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Jon Baldwin Off to Solid Start

Posted Aug 26, 2013

In his first action in San Francisco, wideout Jon Baldwin proved his aptitude for the team's offensive playbook.

Jon Baldwin did not know how much he would play on Sunday night. He only knew that he wanted to.

Standing alongside receivers coach John Morton, the 49ers newest wideout would have his number, 84, called on the sideline – and in the huddle.

Baldwin, whom San Francisco acquired from Kansas City in exchange for fellow first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins last Monday, made a pair of impressive catches in the third quarter of the team’s 34-14 victory over the visiting Minnesota Vikings.

WATCH: HARBAUGH ON WR TRADE

Baldwin snagged a four-yard pass from Colt McCoy on the first series of the third quarter. The ball was thrown behind him, but he reached back with ease.

Then, in the third quarter, Baldwin ran an intermediate seam route to MCoy’s left, jumped up and hauled in the ball at shoulder-heighth. He wasn’t able to fully show off the athleticism of his 6-foot-4, 230-pound, but it was a 19-yard gain nonetheless.

Jim Harbaugh said he was pleased with how many snaps Baldwin took – 23, according to team beat writers. Baldwin was targeted three times, according to the stat sheet.

“He’s had a nice command of the offense,” Harbaugh said. “The very short time that he’s been here, he has shown that he absorbed it real quick and (we) put him in some situations where he hadn’t practiced. Some of the things he did there tonight showed that he was taking mental reps… He pays attention and has real good physical ability. Everybody likes him. He’s fit in real well.”

Picking up portions of the team’s scheme and verbiage in seven days is no easy feat, even if there is some carryover from the West Coast offense Baldwin was learning at Chiefs training camp this month and last. The Pittsburgh product said repeatedly writing plays down in his own hand helps to keep them straight in his head.

“I wouldn't say it was a crash course. You have to do what you can with the time you can do it,” he said. “You've just got to make the best of the opportunity and study the playbook as fast as you can so you can go out there and play fast."

READ: BALDWIN REACTS TO TRADE

All in all, Baldwin said he was pleased but not content with his first game in his new uniform.

"It's a blessing to get out here and have this opportunity to play with a great organization,” the third-year pro said. “I just have to keep making progress. I'm going to go in and watch the film, be real hard on myself and just go from there."