The Midshipman from the Naval Academy arrived on Thursday night, allowing for a short period to get familiar with San Diego’s voluminous playbook.
Swain played in a triple-option attack at Navy as his team’s main ball carrier and is now learning a new position and complex offense with the Chargers.
“It’s tough,” Swain said. “It all starts in the meeting room. I came in kind of late yesterday (Thursday), so I’m a little bit behind. But I learned a lot out there during the walk-throughs on the field, so I’m just learning. I love football and I like learning different things. So it’s pretty fun.”
While Swain has been with the Chargers only a few days, the team likes his potential. At 6-foot and 249 pounds, Swain kept opposing defenses from totally focusing on Navy’s dual-threat quarterback Keenan Reynolds, totaling 1,023 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns his senior season.
More of a runner than a blocker in college, Swain will have to learn how to play as a blocking fullback at the next level along with being proficient on special teams.
San Diego is a good fit for Swain because of the heavy presence of the Navy in this city. Swain said he spent two weeks in San Diego the past two summers performing his training on ships out at sea, including a trip to Hawaii.
Upon graduation, Swain is required to serve a five-year commitment as a Navy division officer in a service warfare community in exchange for his undergraduate education.
However, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has submitted a request and “strongly recommended” that Reynolds, a sixth-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens, be cleared to join the NFL after a standout college career.
“Approval of these requests will provide the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of the Navy (DON) significant favorable exposure, enhance national recruiting, and serve as a positive ongoing contribution to DoD public affairs efforts,” Mabus said in a memo accompanying the request.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter would grant final approval.
“Definitely, I think it helps,” Swain said about being located in San Diego. “We’ll see what happens with the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Defense. I think it’s a pretty good situation, but service comes first.”
Whatever the outcome, Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said he’s pleased to have Swain on the 90-man roster.
“We’re very honored to have Chris here,” McCoy said. “And what he does, and what he has done at this point in time in his life and the commitment he’s made to his country speaks for itself -- and everybody in the military.
“It was a great opportunity for him to come here, with what our military means to us in San Diego.”
Some tidbits from Saturday’s practice:
McCoy told reporters that recent free agent offensive lineman addition Matt Slauson will work with the starters at center when he joins the team in offseason work on Monday while Trevor Robinson and Chris Watt continue rehab from injuries suffered during the 2015 season. “I see him coming in here next week and playing center, and having the flexibility of going to guard,” McCoy said. “He’ll come to training camp, and we’ll figure it out as we go.”
Over 1,000 fans showed up to the final rookie minicamp practice on Saturday. The folks on hand also included Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who attended practice with son Gunner and Peter. Throwing passes out on the field, Gunner showed an uncanny, similar side-arm release to his father.
Hunter Henry had another good day of catching the football. Others that flashed include receiver Dominique Williams and running back Dreamius Smith. First-round selection Joey Bosa had another sack during team drills.