After tumultuous weekend, Doug Baldwin optimistic about the Seahawks moving forward



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Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, left, slips past St. Louis Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree after catching a pass for a 49-yard gain during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)


RENTON, Washington — Doug Baldwin was about to board the charter bus last Friday when he got word Seattle had traded Percy Harvin.

Two days later, he sat in a St. Louis locker room after one of the best games in his career answering questions about whether he was involved in a preseason scuffle with Harvin. He wasn't getting many questions about his seven receptions and the touchdown he scored against the Rams.

Baldwin and the Seahawks were clearly ready on Wednesday to put the conversation regarding Harvin's surprising trade to the New York Jets in the past. But the trade, the subsequent stories about locker room dustups involving Harvin and two straight losses for the first time since 2011 have clearly impacted the Super Bowl champs' image of stability.

"We're in the locker room where you spend 12 to 14 hours with these guys every day, of course there are going to be issues. You're not all going to get along about everything. So you're going to have issues," Baldwin said.

"However, I think the biggest problem that we have in the media is when you lose, everything is magnified, and when you win, everything is covered up. That's just the nature of the business. To us in this locker room, we know what needs to be corrected, we know what positives come out of everything and we're going to move forward with that."

Baldwin has become a de facto spokesman for the team since the Harvin trade went down, first following the 28-26 loss to St. Louis on Sunday and again as the Seahawks began preparations for this week's key game at Carolina. Seattle coach Pete Carroll barely addressed Harvin on Wednesday, saying "we're moving on."

Baldwin said that despite the commotion about Harvin's trade and the subsequent loss, the mood around the locker room is good.

"I think we're a little more positive because we felt like there was some growth in our offense," Baldwin said. "Like I said, Marshawn (Lynch), without a couple of penalties, would have rushed for 100 yards and we threw for over 300 yards. I think we're in the right direction so the mood is optimistic."

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell coached Harvin in Minnesota and again in Seattle. He was disappointed that Harvin couldn't fully work with the Seahawks.

"I did have a history with him and I thought it would be a different outcome but I guess it's just the way it went," Bevell said. "I think we have a phenomenal atmosphere here led by coach Carroll. He gives the guys great freedom to be who they want to be and I think he kind of sets the tone for the whole program. It's an upbeat program, obviously we're very positive here, so it's just disappointing."

Baldwin was at the center of the improved offensive efficiency against St. Louis. After Seattle had only 206 total yards against Dallas, the Seahawks rebounded with 463 against the Rams.

Baldwin's seven receptions were his most since the 2013 season opener at Carolina and his 123 yards receiving marked the third time he topped the century mark in his career. The easy correlation to make is that Baldwin got more chances with Harvin out. And while not inaccurate, Baldwin said it all started with Lynch and the running game.

"If you look at the way Marshawn was running the rock, if he didn't have a couple of his runs called back, he would have had over 100 yards rushing. I felt like that was the identity of our offense, get him the ball, allow him to go over 100 yards and set everything up in the passing game," Baldwin said.

NOTES: Carroll said CB Byron Maxwell (calf) and C Max Unger (foot) are uncertain to be back for Sunday's game. Maxwell is ahead of Unger in his recovery, Carroll said. ... TE Luke Willson (groin) and CB Tharold Simon (ankle) were both full participants Wednesday. ... DT Jordan Hill (foot) is expected to be out for Sunday's game.


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