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 Post subject: Baker???
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:57 pm 
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Couldn't watch the game yesterday. Was curious how Baker and the rest of the beef-eaters looked?


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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Baker looked great, except for that he slipped on one play. Other than that, I like it!

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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:10 pm 
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It was their toughest game; SD has put on a real rush and the home crowd made the no huddle and adjustments difficult at times.

That said, it was a good effort and showing. How do you argue with 28-3?


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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:00 pm 
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As usual, the O-line did their job. I also think Koetter and Ryan are doing a good job hiding their flaws, by running a lot of plays designed to get the ball out quickly. I don't think this was as big an issue from first glance vs. SD as it was vs. DEN. But the lack of big plays downfield in the passing game I think clearly indicates that the Falcons are specifically building their offense around an O-line that they don't completely trust.

I haven't fully reviewed the game yet, but my initial count was 4 pressures/sacks given up. In 42 dropbacks that is very good. But I did also notice that there were 3 pressures/sacks in the 2nd half on only 12 dropbacks. In the 1st half, in 30 dropbacks, it was only 1 pressure, which was the sack by Vaughn Martin.

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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:09 pm 
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Thanks guys. Sounds like they played well. It's still early and a lot could happen, but one of my major concerns going into the season was Baker getting Matty Ice killed early and often.


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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:19 pm 
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http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcsouth/post/_/id/39620/falcons-faith-in-sam-baker-paying-off

Interesting article. We'll see over the next few weeks if this trend continues....

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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:23 pm 
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Baker has certainly improved, but I think he has a long way to go still before the Falcons can rest easy at the left tackle position.

I would describe Baker as I did in 2008 and 2009 as "effective" but not "good."

Baker is a FA after this season. I'd still be very concerned about locking him long-term. He's still a poor fit as far as what this team is looking for as a run blocker, and while he's improved in pass protection, I still think he suffers the same fatal flaw (although it's shown not to be quite so fatal this year), in that he cannot punch.

But if his play continues this year, I do certainly think that he's possibly earned another year or two potentially as the starter before the Falcons try and turn the keys over to Lamar Holmes.

The thing I just worry about is if Baker walks after this year, will the Falcons basically give Holmes the same incredibly too long leash that basically means it's going to be another 4 or 5 years before this team has a GOOD left tackle protecting Matt Ryan.

Especially in an off-season that could feature a strong LT class...

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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:09 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
The thing I just worry about is if Baker walks after this year, will the Falcons basically give Holmes the same incredibly too long leash that basically means it's going to be another 4 or 5 years before this team has a GOOD left tackle protecting Matt Ryan.

Especially in an off-season that could feature a strong LT class...


So your saying Holmes does not have what it takes in his 2nd year to be a 'GOOD' LT?

Why? I may be wrong but I thought in mop up time last sunday, didn't he and Konz get a little OL time?

Im not ready to completely write the guy off yet... :ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:50 pm 
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I do not believe Holmes played, he has been inactive. Johnson did fill in for Clabo at RT and played fairly well as a run blocker.

My issue with Holmes is based off watching him play at Southern Miss and in 2 preseason games is that he's more big than good. For a guy that is as big as he is, I don't think he's as physical as he should be. He looked "deliberate" (i.e. slow) in the preseason. He should be a bit more violent. He was late reacting to snaps, didn't play with pop in the ground game. So while he's big, and hard to get around for lesser DEs that he saw in the preseason, I think with the number of quality pass rushers that today dot the NFL, especially at RDE, he would struggle quite a bit. All of that could be attribute to rust and being out of shape (which is common when OL get foot injuries, see Manuwai), so he gets a pass for me, but I was wary when we drafted him, and have yet to see anything that makes me "un-wary."

IMO, he's a mid-round talent. Which for an OT means that while he has the tools to develop into a quality starter, he hasn't quite put it all together and thus will take YEARS to really do so. The problem is that most of those guys while they can develop after 2-3 years of being a starter, those 2-3 years they struggle and prove to be a bit too much of a liability which means for the Falcons they are going to continue to have a weakness at LT as they wait for Holmes to learn in a trial by fire. And it really could go either way. He could be the next Donald Penn or the next J'Marcus Webb.

To me it's a question of do you want a GOOD left tackle or do you want a SERVICEABLE left tackle. I think if you are fine with the latter, than you can give Baker/Holmes in some combination for the next 2-3 years. But if you want a good guy, then that player does not exist currently on the roster. Maybe Holmes is that player, but I wouldn't bet on it. I think the Falcons still need to have their eyes open for a good LT next off-season.

With our team and offensive style, we can't really afford to just be SERVICEABLE up front. If a good LT becomes available in FA or the draft, the Falcons should jump all over him, and then deal with Baker/Holmes. Maybe you re-sign Baker, draft a good LT, and have them compete and if Baker starts for 1 year that's not a problem because most rookie LTs struggle in Year 1. You could start to develop Holmes to play RT (which I think he's a better fit for) and think maybe another year or two down the line he can replace Clabo and save you some $$$.

Obviously, all of this is extremely speculative, but with the Falcons need-based draft/FA strategy, there is not a chance in hell we upgrade the LT next off-season. Either Baker will play his way into a brand new 4 or 5-yr. deal or they will just turn the keys over to Holmes, and you have the potential for another Harvey Dahl/Garrett Reynolds debacle like last year, except now it's at the most important position up front.

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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:12 pm 
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Just wanted to add, watching the Turner TD run, it's Baker and Blalock that clear out the site that allows that hole. Matt wasn't clean most of the day, but he had time and we were generally getting good protection.

Good game from Baker.

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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:25 pm 
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Yeah I noticed that block as well. And have to say that Baker has improved as a run blocker to the point that he is competent now. It's amazing.

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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:18 am 
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Pudge wrote:
Yeah I noticed that block as well. And have to say that Baker has improved as a run blocker to the point that he is competent now. It's amazing.


Healthy for the first time in a while?


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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:09 am 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
Pudge wrote:
Yeah I noticed that block as well. And have to say that Baker has improved as a run blocker to the point that he is competent now. It's amazing.


Healthy for the first time in a while?

Yeah, if you ignore the 2010 season.

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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:44 pm 
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I gotta say, I'm suprised too.... I would have been happy to see him cut, but he is actually doing a good job.... Bye the way my crossed fingers are currently knocking on my wooden desk as I type this with my other hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:24 pm 
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I guess the question begs.....are the Falcons going to resign him to a multi-year deal after the season? I don't know what we have in Holmes, but when Baker is healthy, he is slightly above average. When he is hurt, he is a pylon. My gut feeling is that Baker is going to be fighting injuries all of his career....


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 Post subject: Re: Baker???
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:19 pm 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
I guess the question begs.....are the Falcons going to resign him to a multi-year deal after the season? I don't know what we have in Holmes, but when Baker is healthy, he is slightly above average. When he is hurt, he is a pylon. My gut feeling is that Baker is going to be fighting injuries all of his career....

Very good point AJ51. Which is why I think the Falcons have to be very tentative about how they deal with the issue. You don't want to devote $10-15 million guaranteed to a player that you can't trust will stay healthy.

In 2009 started very well for Baker as well, when his production that year was on par with say Jake Long. But then he hurt his ankle around Week 6 and was questionable for the rest of the season and was middling at best.

What the Falcons do I have no idea at this point. Part of me believes that they drafted Holmes with the intention of starting him in 2013 regardless, considering how this team has historically treated Day 1 & 2 draft picks. And another part of me thinks they'll try and re-sign Baker long-term as some sort of "payoff" for all of their patience.

But if Clabo doesn't step up, maybe there's a chance Baker is brought back for a mid-level deal and the Falcons start looking at Holmes replacing CLabo at RT (For the record I do think Holmes projects better as a RT than LT in the NFL).

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