LANDOVER, Maryland -- Washington Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger said he was tired of hearing Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton talk all game Sunday. After a failed fourth-down play, he let Newton know what was up.
It led to a 15-yard penalty on Swearinger and a near altercation, with Swearinger annoyed that he was the one penalized. The scene occurred after Newton threw an incomplete pass on fourth down with 34 seconds left in Washington's 23-17 victory. Swearinger walked quickly past Newton, clearly talking as they bumped. Newton then briskly walked at Swearinger.
"I just told him I got the last laugh," Swearinger said. "'Cause he was talking trash all game. But told him, 'I'll get the last laugh.' I'm walking off, I'm just clapping my hands, I got the last laugh. He talks to me in my ear, tells me he's going to beat me up -- and I get the flag? Man, y'all tripping. Trippin', man. I ain't with none of that. That's bulls---, you feel me? I shouldn't get the penalty when a man's talking in my ear. But that's the label 36 got. I'm cool with being the bad guy."
Swearinger said the officials didn't tell him why he was the one who was flagged.
"They ain't say nothing," Swearinger said. "The man's clearly yelling in my ear. I said, 'hit me, hit me.' That's all I said, 'hit me.' He ain't hit me, so it was all bluff."
The penalty didn't impact the game, considering the Redskins took over on downs at their own 8-yard line with 34 seconds remaining. They kneeled once, and the game was over. But the penalty highlighted the intensity for Washington. Its defensive backs were criticized for some blown coverages in a 24-point loss to New Orleans in the previous game.
Swearinger led the intense approach, helping linebacker Pernell McPhee organize a dinner outing at a local steakhouse for the entire defense on Thursday. Swearinger also wore a No. 21 Sean Taylor jersey to the game, using the late Redskins safety as a reminder to play with attitude.
"I talk a lot on the field, but I have fun when talking," he said. "It's not bad in my head. I'm talking trash, getting people out of their game. So I'll always be me, regardless of what they say."
Redskins cornerback Josh Norman also did his share of talking during the game, especially with former teammate Newton. Norman intercepted Newton in the first quarter, but Newton did not want to engage with Norman.
"Nah, I just told him to keep that same energy. But they got the juice, they won. Ain't no need in me talking," Newton said. "I don't wanna have no Twitter beef with nobody."