By Danny O’Neil
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Statistics may not tell the whole story, but they paint a pretty good picture of how much better receiver Doug Baldwin is feeling this year.
He had a painful start to 2012, and not just because he suffered two broken teeth when he attempted to making a full-extension catch in the end zone for what was almost the go-ahead touchdown in Arizona. He had a sore hamstring, was later bothered by a shoulder issue and truly never found a rhythm.
Compare that to Sunday in Charlotte when he caught seven passes for 91 yards, including three third-down conversions. It matched his second-most catches in any game as a pro, and perhaps more tellingly, equaled the amount of receptions he had in his first four games combined a year ago.
“I’m just healthy, you know,” Baldwin said afterward. “This time last year I was coming off a lot of hamstring injuries, a whole bunch of stuff we don’t even talk about. I felt healthy out there today, and then obviously being able to go through the entire preseason with Russell taking all the first-team snaps, we were able to build a chemistry and a rapport and I think that showed today.”