Jim Schwartz was pretty surprised late Monday night after he heard that DK Metcalf told reporters he used their pre-game chat as motivation.
Two days later, Schwartz got to give his side of the story.
“Wow,” Schwartz said on Monday morning. “I can’t believe paying a compliment has become such a big thing.”
In the Eagles’ 23-17 loss to the Seahawks on Monday night, Metcalf had 10 catches for 177 yards. He was great. And after the game, he said Schwartz’s comments that he reminded him of Calvin Johnson but that he wasn’t “there yet” put a chip on his shoulder.
After hearing Schwartz on Wednesday, this really seems like a case of an elite athlete finding motivation in a completely harmless comment from a longtime NFL head coach.
“In my mind, it’s a little bit funny,” Schwartz said. “Anytime you even speak somebody’s name in the same sentence as Calvin Johnson, I don’t know how you could take offense to that. I tried to pay the guy a compliment, said I read his story, knew he had overcome injury, heard he was a hard-worker and said he reminds me a little bit of Calvin. Congratulated him after the game. At the time, he told me, ‘Hey coach, that means a lot to me.’
“If anybody wants to take offense to being compared to who I think is one of the greatest players in the history of the National Football League … then, yeah. If you get your motivation that way, then fine. But we’re not going to worry too much about that.”
That one part is interesting. That Metcalf apparently thanked Schwartz for the compliment at the time.
This kind of seems like that Michael Jordan tactic to find motivation where there really isn’t any. And this tweet from Metcalf after the game proves that point.
Schwartz on Wednesday, as he talked about Metcalf, wanted to make sure everyone understood how much of a big deal it was for him to compare anyone to Johnson, whom he has given the highest praise.
“Everyone needs to know the highest esteem that I hold Calvin Johnson in,” Schwartz said. “Calvin was not only the best player I ever coached, he was the best player I ever coached against and I think he’s one of the great players in the history of the National Football League. I had five years up close and personal with every defensive coordinator’s No. 1 job was to stop Calvin Johnson and ran every tricked up defense known to man and he still made the plays and he was an incredibly hard-worker, under reported with him. Great person and just the honor of my carer to coach a guy like Calvin.”
So you can see why Schwartz was surprised that complimenting Metcalf with a comparison to Johnson, which he clearly considers the highest honor, became motivational for Metcalf.
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