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Panthers Vs. Falcons: Sam Baker turns corner as LT

Atlanta Falcons left tackle Sam Baker has been pedestrian at times in his four-year career, but not so much in 2012.

Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons left tackle Sam Baker hasn't exactly lived up to the expectations of being selected as a first-round pick by the team in 2008. As Dave Choate of The Falcoholic put it, Baker spent the past four seasons either hurt, average, or just flat out disappointing.

But with the Falcons at 3-0 so far this season, only one of three teams in the NFL with such a mark, Baker's improvement has not gone unnoticed. This, from Choate:

Baker really did come into 2012 healthy and playing well, as the coaching staff has promised. Through three games, Sam Baker has kept Matt Ryan clean, he's blocking with power in a struggling ground game and he's been as good as he's ever been. If he keeps this pace up, the Falcons will be richly rewarded for sticking by him even when it was unpopular.

It seems as though Baker is turning a corner, and his timing couldn't be any better for Atlanta.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.