Monday night’s Eagles game is not worth revisiting, but one interesting nugget took place before kickoff, when Jim Schwartz spoke with Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf.
As the story goes, Metcalf told the media that he had a “chip on his shoulder” after the conversation, due to Schwartz comparing him to Calvin Johnson, but saying that he was “not there” yet.
Here’s Metcalf explaining it:
Here’s the video of DK Metcalf talking about the pregame incident with #Eagles’ DC Jim Schwartz. Metcalf says Schwartz told him: “I was in Detroit with Megatron but you're not there yet."
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 1, 2020
Naturally, Jim Schwartz was asked about this at Wednesday’s press conference, and he suggested that Metcalf took the comment the wrong way. It was supposed to be a compliment.
“I can’t believe paying a compliment to a player has become such a big thing. Before I even go into that, I want to say everybody needs to know the high esteem that I hold Calvin Johnson in. Calvin was not only the best player I’ve ever coached, he was the best player I ever coached against, and I think he’s one of the great players in the history of the National Football League. I had five years up close and personal of every defensive coordinator’s number one job was to stop Calvin Johnson and ran every tricked up defense known to man and he still made the plays and he was an incredibly hard worker, underreported with him. Great person. And just the honor of my career to coach a guy like Calvin Johnson.
So, it’s, in my mind, it’s a little bit funny, anytime you even speak somebody’s name in the same sentence as Calvin Johnson I don’t know how you could take offense to that. So I tried to pay the guy a compliment, said I read his story, knew he had overcome injury, heard he was a hard worker, and said he reminds me a little bit of Calvin and congratulated him after the game. At the time he told me, ‘Hey, thanks, Coach, that means a lot to me.’
So 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. I think that the only person in the whole thing that deserves or that has any sort of whatever in that thing would be a guy like Calvin.
But again, you just have to understand how much esteem I hold Calvin in, and like I said, the greatest honor of my coaching career was coaching that guy day-in and day-out. He’s meant a lot to my kids and family and everything else. So, tried to pay a guy a compliment. I chatted with Russell Wilson before the game because I respect him so much and saw DK on the sideline in between plays and wanted to compliment him on his work ethic and overcoming injury and stuff like that. So, there it is.”
That’s a great answer from Schwartz. Metcalf just took it the wrong way, interpreted that comment as a slight instead of a compliment. Maybe it could have been worded better by Schwartz, but this just seems like a simple case of the message failing to land as intended.
What’s more important is that the Eagles passed on DK Metcalf and took J.J. Arcega-Whiteside instead. A preposterous shortcoming in the talent identification department.