NFL

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Introspective Seattle WR Doug Baldwin relishes facing college coach in NFC title game

  • Print

RENTON, Wash. - Doug Baldwin wanted to be done at Stanford.

The transfer papers were filled out.

Baldwin even had a destination in mind.

And then Baldwin's mom, Cindy, said no.

She wasn't about to let him give up a Stanford education even if it meant sticking through an uncomfortable situation playing football for Jim Harbaugh.

"I eventually came to the realization that I needed to stick through it as well," Baldwin said. "I was very close though."

Baldwin can look back on that time in college with reverence and perspective now that he's established in the NFL and about to face his former college coach in Sunday's NFC championship game between Seattle and San Francisco.

With Percy Harvin not playing after suffering a concussion last week against New Orleans, Baldwin's role and importance is even greater.

The fact a trip to the Super Bowl being at stake comes against Harbaugh and the 49ers, the coach he clashed with occasionally during their time at Stanford, could make the day even more special for Baldwin should Seattle win.

"It's not extra personal I just think that you get a little bit of extra motivation because you know the guy on the other side of the field," Baldwin said.

"It's nothing personal against him, going back on I thank him for the adversity he put me through so to speak because it made me who I am today. It made me a better person and a better football player.

"There's nothing against him, nothing personal, it's just a guy that coached me through college and you want to show him that I'm as good as I think I am."

Baldwin doesn't carry a chip, but a "boulder" on his shoulder. He thrives off negativity. He's picked up the nickname "Angry Doug Baldwin," and embraces the moniker.

And leading into the NFC title game Baldwin opened up this week about his time at Stanford. Baldwin said the animosity he held toward Harbaugh in college is now gone. He said they text on occasion and called their relationship now, "decent."

That wasn't the case at Stanford when Baldwin was ready to leave, with Vanderbilt a possible destination, before sticking it out.

He used the example of teammate Richard Sherman, also a teammate in Seattle, about sticking through his difficulties at Stanford. Sherman considered leaving Stanford as well, but also remained with the Cardinal.

"He decided that he wasn't going to allow any circumstance to keep him from achieving his goal and what he wanted to do in life, which was obviously be successful at football," Baldwin said.

"I kind of took that to heart as well, but everyone deals with things differently so I didn't know if my path was going to be as similar as his, but eventually it did have some affect or impact on my decision."

Baldwin's role could be critical on Sunday. With Harvin out, Baldwin will be returning kickoffs and likely playing more snaps as an outside receiver than in the slot.

He's made a point of having big games against Harbaugh and the 49ers. Baldwin has 16 receptions and four touchdowns against the 49ers.

He also has a knack for making critical catches in important situations. Baldwin's third down reception along the sideline last week against New Orleans came one play before Marshawn Lynch's clinching 31-yard touchdown run in Seattle's 23-15 victory.

"That was a huge ball he caught that kind of helped us win. So we're very, very confident," fellow receiver Golden Tate said.

"We hear it all the time that we're not worth squat, but at the end of the day, we make the plays that we need to make to help us win and we're sitting 14-3 right now, playing in the NFC Championship. You can't do that without us or the tight ends or the running backs."

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jim Flaherty remembered at visitation as irreplaceable

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A goose heads for shade in the sunshine Friday afternoon at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg - Day 26– June 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What Western Conference teams will emerge from the first round of the NHL playoffs?

View Results

Ads by Google