The Seahawks’ lackluster running game doesn’t exactly have the whole team down in the dumps.
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin said on 710 ESPN Seattle’s The Huddle that he recently told his teammate Paul Richardson, “I’ve been waiting seven years for this.”
“It is fun to be in a passing offense where you know going into the game that we’re going to throw the ball at least 30 times,” he said. “It gets you excited as a receiver.”
The Seahawks already have as many passing touchdowns – 23 – as they did all last year. Baldwin has been the leader of the receiving corps with 698 yards and four touchdowns on 58 catches.
It’s a drastic change from previous seasons, when Baldwin said he and his fellow Seattle receivers have had to adapt mentally to a lack of targets.
“For a receiver, you know, the only thing you judge your ability off of is how many catches do you have. If you don’t have that many, it’s really hard for you to determine your value in a system.”
Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham in particular had to make adjustments since coming to Seattle three seasons ago, Baldwin said.
“Jimmy, coming from New Orleans where he was the man, then getting in a run-first offense where he wasn’t targeted as much as he was in New Orleans … I know that on the surface it may seem simple to get over, but if you take a psychological view of it, and a little bit deeper, it’s a mental struggle for sure,” Baldwin said.
As for Baldwin himself, he said Seattle’s pass-heavy offense isn’t the only reason his production has improved. It has also helped that he’s learning to let go.
“I know Pete (Carroll) will probably hate hearing this, but I think the biggest thing was for me to stop caring as much,” he said. “Sometimes I get too tight. I get too tense and I’m not my best in those situations.”
Sometimes though, Baldwin’s over-competitive nature does creep back in.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he said. “There’s still those times and those moments where if I’m not getting the ball thrown my way I still get uptight. I still get frustrated. I’m still human.”