Following day six of Seahawks training camp presented by Bing, Doug Baldwin took time to meet with the media at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Here's three things we learned from Thursday's conversation with the Seattle wideout:
1. He's A Leader, And He's Still Learning
As the team's top receiver in terms of production from a year ago and one of just two Seahawks wideouts with four years of NFL experience under his belt, Seattle's young receivers are looking to Baldwin as the leader of the position group - a stressful situation, Baldwin confessed.
"It's strange," Baldwin said. "It's a little difficult at times because I still feel like a rookie myself. I'm still young. I'm only 26 years old. So the process, it's been a trying one. But I'm trying to do the best I can and I'm so excited about the fact that I have such great teammates. They make it easy on me."
As one of the position group's more dynamic playmakers, Baldwin said he was given greater liberties last year in regards to his route-running, actions that took him outside the gameplan at times. Baldwin said it's one of the areas he's looking to improve upon as he enters his fifth season in the League.
"Being a better leader in our room, being a better teammate, being a better football player all the way around," said Baldwin. "More so just being more creative with my routes within the concept of the gameplan. I have a tendency to kind of get out of the framework of the gameplan because they've given me a little bit of freedom in terms of my route-running. So compacting my route-running back to the frame of the offense is something I'm learning."
2. This Is The Best Wide Receiving Corps He's Ever Been Around
We touched on this in one of our daily Round-Ups earlier this week when Baldwin shared takeaways from the first four days of training camp in a post on his Facebook page, calling the Seahawks' receiving corps the best group he's ever been around. On Thursday, Baldwin was asked to elaborate on the topic, and he touted the group's dependable play through the first six practices of camp.
"It's not so much about the upper-level talent, or superstar names," Baldwin said. "It's just these guys work hard. They're great at their craft, they work hard at their craft, and they come out here consistently every day and they work hard."
Seattle ran the ball more than any team in the League last season, so opportunities for the club's wideouts to showcase their skills are sometimes few and far between. Baldwin said the position group knows they're not going to put up eye-popping numbers in the Seahawks offense, but they're content doing the "little things" if it helps the team win. A reminder of that mentality is posted in the position group's meeting room on a board carrying the phrase, No job too little, no job too great.
"We know that sometimes we won't get the glory," Baldwin said. "We won't get the yards, we won't get the touchdowns, but we're going to do everything in our power to help our team win. If that means blocking on a sweep play so Marshawn [Lynch] can get outside, or if that means going down and covering a kickoff or blocking on punt return so Tyler Lockett can go score a touchdown, that's our job and that's what's important to us."
3. Tyler Lockett Is "A Lot More Polished" Than He Was As A Rookie
This past Sunday, Seattle coach Pete Carroll said rookie wideout Tyler Lockett's route-running looks like that of Baldwin, who led the club in receiving his rookie year after the Seahawks picked him up as an undrafted free agent out of Stanford. But on Thursday, Baldwin admitted Lockett is ahead of where he was during his initial season in the NFL.
"He's a lot more polished than I was as a rookie," Baldwin said. "His coaches at K-State, they did a really nice job of preparing him for the NFL. Obviously, himself, he did a very nice job of preparing himself for the NFL and he's doing a fantastic job out here building chemistry with Russell [Wilson] and the other quarterbacks, and then just making plays when he has the opportunity to do so."
In calling Seattle's 2015 receivers the best he's ever been around, Baldwin's Facebook post from the other day also singled out Lockett as someone who has the chance to be "something special" in the NFL.
"He's a phenomenal kid," Baldwin said. "A hard worker. Like I said in the camp notes, I think he can be really special, not only as a punt returner but as a receiver on this team. He's got the explosiveness, he's got the speed, he's got the savvy, and he's got the work ethic. So naturally you just want to be close to somebody like that because you know that they can do anything that they can put their mind to."
A player-by-player look at Seattle's wide receivers ahead of the Seahawks' 2015 training camp.