Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz explained yet again on Wednesday that when he told Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf that he was “the closest thing to Calvin Johnson” that he’d seen, it was a compliment — even if Metcalf took it as an insult.
In fact, Schwartz wasn’t sure how Metcalf could have taken it as an insult at all.
Metcalf thanked Schwartz for Megatron comparison
Let’s start at the beginning. Metcalf went off against the Eagles on Monday Night Football, majorly contributing to the Seahawks’ 23-17 win. After the game he explained that a comment from Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz comparing him to Calvin “Megatron” Johnson fueled his outstanding performance.
“One of the defensive coaches came up to me and kinda made me mad that he was like, ‘I was in Detroit with Megatron, but you’re not there yet.’ In my mind I’m not trying to be Megatron, I’m trying to be me. I had a little chip on my shoulder the whole game.”
Metcalf took the comparison as a dig. But when Schwartz was asked about it after the game, he explained that he was actually complimenting Metcalf. According to Schwartz, he told Metcalf that he reminded him of Johnson, who he coached in Detroit.
That brings us to Wednesday, when Schwartz once again clarified that he was giving Metcalf a compliment and openly wondered how Metcalf or anyone could be offended by a comparison to such an outstanding player.
“Anytime you even speak somebody’s name in the same sentence as Calvin Johnson, I don’t know how you can take offense to that,” Schwartz said, via NJ.com. “I tried to pay the guy a compliment. I said I read his story, knew he had overcome an injury, heard he was a hard worker, and said he reminded me a little bit of Calvin and congratulated him after the game.”
According to Schwartz, Metcalf even said, “Hey, thanks, Coach, that means a lot to me,” at the end of their interaction.
“If anybody wants to take offense to being compared to who I think is one of the greatest players in the history of the National Football League, then, yeah, if you get your motivation that way, then fine, but we’re not going to worry too much about that,” Schwartz said.
Joe Judge tries more direct route
The Seahawks play the New York Giants next, and head coach Joe Judge attempted to be more direct in complimenting Metcalf.
“You have to find the best guy on your team who can at least kind of simulate some of the size,” Judge said. “But listen, this guy is a rare guy. You try to simulate his size and speed and playmaking down the field. You don’t have a lot of guys walking the Earth like him. The reality is, you have to do everything you can to give your players the right looks from tape, the right looks in practice, the scout teams.”
It’s admirable of Judge to try this route. But considering how Metcalf reacted to an obviously favorable comparison to a legend and 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame nominee, it might be wiser to stay quiet. We’ve seen that Metcalf can find bulletin board material anywhere, so saying nothing is the only way to ensure that you won’t give Metcalf the inspiration to beat your team on Sunday.
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