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D'Andre Swift: 'This is a new start for me'

Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro

D'Andre Swift is wearing a hoodie designed by a friend with the words "Beyond Blessed" on the front, and it's a message for how he's feeling as a Philadelphia Eagle. He's back in his hometown with a team that is going to explore every way to take advantage of his skills as a running back and a receiver and he's been embraced by the locker room, the building, the organization.

Smiles all around.

"Yeah, I mean, it's been amazing. It's like a dream come true and it's all come full circle for me," said Swift, born and raised in Philadelphia. "It's a great opportunity to join an organization like this with such a tremendous history, joining a coaching staff that I believe in everything that they're implementing, and just being in the building these last couple of days, I can tell the team is connected, there is a lot of love here and I'm just excited.

"A lot of different emotions. Right now, I'm just locked in and focused on learning everything about the offense and connecting here and feeling this energy. It's been great."

Swift's life changed on Saturday when the Eagles dealt a 2025 fourth-round draft pick to the Lions and acquired Swift, a player with multidimensional skills who was highly productive in his three seasons with Detroit. He played 40 games in three seasons there and totaled 1,680 rushing yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry, with 18 touchdowns. Swift also did damage in the passing game with 156 receptions and seven more scores. In his first 26 games in the NFL, Swift became one of only six players in the history of the game to accumulate at least 1,000 receiving yards, 105 receptions, and 17 touchdowns.

The Eagles plan to explore the limits of what Swift can bring to an offense that already features the dynamism of quarterback Jalen Hurts, the big-play skills of receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith and tight end Dallas Goedert, a great offensive line, and a deep running back room. The Eagles are loaded on offense.

Swift only adds to that arsenal.

"This is an explosive offense. No weaknesses, so I'm just digging in. I'm learning. I'm going to see what plans they have for me and I'm going to be ready for everything," Swift said. "I love the process of this, going out there every day and perfecting my craft. Anyone who doubts me, I know who I am. I know what I can bring. I don't do the negative. That's not the type of person I am. That's the thing: I'm here. This is a new start for me. I'm just getting started and in a sense I'm beginning everything over again with a great group of guys.

"I thank Detroit for everything they gave me. They took a chance on me and Detroit will always have a place in my heart. I loved them, but this is where I am and I'm going to make the most of it. You see the way Jalen commands the offense, the way (Jason) Kelce commands the O-line, Lane Johnson on the outside, the whole offensive line gets it done. Great group of running backs. The dogs out there at receiver, A.J. and DeVonta, Dallas at tight end, Quez (Watkins) – there are so many weapons all over the field. Now that I'm here, it's even better. I get to put in the work and see how I fit in."

We're likely going to see the Eagles use Swift in a variety of ways – throughout the formation in different positions, with different personnel packages. The Eagles want to see what they can do with him as they coach him up and learn what he can do and how he expands the playbook.

"You can definitely see his ability to make people miss in space, and you saw that against our defense last year," Head Coach Nick Sirianni said on Saturday after the 2023 NFL Draft concluded, referencing the Week 1 Eagles-Lions game in Detroit when Swift carried 13 times for 144 yards and a touchdown and added three receptions for 31 yards. "He had some unbelievable runs against us last year, where you look at each other like, 'Man, that guy is hard to tackle.' So, he has the ability to make you miss and also accelerate through the hole, which will serve us well in some of the draws that we run and some of the RPOs (run/pass options) that we run.

"I don't know exactly how we'll use him perfectly with each individual run, you have to get your hands on him to see that, but also in the passing game, I think he's a dynamic playmaker that's done some things that we've done with guys in the past, with some of the different routes that he runs. But he has a great ability to read defenses out of the backfield, to make guys – to separate from tight coverage out of the backfield, and has really good hands."

Now it's time to get to work for Swift, who arrived in Philadelphia on Monday and has been part of the team's Phase 1 activities since. It's "go" time for Swift.

"I can't tell you how excited I am to be a Philadelphia Eagle," he said. "I'm so focused and locked in, I'm just looking forward every day to coming here and getting better. Great love and support being from the city, growing from a young guy into a man, it's been such a cool thing. Now, I'm here to do my thing, to play in the NFL. I can't put it into words, really."

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