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Doug Baldwin on Seahawks offensive struggles, Colin Kaepernick and the National Anthem protests

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The Seattle Seahawks wide receiver has been a leader on the team’s own Anthem demonstration. He talked about that and the Seahawks offensive struggles in his conference call with Bay Area media.

The San Francisco 49ers face a Seattle Seahawks team that has had some offensive struggles through the first two weeks. They managed one touchdown against the Miami Dolphins in a Week 1 win, and then were held to a field goal in their Week 2 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin has their one touchdown, a game-winner against the Dolphins. On Wednesday, he was the Seahawks player representative to speak with 49ers beat writers. He talked about the Seahawks early offensive struggles, the chip on the shoulders of the team’s many UDFAs, and what to make of the 49ers now compared to previously.

However, the most interesting comments came when he was asked about Colin Kaepernick and the National Anthem protest. Baldwin has been a leader on the Seahawks with regard to their decision to link arms during the National Anthem. Baldwin talked about is conversations with Kaepernick, and what he has learned about a person he only knew through a mutual friend previously. Here’s a transcript of Baldwin’s conference call.

On how he’s feeling physically:

I’m getting better. It’s a day-by-day process but I’ll be good to go.

On if he practiced today:

We haven’t practiced yet. We practice in about an hour, and I will be.

On Seahawks offense through 2 games:

Obviously there’s some things that we need to improve on, but there’s a lot of positive things we can take out of it. So, very optimistic about it. I think if you look at our numbers across the board, we’re kind of very similar to where we were the past few years. We’ll get to where we need to be.

On reasons for slow starts:

Uh, no, this is just the way our offense operates. We got some things that we need to clean up, and thankfully we have some time to clean it up.

On large number of UDFAs bringing chip on their shoulder:

I wouldn’t say it’s because of that specifically. I would say that Pete Carroll and John Schneider, they do look for players that have grit in their makeup. And that’s something that we talk about all the time, and so the players that they bring in, they do have that tenacity, that relentlessness, and a passion for the game of football. I think that’s just the makeup that they look for in the players that they bring in.

On 2016 UDFAs and if he sees it in them:

Yea, some of them. Obviously not everybody’s gonna have it, but a lot of guys do. They have that personality, that drive, and then others, they can get it, they can acquire it. I mean it’s just the environment that we cultivate here.

On if looking for that means UDFAs get more of a chance:

I don’t know. I think that, John and Pete, they’re not above giving guys an opportunity that are less touted. Whether you’re a first round draft pick, or you’re an undrafted guy, they’re gonna give you equal opportunities, equal chances to go out there and compete for your job. And I think it doesn’t matter if you’re undrafted or not.

On 49ers changes from past few years:

Yea, they have. The scheme is a little bit different, obviously having a different defensive coordinator. And their offense as well, obviously I don’t watch too much of their offense, but their defense has changed a little bit. They still have some guys that we know very well. Very talented, very active. So, it will be a good challenge for us.

On if he has spoken with Colin Kaepernick:

Yea, we’ve had extensive conversations.

On whether the conversations were satisfying, and what has been result:

It’s been more of a conversation about what the next step is, about what the follow-through will be and exchanging ideas of what we can do to help the situation.

On how impactful Kaepernick has been in getting people involved in protests:

“It’s not just the NFL landscape, it’s across the country right now. Obviously, we wouldn’t be having this conversation if it wasn’t for him bringing it to light. So, he’s stood on the table and shouted and got everybody’s attention. And now we have to work on the follow through collectively.

On any rapport with Kaepernick before this:

My only connection was through a good friend of mine, Ricardo Lockette. That was, Ricardo Lockette’s a mutual friend. That was the only connection I had.

On if Seahawks attitude towards Kaepernick has changed with this:

Well, you guys painted that. Nobody looked at anybody as an enemy, so to speak. This is just our job. It’s our occupation, so we had no ill will towards Kaepernick in any way. It hasn’t changed because it was never negative in the first place.

On any plans for more group demonstrations:

Yes, we do. And the impact that we anticipate is just to continue the conversation, first and foremost. Obviously, as I’ve said before, we’re already focused on our follow through and things we’re going to do in our communities, and here in Seattle to try to get as much knowledge as we can and see how impactful we can be in our own communities. And then we’ll see what happens. We’ll go from there.

On what he has learned about Kaepernick in their discussions:

He’s a very intellectual human being. He’s very intelligent, very thoughtful, and very passionate, obviously. I didn’t know him as a person, I only knew him as a football player. But obviously getting to speak to him and getting to know him a little bit more, you can tell that he’s got a lot of depth to him.

On if he wants to see white players more involved:

Uhh, yea, sure. I don’t think it’s just a, it’s not just a skin issue or race issue, it’s a societal issue. I think we all have a role in finding solutions.