Falcons Experts Roundtable

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Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Is Sam Baker still the future at left tackle?

Ben Sullivan: I’m starting to lose faith in Baker being the long-term answer at left tackle. He can’t stay healthy, and now coming off a major knee injury his mobility is a real concern. I like him better at right tackle, especially if the Falcons can get a new left tackle in the draft or in free agency this offseason.

Jake Bennett: You know, Sam Baker really could be a good left tackle in this league. The problem is, he cannot seem to get healthy.  Dimitroff made a huge mistake by giving Baker a long term deal, and now we have to stick with him. The introduction of Tice to the offensive line may just be what Baker needs to push him into greatness. He doesn’t need to be elite, just good enough to give Matt Ryan more than 2 seconds to deliver a pass. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Robert Stephens: I’m a little lenient on Baker. From what I’ve seen his poor performance is a matter of inconsistent technique. That technique can be coached by Tice. Dimitroff has no intention of ending relations with Baker since his contract is so huge. He’ll be in the lineup one way or another.  What I’ve seen from 2012 was that he has the potential. It’s up to the coaches and training staff to keep him in good shape. If he had enough time to heal up and can stay healthy in 2014, he can still be the long term answer at left tackle.

Ben Grazebrook: Unlike Roddy White, Sam Baker is not one of the Falcons all time great players. Baker gets a lot of abuse from Falcon fans, partly because of his play, and partly because of the contract he signed. Despite all the negatives surrounding him, for me Baker is the future at left tackle. Baker’s 2013 was a disaster, he was injured throughout the season and even the times he was on the field he never looked healthy. For those who want Baker cut, I understand why you want him cut but logistically it doesn’t make sense. Baker has such a big cap hit this season that the Falcons need to just hope he is back fully healthy and can put 2013 behind him. If Baker is back fully healthy then I trust that he can return to his 2012 form and sure up one of the many holes the Falcons have on the offensive line.