Doug Baldwin bit his tongue as best he could on Monday, not wanting to break coach Pete Carroll’s No. 1 rule.
He held court with reporters in one corner of the Seattle Seahawks locker room as teammates filed in and out, packing up their belongings and saying their goodbyes the day after their season came to a disappointing end.
Baldwin’s eight-minute session included some carefully chosen responses, an R-rated defense of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and obvious frustration about missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
The seventh-year wide receiver was asked what needs to happen for the Seahawks to right themselves.
“I can’t talk to you about that,” Baldwin said. “… Our first rule in this team is to protect the team, so if I was talk to <strong>Custom Dallas Cowboys Jerseys</strong> you guys about what I believe is the issues, I wouldn’t be protecting the team.”
Although Baldwin didn’t say everything that he clearly wanted to, he said plenty -- particularly about the perception of Seattle’s offense versus what he believes is the reality.
Baldwin used the same term Carroll did Sunday night, calling the Seahawks’ 26-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals a microcosm of their season. That was true in several <strong>Customized Argentina Jersey</strong> aspects, including how the offense took an entire half to get going.
Doug Baldwin brings in a 29-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson in the Seahawks' season-ending loss. Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
In a game the Seahawks needed to win to have any shot of reaching the playoffs, they finished the first quarter with zero net yards. They had only 24 by halftime, by which point their only score had come off a Tyler Lockett return touchdown. They more than tripled that total on their opening drive of the third quarter, when they finished a 10-play, 80-yard drive with Russell Wilson hitting Baldwin for the first of his two touchdowns.
It was an all-too familiar disparity. On the season, the Seahawks were 30th in yards (133.9) and 29th in points (7.81) in the first halves of games, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Seattle was No. 1 in both second-half yards (196.5) and second-half points (15.06).
"No, not to me,” Baldwin said when asked if he found it puzzling how Seattle struggled on offense out of the gates. “But y’all will create your own narrative, and I won’t be able to tell you anything.”
He let loose when asked if he thinks Seattle’s playcalling has become risk-averse in recent seasons.
“Y’all are making it hard on me,” Baldwin said before turning serious. “Do any of you guys watch film? Do any of you guys really watch tape? I really question that sometimes because y’all make these narratives, y’all put these topics, these main titles and s---, and it’s like y’all don’t watch film, y’all don’t watch tape, and it really pisses us off sometimes as players.
"And I really wish I could say more, but I’m not going to, and obviously I’m frustrated because we lost, but I really wish [you would] do your job.”
He was asked what is being misperceived by those not watching the film.
“I don’t know. Maybe it’s not, umm, I don’t know. I can’t <strong>Custom Chicago Cubs Jerseys</strong> say it. My job is to protect the team right now, and I’m doing a poor job of that right now,” he said with a laugh.
Baldwin rubbed his face with both hands while searching for the right words. That’s when he defended Bevell, a popular target of criticism during many of his seven seasons running the team’s offense. Baldwin didn't name any names but said the players are to blame.
“How can I say this? How can I say this? It's not playcalling. It’s not playcalling,” he said. “We go into a game knowing what the defense is going to give us, the situations that we're going to be in. We don't execute <strong>Custom Football Jerseys</strong> as a team. Offensively, that's what we've seen time and time again is that we do not execute the way that we should. And that's on us as players. You guys can blame Bev all you want to, but the truth of the matter is that Bev's not the problem."
This season, the Seahawks finished 15th in total offense and 11th in scoring. Undoubtedly the biggest disappointment on that side of the ball was a 23rd-ranked running game that Seattle tried to fix in the offseason, but it remained very much broken in 2017. Wilson became the fifth quarterback since 1970 to lead his team in rushing, doing so with 586 yards while no tailback had more than 240. He scored three of Seattle’s four rushing touchdowns.
Of the team’s issues in general, Baldwin said: “I think they’re very solvable, and I think that it just comes with a different focus, a different mentality maybe. Just more self-evaluation and really understanding who we are as men, first and foremost, in this locker room -- or in this building, I should say -- and then growing from there.”
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