Finding workload balance for D’Andre Swift a challenge for Lions coach Dan Campbell

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D’Andre Swift is a popular pick to have a fantastic season in 2021. Now in his third season in Detroit, the running back looks physically outstanding in Lions training camp.

While the Lions have added considerable talent around him on the offensive weaponry list from a year ago, Swift still figures quite prominently in the Lions offensive plans.

That was on full display in Friday’s practice session. Swift was a fixture in the red zone offense drill, using his receiving skills and ability to make defenders miss in space quite effectively.

Those are qualities head coach Dan Campbell wants to use more in 2022–without overworking Swift.

“Swift is one of our most explosive players on offense,” Campbell said Friday. “Like literally, we feel like, ‘Alright man, if we set this up right and there’s any space, this guy can take it to the house.’

He’s got that ability, and so my gosh man, you want those guys out there every play, but you also know, you may not have – I think a little bit, what you’re asking goes into what he just asked. I would like to see, if we get him out of camp, get his legs under him, get him in really good shape, like I said get the intensity, get the volume under him and then let’s see where he looks like.”

Campbell’s concern is justified. Swift has played in just 13 games in each of his first two seasons. Last year he missed time in training camp as well, something that Campbell is acutely attentive to, knowing that workload management is critical.

“Look, this time last year, we went and we had to pull back man. He missed – shoot man, week and a half, two weeks in camp for the most part,” Campbell said. “So, we really never got to put a load on him and get him prepared for a season. We have him ready for San Fran and he takes – he takes quite a bit of reps, we didn’t want to do that, but yet it just kind of happened that way. We throw him a string, he takes it to the house, you’re trying to win a game, and so that may have started that whole – he didn’t get the load in camp and here you go, first game out of the box, he’s got quite a load on him. Then, it just starts to stack over time, we don’t make it through a season, halfway through the season, 10 games in or whatever that is, it starts to – and so, I kind of think of it as that may have started in camp. So, let’s see what we can do with him.”

Finding the balance between keeping Swift healthy and fresh for 17 games and also taking as much advantage of his particular set of skills will be an important job for Campbell and his staff.

 

Story originally appeared on Lions Wire