RENTON -- Doug Baldwin would have loved to have said much more than he did about the status of the Seahawks on Monday as players cleaned out their lockers as the 2017 season comes to a close.
Baldwin's better judgment kept him from revealing all he wanted to say in the wake of Seattle's first season without a playoff berth since 2011. However, he said plenty to express his frustration with the way the year played out.
"Last game was a microcosm of the season," Baldwin said of the team's 26-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. "Just like Pete (Carroll) said. Just like you guys have said. Start slow, not effective in the first half, penalties, dig yourself in a hole and then you have to fight yourself out of that hole. Unfortunately the ball didn't roll our way to be able to do that."
Baldwin said he anticipates changes to be made this offseason.
"Several," he noted.
"Don't know what all of that brings. Want to obviously get better because the trend that we're on right now is not good."
One place Baldwin was not placing the blame for the season was on offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Baldwin has been, and remains, a steadfast supporter of Bevell and believes that criticism of his play-calling is misplaced.
"Y'all are making it hard on me," Baldwin lamented. "Do any of you guys watch film? Do any of you guys really watch tape? I really question that sometimes because you'll make these narratives, you all put these topics these main titles and s--- and it's like you all don't watch film, you all don't watch tape and it really pisses us off sometimes as players. And I really wish I could say more, but I'm not going to. Obviously I'm frustrated because we lost but I really wish... do your job. I'm not saying this to piss you all off or be an asshole but I wish more people... if you're a journalist and your job is to do investigative reporting then actually investigate and watch the f------ film.
Baldwin then transitioned into his backing of Bevell.
"I can't say it. My job is to protect the team right now and I'm doing a poor job of that right now. How can I say this? How can I say this? It's not play-calling. It's not play-calling. We go into a game knowing what the defense is going to give us, the situations that we're going to be in. We don't execute as a team. Offensively that's what we've seen countless time and time again is that we do not execute the way that we should. And that's on us as players. You guys can blame Bev all you want to but the truth of the matter is Bev is not the problem. Probably already said too much."
Baldwin was equally frustrated after Sunday night's loss to Arizona when asked about the difference in offensive output from the first half to the second half. He, again, bit his tongue to keep from saying too much.
"We played better," Baldwin said after turning to a Seahawks public relations official. "We played better. I mean, I would love to sit up here and tell you exactly what the problem is but I’m not going to tell you that. We got a lot of work to do. A lot of work to do and we have the ability to do it. Simply put, we have the ability to do it. We just have to be consistent. When we are not consistent, again, you can see what happened in the first half, down 20-7. You can’t continue to play games like that.
"When we go into a game or coming out of halftime, down 20-7, we have to take some responsibility for that. We can’t put it all on the defense. We have to play better, simply put. We’ve been in those situations all year long. It’s been the case for multiple years now, but we have always been able to lean on our defense to keep the opponent down, in terms of points.
"This year, like you said, we sustained a lot of injuries. Offenses got better. When you have that paired with not playing well offensively in the first half of games, we are always fighting against ourselves. We are always trying to dig ourselves out of a hole. Plus, we were terrible at penalties this year. That plays a big role as well."
There is no one reason why Seattle's offense struggled so much this season. It's a collective group of variables that contributed to the whole puzzle. Russell Wilson played poorly in the first half of games. The lack of any credible rushing attack for most of the season was a big issue as well. Injuries and moving pieces on the offensive line cause uncertainly as well.
Baldwin didn't say as much as he wanted, but he said plenty to get an indication of his thoughts on a frustrating year ended prematurely.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 31: Wide receiver Doug Baldwin #89 of the Seattle Seahawks brings in a 29 yard pass from Russell Wilson #3 against cornerback Patrick Peterson #21 of the Arizona Cardinals during the fourth quarter of the game at CenturyLink Field on December 31, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)