On the hot seat: Falcons tackle Sam Baker

060612 FLOWERY BRANCH :  Falcons 2008 first round pick (21st overall) offensive tackle (72) Sam Baker and offensive tackle (74) Will Svitek walk off the field at the end of team practice in Flowery Branch on Wednesday, June 6, 2012.  CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

060612 FLOWERY BRANCH : Falcons 2008 first round pick (21st overall) offensive tackle (72) Sam Baker and offensive tackle (74) Will Svitek walk off the field at the end of team practice in Flowery Branch on Wednesday, June 6, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — Sam Baker, who will open the season as the Falcons’ starting left tackle after an injury-marred campaign in 2011, is on the hot seat for the season opener.

After having in-season and offseason back surgery, Baker has reduced his body fat in an attempt to help him battle more athletic defensive ends and linebackers.

“He’s in as good of shape as he’s ever been,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “He’s redistributed his weight. His body fat is at a much different level than it was in the last two years.”

Baker will catch somewhat of a break against the Chiefs. Tamba Hali, who led the Chiefs in sacks last season with 12, is suspended for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

Baker will match up against Andy Studebaker, who has 2.5 career sacks in 54 NFL games.

“I think Sam had a very good offseason,” Smith said.

Baker is ready to put last season behind him.

“Like coach Smith said, last year is not going win you any games, and it’s not going to lose you any games,” Baker said. “It’s a fresh start.”

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19 comments Add your comment

SeenThisB4

September 7th, 2012
2:10 pm

Mr. Hankey

September 7th, 2012
2:18 pm

Here’s we go again. Sam Baker on the line. As they say, history tends to repeat itself for those who aren’t historians and apparently smitty is not a historian or has a Bobby Cox-like unexplainable affection for Baker that utterly defies his ineptitude. I wathed to new guy fairly cloesly against Miami and he isn’t worse than Baker and it’s my guess he’ll be in the lineup by halftime. Please, please Smitty, lance this boil.

Esquire

September 7th, 2012
2:40 pm

Reduced his body fat………..well, by a lot or a little? That doesn’t mean that much unless you give some numbers.

“He’s in as good of shape as he’s ever been,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. That’s good enough for me……………..BRING IT BAKER !!!!

Aw, look at that …..SuxThisB4 wants to be first again…………..

BLEAUX AINTS!!!

NFL ATLANTA FALCONS NFC SOUTH CHAMPIONS 2012

Esquire

September 7th, 2012
2:52 pm

Substance abuse……?? How bout quarterback abuse…!

Thank you for not being there Sunday Tamba Hali.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajCzzMOmtkU&feature=related

SirReal

September 7th, 2012
3:37 pm

Soooo…basically he’s gonna get beat by a guy who only has 2.5 sacks in his career. I’m sorry Birdland but I’ve been saying since he got here that those T rex arms simply cant anchor the LT spot. I sure hope Koetter’s ready to send an extra TE over there to help this guy. Cant belieive he’s even still on the team. Smitty can get out of here with the whole “he’s redistributed body weight” crap. I swear, its like they make every excuse for him. If it’s a lemon, its gonna be a lemon tomorrow and the next day….a new set of tires means its just a lemon with a new set of tires…..

Sam Baker's Back

September 7th, 2012
3:40 pm

I still have nightmares about Trent Cole…..

Nique

September 7th, 2012
4:31 pm

Well Saints players are back, Smith & Vilma. Makes the division that much tougher to take, so I hope Sam’s ready to play & that the franchises blind faith in him isn’t in vain

ken

September 7th, 2012
4:45 pm

I have never seen Baker play well since he has been here. Baker is going to get run over just like he did last year.. Coach Smith and TD( two blind mice) admit yall made a mistake by Drafting the Deadbeat Baker you might as well cut him before he gets Matt Ryan hurt bad…. >G<

tjhook

September 7th, 2012
4:45 pm

Sam will enjoy this week – not an alarming opponent across from him. Later in the season, pray for good fortune, Falcon fans.

JSS

September 7th, 2012
4:51 pm

There is a difference between a “hot seat” and 4 alarm fire…

SirReal

September 7th, 2012
5:16 pm

@JSS Actually agree with ya here. This seat should be incinerated by now….

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

September 7th, 2012
6:25 pm

My only comment about Sam Baker…….I just hope this is his last year as an Atlanta Falcon. Hopefully his replacement will come either via the draft next year or a free agent acquisition.

His time is WAY PAST UP to show that he was really a No# 1 draft pick…….NOT!!!!!!

blochead

September 7th, 2012
6:33 pm

Ok give Baker a break , he sure knows how to run block and I have seen worst LT in the game, give him a shot see how he does this game and go from there. good luck Sam Baker.

falCANS

September 7th, 2012
9:43 pm

hiramsaint

September 7th, 2012
10:59 pm

replace the name sam baker with mike smith and you’d have a more accurate article

Michael M.

September 8th, 2012
7:16 am

Early on Sat morning here but was reading this and have to say this…………………If you gonna take the check and the money……….then get your butt out there and do the ” JOB ” or else take the ” BACK SEAT “……………..I am so tired of people whether its a Football Player or what – have you taking a PAYCHECK and not doing their friggin JOBS……………………………….enough already ! ! !

Big Crimson 75

September 8th, 2012
9:19 am

Shut em up Baker!!
The Falcons have won lots of games with Baker @ LT.
Is he Anthony Munoz??…not exactly, but he’s not as bad as some Falcon “fans” make him out.
Plus, he’s far & away the best option we currently have.
This game will go a long way in determining his Season.

JSS

September 8th, 2012
7:22 pm

Big Crimson 75
September 8th, 2012
9:19 am
“Shut em up Baker!! The Falcons have won lots of games with Baker @ LT.”
(Actually Sam has missed a lot of the games he’s been eligible to play in…) The sad about Sam Baker is unlike Munoz (who was also injury prone coming out of SC) is that he’s only played in 41 of the 64 games played in that 4 year period…

Sam is an enigma… His 2010 high mark is mere illusion

2012 7W-5L
“Is he Anthony Munoz??…not exactly, but he’s not as bad as some Falcon “fans” make him out.”

Well that’s a relative point and an indictment rolled into a not-so-nice package… Jeff Fish’s training staff has failed him mightily. The Falcons stubbornness also contributed to the problem, he was over matched repeatedly due to their inability to aid him even as they maxed protected… Nobody ran max protection setup than the Falcons…..
Plus, he’s far & away the best option we currently have.
This game will go a long way in determining his Season.

Falcon James

September 9th, 2012
12:04 am

Baker better be ready to play. We all saw him try to get Ryan killed last year. I am afraid that Studebaker will double his career sack count tomorrow against the worst LT in the league.