Jim Schwartz should not have poked the bear that is D.K. Metcalf

Doug Farrar
·3 min read

Since he became the Seahawks’ head coach in 2020, Pete Carroll has done his level best to bring in players who feel snubbed by the NFL, are very (and rightly) angry about that, and are more than ready to take it out on the rest of the league. The undrafted Doug Baldwin, fifth-round pick Richard Sherman, fifth-round safety Kam Chancellor, low-priced free agents Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, and a certain quarterback who was taken 75th overall in the 2012 draft because everyone thought he was too short to succeed as a starter.

That quarterback was (and is) Russell Wilson. Whoops.

Now, there is second-year receiver DeKaylin Zecharius Metcalf, who was selected with the final pick in the second round of the 2019 draft because his three-cone times were really bad. Draft Twitter jumped all over that one, and assumed that Metcalf was just a size/speed guy who would never learn to run a route. Unfortunately for a lot of NFL executives, they bought in as well. Metcalf was the fourth receiver taken in that draft, behind N’Keal Harry, Marquise Brown, and Deebo Samuel.

Again, whoops. In Seattle’s 23-17 win over the Eagles on Monday night, Metcalf caught 10 passes on 13 targets for 177 yards. It was a bravura performance that put him over the 1,000-yard mark on the season (a league-leading 1,039), and proved once again that smart teams look at what a player can do as opposed to what he can’t do.

Just ask Eagles safety Rodney McLeod how much fun it is to try and tackle a 6-foot-4 receiver who runs a 4.33 40 and is looking for contact.

As it turns out, Metcalf had extra motivation for his Monday performance — a few ill-chosen words from Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who was also the Lions’ head coach from 2009 through 2013, when he had the benefit of receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson putting up all kinds of ridiculous numbers.

“I’m happy to get the respect, but I’ve still got work to do,” Metcalf said after the game, when asked how it feels to get so much coverage from the best cornerbacks Seattle’s opponents have. “One of the defensive coaches came up to me and it made me mad that he was like, ‘I was in Detroit with Megatron, and you’re not there yet. In my mind, I’m not trying to be Megatron. I’d rather be me. So, I had a chip on my shoulder the whole game.”

Metcalf then confirmed that Schwartz had said it to him.

Schwartz tried to explain the comment, to no avail.

It did not resonate the way Schwartz intended.

So… let that be a lesson to all you coaches out there. If you see D.K. Metcalf on the field, and you have an inkling to compare him negatively to your team’s all-time best receiver, maybe take a pass and do anything else.