D.J. Swearinger and the art of trash talking

Today Texans coach Bill O'Brien said he loves watching D.J. Swearinger play football.

Well, so do I.

Swearinger's enthusiasm is infectious and entertaining, though it can sometimes get him into a little bit of trouble with officials. He's learning to rein that in, but he wouldn't be himself if it disappeared altogether.

"Yeah, I'm a trash talker, but I've got to find ways to clean up the trash talk," Swearinger said. "I mean, just do it in a more fun way. Not take anything too personal. Just gotta watch it. Watch where the refs are, who it is. It’s emotional. The NFL is emotional, man. It’s hard to take emotion out of your game and when you make a big hit or a big play—an interception—you want, you know, to let the other team know."

There's a method to his madness.

It's not just that Swearinger likes needling opponents, he sees it help his team.

"You know [when they start] trying to make a play for their team," Swearinger said. "Then they’re just trying to get back at me. And instead of them making a play for their team they could drop a ball. They could come across the middle. They could drop a ball seeing me coming, you know, miss a block trying to get at me. There’s a lot of things that throw [offensive players] off."

He smiles when that kind of stuff starts happening.

There’s certain guys that don’t talk trash, and when you get the guys that don’t talk trash to start talking back with you, that’s when you know," he said. "You know you got them and you know you’re in their heads."