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Falcons bench first round pick Sam Baker

Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears Getty Images

Falcons left tackle Sam Baker has been one of the cornerstones to Atlanta’s rebuilding effort under G.M. Thomas Dimitroff ever since Baker was selected 18 picks after Matt Ryan in the 2008 draft.

That’s why it was eye-opening to see Baker active for Sunday’s win over the Vikings, but not in the starting lineup.

The Falcons benched Baker in favor of Will Svitek.  (Matt Ryan’s svankle was just fine.)

Baker has started 41 games at left tackle since being drafted and was exclusively a starter since the 2009 season. He had been struggling badly this year in pass protection.  Svitek held Jared Allen sack-less on Sunday.

While Baker’s decline is disappointing, it’s a good sign the Falcons are worried about production and not pedigree when setting their lineup.

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16 Responses to “Falcons bench first round pick Sam Baker”
  1. bearsrulepackdrool says: Nov 28, 2011 10:58 AM

    The Falcons benched Baker in favor of Will Svitek. (Matt Ryan’t Svankle was just fine.)
    ________________________

    Was that a joke? I don’t get it.

  2. pigskinswag says: Nov 28, 2011 11:07 AM

    Any team with any sense should not be willing to play a bust just because of a lofty draft status. Play the best eleven whether they’re first round, fifth round or no round.

  3. cakemixa says: Nov 28, 2011 11:08 AM

    Too bad the Falcons suck.

  4. greenpacker says: Nov 28, 2011 11:18 AM

    love the pic, Baker blocking Peppers- one of the most inconsistent DEs in the league. probably had 0 sacks that game and faked an injury

  5. shecklesmckenzie says: Nov 28, 2011 11:26 AM

    When Baker came out, one of his biggest knocks was his short arms. His short arms have gotten him a lot of holding penalties.

    I’m glad the Falcons are willing to make a move regardless of draft status.

    Oh, and brilliant comment cakemixa….nice trolling.

  6. turdfurgerson68 says: Nov 28, 2011 11:28 AM

    Given that this is a Flacon thread, could someone please convince them to bring back thier ‘throwback’ uniforms full time? Them 1960s-1970s duds be dope.

    Much better then the multi-patterned nightmare thet sport today.

  7. test2402 says: Nov 28, 2011 11:29 AM

    Andy Reid and his coaches need to be benched.

  8. spharrgcs says: Nov 28, 2011 12:15 PM

    Baker got Wally Pipp’ed by Svitek. Sucks to lose your job while injured but Svitek is playing too good to sit. His performance against Allen speaks for itself.

  9. pftstory says: Nov 28, 2011 12:49 PM

    Baker didn’t get Wally Pipp’ed. And Baker isn’t really in a disappointing decline. He’d have to have been good to decline (get worse). He’s a never was.
    Baker lost the starting gig, or should lose it, because he is not an NFL quality starter. Not because he was hurt and his replacement proved to be a stud.

  10. roddytorock84 says: Nov 28, 2011 1:23 PM

    @bearsrulepackdrool yes it was a bad joke. Svitek is the one that stepped on ryans ankle in his first game starting and it looked bad. “Svankle”. Also I wouldn’t be opposed to moving baker to RG in place of hawley. He’s had his up and downs this year. With those shorter arms its not as critical at the gaurd position. Even blalock has been inconsistant

  11. kane337 says: Nov 28, 2011 1:27 PM

    Svitek has been playing great. He deserves to stay in the starting lineup. Good move by the Falcons.

  12. dontslapthebass says: Nov 28, 2011 2:05 PM

    There were no more 1st round LT’s left when Baker was drafted. Everyone who needed one got theirs. Falcons reached for Baker because they had no one on the roster to protect Ryan.

  13. dontslapthebass says: Nov 28, 2011 2:22 PM

    all that said…he’s not good enough to block elite pass rushers.

  14. db105 says: Nov 28, 2011 3:28 PM

    Another overrated USC draft pick.

  15. brianinwv says: Nov 28, 2011 3:42 PM

    turdfurgerson68 says:Nov 28, 2011 11:28 AM

    Given that this is a Flacon thread, could someone please convince them to bring back thier ‘throwback’ uniforms full time? Them 1960s-1970s duds be dope.

    Much better then the multi-patterned nightmare thet sport today.

    ——————————————

    Agree 1000%, both the Falcons and Vikings need to ditch the arena league unis and go with their “throwbacks” full time…

  16. bearsstillsuck says: Nov 28, 2011 4:06 PM

    as usual the bears fan is the dumbest one in here.

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