After Catching First NFL Touchdown, Seahawks WR Freddie Swain Off to Promising Start
Without any exhibition games this summer, most rookies found themselves a few steps behind everyone else once the regular season opened earlier this month. But so far, Freddie Swain has been an exception to the rule.
Drafted by the Seahawks in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Swain made a strong impression during training camp, which helped him secure one of the final spots on the team’s 53-man roster. That said, almost no one expected him to make such a seamless transition from college, as he’s been able to make significant plays in each of the first two games of the regular season.
Making his debut in Atlanta, the Florida product caught a 17-yard pass that ultimately helped his team extend their lead to 31-12 in the fourth quarter. In addition, the 22-year old also recovered a fumble during a fake punt attempt that was created by teammate Marquise Blair.
Playing under the lights against the Patriots this past weekend, Swain completed another pivotal reception, which he finished in the end zone for his first career touchdown. Though he was only targeted once in Week 2, the rookie receiver admitted it just felt great to make an important play on offense and revealed he’s planning to have that football framed in the near future.
“The overall experience, it was good, to come play in a game like that,” Swain discussed. “We had to fight back and try to keep the lead and things like that. So just to come in and make a play for the guys, it was great.”
While Swain has only played in two games so far, he certainly hasn’t looked out of place on the field and has already been able to form a strong connection with Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson. Referencing the six-time Pro Bowler’s stellar accuracy, the 6-foot pass catcher explained how the veteran signal caller has made his job very easy because once he puts his “hands up” the ball has been located in a perfect spot for him.
Since OTAs and minicamp were wiped out, none of this year's crop of rookies were able to learn Seattle’s playbook on the field, forcing them to communicate through Zoom calls throughout the offseason. Even though this situation was less than ideal, the former Gator still made the best of it, as he started creating a connection with Wilson during those meetings and learned as many of the plays as he could before camp opened in July.
“I think the Zoom meetings were helpful,” Swain explained. “We met at times and Russ [Wilson] we would meet and just go over plays, and then off the field I would just take my iPad and I would go out there and run the plays and try to make sure I was in shape, and make sure I knew when it came to game time I knew what I was doing.”
Considering the hurdles this offseason brought, the Seahawks have to be very pleased with Swain’s performance on both offense and the special teams unit. With receiver Phillip Dorsett on the injured reserve and sidelined for at least three weeks, the youngster will likely continue receiving opportunities to prove himself, especially if his solid play continues.
Learning from a deep group of receivers, Swain hasn’t had any shortage of players to lean on for advice over the past few months. Citing teammates Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf in particular, the speedy receiver mentioned they’ve made his job much easier and they’ve taught him to focus on running his routes effectively to give Wilson an easy target.
“They make the job pretty much easy, they’re the big-name guys and they get double-teamed and things like that,” Swain detailed. “So, one thing I took from him is just be decisive in your route running. Whether you’re going across the middle or whether you’re breaking out, just be decisive and give the quarterback a good option.”