When defensive backs coach Vance Joseph told him he would be the starter, D.J. Swearinger knew he was up for the challenge.
"I feel ready," Swearinger said. "I thought, especially after the third game, I thought I was ready to really get in there and start playing. Now, it's finally here and I'm just ready to get out there and get after it."
Swearinger, who gets his NFL start against Kansas City on Sunday, will have ample opportunity to be challenged. The second-round draft pick, who prides himself on stopping the run, will get to face Jamaal Charles. The Kansas City running back leads the NFL in first downs and is second only to Arian Foster in rushing yards with 475 through six games.
"Since little league, that's always been prideful to me just hitting and taking on running backs and wide receivers crossing the middle," Swearinger said. "Me playing strong safety, I think it fits my style of play."
Through six games, Swearinger has 18 tackles with 14 solo. Swearinger will start at Arrowhead Stadium for veteran strong safety Danieal Manning who went on IR this week with a season-ending knee injury.
"It's a huge challenge," Swearinger said of Sunday's game. "Jamaal Charles is one of the fastest backs out there. Alex Smith is a great quarterback. They've got some great receivers. It's going to take a team effort, the pressure, linebackers, us locking down in the secondary. It's going to take a full-team effort and we'll be ready for it."