Falcons OLT Baker improving after rough start

Posted Nov. 05, 2010 @ 11:09 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

Falcons head coach Mike Smith tried to put a damper on the rumors that OLT Sam Baker was in danger of losing his starting job to fifth-year veteran Will Svitek, and recently said Baker had been playing better in recent weeks. Baker's job appears to be safe for now, but some observers have questioned whether he can be counted on as the long-term blind-side protecter for QB Matt Ryan. Baker did not do a good job in pass protection earlier in the season, although Smith said Baker wasn't 100 percent healthy at the time. Durability has been an issue for Baker, who missed 10 games in his first two seasons. If he plays poorly in the second half of the season, the team may give serious consideration to addressing the position early in the draft. The Falcons traded back into the first round to draft Baker, who has started 26 of the 29 games in which he has played, 21st overall in '08.