Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin feels good about the direction the team, and the offense in particular, are headed in despite back-to-back losses. He sees in Seattle’s second-half performance the beginnings of a team finding itself, not a team in crisis.
“We’re positive,” he said. “We feel good. Obviously some of the games didn’t come out the way we wanted them to, but we’re a third-down, toe-tapping catch and a special teams play away from being 5-1.”
Asked if he thinks the offense turned a corner in a second-half that saw them end the game by going on three straight touchdown drives of 80 or more yards, Baldwin said, “I think so. A lot of people will say, ‘Oh, you got targets, that’s why you feel that way.’ No, that’s not why I feel that way. If you look at the way Marshawn was running the rock, if we didn’t get a couple of his runs called back, he would have over 100 yards rushing, and I felt like that’s the identity of our offense, getting him the ball, allowing him to go over 100 yards, then setting everything up in the passing game. Even though he got those yards called back, that still helped us set up everything in the passing game. So yes, I felt like we did turn a corner in the second half.”
As for why the offense got going, if the question was meant to convince Baldwin to say it was because Percy Harvin was gone, he wasn’t taking the bait: “I don’t know what it was, I just thought we had a good game plan this week.”
And later, when asked if there was such a thing as addition by subtraction for a football team, another question obviously about Harvin, Baldwin only said, “That’s a good question. I don’t have an answer for you.”
Whether it was because of Harvin’s absence or not, the Seahawks getting back to the run game was a big part of the offensive success, Baldwin said.
“I think we’re a little more positive because we felt like there was some growth in our offense,” he said. “Marshawn, without a couple of penalties, would have rushed for over 100 yards, and then we threw for over 300 yards, so I think we’re going in the right direction. So the mood is optimistic.”
Playing in a different role with Harvin out — Baldwin was used more in the slot Sunday, which was his usual position the past three seasons — Baldwin had 7 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown.
Baldwin admitted he was more comfortable in the slot having played there for most of his NFL career, but said, “however I do enjoy the outside a lot more.”
Asked why, Baldwin paused, at which point Sports Illustrated’s Doug Farrar said, “that’s where the money is.” Baldwin replied, “He said it, I didn’t. Good job, Doug.”
Baldwin said he was walking to the bus Friday when he heard the news of the Harvin trade, and was surprised like everyone else. He also added that he has since texted Harvin to wish him luck with the Jets.
“It was unexpected, however, I had to focus on the game, so my mental state was more so preparing for the game.”
As for the report that Marshawn Lynch got off the bus and almost didn’t get back on to make the trip to St. Louis, Baldwin said it was “stupid.”
“Marshawn was in shock, too, he wanted to go ask somebody, then he hopped back on the bus,” he said. “I know there was a report that said he almost didn’t get on the bus. Let me clear that up — that’s stupid. There was no hesitation about getting on the bus. He was gonna come to St. Louis.”
Baldwin admitted Sunday that, as had been reported, there was an altercation between him and Harvin in August. Then again, he points out that in a locker room of 53 men, or in the case of college even more, not everyone gets along great all the time.
“We’re in a locker room where you spend 12 to 14 hours with these guys every day,” He said. “So of course there’s going to be issues, you’re not going to all get along, you’re not going to agree about everything, so you’re going to have issues. I think the biggest problem that we have in media is that when you lose everything is magnified, and when you win everything is covered up. That’s just the nature of this business. To us in this locker room, we know what needs to be corrected and we know what positives come out of everything, and we’re just going to move forward with that.”