The Arizona Cardinals welcomed back safety D.J. Swearinger in December last season, claiming him off waivers after he was cut by the Washington Redskins. He is a physical addition to the defensive secondary.
Many would call him a tone-setter, establishing the physicality of the defensive unit.
Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph would agree.
"It's a physical game so you have to have guys like D.J. who set the tone for you," Joseph said on the team's Coaches Chronicle podcast. "He keeps everybody playing fast and playing physical."
He is the type of player you want on your team, he explained.
But Joseph believes Swearinger is more than just a physical force. "He's going to be a huge part of (the defense)," he said.
There is a side to Swearinger people don't always notice.
"He loves football, so he knows what to do," Joseph said. "He can unwind a defense for us. Outside of being a guy who sets a tone for us, he's also the quarterback of the back end. He's a very, very, very intelligent football player. It gets overlooked sometimes by his emotional outbursts, but as far as football IQ, it's very high."
Paired with Budda Baker at safety, Swearinger will be the leader of the defensive backfield, especially with Patrick Peterson suspended for the first six games of the season.
Swearinger was very productive in his last stint with the Cardinals, collecting 64 tackles, two sacks, three interceptions and eight pass breakups.
Hopefully in 2019, he is known more for his play and his playmaking than his outbursts.