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Sam Baker Expects Full Clearance This Week


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Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Sam Baker, who underwent season-ending knee surgery last year, told ESPN.com he expects to receive full clearance this week.

``I’m feeling good,’’ Baker said Monday night. ``In a couple days, I should be cleared. I’ve been running, doing everything, and I should get fully cleared in a couple days. It’s great, especially because we’re getting ready with the offseason stuff, to be able to get out with the offense and to be able to go back to doing plays and stuff like that.’’

Baker

Baker had problems with his left knee last season and attempted to resolve the issue with platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment, but it didn’t respond. In November, the team announced he would undergo surgery and be placed on injured reserve.

``It was kind of a strange surgery, so probably a couple of months after, I was able to move and bend it pretty good,’’ Baker said.

Baker played in just four games last season after starting all 16 games in 2012 and performing well at left tackle. The former first-round draft pick is due to make $7.25 million this season with a cap value of $6.05 million.

Although the Falcons have expressed faith in Baker as their left tackle, his position moving forward could depend on which way the team leans in the draft. The Falcons could target one of the top three offensive tackles – Auburn’s Greg Robinson, Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews, or Michigan’s Taylor Lewan – in the first round, if they keep the sixth overall pick. Such a selection could lead to Baker being shifted over to right tackle.

"I think having a tackle that you can bring in who is versatile enough to play both left and right is very important for the National Football League in today’s game," general manager Thomas Dimitroff said recently when asked if the team might consider moving Baker. ``We’re confident that Sam is going to be ready to go. And we expect him to return to the form that he was in 2012.’’

Baker understands those high expectations, especially following last year’s dismal showing by the offensive line.

``I think the whole goal of the team is to just try to move forward and get some cohesiveness on the line, get some new guys in there and just get back to work,’’ Baker said.

The theme of the offseason continues to focus on becoming a stronger, tougher team, particularly up front.

``I don’t take that personally at all,’’ Baker said. ``Those are words that a lot of people throw around. For us, we’re just back to business. We’ve got a new offensive line coach [Mike Tice]. And we’re going to get to work.’’

The Falcons begin organized team activities May 27.

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Yep now that the Falcons are set at Tackle. They can move forward on the trade up for Mack/Clowney.tongue.png

When we ignore the situation at tackle, and the results lead to TD looking for a new job after the 2014 understand that the single minded concept that one player is going to fix our pass rush, while leaving huge holes on our OL is why, and half the board believes in chasing the carrot as well.

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i'll be pulling for Baker. If he injures himself again for any significant amount of time, then he's done and he knows it. If he finally stays healthy it makes out team better overall, even if it means we put him on the right side.

Same here. I still want OT with our first though. He goes down and Matt is going to be running for his life again. It amazes me that the folks who want DE in the first can and are ignoring this as a real possibility. Matthews and Robinson will be better as rookies than anything we have currently at OT.

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i'll be pulling for Baker. If he injures himself again for any significant amount of time, then he's done and he knows it. If he finally stays healthy it makes out team better overall, even if it means we put him on the right side.

I will definitely be rooting for the guy. I've never believed like a lot do here that he plays poorly or is injured on purpose and willfully only stepped up on his contract year. I just think he has had incredibly bad luck and is just an injury prone person. That said if he does end up on IR this year we should officially change IR to Sam Baker as far as the Falcons are concerned. People get hurt they go to Sam Baker forever after.

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When we ignore the situation at tackle, and the results lead to TD looking for a new job after the 2014 understand that the single minded concept that one player is going to fix our pass rush, while leaving huge holes on our OL is why, and half the board believes in chasing the carrot as well.

Exactly! It worries me that others cant understand this very simply concept. Sheep.

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People are finally beginning to see what is obvious. Our whole draft hinges on management's opinion of Sam Baker. If they believe 2012 was the real deal, then trading up to get Nolan the one piece he needs to make that defense go is a no brainer. If they have even a slight question about Baker's future, they have no choice but to draft a tackle.

The committment to "offense first" was made when we traded for Jones and offered Matt a contract. That is a done deal. There is no other way to see it. If we can't protect Matt, we are done before the first snap.

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When we ignore the situation at tackle, and the results lead to TD looking for a new job after the 2014 understand that the single minded concept that one player is going to fix our pass rush, while leaving huge holes on our OL is why, and half the board believes in chasing the carrot as well.

Exactly! It worries me that others cant understand this very simply concept. Sheep.

Ya can't fix all the holes the Falcons have in this one draft. If they go with DE/OLB in the first. Then maybe they find a FA after cuts before the season starts at OT. They sure have not been able to fix the pass rush the way they have tried in the past.

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Exactly! It worries me that others cant understand this very simply concept. Sheep.

You worry about other fans' opinions? LOL. You either have a great life that this worries you or a really bad one (only you would know). It might be time to step back and decompress.

And wouldn't they be "sheep" if they all had the same opinion, not because they see it differently from you? Curious...

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<p> My money's on 2nd qtr of the 1st game until he 'tweaks' something enough where it becomes a problem with his level of play.

And then he's benched by the 4th game. </p>

Those are exactly my thoughts... I hope he stays healthy, because it does make us better. I just absolutely do not expect anything from him other than injury at this point.

i'll be pulling for Baker. If he injures himself again for any significant amount of time, then he's done and he knows it. If he finally stays healthy it makes out team better overall, even if it means we put him on the right side.

I'll be pulling for him too. It does make us better if he stays healthy. I just have very low expectations. See above.

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