RENTON — Doug Baldwin ended up at Stanford because it was the only NCAA Division I football program that recruited him, and he played for the Seahawks because they gave him a shot after every team passed on him in last year’s NFL draft.
But now that Baldwin has made it, so to speak, don’t expect him to suddenly feel like he has nothing left to prove.
“If you know me, you know that I put a lot of pressure on myself,” Baldwin said after a Seahawks’ offseason workout Thursday. “One of the biggest things that I keep hearing from people is not to have a sophomore slump, so one of my biggest things right now is to be perfect every day. … I have so much more to prove and so much more that I’m capable of.”
If Baldwin is indeed capable of much more, that’s very good news for the Seahawks. After making the team as an undrafted rookie last season, Baldwin ended up leading Seattle in receptions (51), receiving yards (788) and receiving touchdowns (four) as the team’s slot receiver.
For Baldwin and everyone else on the field, these practices are a welcome change from a year ago when uncertainty hung over the offseason during the NFL lockout. At this time last year, Baldwin was undrafted and unsure where he would end up. He was working out in Palo Alto, Calif., with former Colts receiver Aaron Moorhead, waiting for the lockout to end so he could see what teams, if any, would try to sign him.
A year later, Baldwin’s future is much clearer as he prepares for the 2012 season with the Seahawks, but his big rookie campaign won’t change the way he prepares this summer. He may have some solid numbers on his résumé now, but Baldwin will still have the same attitude heading into this season as he did when he didn’t know if he would find work in the NFL.
“One of my mottos that I remind myself of every day is that today doesn’t care about what you did yesterday,” he said. “So to be honest with you, I have the same mindset, the same mentality. I’m still a rookie, because they brought in undrafted guys that are competing for a job to take my spot, to take other guys’ spots, so you’ve got to have that same mentality and that same hunger to go out there and win your spot every day.”
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org.