There was no topic off limits for Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin when he sat in for nearly an hour Tuesday to co-host “Brock and Salk” at the team’s practice facility. That included giving his thoughts on last season’s Richard Sherman drama and how his relationship has morphed with quarterback Russell Wilson.
Here’s a look at what Baldwin said about his two very different teammates on 710 ESPN Seattle:
Baldwin on Sherman
Baldwin said that after more than 10 years of knowing one another, he and Sherman have a very open relationship with the ability to have blunt conversations.
With that said, Baldwin explained that sometimes he has to use “kid gloves” with Sherman since his fellow Stanford grad can sometimes get “overzealous and overexcited.” That led to what Mike Salk called the “elephant in room” – Sherman telling ESPN last month that there was no proof that he threatened 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jim Moore job, despite audio evidence that it happened.
Here’s how Baldwin explained it: “I say that Sherm’s greatest asset can also be his greatest weakness. He’s very smart and sometimes he thinks he’s smarter than he is and I have no issues, qualms with saying that because I’ll say that to his face. I love him to death because at times he is very considerate and very thoughtful. But other times he lets his pride get in the way. But that pride is the same thing that has propelled him to be the greatest corner in our game today.”
Baldwin on Wilson
Russell Wilson played all last season despite suffering multiple injuries, including hurting his knee and ankle early on. Baldwin said that Wilson was hurt and playing through injuries definitely earned him respect in the locker room in the same way the 2011 group respected QB Tarvaris Jackson for playing with a torn pectoral muscle.
“To be completely honest with you, he was hurt,” Baldwin said. “I’ve got to give him a lot of credit because for him to play through the injuries that he had; it was miraculous. It was unbelievable.”
Baldwin said Wilson’s voice and leadership abilities have grown over the years because they “had to” and that Wilson needed to be willing to show vulnerability. Baldwin also addressed the reports from years ago that some in the locker room felt Wilson wasn’t “black enough,” saying that kind of negativity is “out of our locker room” but acknowledging that it was there at one point.
“I would say that wasn’t the general sentiment in our locker room. And that general sentiment has been now removed,” Baldwin said. “Of course, we’ve dealt with our share of adversity, especially in the locker room. When it comes to Russell – it’s not just Russell, it’s the quarterback position in general. You have this quarterback who comes in, he’s an enigma on the football field for us as a thrower and as an athlete, and he just worked. He didn’t really have a conversation with anybody, he didn’t really talk to anybody because he was just this kid that came in and wanted to be great and nothing was gonna get in his way. And so he didn’t really have time to build those relationships with those guys and now we’re seeing that he’s to the point where he’s comfortable as the quarterback, he knows the game plan, he knows the offense, and so now he can spend a little more time in building that chemistry and those relationships with the guys on the field. And so that as the process.”
Here’s more of what Balwin told “Brock and Salk” on Monday:
• On the “volatility” in the Seahawks locker room last year: Baldwin said he was frustrated by the multitude of injuries the team dealt with, which led to a lack of consistency. “It feels like sometimes we’re just barely holding it together … and I think a lot of guys in our locker room, we’re addicted to that.” He said the team had its emotions on its sleeve more this season than in years past, which isn’t a bad thing, even if it can sometimes be a distraction. He said the “sense of urgency kind of wavered into the realm of frustration” and added, “Honestly, I was frustrated throughout the course of the year.”
• What the media and fans got wrong last season: Baldwin said it was the negativity surrounding the team and what should or shouldn’t be done in free agency. “I understand that as fans and that even sometimes as players, we get anxious and overly excited. We want to do something now. But there’s a methodical plan here and I have full faith in John Schneider and Pete Carroll because they’ve put together a championship-caliber team year in and year out.”
• On being “crazy” to play football: “Football itself is chaotic. I’ve heard people say it’s a contact sport. No, it’s not a contact sport, it’s a collision sport. Ballroom dancing is a contact sport. Football is a collision sport and you have to be legitimately sometimes crazy to do what we do. To take the hits that we do, to feel the pain. And these guys legitimately during the season are holding it together by band-aids, by whatever they can so they can go out there and perform for their teammates.”
• On what leadership looks like in NFL: “When I look at the NFL … there is a lack of leadership in all facets. And I think we lost a lot of that great leadership with some of the great quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. You lost a lot of that. Terrell Davis, LaDanian Tomlinson. All these guys who had that leadership ability because, I don’t know why they had it, but they were forced to have it when they were here.”
• On the difficulties young players face in the NFL: Baldwin said taking the individualistic mindset out can be difficult, with many young players focused on Instagram, Twitter, and even Snapchatting in stadiums. “It’s like, can you just put your phone down and just enjoy the moment with your team? And it does frustrate me. I feel really old saying that but it really does frustrate me. … They don’t have that experience. It’s an anti-social culture when they come in and they don’t have the willingness to be vulnerable, the willingness to have those conversations and it’s difficult for them at times.”