Seahawks seeing massive dividend from Freddie Swain's work during offseason


It's difficult for any rookie to make an impact in the NFL, but this past offseason presented more challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Rookies weren't allowed to report to training camp as soon as they could in a normal year which could have easily put sixth-round rookie Freddie Swain at a disadvantage.

But, he was not going to let it affect his chance at making the final roster and getting on the field this season.

The wide receiver from Florida had to learn much of the playbook over zoom and on his own time due to a lack of in-person opportunity. 

"The zoom meetings were helpful," Swain told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

However it's extremely hard to master a playbook without actually doing the plays. So that's what he did.

"Russ [and I] would go over plays and then [later] I would just take my iPad and I'd go out there and run the plays and try to make sure I was in shape," Swain said. "Make sure I knew that when it came to game time, I made sure I knew what I was doing."

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann]

All that extra work has already paid off for Swain, who made the 53-man roster ahead of his rookie season and has seen playing time as the Seahawks fourth wide receiver.

In his debut, Swain played 23 total snaps including 16 offensive snaps which resulted in one catch for 17 yards in Seattle's opener against Atlanta.


His largest impact was yet to come.

During Sunday Night Football in front of a nationally televised audience, Swain caught his first-career touchdown on a 21-yard crossing route with 2:00 left in the third quarter to give the Seahawks a two-possession lead. 

"We were trying to get it to T-Lock so we were throwing it to T-Lock, throwing it to T-Lock and then coach said 'Hey be careful, they might drop [during] one of the crossers,'" recalled Swain.

The Seahawks coaching staff had noticed that the Patriots were giving extra attention to the wide receiver tandem of Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf which could give Swain an opportunity leave his mark on the game. 

"[Metcalf and Locket] make the job pretty much easy. They are the big-name guys and they get double teamed," said Swain. 

The rookie also discussed his quarterback Russell Wilson, who threw five touchdowns Sunday to five different receivers.

"Its good. I think it shows the trust he has in me and the trust he has in the receivers," explained Swain. "He makes our job easy. Just gotta run and put your hands up and the ball will be there."

When the defense dropped on Swain's crossing route, Wilson got the ball where it needed to be. 

"[The defense ended] up dropping and I ran it into the end zone." 

His teammates were hyped for their rookie teammate after the score and ensured that he kept the ball after the game. 

"I kept the ball. I'm gonna frame it a little later," said Swain with a smile. "But the overall experience, it was good to come in and play in a game like that, obviously... Just to come in and make a play for the guys, it was great."

Making a play for his teammates was him just paying them back for helping him catch up to speed and be the best player he can be. During Wednesday's press conference, Swain credited Lockett and Metcalf for giving him pointers of how to succeed at this level.

"One thing I took from them is just be decisive in your route running. Whether you're going across the middle. Whether you're breaking out be decisive and give the quarterback a good option." 

Swain did that Sunday and took advantage of an opportunity that was months in the making. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann]