Doug Baldwin went out of his way to say a lot of stuff while clearing out his locker Monday. Unfortunately, he really didn’t say much of anything.
The Seattle Seahawks wide receiver is known for his candor. He’s a passionate man who has grown into a team leader, on and off the field.
However, in this case, Baldwin beat around the bush. It was a media session to basically say: “I know something you don’t know and I’m not telling.”
Baldwin did make one clear statement on offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. In Baldwin’s view, the man who takes so much criticism from the fans is not to blame for the team’s woeful offense.
That aside, Baldwin was coy and condescending.
“If I talk to you about what I think are the issues, that wouldn’t be protecting the team,’’ Baldwin said. “I can’t say it. I really wish I could say more, but I’m not going to.”
Instead, Baldwin took the opportunity to rip reporters for not seeing what he’s not willing to reveal.
“Do any of you guys watch film,’’ he asked. “You make the narratives. You don’t watch tape and it really pisses us off sometimes as players. I’m not saying this to piss you guys off, but if you’re a journalist and your job is to do investigative reporting, then actually investigate and watch the film.”
First, this is football, not Russians infecting the national election. Second, most reporters do watch tape of the games.
But with Baldwin being clandestine is his response, he’s asking reporters to speculate on what he means. Is he upset with how quarterback Russell Wilson leaves the pocket too soon at times (which the tape shows)?
Is he upset with the lack of consistency on the offensive line or the abundance of senseless penalties? Is it mediocre running backs not getting to a hole quickly enough (also on tape). Is he upset that he’s often open but doesn’t get the ball thrown to him (which he’s on tape screaming about on the sidelines)?
No one knows for sure because Baldwin won’t say.
“I mean, I would love to sit up here and tell you exactly what the problem is, but I’m not going to do that,’’ Baldwin said. “I’m not going to tell you that.”
And that’s perfectly fine, but don’t expect everyone to read between the lines and understand what you’re trying to convey. Either say what you think or don’t say anything.
Insinuating problems without actually saying what they are is a disservice to the team, something Baldwin said he wants to avoid.
Baldwin may be the most underrated wide receiver in the NFL. He runs route and gains separation as well as anyone in the league, and he will catch it 99 percent of the time (often while well covered or near the sideline) if you throw it his way.
He also has done more than any player in the league to bring awareness and raise money for meaningful social change in a constructive manner to what the protests are all about.
But Baldwin only added controversy to a disappointing season by implying problems on the offense and forcing everyone to guess what he means.