Undrafted and unwavering, angry Doug Baldwin has grown into hungry Doug Baldwin.
The seventh-year pro out of Stanford made his first Pro Bowl a season ago, when he equaled the franchise record for receptions in a season, but it’s another Super Bowl ring that he and the Seahawks covet in their chase for greatness.
“All 32 teams across the country right now, they all believe that they have a chance, but it’s going to come down to who’s going to be, who’s available, healthy and has the most chemistry in December,” he said.
Back-to-back ousters in the second round of the playoffs since winning Super Bowl 49 has Baldwin and the Hawks reinvigorated for the impending campaign.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we were right there again,” he told FOX 12. “We have the talent, we have got the guys, we’ve got the motivation and the work ethic, so I expect us to be there for sure.”
Competition is king in Seattle, and Baldwin noted it’s like iron sharpening iron when he is going heads up with the defensive backs in the Legion of Boom.
“They have to go up against us. Don’t get it twisted,” he said. “They are very talented. They get a lot of the credit and it’s well-earned, but we have some dogs on the offensive side of the ball as well.”
The Legion of Boom is all together for day 8 of training camp along the shores of Lake Washington pic.twitter.com/57Tl5oH91a— Nick Krupke (@NickKrupke) August 9, 2017
The Seahawks big dog under center is Russell Wilson, who had severe ankle, knee and pec injuries all season long yet never missed a start.
“To see him and how he responded to that, that was huge for us,” Baldwin said of his QB. “We knew he had that in him but to be able to see the day-to-day processes of him going through it. You take football away, and it’s’ just respect for a man, for a human being to go through those hardships both physically and mentally and come out on the other side of it, better for it.”
Number 89 also said he received sage advice from old number 80, Seahawks legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Largent.
“Anytime you get to speak to a great who has gone through the process and had great success, not only on the field but also off the field, there is a lot of nuggets that you can steal from them,” Baldwin told FOX 12. “And to his credit, he was willing to talk to me and give some of those nuggets away.”
The Stanford graduate was in Palo Alto for all three seasons of Willie Taggart’s tenure as running backs coach of the Cardinal, and Baldwin said he admires Taggart’s program overhauls at Western Kentucky, South Florida and now Oregon.
“(I’m) extremely proud of him. It’s kind of weird, me saying that. He was my coach, but I’ve seen him where he started,” he said. “His success is, first and foremost, it’s not surprising, and secondly, it’s very rewarding to see a guy who has worked as hard as he has.”
Despite that pride in his old coach, don’t expect to hear Baldwin saying “Go Ducks!” anytime soon.
“You can hear me say, ‘Go Willie Taggart!’ but I am a Cardinal through and through,” he joked.
The Seahawks’ run towards Super Bowl 52 will start Sunday with Seattle’s preseason opener at the Los Angeles Chargers. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. on FOX 12.
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