After the worst season of his four-year career with the Atlanta Falcons, Sam Baker wants to prove he's still a legitimate starting left tackle.
Baker, drafted 21st overall in 2008, knows he might not get another chance in Atlanta.
He has had back surgery three times since his rookie year and twice since last October. His five-year contract expires in February.
''It's just as hard mentally as it is physically,'' Baker said Sunday. ''The organization has really helped me out with that. The rehab program, the strength program and everything else are phenomenal here.''
Last year marked the second time that Baker underwent back surgery during the season. He missed four games and never regained his job after returning in Week 12.
When the season ended, Baker required another discectomy, a procedure to remove herniated disc material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord.
Doesn't sound like fun for any player, but for a left tackle...