Almost a month after his release, former Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger voiced some highly critical comments of Washington head coach Jay Gruden on his Instagram page.
"That coach y’all have will never win big cause it ain it him to coach discipline," Swearinger wrote in a comment on his page.
The backstory here needs telling.
While Swearinger was playing at a high level for Washington in 2018, he was clashing with the coaching staff.
Swearinger was released before the Redskins final game of the 2018 season after the safety made damning comments about defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. Swearinger alleged that he watched more film than the defensive coaches and questioned the team's scheme in a critical moment of the Week 16 loss against the Titans.
This was not the first time Swearinger had gone public with complaints about coaching. It happened multiple times in 2018 and also in 2017.
After an ugly December loss against the Giants that caused Swearinger to criticize the team, Gruden publicly admonished his safety. Privately, the coach made clear that the behavior would not again be tolerated. Then, the Titans game happened, Swearinger blasted Mansuky. The safety was released a few days later.
Below are Swearinger's full comments from his Instagram page that came in a reply to a Redskins fan saying he missed him on the team:
Y’all will never win big bro. I’ve seen championship swagger from a coach BA he a OG. That coach y’all have will never win big cause it ain it him to coach discipline..it ain in him to chew somebody out in practice cause they lacking..when u say I’m a cancer for wanting to practice harder or wanting to get coached harder just to win then winning prolly not for you or you don’t understand that hard work pays off. Mediocre work get you beat! Remember This winners are born but champions are made. A strong leader of men make others around him better. Spread Peace Love And Elevation In everything you do lil brudda! Be Easy!!
Nobody would question Swearinger's effort in practice or workouts. He's a hard worker.
For the season, he logged four interceptions and three forced fumbles to go with a sack and 53 tackles in 15 games. Pro Football Focus ranked Swearinger the 13th best safety in the NFL and he had been named as an alternate to the Pro Bowl.
Obviously, Swearinger was not released because of his play. The coaching staff just felt they could no longer tolerate his public criticism, and some on the staff had felt that way for a long time.
It should be noted too that for a talented player, Swearinger has bounced around a lot.
The Texans released him two years after drafting him in 2013, despite having two more years on his rookie contract. Tampa signed him, and released him after seven games. Things worked out in Swearinger's next stop with the Cardinals, where he played for part of 2015 and the full 2016 season before signing with the Redskins as a free agent in 2017.
The Redskins cut Swearinger despite having another year on his contract for a modest $4.5 million price tag. Arizona claimed him on waivers.
One bizarre note in all this: The actual photo Swearinger posted to go along with this comment had nothing to do with the Redskins. It was a picture of Swearinger with Larry Fitzgerald, with the safety congratulating the receiver for his recent announcement that he would return for the 2019 season.
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