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Thread: Dallas Baker Article

  1. #1
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    Dallas Baker Article

    If Baker really emerges then our receivers and Tight Ends could be among the best in the league.

    Steelers' Baker plots route to roster
    By Scott Brown
    TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Monday, June 9, 2008

    Buzz up!


    The ring may have been from just the Outback Bowl, but Dallas Baker fell in love with it, especially since his last name and jersey number had been engraved in it.
    He wore it everywhere and took it off only when necessary, such as the time he went for a dip while he and his family were celebrating the Fourth of July at the beach in their hometown of New Smyrna, Fla. When he got out of the water, the ring was nowhere to be found, and Baker all but enlisted the beach patrol in an unsuccessful recovery effort.

    "I was depressed for a while, because that ring meant everything to me," the former University of Florida standout said. "I ended up getting a letter when I went back to school for two-a-days, and a guy from Atlanta was saying he found my ring, and he would ship it to me."

    The Steelers are hoping that Baker turns out to be every bit the found treasure as his cherished ring.

    After spending his rookie season on the Steelers' practice squad, Baker will push for a roster spot and try to add depth to a wide receiving corps that features returning starters Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes and welcomes highly touted newcomer Limas Sweed.
    The selection of Sweed in the second round of the NFL Draft in late April appeared to give the Steelers the tall receiver they have lacked since Plaxico Burress' departure following the 2004 season, but Baker should not be overlooked.

    The 6-foot-3, 206-pound Baker impressed Steelers coaches with the catches he made on a regular basis during practice last season, and his knowledge of the offense has since grown.

    "What a difference a year makes," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "He's confident. He has an understanding of what we ask him to do."

    One thing that has the Steelers particularly excited about Baker, who is admittedly quiet and laid back: He needs time before feeling comfortable (and thriving) in new environments.

    That proved to be the case at Florida, where he didn't break out until his fourth year in the program. Baker starred as a fifth-year senior, catching 60 passes for 920 yards and 10 touchdowns while helping the Gators win the national championship.

    But despite good size and favorable bloodlines (his uncle is former NFL wide receiver Wes Chandler), Baker lasted until the seventh round of the 2007 Draft.

    He caught just one pass in five preseason games last season, but he opened eyes after making the Steelers' practice squad. However, as Tomlin would be the first to say, making plays in practice is one thing; making them in games is quite another.

    "He's taken giant steps, and I'm really proud of (how far) he's come," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "He's been doing great in the slot."

    Baker said he hasn't missed an offseason practice or a conditioning session - he has added five pounds to his lanky frame -- and he has spent extra time watching film with wide receivers coach Randy Fichtner.

    "I think I made a little progress, but I know I have a long way to go," Baker said. "I've got to keep getting better and make sure I understand what's going on because that way you play faster."
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  2. #2
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    Re: Dallas Baker Article

    Hopefully he becomes what Colbert has sorely lacked...a late round gem. IMO, 2009 will be his chance to play a lot.
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    Re: Dallas Baker Article

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerNation1
    Hopefully he becomes what Colbert has sorely lacked...a late round gem. IMO, 2009 will be his chance to play a lot.
    I think the last two post Cowher drafts have shown more potential in the later rounds than previously. There are a number of players who are still affiliated with the team who look like they may be able to contribute versus getting cut in camp and done.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  4. #4

    Re: Dallas Baker Article

    Can you imagine Ward and Baker in slot...Holmes and Sweed outside and Mendy coming out of the backfield.

    What about TE's with Spaeth, Miller, Ward, Limas, and Holmes? How can you cover that much size?

    What about...ehhh well the possibilities are endless. If Baker and Sweed work out our O could be as good or better than the Pats. Yes, I said it...better than the Pats.

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    Re: Dallas Baker Article

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    Can you imagine Ward and Baker in slot...Holmes and Sweed outside and Mendy coming out of the backfield.

    What about TE's with Spaeth, Miller, Ward, Limas, and Holmes? How can you cover that much size?

    What about...ehhh well the possibilities are endless. If Baker and Sweed work out our O could be as good or better than the Pats. Yes, I said it...better than the Pats.
    What about TE's with Spaeth, Miller, Ward, Limas, and Holmes? How can you cover that much size?
    This is the alignment that gets me the most excited. Put these 5 out there and have Ben focus on getting the ball to the TEs and this would be tough to stop. All these players are excellent receivers.

    No LB or safety will have the size to cover Miller and Spaeth which will open lots of routes for the other three.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  6. #6
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    Re: Dallas Baker Article

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerNation1
    Hopefully he becomes what Colbert has sorely lacked...a late round gem. IMO, 2009 will be his chance to play a lot.
    I think the last two post Cowher drafts have shown more potential in the later rounds than previously. There are a number of players who are still affiliated with the team who look like they may be able to contribute versus getting cut in camp and done.
    I hope you're right. I like Baker, Sepulveda, and Gay from 07. If Kemo steps up this year that will be big. Although he was an 05 or 06 guy I think.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Dallas Baker Article

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    Can you imagine Ward and Baker in slot...Holmes and Sweed outside and Mendy coming out of the backfield.

    What about TE's with Spaeth, Miller, Ward, Limas, and Holmes? How can you cover that much size?

    What about...ehhh well the possibilities are endless. If Baker and Sweed work out our O could be as good or better than the Pats. Yes, I said it...better than the Pats.
    What about TE's with Spaeth, Miller, Ward, Limas, and Holmes? How can you cover that much size?
    This is the alignment that gets me the most excited. Put these 5 out there and have Ben focus on getting the ball to the TEs and this would be tough to stop. All these players are excellent receivers.

    No LB or safety will have the size to cover Miller and Spaeth which will open lots of routes for the other three.
    Good points O. I think this is a Ben issue though. He needs to focus on the TE's and throw it when they break open. Too often he pumps, rolls one way or the other and goes for a "big" play rather than taking the check down.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Dallas Baker Article

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerNation1
    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    Can you imagine Ward and Baker in slot...Holmes and Sweed outside and Mendy coming out of the backfield.

    What about TE's with Spaeth, Miller, Ward, Limas, and Holmes? How can you cover that much size?

    What about...ehhh well the possibilities are endless. If Baker and Sweed work out our O could be as good or better than the Pats. Yes, I said it...better than the Pats.
    What about TE's with Spaeth, Miller, Ward, Limas, and Holmes? How can you cover that much size?
    This is the alignment that gets me the most excited. Put these 5 out there and have Ben focus on getting the ball to the TEs and this would be tough to stop. All these players are excellent receivers.

    No LB or safety will have the size to cover Miller and Spaeth which will open lots of routes for the other three.
    Good points O. I think this is a Ben issue though. He needs to focus on the TE's and throw it when they break open. Too often he pumps, rolls one way or the other and goes for a "big" play rather than taking the check down.
    I'm with you. Take the singles and doubles to move down the field and take some time off the clock. This only helps to set up the triples and home runs. The opposing D has no chance. It kind of mirrors that team that I have an extreme dislike for.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Dallas Baker Article

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    Can you imagine Ward and Baker in slot...Holmes and Sweed outside and Mendy coming out of the backfield.

    What about TE's with Spaeth, Miller, Ward, Limas, and Holmes? How can you cover that much size?

    What about...ehhh well the possibilities are endless. If Baker and Sweed work out our O could be as good or better than the Pats. Yes, I said it...better than the Pats.
    What about TE's with Spaeth, Miller, Ward, Limas, and Holmes? How can you cover that much size?
    This is the alignment that gets me the most excited. Put these 5 out there and have Ben focus on getting the ball to the TEs and this would be tough to stop. All these players are excellent receivers.

    No LB or safety will have the size to cover Miller and Spaeth which will open lots of routes for the other three.

    If anyone thinks that Ben's numbers this upcoming season will not explode this year is seriously on crack. The two areas that were deficient in our passing game last year were the redzone efficiency and passes out in the flat to a competent pass catching RB.... I think both these areas are addressed. The sickness will be the redwoods playing WR and TE, no defense could hope to cover that many targets.

  10. #10
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    Re: Dallas Baker Article

    As it stands, it is just as Oviedo stated, "If Baker really emerges.."
    I only hope it's not too big of an if. I would love it to see this guy crack the line up, I'm just not sold yet.

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