Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin made news a couple of weeks ago when he pleaded with coach Pete Carroll to take recently retiredMarshawn Lynch's uniform number out of the rotation going forward.
General manager John Schneider has since acknowledged that no Seahawks player will wear Lynch's old No. 24 during the 2016 season.
In a Thursday appearance with Rhett Lewis of NFL Total Access, Baldwin explained why he and his teammates will miss Lynch's presence.
"We drafted a lot of running backs, and we know that we're going back to the run game," Baldwin said. "But the idea of being able to fulfill that role, that void that Marshawn is leaving is going to be tough.
"Everything that he's done for us, not only on the field but also being our main stable leader in the locker room, we're going to miss him. It's going to be hard to go along without him. It was a light-hearted tweet just to show him our appreciation and give a little salute to him."
Baldwin was selected as the No. 72 player in NFL Network's "The Top 100 Players Of 2016" countdown after closing out the regular season with 11 touchdowns over a five-game stretch and leading the NFC with 14 receiving touchdowns in a breakout season.
Baldwin's emergence coincided with the hottest streak of Russell Wilson's career, as the Seahawks veered away from Lynch and the ground attack. In fact, Wilson's passer rating was 33.7 points higher without Lynch in the lineup last season.
Does it stand to reason, then, that Seattle will become more of a passing team going forward?
"We've built a winning formula around playing stout defense and controlling the clock with the run game," Baldwin said. "That's not going to change.
"We have a saying in our receiver's room: You gotta learn how to block, and you gotta learn how to tackle. Because you're going to be on special teams. We're not going to change the way we play."
Seattle's backfield is in fine hands with Thomas Rawls and rookie pass-catching specialist C.J. Prosise going forward. Carroll has confirmed that Rawls is "coming in as the guy" to replace Lynch after averaging 5.6 yards per carry in an impressive rookie performance.