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Report: Sam Baker Almost Lost His Job Earlier This Season

With offensive lines, you can't always trust your eyes.

There's a lot going on during a given play, and you can't always tell how effective an offensive lineman is just by watching games. Breaking down tape, charting plays and looking at sacks allowed gives you a better grasp, but your average fan probably isn't too aware of how Joe Threehundredpounds is doing as his right tackle.

In the case of Sam Baker, though, what our eyes told us was apparently correct.

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports in his off-handed way that Baker was on the verge of losing his starting spot to Will Svitek earlier this season. That jibes with the welling panic Falcons fans felt earlier this season, when it seemed like Baker was overmatched and too willing to grab a fistful of jersey on a weekly basis. It is utterly terrifying that he almost lost his job to Will Svitek, one of the few people I can say with some confidence is less adept at left tackle than Baker.

Mike Smith mentions that he thinks Baker has been better in recent weeks, and I won't quibble with that. This news underscores the need for the Falcons to take a very hard look at upgrading the position in the off-season, however. Nobody thinks Baker is miraculously going to morph into a top ten tackle in this league.