Measuring 5-foot-10, Doug Baldwin is far from the biggest receiver in the NFL. But that didn't stop him from posting 94 receptions for 1,128 yards last season en route to the Pro Bowl. Baldwin's stellar technique more than makes up for his lack of size, and he apparently builds that technique using unorthodox methods.
A recent ESPN article outlined how Baldwin often joins the Seattle Seahawks' defensive linemen during individual drills. Why the heck would a wide receiver want to do D-line drills? Because the techniques D-linemen use to get free in the trenches are similar to what a receiver needs to do to get off the line of scrimmage cleanly. It comes down to hand combat and getting the opposing player's paws off of you efficiently.
"They're masters at hand-to-hand combat," Baldwin told ESPN. "And anything I gain from them, any knowledge that I can get from them is invaluable to me. So I usually go down and practice with them occasionally just because they have so much to teach me."
Baldwin believes the techniques he's learned from the team's defensive linemen have proved invaluable on the field—especially in practice. The Seahawks' cornerbacks are very big (Richard Sherman is 5 inches taller than Baldwin) and very physical at the line of scrimmage.
"Our defensive backs like to get handsy at the line of scrimmage, so the more I can do in terms of getting their hands off me, combating what they do at the line of scrimmage, the easier it is for me to get off the press," Baldwin said.
Coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, Baldwin might be poised for a monstrous 2017 season.
Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr.