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*** News on Baker *****


SWIFT HITTER
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An example of the team's long-term emphasis has been the handling of rookie starting left tackle Sam Baker, who was not placed on IR after having back surgery on Oct. 30. Baker has remained on the active roster despite missing six games.

Were the Falcons thinking about possibly advancing to the playoffs when they decided against placing Baker on IR?

"We weren't looking that far ahead," Smith said Monday. "... It would be best for Sam to play as many games as he can for us. This is a long-term process for the Atlanta Falcons and Sam Baker. We want to get Sam as much experience as we can."

Baker will "increase his activity" this week, according to Smith, who stopped short of saying he hoped to have the rookie back against the Saints.

"Hopefully he can come back as soon as possible," Smith said.

The Falcons believe having Baker back for two or three games would be more important to the long-term plan than signing another lineman to give this team a boost in the push for a playoff spot.

"We try not to change," Smith said. "We try not to change how we do things from week to week. I think from the very beginning we said we were going to be systematic in how we approach everything that we do."

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Baker will "increase his activity" this week, according to Smith, who stopped short of saying he hoped to have the rookie back against the Saints.

"Hopefully he can come back as soon as possible," Smith said.

The Falcons believe having Baker back for two or three games would be more important to the long-term plan than signing another lineman to give this team a boost in the push for a playoff spot.

"We try not to change," Smith said. "We try not to change how we do things from week to week. I think from the very beginning we said we were going to be systematic in how we approach everything that we do."

I don't know.

He's got to heal AND get in reasonable football shape.

The Saints might be too soon.

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I don't know.

He's got to heal AND get in reasonable football shape.

The Saints might be too soon.

Remember when a certain poster whined around for several weeks prognosticating gloom and doom for Baker and that his career was over. Just knowing Jedi was wrong again and Baker is going to play in a week or two makes it even more enjoyable.

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Remember when a certain poster whined around for several weeks prognosticating gloom and doom for Baker and that his career was over. Just knowing Jedi was wrong again and Baker is going to play in a week or two makes it even more enjoyable.

Baker could still get hurt, especially if he comes back too soon.

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