RENTON It’s been interesting and impressive to watch the last few years his evolution from “Angry” Doug Baldwin to man and leader standing out among the Seahawks, on and off the field and in society.
This week, the evolution has come over a span of three days.
Sunday during a maddening, malfunctioning first half for Seattle’s offense at New York, he was “Angry” Doug Baldwin. The Seahawks’ top wide receiver shoved offensive line coach Tom Cable while the offense was gathering to talk on the sidelines. The issue was why Seattle had just gone 85 yards over 16 plays but scored zero points while trailing the 1-6 Giants. Baldwin apologized to Cable during and after the win. He said after the game said he wanted quarterback Russell Wilson and players to speak to players at that time, not a coach.
Wednesday, Baldwin’s timing timing and tone were perfect. He interrupted the first moments of Cable’s post-practice press conference off the side of the team’s indoor field. Wearing a huge grin, Baldwin sneaked up on the coach’s right flank and bounced beside him with with a big hug. He posed for a moment with his arm around the amused Cable.
Baldwin’s embrace was disarming and well-calculated, and necessary to improve public perception. He knew that.
After it, I asked Cable what he thought of Sunday’s sideline incident.
“I think it’s a player competing and a coach competing to keep everybody together and not get out of whack. As you can see at that time, we were kind of headed there,” Cable said. “We were doing so many good things. If I remember right, 49 plays, 220-something yards, and you just have three points. You really want to just stay on it, and yet make the plays and the scoring plays that are available to you.
“It’s frustration and it’s good that they care, so I think nothing of it.
“I think it was great. I think Doug handled it beautifully, and we’re done with it.”
Cable was asked if he knew right away Baldwin’s beef wasn’t with the performance of the offensive line.
“No, no. There’s no issue like that,” Cable said. “Especially with someone like Doug and I. It’s been a long relationship that’s really strong.”
Baldwin is the longest-tenured player on the offense; he’s been on it since 2011 when Seattle signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Stanford. The now-$46 million receiver mentioned that after Sunday’s game, that he may be tighter with Cable than any other coach.
Would Cable have reacted so positively to Baldwin shoving him 10 years ago?
“I think so. I’ve always kind of been in control of that, regardless of whatever the thought is,” he said. “But the fact is, we all grow and we all get better and I think the job as a coach is really to manage that and keep everyone together and keep them in line. My answer to that would be, definitely.”
Baldwin and Cable walked off the field at halftime of the Giants game, with Seattle still trailing 7-3 in a game that ultimately won going away 24-7. Coach Pete Carroll said it was then the issue was over and done with.
“Absolutely. There’s no issue there,” Cable said Wednesday. “Again, that’s a young guy competing his tail off, and a coach competing to keep everybody together and not get out of whack. Because really, you saw it: we were doing a lot of cool things and we’re not getting the ball across the goal-line. So I think the level of frustration for everybody was where a guy short, a play short, a block short, or a throw and a catch short.
“You see us growing right now, so this is a good problem to have. We want to continue to press the gas, and continue to get better. And when it comes together, it should be really fun.”