Sam Baker knows he, o-line has to step-up

 

Eagles defensive end Jason Babin sacks Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Eagles defensive end Jason Babin sacks Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons left tackle Sam Baker is taking a lot of heat from from you all after his performance against the Eagles and defensive end Trent Cole.

“Yeah, towards the end of the game I finally got it together, but it was a long day for sure against Trent,” Baker said on Wednesday.

It must be noted that with the game on the line, Baker won his battles in the two 80-yard drives to win the game. Also, Baker is a stand up guy and addressed his plight and noted that the offensive line is under pressure from the coaches to firm-up the passing pocket.

The offensive line has been taking some heat for giving up nine sacks and 17 hits on quarterback Matt Ryan.

Ryan’s ability to withstand the hits caused Falcons coach Mike Smith to call him “One tough Irishman.”

Baker said the coaches have turned the heat up on the offensive line, which may get center Todd McClure back this week.

“We’ve been sweating ourselves and we don’t want to get him hit either,” said Baker. “We really have to pull it together and really firm it up so that he can make plays.”

Last season, the line gave up just 23 sacks and the offensive line was a finalist for the Madden most valuable protectors award, which goes to the NFL’s best offensive line.

Right guard Harvey Dahl has been replaced in the lineup by Garrett Reynolds and Joe Hawley has started the first two games at center for McClure.

Baker didn’t want to use the lockout as an excuse.

“I don’t know what that is,” Baker said. “But we definitely have to get it going here.”

Even though the line struggled in protection at times against the Eagles, the Falcons were 5-for-5 in the redzone.

“That’s a big key for us,” Baker said. “All preseason we were getting down there, but we weren’t really scoring. That was huge for us to get into the end zone.”

After opening the season against Chicago’s Julius Peppers and Cole, Baker will get Tampa Bay rookie Adrian Clayborn this week. Clayborn was the 20th player selected in the 2011 NFL draft.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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78 comments Add your comment

FalconFan

September 21st, 2011
2:53 pm

Baker didn’t have a good game, but he’s human. I think he’ll handle Clayborn this Sunday.

Get after em Baker!

FalconFan

September 21st, 2011
2:54 pm

Remember this, Baker just went up against two of the best DEs in the league in Peppers and Cole.

Mr/ Phil

September 21st, 2011
3:02 pm

Ok. I am willing to give Baker some slack. Let’s see wuhat happens this week.

Show me a playoff win!

September 21st, 2011
3:03 pm

Getting McClure back would be huge for this game. Also…some downfield plays would help. Baker better get his act together or he will be looking for a job.

mountainman

September 21st, 2011
3:09 pm

Baker just went up against two of the best DEs in the league in Peppers and Cole… and got his b*TT kicked… badly!

Double Zero Eight

September 21st, 2011
3:10 pm

Let’s hope Baker justifies being a first
round draft pick. I’ll give him a couple
more games before I start to bash him.
It is obvious the O-line misses Dahl.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

September 21st, 2011
3:11 pm

Baker’s arms are shorter that Verne “mini me” Troyer’s.

Sam Baker

September 21st, 2011
3:12 pm

Which QB left the game?

I thought so…….

Dee

September 21st, 2011
3:17 pm

I know what it is, Baker…either get in better shape, move your feet and stop playing lazy.

Also, Reynolds is too damn tall to be playing G. He’s a T that coverted to G. He’d better learn to play lower that what he’s been doing.

Getting McClure back should help him, but it’s all on Baker to perform better so as not to get Matt killed back there.

Falcon Fan 4 Life

September 21st, 2011
3:19 pm

Come on guys, Sam Baker isn’t a first round pick player, he was just picked in the first round. I think he does need to step up, but for what he is he is decent.

SimpleDawg

September 21st, 2011
3:19 pm

Each game brings new opportunities for redemption……

…….and for glory.

Matt Ryan

September 21st, 2011
3:20 pm

…………..At least I’m not the Bears quarterback

Jay

September 21st, 2011
3:23 pm

Baker is overrated.

This is the worst blog on Ajc. The Falcons deserve as good of coverage as the Braves and Hawks.

ATL Fan

September 21st, 2011
3:24 pm

If Baker doesn’t get it figured out early on against Tampa, will the OC get him some help?

FalconsWillWin

September 21st, 2011
3:25 pm

I sure would love to know how the line graded out vs. Phil.

Keeping it Real

September 21st, 2011
3:28 pm

DOL: Where is that injury update you promised? McClure is huge.

Glad McClure and Babs are back

September 21st, 2011
3:35 pm

Baker didn’t play well but he wasn’t helped in the court of public opinion by Chris Collinsworth who rode him pretty hard when things were going badly but didn’t give him props on his play in the last quarter.

Michael M.

September 21st, 2011
3:37 pm

Its going to get straightened out, they know it now and what is the key to the Offense becoming very explosive in games ahead.

Joe McPhail

September 21st, 2011
3:37 pm

Typos in the opening sentence and an under-performing LT. Some things never change

Jay Cool 4daBirds

September 21st, 2011
3:44 pm

Baker just went up against two of the best DE’s, so what he is a first round pick and a four year starter. He has consistently got beat or penalized over his short four year career. He really needs to step his game up before he really gets Ryan killed out there.

Falcon James

September 21st, 2011
3:45 pm

First. Dunta is our mostest overpaid player. He followed in a close second by Baker. Baker going to get Ryan hurt bad. Dunta is just sorry.

RobbE33

September 21st, 2011
3:47 pm

What’s happened to the disciplined, mistake free Falcons of yesteryear? Someone please tell me how they’ve regressed so far and that it’s not an indication of a culture change in Flowery Branch.

SirReal

September 21st, 2011
3:48 pm

I’ve never been a fan of Baker. Yeah he went against Peppers and Cole these 1st 2 weeks but people tend to forget the past pretty quickly around here. He was our worst lineman last year too. I told people the loss of Dahl would hurt bad. They said Clabo was better. i didnt agree then and I dont agree now (though I think Clabo’s VERY solid)With that said, I wrote a letter to Sam Baker:

Dear T-Rex Arms Baker,
You sir are not a good LT. Your arms are too short and you get worked by elite DEs. i used to play LT so i understand the pressure that goes with it. I think you’d have been a better replacement for Dahl at G and we could have brought in a better LT. If you are reading this, you are rigt about having to get it together because I think this regime may let you leave the nest. No pun intended….well maybe a little. :)

Michael M.

September 21st, 2011
3:51 pm

That crazy lockout and all the other crap going on earlier this year is the reason for the slow start this season for many Teams and the mistakes and penalties and blah blah !

TheEndzoneAnalyst

September 21st, 2011
3:54 pm

Mad props to Baker for standing up and stating publicly that he, and the rest of the line, need to setup up their game. Trent Cole and Peppers are two of the better ends we’ll face all year so its good that the bar was set early in the season.

This team is in for a hard-fought battle this weekend in Tampa. Hoping they can pull out W # 2.

Peter S

September 21st, 2011
4:00 pm

Guess what – Good teams that make the playoffs will have the same if not better DE’s. Fix it.

Chucktown38

September 21st, 2011
4:10 pm

Yes Baker had a bad day but its really the coaches fault by not getting him some help from a running back or tight end chipping. But he did get worked HARD.

Chucktown38

September 21st, 2011
4:15 pm

Chris Collinsworth? What a Jerky! Must be sad to be known more for you mouth on TV than anything you ever did in the NFL.

Michael M.

September 21st, 2011
4:15 pm

It wont hurt him none, at worst, he can only improve as games go by.

Michael M.

September 21st, 2011
4:16 pm

Him and Joe Buck ! Yikeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssssssssssss!

L.A. Mont

September 21st, 2011
4:23 pm

Seems like the no huddle offense really helped the O-line look “better” in those two 80 yard drives to win the game in the fourth quarter. If the Falcons don’t use the no huddle from the jump against Tampa Bay, I will be disappointed. Its obvious, the offense is comfortable with it. Let’s jump on Tampa and keep the pedal to the floor!! The Patriots, Packers and Saints do that better than anybody, and I know the Falcons can.

SawThat1nce

September 21st, 2011
4:49 pm

Why didn’t the Falcons give Dahl the money to stay with them?

Great Falconi

September 21st, 2011
4:50 pm

The no-huddle neutralized the pass rush. It might not be a bad idea to use it more, at least until the inexperienced guys get settled in.

jerry

September 21st, 2011
4:51 pm

Last season, the line gave up just 23 sacks and the offensive line was a finalist for the Madden most valuable protectors award, which goes to the NFL’s best offensive line.

Baker must have been doing something right.

Taking Heat

September 21st, 2011
4:52 pm

The expressions “taking heat” and “turning up the heat” were only used 3 times in the first 7 sentences. I’m not sure this captures how dire the situation truly is.

SawThat1nce

September 21st, 2011
4:55 pm

Everytime we are subjected to Tony Slobagoosey and D-head Johnson, I can’t help but to think, that they are the 2 worst commentators on TV.
But then that A-hole, Chris Collinsworth comes on, and reminds me that they only the 2nd and 3rd worst.
I don’t even watch Sunday Night football(unless the Falcons are playing) because of his mouth.

SawThat1nce

September 21st, 2011
4:57 pm

DOL, you’re blog is a joke, it eats 2/3 of all comments.
Why don’t you get it fixed.

Dennis

September 21st, 2011
5:39 pm

The phrase “… like a rented mule” comes to mind.

Too many games left to be rushing injured players back early.

LombardiTrickedMe

September 21st, 2011
5:42 pm

DOL, I think you’re the greatest writer in AJC history. Really – no kidding. This blog is amazing. I sure hope you will see your way into letting me post again.

LombardiTrickedMe

September 21st, 2011
5:48 pm

I rewatched the game hoping that my first impression of Miss Bollinsworth’s bias was wrong. Unfortunately he was just as much in love with anything Philadelphia as before. He must have a man crush on Andy. Or Cole. Or Jackson. Or Mike Dick. Or Ma…. oh. oh yeah. Now I get it.

Michael M.

September 21st, 2011
6:10 pm

Michael M.

September 21st, 2011
6:11 pm

QB Matt Ryan (knee) LP
DT Jonathan Babineaux (knee) DNP
CB Kelvin Hayden (hamstring) DNP
WR Roddy White (knee) LP
DE Ray Edwards (foot) LP
C Todd McClure (knee) LP
S Shann Schillinger (neck) FP
DT Corey Peters (back) FP

Michael M.

September 21st, 2011
6:31 pm

Sam Baker mans up and admits it huh ? Now that Matt is favoring that knee, the left knee on the side he gets hit from Sam is trying to protect him from………Give me a Break ! Mr. Baker, dont let those guys get through and hit our QB like that man. Whats that they say on that show on football highlights…………………Come onnnnnnn Mannnnnnnnnnnnnn! ! ! ! ! ! !

Crash

September 21st, 2011
6:35 pm

I hate to break it to you guys, but he is not that bad. The falcons havent been in the top 5 in sacks allowed the past 4 years if our starting LT was no good.

JONESBORO SLIM

September 21st, 2011
7:31 pm

Too everybody who has found their remarks “NOT POSTED”…below the comment box there a suggestion box…I used it and they thanx me for making them aware of the problem…

Runner-

September 21st, 2011
7:53 pm

Crash, look at the stats all you like, but if you obviously haven’t been watching Falcons games for the past 2 years. Baker has played sloppy since last year and he better get his act together or Matty Ice will go down hard one of these days

D. Orlando Ledbetter

September 21st, 2011
8:04 pm

Michael M — Thanks for pointing out that Sam manned up. It was a rugged game. Bad day at the office and he still got the W.

JD

September 21st, 2011
8:36 pm

Sam a #1 is a joke. #4 rounders are better. With him Garrett and the misfit at Center, we are really luck to be 1-1. Serious problems to follow if we can’t get some refielf

Cpt. Smarmy

September 21st, 2011
8:41 pm

@ Falcon Fan 4 Life, your qoute – “Come on guys, Sam Baker isn’t a first round pick player, he was just picked in the first round. I think he does need to step up, but for what he is he is decent.”

I think you stated that as well as could be said. I agree.

Bulldog

September 21st, 2011
9:17 pm

RISE UP SAM BAKER!!!