The newest 49ers wideout has been with the team for less than 24 hours and has already been picking up tips from the team’s No. 1 wideout.
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“I can learn a lot from a player who has been in the league and has excelled for years and years,” said Baldwin, the third-year pro who was acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs via trade on Monday.
The former first-round pick (No. 26 overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft is focused on making a solid impression with his new team.
Baldwin called the trade to the 49ers, “a blessing in disguise.”
The trade wasn’t upsetting to Baldwin. He accepted it and moved on.
“I’m just looking forward to a good opportunity to be here,” he said.
Baldwin understood the nature of the NFL.
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“It’s a business,” he said. “There’s nothing I can do about it. I'm here now. All I can do is do whatever the coaches need me to do, learn these plays as fast as I can and just help the San Francsico 49ers win ball games.”
In his first day with a new team, offensive coordinator Greg Roman said his new receiver stood out for many reasons, literally.
“I think size is the first thing you notice when you look at him,” San Francisco’s play-caller said, also noting Baldwin’s range and leaping ability were major factors in the 49ers swapping A.J. Jenkins for a new receiver.
“We saw that as we studied him. A great catch radius is always a good thing,” Roman added. "There's nothing wrong with having a great catch radius."
With Baldwin on the roster, the 49ers have another competitor in a crowded receiver competition. The 49ers have already spent most of Monday night getting Baldwin up to speed in his fourth offensive system.
“He hit the ground running,” Roman said of Baldwin. “He’s been diving into it. Not a lot to comment on thus far, but it's been all good... I really liked visiting with him.”
Baldwin is coming from Kansas City’s West Coast offense and will see similarities as he acclimates into San Francisco’s system.
"I think that will help a little bit," Roman said. "I think there are a lot of similarities in the language from what he just experienced in Kansas City. He's been in several offenses up to this point, so he's had to learn quite a few.
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"I think it's going to be one day at a time. That's how we take it and we'll see what we can get accomplished today."
Besides the familiarity with terminology, Baldwin was focused on the new chemistry he’ll form with starting quarterback
“Kaepernick is a great quarterback,” San Francisco’s new wideout said. “He's fast. He can run it. He can throw the ball downfield. Hee has some zip on his passes, so those things definitely help and he's a very smart quarterback. Those things definitely help.”
Coincidentally, Baldwin marveled over Kaepernick’s arm strength during pregame warmups of the 49ers-Chiefs preseason game last week.
“It’s kind of funny,” Baldwin began. “Before the game, I was watching him in warmups and he throws a pretty good ball. I was talking to some of the other receivers about it on our team, I mean when I was in Kansas City and they were saying, 'Yeah he does throw a pretty good ball.'
"Then, two or three days later I'm here. It's funny how things work out."
Baldwin will join the 49ers for his first practice on Tuesday in a No. 84 uniform. It’s not a permanent number just yet, but Baldwin is hoping his place on the roster remains through the upcoming roster cuts.
The position battle he’s joining is not something that will dominate his thinking at this point.
“You can’t play the numbers game,” he said. "You can't really think about how many receivers are on the team and things like that. Once you get into your own head with anything, football or in life period, you already lost."
Baldwin is only concentrated on taking things day-by-day.
“It’s a fresh start. I just need to do what the coaches need me to do and just be real precise with things and soak all of it in."