After a shaky and injury-plagued 2011, the Falcons are counting on left tackle Sam Baker to rebound.
"Unfortunately, he has been challenged with some of the injury situations," Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. "But Sam is a resilient guy, as per his injuries."
The Falcons hope that a different approach from offensive line coach Pat Hill will help restore Baker's ferociousness.
Hill, who spent the past 15 years as the head coach at Fresno State, has known Baker since his high school days.
"He has great athletic ability," Hill said. "I knew Sam coming out of high school and out of (USC). From playing against him and watching him, I know the athletic ability is there. I'm excited about working with him."
Falcons coach Mike Smith wants to see the old Baker, too.
"Playing left tackle in this league is not an easy job," Smith said. "You are protecting the backside of the quarterback, and for the majority of the time they are facing the top pass rushers."