Safety Measure

ALBANY, N.Y. – Stuart Schweigert barely knew what hit him. He went from playing in the Redskins Hall of Fame game on Aug. 3 to being released only days later.

"At that point it was like ‘what just happened?'" Schweigert said. "I went from a starter on a pretty good defense out in Oakland to not having a job and stuck in Ashburn, Va. not knowing what to do."

For reasons unknown to Schweigert, he quickly fell out of favor in Washington, where he signed on June 2.

"Once training camp started, everything flipped 180 (degrees)," the five-year veteran safety said. "It was like they wanted nothing to do with me. After the second day of training camp I had this weird feeling that things just weren't working out. I was literally there two weeks, played in the Hall of Fame game and was released.

"I didn't really have a chance to do anything. Luckily I was on a month-to-month lease."

Even more surprising was how quickly things soured in Oakland, where Schweigert was a former third-round pick and starter. The 67th overall selection, he played 63 games with 42 starts in four seasons in Oakland. Schweigert had 315 tackles (255 solo), four interceptions and 18 passes defensed.

"In Oakland, things just went bad out there," Schweigert explained. "I was a starter out there for two-and-a-half years. My contract was based on how much I played in years one, two and three was how much I was going to get paid in years four and five. They didn't want to pay me."

So Schweigert asked for his release, "instead of bring a backup on a team where I used to start."

After his brief stop in DC, Schweigert was signed by the Giants. Needless to say, he couldn't be happier.

"I want to be on this team," he said. "I want to make this team. I want to be a part of this team. The chemistry they have here between the coaches and players is phenomenal."

A hard-hitting, smart, aggressive player, Schweigert certainly seems to be a player out of the Tom Coughlin mold.

"He's a veteran," Coughlin said. "He's played special teams. He's been a starter in the league. We think that a guy of that nature can come in and make the adaptation that must move swiftly, which we need. As you know, the numbers in camp are such that these guys have got to play. They have to play right away."

Whether as a special teamer or in the secondary, Schweigert plans to show Coughlin and his new mates that he belongs.

"I'm a guy that's going to do whatever it takes to help my team win," he said. "I'm going to be a hard worker. I'm going to come early. I'm going to leave late. I'm just trying to find my niche on this team."

Schweigert said he is just thrilled to join the defending champs.

"Everyone's been awesome," he said. "It's amazing how welcoming everyone has been. I guess that's how it is when you come off a Super Bowl championship season; everyone's generally in a good mood.

"Now that I'm here, there's a reason why they won last season; it's not by chance. It's definitely a tight-knit group and it's a tight-knit group I want to be a part of."


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