Baldwin Loses Fight, Pre-Season

From Baltimore, Maryland

His rookie pre-season was an important opportunity for first-round draft choice WR Jonathan Baldwin. The Chiefs offense needs his big-play ability to help take the offense to the next level.

Apparently, he wasn’t willing to do the work necessary to get that done. That’s the only explanation for what apparently is Baldwin’s wrist injury, suffered in a locker room fight with veteran RB Thomas Jones on Tuesday. Reportedly, Baldwin is done for the rest of the pre-season.

Sadly, he might actually be done for the 2011 season and blame can fall only on Baldwin and the Chiefs front office.

Baldwin obviously isn’t very smart or he wouldn’t get himself into a situation with a guy like Jones, not with the biceps that the running back has worked so hard to maintain through his NFL career.

Possible scenario – Jones says, “Hey rookie, you aren’t working very hard.” Baldwin replies – “He old man, mind your own business.” BAM!!!!

There’s no way Jones picked this fight; there’s also no way that it was going to end well for Baldwin. If all he suffered was a wrist injury that will keep him out for several weeks, then he should consider himself quite lucky.

It’s going to take a lot longer for Baldwin to recover his pride and reach a point where the guys who share the locker room with him consider him a true teammate, somebody they are willing to bring into their band of brothers.

What’s the next move for the Chiefs and Baldwin? He gets healthy and returns to practice as soon as possible. He’s too big an investment to cut loose or bury on the injured-reserve list. When he’s healed, it’s up to Baldwin from that point. He has a lot to prove.

What’s the next move for the Chiefs and Jones? Nothing. One of the reasons that Jones was signed by the Chiefs included providing leadership in the locker room.

He just did his job. Baldwin did not, and that has to have Scott Pioli and Todd Haley pondering their decision. There were questions about Baldwin’s maturity coming out of Pittsburgh, and that was brushed aside by the Chiefs leadership – they had the inside dope and based on their evaluations they were not worried about Baldwin’s personality.

Turns out they were wrong. How they handle Baldwin from this point forward will in large part define his future in a red and gold jersey.

20 Responses to “Baldwin Loses Fight, Pre-Season”

  • August 19, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Sounds like the Chiefs need to find LJ’s leftover diapers for Baldwin.

  • August 19, 2011  - Sergeant King says:

    Nothing better than to see someone wasting talent getting schooled old style

  • August 19, 2011  - TimR says:

    I’ll reserve opinion until more details are known. Sounds to me like TJ should know that we need all the talent we have to contribute. IF TJ lost his cool, I don’t care how much of a vet he is, he may have cost his team. This could be a Haley lapse. He, not another player,took care of the Bowe show. Apparently he hasn’t taken care of the Baldwin show…and now it has cost his team – at least in the short term.

  • August 19, 2011  - ChuckP says:

    I too like TimR above want to “know the real story” as to what really took place and what was said. BOB; This is where you come in. Can you call in your “sources” for the “REAL SCOOP” as to what went down here. Iam not going to scold the rookie nor should anyone else until we know the “WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH YOUR HONOR”. This is incredibly dissapointing as we need all hands on deck!!!! We have one of the toughest schedules out there and we need this kid to contribute.

  • August 19, 2011  - Anonymous says:

    wow bob. this is almost ridiculous. you are jumping to conclusions, then slamming the front office because of something that may or may not have happened as you said it did. relax, hes 22 years old, lets hope he will be fine and hear all the details before jumping to conclusions

    its also interesting you left out that jones had been in two other fights in his career with teammates

  • August 19, 2011  - ED says:

    Before Chiefs fans and Bob rush to judgement we don’t know the whole story. Maybe we he was part of rookie hazzing and didn’t want to particpate either way lets not play blame Chiefs organization for giving this kid a chance its way too early for that. This kind of thing goes on from time to time in locker rooms so its really no big deal to me. Until he’s consistently doing knuckle head things on and off the field then its an issue. Until then cut the kid some slack lets see how he handles himself going forward.

  • August 19, 2011  - Josh says:

    Bottom line is that our number one draft pick isn’t ready to go. Either physically, mentally, emotionally, or as a member of a greater-than-one team. However the altercation came about, it came about. If it were Succup and Studebaker, yeah, it would still suck, but it would be two core teammates of a winning effort (at least last year). Baldwin, simply through being involved, demonstrates he’s no where near ready for the NFL, and that we could have (should have?) drafted someone of a far higher caliber of professional quality. Let’s hope this kid isn’t another KC first round bust.

  • August 19, 2011  - el cid says:

    Time will tell the tale. Seems to me we might have had an attitude problem with Bowe and Haley fixed that, no fights of course. Hopefully Baldwin is not one of the new era players. Before anyone takes a side, wait.

  • August 19, 2011  - aPauled says:

    I don’t agree that Jones was doing his job. A leader doesn’t have to resort to that level. As a leader, Jones should have already built a relationship with Baldwin and understood how to push him without pushing his buttons. Basic leadership skills that Jones should possess if he is here to lead.

  • August 19, 2011  - bigdaddyt says:

    This happens more often than you might think in NFL locker rooms. Unfortunately Baldwin is injured.

  • August 20, 2011  - MarkInTexas says:

    Clearly, Haley must have ordered TJ to give Baldwin a “Code Red”!

  • August 20, 2011  - RW says:

    More proof, as if anyone needed it, that the NFL is not a slo-pitch softball beer league.

  • August 20, 2011  - Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 8/20 | Sports Feedr says:

    [...] Baldwin Loses Fight, Pre-Season from Bob Gretz What we learned [...]

  • August 20, 2011  - Kevin says:

    Bob, Stop making ridiculous charges.
    1) The Chiefs are most certainly not “ignoring” this incident as you state. Just because they don’t choose to share it with you and your press cronies doesn’t mean they are ignoring it. It simply means they feel it can be more productively and positively handled internally than by sharing it with you. I suggest the press corps get over it’s arrogant self-importance.

    2) You say Pioli and Haley “brushed aside” questions of Baldwin’s “maturity”. Again, wrong. Pioli researched the hell out of this and every other player. They weighed and balanced the facts and chose the player. Obviously they felt the “risks” were justified by the potential. I seem to recall you being one of the voices that used to bitch about the Chiefs taking “choir boys” instead of “good football players”. You can’t have it both ways in your complaints.

    3) You and the rest of the press obviously want this story less for the facts and more to use as a “told you so” gotcha story to try to elevate yourselves over the Chiefs front office. Get over yourselves.

  • August 20, 2011  - leo says:

    BoB: I thinl Bill Maas had the right ansere on this yestyerday. He said that much of this attitude could have been addressed in the OTA’s , but alas there were none. To assume that Baldwin was going to be this great contributor as a rookie defies history. You of all people should know that. It has noted that Baldwin was complaining about being bumped on every play and by smaller player. At his size, he shoulsd not be muscled by a smaller safety at the line. He also was not listening to Haley, and from what has been reported, made comments about him.
    Hmm, I wonder why Jones got on him?
    I think the real story should be that a mesaage was sent to the young plaers, that any whing, and laziness will not tolerated

  • August 20, 2011  - indplschiefsfan says:

    I’m all about no judgment before all the facts are known, but let’s face it, Baldwin was a guy who came in with a question mark surrounding his character. Randy Moss was a “great” talent as well, but he bounced around the NFL because of character and work ethic issues. I don’t care about the sketchy details here; Baldwin’s a rookie, TJ a vet, and a proven one. I will place the blame on Baldwin unless proven otherwise, because a lot of these “talented” rookies come out of college as prima donnas. If the rookie can’t take being told to work harder by a vet who has proven what hard work gets you, then show him the door and the road. I remember how long it took Dale Carter to realize most of his potential. I also remember the drama that surrounded the guy for most of his Chiefs early career. We don’t need drama. We need players who are going to work hard and listen to the veterans on the team.

  • August 20, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    If this is how a locker room full of leaders in the NFL police themselves, so be it. No one said becoming a Chief was going to be easy. Gotta earn the arrowhead. Baldwin should hang out with Bowe and figure out how to act like a pro— it’s actually much easier than enduring the wrath of Haley and team leaders. And, the Chiefs make millionaires out of talented players who work their asses off.

    Baldwin might not work out, but he’s getting a chance to learn from successful NFL players. God help him if he had been drafted by the Ravens. Ray Lewis might have had to deal with a second murder investigation.

    Let’s see how this plays out. A happy ending is still in the cards. And, we know there is a culture with our players that demands excellence. It’s not all bad news.

  • August 20, 2011  - Michael says:

    This is a much bigger story to Bob and the rest of the media than it is to me or a lot of other fans. Given his background, who is surprised? Baldwin is a talented young player who will either conform to the Chiefs culture, or he will be gone, and the end of that story will take some time to conclude.

    And I’m not sure what Bob and the rest of the media want the Chiefs to say, and what would be gained from it. Seems to me keeping these kind of things in-house is best for the team. If that’s frustrating to the media, I’m not real sympathetic.

  • August 20, 2011  - Kenneth says:

    People need to lighten up, Gretz said it was “a possible scenario” so if you didn’t read that then whose falt is that?

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