Schweigert....

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An article on Schweig...

Cookin' with Stu

July 5, 2006

By Dana Forbes


Free safety Stuart Schweigert is looking forward to his third season with the Silver and Black since his entrance into the National Football League as a third round draft pick by the Raiders in 2004. Before joining the Raiders, this Saginaw, Mich.,-native had a very successful football career at Purdue University. As a freshman at Purdue, Schweigert earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors. Other achievements while at Purdue included starting 45 of 49 games, while recording 360 tackles (ranked 9th on Purdue's all-time list) with 2.5 sacks, 16 stops for losses of 38 yards, three forced fumbles, 23 pass deflections and 17 interceptions for 176 yards in returns breaking the old Purdue career record of 11 set by former Raider Rod Woodson.

well as a basketball player at Heritage High School. He was the 100-meter dash State Champion, and believes he is still part of six different school records for track. His success in track even brought offers to run in college. Originally, Schweigert intended to play football as well as run track for Purdue. It was during the first spring as a freshman that he realized that running track would take away from the valuable off-season in football where he could look back, learn, and "put some size on stuff" as Stuart put it. Therefore, he decided to only focus on just football and sacrificed a career in track.

Stuart says that he didn't know all along that he would end up in the NFL. Stuart describes his path to the NFL as a process which he took in steps. "In high school, as a freshman, I wanted to make the varsity team, and once I made varsity I wanted to be All-Conference, and once I was All-Conference I wanted to be All-State. I wanted to go to a Big 10 school," Schweigert explained. "After my freshman year, I was Big 10 Freshman of the Year and I knew after that I had a pretty good possibility of being an NFL football player. I was at a school in the Big 10 and when you can do stuff like that, going up against guys that are the best in the country, I knew I had a pretty legitimate shot."

Schweigert saw action in all 16 games his rookie year as he recorded 44 solo tackles, three passes defensed and was a major asset on special teams achieving a team high 14 stops. In 2005, Schweigert contributed 89 tackles (72 solo) as well as two interceptions for a total of 35 yards, two fumble recoveries and 12 passes defensed. He loves being a Raider because he has great respect for the organization as a whole, the history behind it, the many great players that have played for the Silver and Black and the tradition.


This year, Stuart hopes to be a "conductor" on defense making sure everyone is on the same page. Schweigert says defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has given him a lot of authority, being the free safety, and he believes that he is up for the challenge. As far as what he can take out of last season from the defensive standpoint, Schweigert said, "The way the defense never gave up gave us a chance in some games. The last couple games I think that the guys could have let off a little bit but I didn't see anyone give up, even in that last game against the Giants, so I think showing that willpower and that strength to continue to play I think we could definitely continue to take into this season."

To make this year bigger and better Stuart is putting extra effort in film study and has been working on making his legs stronger. He stays motivated with the help of his teammates and strength and conditioning coach Jeff Fish. Schweigert says, "Being able to see them and enjoy being around my teammates makes coming to work pretty nice." He also is glad to be working with defensive backs coach Chuck Pagano, as well as defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

Since joining the Raiders, Schweigert has learned, "You have to take advantage of every day you have because the career doesn't last long. Every day is a day you need to get better because if you don't someone else is and they could take your position really fast. It's just the fact that every day you have to take advantage of it and enjoy." He remembers his favorite professional moment thus far as being the first game he started during his rookie year (2004), when the Raiders beat Denver in the snow on a blocked field goal attempt.

This off-season, Schweigert has been involved in numerous charitable events. His most memorable activity he took part in was a Special Olympics basketball tournament. He commented, "It was pretty fun watching those kids play. Some of them were just happy to be on the court just running around, we signed autographs for them and it was just a fun experience for me, I've never been involved in the Special Olympics before, but just seeing those kids out there with the problems that they are facing and see them have so much fun was just awesome sight."

In his personal life, Schweigert has made time to take a few trips back home to Michigan this off-season. Stuart comes from a very large family. Between his two brothers, three sisters, and three step-siblings, in addition to 12 nieces and nephews, Stuart has a lot of support. He thanks his large family for his success and looked to his older brothers and father, who were all college football players, as role models. Looking back Stuart added, "Growing up I played soccer, I did Tae Known Do, t-ball, and I was a gymnast for 10 years. It was like 'if you want to play that you can and if you don't then you don't have to play it.' So there was no pressure.
 
i think this is his year to step up. Alot of people unfairly down him"starting at FS with no real help in reading and calling plays at the nfl level is a shitty set up". I think he'll surprise some people with huff there to help out.
Schweigert contributed 89 tackles (72 solo) as well as two interceptions for a total of 35 yards, two fumble recoveries and 12 passes defensed.
say what you will, but those are damn good numbers for a first time starter/second year player. Shit, if gibby pulled off a year like that he wouldn't be eating turds in the dogg house. :)

He's studying more film, taking over full time playcalling for the secondary, and has a legit DB coach to help him out. Not to mention a talented rookie like huff on his side. If he can handle the playcalling and coverage reads well for the secondary, then that will help Huff out quite a bit.
 
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....well that and tackle better than the average HS player. His tackling (in)ability simply freightens the shit out of me. Hope to be proven wrong.
 
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