1) Introduction: Brett Swain wears the underdog crown very well. A seventh round pick in 2008, Swain spent the entire season on the practice squad. In 2009, Swain beat out Ruvell Martin for a roster spot, but played only six games before blowing out his knee. More of a contributor on special teams than a receiver, Swain nonetheless would be more active than most teams’ #5 receivers, given the Packers’ Air McCarthy offense and the injury to Jermichael Finley.
3) Expectations coming into the season for that player: While Swain was the favorite to hold on to the #5 receiver spot, there were serious doubts if he could be even be ready to start the season. He struggled with the leg injury rehab early in camp, but improved dramatically as the preseason progressed. Despite a host of undrafted receivers challenging him, Swain held on to his job, mostly due to his value on special teams. Swain would be expected to continue being steady on coverage teams, be the emergency fill-in at receiver, and occasionally step onto the field when the Packers went to five wideouts.
4) Player’s highlights/lowlights: Swain caught the first pass of career against the Jets, filling in for an injured Donald Driver. In the Packers’ regular season loss to Atlanta, Brett Swain saw his most extended action of the season. The Packers went into their “big five” receiver set 15 times in that game, with Swain catching two passes. One was a slant for 31 yards, which was easiest the longest reception of his career. Swain’s lowlight would easily be his drop of what would have been a key first down on a third and 10 pass in the Super Bowl.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Swain did see action in all of the Packers’ games, mostly on special teams. Swain had a pass thrown his way in six regular season games plus the Super Bowl. He finished with 6 receptions on the year for 72 yards. On special teams, Swain was credited with three coverage tackles during the regular season.
6) Player’s contributions during the 6-win end-of-season run: Other than the Super Bowl, Swain as a receiver over the last six games was pretty much invisible. After letting one pass slip through his fingers and the big third down drop, he probably wished he were. On the other hand, Swain played well on special teams, recording 6 tackles over the Packers’ four postseason games.
(C) Level of expectations met during the season
(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(C+) Contributions to team’s success during the playoff run (last 6 games)
Overall Grade for the year: C——————
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.