both missed a second straight practice, leaving their status in question for the season finale. Swain would be no more than a desperation fantasy play at St. Louis on Sunday.


Source: CSN Bay Area
 

Meireles

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:(

Is it good news? No doubt he deserves the No. 1 Spot. Crabtree? Ginn? Hastings? None of which possess more skill and prowess than Swain. Yet, all three are listed above him on the depth chart. Swain has 2 receptions for 15 yds in 5 games. :spy: No doubt, if given the chance, he would be the No. 1 Rec. What can we do? What can anyone do? It's not our fault the ones whom deserve the chances do not receive. It's his lack of acception. In the same amount, Ginn has 32 rec. 419 yds. and 3 tds. FFFFFFFFFF- Crabtree also has 419 yds, 3 tds, 34 rec. I know that Hastings and of course Vernon "*** Nog Davis" will together account for more than all three most likley, so I won't bother calculating. Still, the fact Swain was given this much attenition, as basically...none other than a Special Teams Player. If ball-hawks like Crabtree and Ginn were gone, and a White TE were brought in, SF's Offense would be a (white) force to be reckoned with.
 
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