There have been a lot of changes this offseason with the NFL’s Detroit Lions. They changed head coaches, and former UGA star quarterback Matt Stafford was traded away.
But it all could be good news for former Bulldogs running back D’Andre Swift, who will begin his second season with the beleaguered NFL franchise.
Swift has made quite the impression on the team’s new coaching staff, so much so that the new running backs coach could see Swift getting 25 touches per game. That could put Swift in an elite status, as many NFL backfields are “timeshare situations” between backs.
“A lot of people think you got to go have 20 carries as running back to be successful, and sometimes you do,” new Detroit assistant Duce Staley told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
“But touches, when you have a good back, an electrifying back, touches are definitely more important. You can get 18 carries and seven touches as far as receptions and you have 25 touches, which is what you want from your star back.
“When I look at D’Andre, I do think he’s a three-down back and like I said, he has some special traits I can’t wait to get my hands on, so I’m excited about that.”
Yes, make sure to get Swift on your fantasy team for the 2021 draft, even though the Lions may be terrible as a team as they go through the rebuilding process.
Last year as a rookie, Swift had a predictably topsy-turvy season with Detroit. He’s most remembered for dropping a game-winning touchdown against Chicago in his debut game, a rough experience he said he learned from.
“That play definitely made me better,” Swift told Good Morning Football last week. “Just getting back to the fundamentals first and foremost. Catching balls after practice, getting with quarterbacks and getting that chemistry better.
“I normally don’t drop passes like that, so I knew that wasn’t me. Just getting that confidence back and once I started to play more I got a little more comfortable and I did things to prevent that situation again.”
Swift recovered to show his breakout potential towards the end of last season, finishing with 521 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Perhaps, most importantly, he proved to be a three-down back by also catching 46 passes for 357 yards and two touchdowns.