In arguably the most unique season of NFL football we’ve seen to date, Seattle Seahawks 2nd-year receiver DK Metcalf burst onto the scene as one of the league’s star pass catchers. With a 6’4″ 229-pound frame, and shocking speed to boot, Metcalf has provided plenty of highlight reel material already this season.
Of course, it helps when you have Russell Wilson, consistently a top quarterback in the league, throwing you the ball. Wilson and Metcalf connected for 1303 receiving yards during the regular season, marking Metcalf as having accumulated the 7th-most receiving yards in the NFL this season, and breaking the Seahawks franchise record. Metcalf went for 900 receiving yards last year in his rookie season, marking a significant bump in his 2nd-year production.
So, what is the secret to the magic between Wilson and Metcalf? According to ESPN’s Brady Henderson, the pair mention that a significant part in boosting their connection on the field occurred this past offseason. Henderson reports that Wilson convinced Metcalf to spend about 6 weeks of the early offseason training with him. They traveled to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico first, and spent the remainder of the trip at Wilson’s offseason home in California.
Swimming has been a part of Wilson’s weekly training program for a long time now. He primarily uses being in the water as part of his recovery from workouts. According to Henderson, Wilson brought this up to Metcalf on the flight to Cabo, and Metcalf responded by informing Wilson he didn’t know how to swim. After some convincing, Metcalf agreed to let Wilson teach him to swim during their training trip.
Wilson started with the basics, just helping Metcalf get used to the feeling of being submerged under water. He also taught Metcalf basic breathing techniques for swimming, such as inhaling through the mouth and exhaling through the nose. Eventually, once Metcalf was comfortable being in the water, breathing and floating, Wilson taught him to do a basic freestyle.
According Henderson, Metcalf was “hooked”. Wilson told Henderson that Metcalf “did not want to get out [of the pool]”, and that they ended up having to order lunch to the pool because Metcalf didn’t want to leave. Wilson also said that afterwards, Metcalf was in the pool by himself swimming every day.
In addition to Metcalf and Wilson’s individual accomplishments this season, the Seahawks also won their division, and picked up the #3 seed in the NFC. They play the LA Rams, a divisional rival, today in the first round of the playoffs, where Wilson and Metcalf will look to lead Seattle to the next round.
If you wish to read the original reporting from Brady Henderson on ESPN, click here.