Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin dropped by CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney on Monday to discuss numerous hot-button topics, including Richard Sherman’s alleged beef with Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick’s free agency, and the coaching ability – or lack thereof, according to Brandon Jacobs – of Jim Harbaugh.
We’ll begin with Sherman and Wilson, who are rumored to be on, well, not exactly the best of terms these days. Is there a rift between the Seattle superstars?
“First and foremost, there is no rift, and second of all, he’s the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks,” Baldwin said. “You know as well as I do that the quarterbacks are treated differently than (other players). But it’s not to say that that’s a negative thing. I have to give a lot of credit to Pete Carroll on the way that he’s handled different players in our locker room. He’s treated all (of) us differently. He’s treated me differently. He’s treated Russell Wilson differently, Richard Sherman differently, Marshawn (Lynch) when he was with us – he’s treated us all differently. He’s done an excellent job of allowing us to be individuals. And so, as the leader of our program, as the builder of this environment, he has to adjust and adapt as he has – and he’s done a fantastic job at it. So no, there’s no rift. If there’s any issues, it’s whether or not we have enough cookies in the cafeteria. . . . Everybody in the locker room likes each other.”
That wasn’t always the case last season. In December, for example, Sherman shouted at offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for not running the ball on 3rd-and-goal from the Rams’ 1-yard line. Wilson threw a touchdown pass to Baldwin on the play, but Sherman still wasn’t happy, which may have been a byproduct of Bevell’s infamous decision to pass at the goal line in Super Bowl XLIX.
What’s it like having such intense disagreements within the locker room?
“It’s fun,” Baldwin said. “But at the end of the day, we’re a family. We all know what we’re competing for. We’re all going in the right direction, the same direction. It’s not going to be that we don’t have our issues, that we don’t have our fights, our debates and our arguments, our disagreements. We do. But we handle it in the right manner. That’s with any relationship. That’s with any family. You’re definitely going to have arguments and fights, but it’s how you handle those. For the most part, we’ve handled them in an exceptional manner. Yes, is it public? Yeah, because we have outspoken individuals and we’re not quiet about our opinions and our thoughts. But again, at the end of the day, we’re all going in the same direction. We all want the same thing – and that’s for our team to be successful.”
The Seahawks went 10-5-1 last season before losing 36-20 to Atlanta in the divisional round. Russell Wilson played well overall last year but spent a lot of time running for his life in the backfield. Seattle was in the mix to sign Colin Kaepernick but instead signed Austin Davis on Monday.
Why is Kaepernick still a free agent?
“I think it’s just part of the business,” Baldwin said. “It’s just the part of the sport. Right now, there’s a lot of young guys who just got drafted, who just got opportunities to come into OTAs and showcase their talent and their skills, so they’re going to get the first and second look before an older guys does. And so, I think that’s just the product of what you’re seeing right now. (Kaepernick will) have a job for sure. That’s my belief. He’ll have an opportunity because he is an NFL-level quarterback. He is ready to perform now. But teams are looking to get younger. They’re going to look for the younger talent that they can get cheaper and have for longer deals than they would a veteran.”
To be fair, though, Davis is 28 and hasn’t played a snap since 2015. He also has 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 13 career games.
Isn’t it fair to wonder if Kaepernick, 29, is getting black-balled by the league?
“I’ve never shied away from speaking my opinion on anything,” Baldwin said, “but I don’t think that’s the case with Colin. There’s still 32 teams out there. I do think he’s going to have an opportunity here relatively soon to show that he’s still an NFL starter in this league. I do think again it goes back to the business aspect of the game. There’s younger guys out there that are going to get looks first and then the veterans will come back. Do I think that (his activism) plays a role? Maybe to some degree, but I don’t think it’s the overall factor that’s causing him not to have a job right now.”
In other news, Baldwin weighed in on Brandon Jacobs’ recent comments that Jim Harbaugh isn’t a good coach. Baldwin, 28, played for Harbaugh at Stanford.
Harbaugh is a great football coach, correct?
“He’s a great football coach, correct,” Baldwin said, smiling and pausing. “He’s a great football coach. He’s a phenomenal football coach.”
Granted, Harbaugh’s personality might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to say one thing for him: he typically gets the most out of his players.
“I would say that about Harbaugh,” Baldwin said. “He did. He got a lot out of us. His philosophy, his methodology, might not have gelled (for everyone). Not everybody got along, but at the end of the day, he’s a great football coach. He’s had success everywhere he’s gone, and so, you can’t doubt that. Do some guys disagree with his methodology? Of course. But that’s with anything. The one thing I can say about Jim Harbaugh is he’s a great football coach.”