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DenverBrit
08-11-2009, 08:26 AM
Good read.

Baker making most of second chance
Associated Press


Monday, Aug. 10, 2009 - 7:00 p.m. ET

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Defensive tackle Chris Baker's rehabilitation is off to a strong start in Denver, where he's mending not from an injury but a tarnished image.

Baker was kicked off the Penn State team last summer for his role in two off-field fights, so he went to Hampton for a season and then joined the Broncos this summer as an undrafted free agent.

The 329-pound nose tackle quickly impressed the coaching staff with his ability to stuff the run and push the pile.

"Chris has shown the ability to knock people back," coach Josh McDaniels said, breaking from his usual cautious script to lavish high praise on a rookie. "Chris has done some good things in this camp."

Baker also has made some fast friends, when he faked a fair catch on a punt that bounced inside the 10-yard line and out of the end zone. With that, the beefy lineman earned his teammates a night off from team meetings.

The gregarious Baker's plan is right on track: Baker wants to show everyone not only what kind of player he can be, but what kind of person he is.

"That's the one thing that I really want to do, I want to change my image," Baker said. "Because if you Google my name, you'll see stuff about me getting in fights and getting arrested. But I'm not a thug. I'm none of that."

Baker and fellow defensive tackle Phil Taylor were kicked off the Nittany Lions by coach Joe Paterno after a critical "Outside the Lines" report on the Penn State program last year.

Baker had already pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from a fight at an off-campus apartment and a fight at a campus student union, both in 2007. He had been cleared by a university judicial affairs panel of wrongdoing in the latter fight and allowed to return to practice after sitting out the spring when he was dismissed from the team.

"It was definitely a surprise because everything had happened a year before, we were already suspended for a game, we missed the whole spring. So I thought that was the punishment we were going to get," Baker said. "I got back on the team in the summer and I did everything the coaches asked me to do. I made good grades on my summer school classes. I didn't get in any more trouble and then this 'Outside the Lines' story came out, they released me from the team three days later."

Baker said he never really had the opportunity to defend himself because he had accepted a plea before going to trial. He was sentenced to two years probation in May 2008 for his role in the two separate fights. He also was ordered to pay about $2,500 in restitution covering both cases. All other charges, including felony counts in both cases, were dismissed.

"I never got a chance to tell my side of the story, but I don't really care about anything that happened in the past. I'm just trying to move on," Baker said.

Baker didn't want to transfer to another big program where he'd have to sit out a season, so he went to Hampton, where he had 69 tackles, including 16 1/2 for loss and 8 1/2 sacks as a junior.

Against Hampton coach Jerry Holmes' advice, Baker declared for the NFL draft, and when nobody called his name, he signed with the Broncos.

"Denver didn't draft any interior linemen, so I just thought it was the best chance for me," said Baker, who was listed as the backup to free agent Ronnie Fields on the first depth chart released Monday.

Even though his college experience didn't go as planned, Baker said he'll always be a Nittany Lion in his heart, defending Paterno's program against the constant ribbing from fellow Big 10 defensive linemen Kenny Peterson (Ohio State), Matthias Askew (Michigan State) and Darrell Reid (Minnesota).

"I'm always going to love Penn State, but I'm also going to love Hampton because they gave me a second chance," Baker said.

"And now I have a chance to show everybody the kind of player and the kind of person I am. I'm not what people portray me as: a thug or a crazy guy that goes around fighting innocent people. I'm a nice guy. I'm a football player, I'm not a thug."

NOTES: RT Ryan Harris injured his right arm at Monday's practice. ... The workout was held at Invesco Field so the players and coaches could get accustomed to game-day logistics. Unlike last week, when fans were on hand and booed QB Kyle Orton's poor play, this practice was closed to the public.

http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/article/2009-08-10/baker-making-most-second-chance

baja
08-11-2009, 08:32 AM
I got hopes for this kid.

Slade
08-11-2009, 08:38 AM
I got hopes for this kid.

Me too. This guy should be the starter by the bye week. Also after meeting the players this guy is hilarious! :~ohyah!:

TheDave
08-11-2009, 08:41 AM
I'm not sure what to think about this...

On one hand it would be incredible if we found our eventual starting nose tackle after the draft was over.

On the other hand, what does it say about our current level of talent when an UDFA is running 2nd team 2 weeks into camp.

Friday's game is going to be interesting.

Cosmo
08-11-2009, 08:45 AM
Is this really all this kid did? He got into a couple fights?

No drugs? No beating women?

Ok, I'll root for him then.

outdoor_miner
08-11-2009, 08:51 AM
Is this really all this kid did? He got into a couple fights?

No drugs? No beating women?

Ok, I'll root for him then.

That's kinda how I felt... However, TheReverend will soon be in here to squash your hopes and dreams. :) He really, really, really doesn't like Baker from his time at Penn State. I don't think I've ever seen the real story on what happened with Baker. The articles I've read make it sound like he stuck up for his friends in a fight (and went overboard beating someone up), but there must be more to it than that.

DenverBrit
08-11-2009, 09:00 AM
A little more detail about Baker and his off-field issue.

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2008/02/28/baker_contests_thug_image.aspx

Hulamau
08-11-2009, 09:03 AM
I'm not sure what to think about this...

On one hand it would be incredible if we found our eventual starting nose tackle after the draft was over.

On the other hand, what does it say about our current level of talent when an UDFA is running 2nd team 2 weeks into camp.

Friday's game is going to be interesting.

Dave I think your first choice is the likely winner here! Sure hope so too! From reading what a several reputable people at Penn Sate and at Hampton who really knew Baker said, he seems like a good guy that got caught up in a bad situation and maybe stepped over the line once, but has worked hard to get it together and clear his name ever since.

Several stand up people vouched strongly for his character going forward in any event.

But lets look at this, No one drafted him because of this presummed character issue NOT because he isn't a talented NT/DT! In fact, had he not gotten tossed from Penn State and had started there again last year odds are high he could have been a solid first or second round pick this year!

In fact, Penn State had already forgiven him and was counting on him anchoring the D-line last year before the Outside the Line expose' came out and embarrassed the school and suddenly Chris and the other guy were the fall guys for sure.

Such a scenario might just prove to be our great good fortune. He's already shown up in camp and I too think he's the starter at NT by mid season.

He's perfectly built for the job at 6'2" 326lbs as a young player already! And he's quick too and strong.

Wouldn't it be great if he turns out to be the next stud NFL NT and we got him for a steal for maybe the next 12 years!

Liquid Courage
08-11-2009, 09:08 AM
I'm not sure what to think about this...

On one hand it would be incredible if we found our eventual starting nose tackle after the draft was over.

On the other hand, what does it say about our current level of talent when an UDFA is running 2nd team 2 weeks into camp.

Friday's game is going to be interesting.

not to put my homer glasses on too tight, but isn't the point that he was considered 2nd round talent before the altercations and the like? so it isn't that we addressed our NT w/ the fattest guy at the closest fast food chain, we went for a guy with upside and little downside. if he proved to be the piece of crap that he's portrayed to be, we could just cut him.

100% agree that there is an associated level of risk that goes with the above strategy . . .

outdoor_miner
08-11-2009, 09:14 AM
A little more detail about Baker and his off-field issue.

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2008/02/28/baker_contests_thug_image.aspx

Good article. There sure do seem to be a lot of people standing up for his character. I'm not saying he didn't do anything wrong... I have no idea. But, he at least seems like he tries to do good. We'll see, I guess.

Tombstone RJ
08-11-2009, 09:16 AM
Good read.

Baker making most of second chance
Associated Press


Monday, Aug. 10, 2009 - 7:00 p.m. ET

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Defensive tackle Chris Baker's rehabilitation is off to a strong start in Denver, where he's mending not from an injury but a tarnished image.

Baker was kicked off the Penn State team last summer for his role in two off-field fights, so he went to Hampton for a season and then joined the Broncos this summer as an undrafted free agent.

The 329-pound nose tackle quickly impressed the coaching staff with his ability to stuff the run and push the pile.

"Chris has shown the ability to knock people back," coach Josh McDaniels said, breaking from his usual cautious script to lavish high praise on a rookie. "Chris has done some good things in this camp."

Baker also has made some fast friends, when he faked a fair catch on a punt that bounced inside the 10-yard line and out of the end zone. With that, the beefy lineman earned his teammates a night off from team meetings.

The gregarious Baker's plan is right on track: Baker wants to show everyone not only what kind of player he can be, but what kind of person he is.

"That's the one thing that I really want to do, I want to change my image," Baker said. "Because if you Google my name, you'll see stuff about me getting in fights and getting arrested. But I'm not a thug. I'm none of that."

Baker and fellow defensive tackle Phil Taylor were kicked off the Nittany Lions by coach Joe Paterno after a critical "Outside the Lines" report on the Penn State program last year.

Baker had already pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from a fight at an off-campus apartment and a fight at a campus student union, both in 2007. He had been cleared by a university judicial affairs panel of wrongdoing in the latter fight and allowed to return to practice after sitting out the spring when he was dismissed from the team.

"It was definitely a surprise because everything had happened a year before, we were already suspended for a game, we missed the whole spring. So I thought that was the punishment we were going to get," Baker said. "I got back on the team in the summer and I did everything the coaches asked me to do. I made good grades on my summer school classes. I didn't get in any more trouble and then this 'Outside the Lines' story came out, they released me from the team three days later."

Baker said he never really had the opportunity to defend himself because he had accepted a plea before going to trial. He was sentenced to two years probation in May 2008 for his role in the two separate fights. He also was ordered to pay about $2,500 in restitution covering both cases. All other charges, including felony counts in both cases, were dismissed.

"I never got a chance to tell my side of the story, but I don't really care about anything that happened in the past. I'm just trying to move on," Baker said.

Baker didn't want to transfer to another big program where he'd have to sit out a season, so he went to Hampton, where he had 69 tackles, including 16 1/2 for loss and 8 1/2 sacks as a junior.

Against Hampton coach Jerry Holmes' advice, Baker declared for the NFL draft, and when nobody called his name, he signed with the Broncos.

"Denver didn't draft any interior linemen, so I just thought it was the best chance for me," said Baker, who was listed as the backup to free agent Ronnie Fields on the first depth chart released Monday.

Even though his college experience didn't go as planned, Baker said he'll always be a Nittany Lion in his heart, defending Paterno's program against the constant ribbing from fellow Big 10 defensive linemen Kenny Peterson (Ohio State), Matthias Askew (Michigan State) and Darrell Reid (Minnesota).

"I'm always going to love Penn State, but I'm also going to love Hampton because they gave me a second chance," Baker said.

"And now I have a chance to show everybody the kind of player and the kind of person I am. I'm not what people portray me as: a thug or a crazy guy that goes around fighting innocent people. I'm a nice guy. I'm a football player, I'm not a thug."

NOTES: RT Ryan Harris injured his right arm at Monday's practice. ... The workout was held at Invesco Field so the players and coaches could get accustomed to game-day logistics. Unlike last week, when fans were on hand and booed QB Kyle Orton's poor play, this practice was closed to the public.

http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/article/2009-08-10/baker-making-most-second-chance

This is what I don't understand: how come Outside The Lines did the Broncos Training Camp Report for ESPN?

I don't get it...

Black59Razor
08-11-2009, 09:25 AM
I'm not sure what to think about this...

On one hand it would be incredible if we found our eventual starting nose tackle after the draft was over.

On the other hand, what does it say about our current level of talent when an UDFA is running 2nd team 2 weeks into camp.

Friday's game is going to be interesting.

Go back and look at our Super Bowl teams, and the number of undrafted free agents we had and the late round draft choices that were key players on that team...Terrell Davis, Howard Griffith, Rod Smith, Shannon Sharpe, Ed McCaffrey, Tom Nalen, Brian Habib, Tony Jones, Mark Schlereth, Maa Tanuvasa, Keith Traylor, Harold Hasselbach, Tyrone Braxton, Ray Crocket just to name a few.

It's not where you start, it's where you finish.

oubronco
08-11-2009, 09:31 AM
Me too. This guy should be the starter by the bye week. Also after meeting the players this guy is hilarious! :~ohyah!:

I'm kinda thinking Powell might be pushing for the starting gig by then

Tombstone RJ
08-11-2009, 09:33 AM
If Chris Baker turns into the Broncos starting NT then this will be, perhaps, the most significant defensive acquisition of this offseason.

DE: Powell
NT: Baker
DE: Thomas

Yah, I see's me some potential...

misturanderson
08-11-2009, 09:34 AM
This is what I don't understand: how come Outside The Lines did the Broncos Training Camp Report for ESPN?

I don't get it...

What do you mean? Outside the Lines is an ESPN show.

Paladin
08-11-2009, 09:42 AM
I do believe that Baker will be better than Baji.

Book it.....

lex
08-11-2009, 09:43 AM
I'm not sure what to think about this...

On one hand it would be incredible if we found our eventual starting nose tackle after the draft was over.

On the other hand, what does it say about our current level of talent when an UDFA is running 2nd team 2 weeks into camp.

Friday's game is going to be interesting.


It says we are transitioning from a 4-3 with smaller guys to a 3-4 with bigger guys. For me the schwerpunkt is NT.

alkemical
08-11-2009, 09:45 AM
I do believe that Baker will be better than Baji.

Book it.....

I think baker will do well at the NT position.

I actually think Thomas at DE will do well - if they want to use the line to blow up the plays from the other team (disruptions) - i think thomas will work fine in that role.

lex
08-11-2009, 09:45 AM
This is what I don't understand: how come Outside The Lines did the Broncos Training Camp Report for ESPN?

I don't get it...

It was a seperate show from last year that had nothing to do with the Broncos.

Slade
08-11-2009, 09:45 AM
I'm kinda thinking Powell might be pushing for the starting gig by then

I was too, but Powell is barely getting any reps as a 3rd stringer...so I wouldn't bet on it.

Popps
08-11-2009, 09:47 AM
Exciting stuff. Even if Baker winds up a solid situational player on running downs, we got a great deal on him.

Hulamau
08-11-2009, 09:48 AM
Go back and look at our Super Bowl teams, and the number of undrafted free agents we had and the late round draft choices that were key players on that team...Terrell Davis, Howard Griffith, Rod Smith, Shannon Sharpe, Ed McCaffrey, Tom Nalen, Brian Habib, Tony Jones, Mark Schlereth, Maa Tanuvasa, Keith Traylor, Harold Hasselbach, Tyrone Braxton, Ray Crocket just to name a few.

It's not where you start, it's where you finish.

And THAT is how you build a championship team! Picking under-valued guys who have loads of talent and potential and then do a damn good job of developing them and coaching them up ... not just drafting 'Mel Kiper' marquee names so all the fanboys can can get a boner on draft day.

oubronco
08-11-2009, 09:54 AM
I was too, but Powell is barely getting any reps as a 3rd stringer...so I wouldn't bet on it.

I really think it doesn't matter who starts because they will use alot of rotation to keep fresh bodies

DenverBrit
08-11-2009, 10:19 AM
And THAT is how you build a championship team! Picking under-valued guys who have loads of talent and potential and then do a damn good job of developing them and coaching them up ... not just drafting 'Mel Kiper' marquee names so all the fanboys can can get a boner on draft day.

Exactly! :thumbs:

The high draft picks are looking for huge paydays....until there's a rookie cap, teams have to find value in the draft or eventually end up in cap hell.

Slade
08-11-2009, 10:23 AM
I really think it doesn't matter who starts because they will use alot of rotation to keep fresh bodies

I agree with you, however at practices Powell does not seem to be part of the rotations. Honestly last Friday he took part in about 3 plays, while all of the others were cycled in a bunch.

TheDave
08-11-2009, 10:38 AM
Just to respond to those that quoted me...

I'm not worried about his character issues. He was an UDFA therefore the risk is minimal. On top of that he seems to have kept his nose clean for the last year or so.

As far as us having UDFA on our superbowl teams... I know that. But none of those guys were running 2nd string on their repective teams 2 weeks into camp. Hell it took Rod Smith 2+ years to see the field, and we all know how good he turned out to be.

Thats the part that is shocking to me. DT's have one of the steepest learning curves of any position. Even stud players usually take a year or 2 to learn the pro-game. For him to be this high on the depth chart tells me the guys we brought in are worse than thought.

My hope is that the depth chart doesn't mean much at this point, and come the regular season he will just be used in certian situation (3rd/4th and short, Goal line, etc.). IMO if we are relying to much on an UDFA at NT this year we are in for a long season.

DBroncos4life
08-11-2009, 10:44 AM
And THAT is how you build a championship team! Picking under-valued guys who have loads of talent and potential and then do a damn good job of developing them and coaching them up ... not just drafting 'Mel Kiper' marquee names so all the fanboys can can get a boner on draft day.

Just like the Dline from the Pats...er wait they all are high draft picks.

DBroncos4life
08-11-2009, 10:48 AM
I wouldn't think a NT in a 3-4 would have as high as a learning curve as a DT in a 4-3 but I could be wrong but if the guy is as hard to block as they are claiming then he is perfect for the job. Having to block him with extra help will make make the rest of the front seven's jobs that much easier.

UberBroncoMan
08-11-2009, 10:49 AM
I think we only drafted him cuss McPatriot wanted to copy Belicheat.

http://www.nfl.com/players/chrisbaker/profile?id=BAK097464

On a side note though.

http://www.nfl.com/players/vincewilfork/profile?id=WIL059369

http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/chris-baker?id=79529

Very VERY similar body structures... hopefully good things happen.

Beantown Bronco
08-11-2009, 10:52 AM
http://www.nfl.com/players/vincewilfork/profile?id=WIL059369



That has to be the biggest piece of fiction on nfl.com and it's always mentioned in jest during Pats games whenever they talk about his listed weight. Wilfork hasn't been 325 since HS.

gyldenlove
08-11-2009, 11:24 AM
If Thomas and Baker starts at some point we will have a lot repenting going on on the defensive front, both players got kicked off their college teams and dropped in the draft because of it.

RunSilentRunDeep
08-11-2009, 11:57 AM
Chris Baker would eat Corey "Sky is the limit" Jackson for breakfast and crap him out by lunchtime.

I say Baker turns out to be a better pro than Ron Brace. I'll be available for a discussion in 2014 on whether or not I'm right.

Tombstone RJ
08-11-2009, 11:58 AM
Chris Baker would eat Corey "Sky is the limit" Jackson for breakfast and crap him out by lunchtime.

I say Baker turns out to be a better pro than Ron Brace. I'll be available for a discussion in 2014 on whether or not I'm right.

Is this when they kick you off the U-Boat?

oubronco
08-11-2009, 12:03 PM
I agree with you, however at practices Powell does not seem to be part of the rotations. Honestly last Friday he took part in about 3 plays, while all of the others were cycled in a bunch.

That is kinda strange when stuffing the run is exactly what he does best and is big enough to clog the middle but the season is almost here so we'll see what he's got on the field

BroncoMan4ever
08-11-2009, 12:16 PM
Me too. This guy should be the starter by the bye week. Also after meeting the players this guy is hilarious! :~ohyah!:

every single one of our DL is going to be on the field a lot regardless of them being starters or not.

Williams
08-11-2009, 01:01 PM
Go back and look at our Super Bowl teams, and the number of undrafted free agents we had and the late round draft choices that were key players on that team...Terrell Davis, Howard Griffith, Rod Smith, Shannon Sharpe, Ed McCaffrey, Tom Nalen, Brian Habib, Tony Jones, Mark Schlereth, Maa Tanuvasa, Keith Traylor, Harold Hasselbach, Tyrone Braxton, Ray Crocket just to name a few.

It's not where you start, it's where you finish.

Good post.

Baker is one of the players I'll be checking for the most on Friday. I have high hopes, too.

Black59Razor
08-11-2009, 03:15 PM
Just like the Dline from the Pats...er wait they all are high draft picks.

...and how has the Patriots defense been over the last two years without the LB play?

Average at best despite their on-paper incredible d-line.

misturanderson
08-11-2009, 04:30 PM
That is kinda strange when stuffing the run is exactly what he does best and is big enough to clog the middle but the season is almost here so we'll see what he's got on the field

It's possible that his achilles is still bothering him enough to affect his play. Those things usually take more than a year to recover and being over 300 lbs probably doesn't help the recovery.

lex
08-11-2009, 04:33 PM
That is kinda strange when stuffing the run is exactly what he does best and is big enough to clog the middle but the season is almost here so we'll see what he's got on the field

Cut Powell some slack. Its hard enough to adjust to the pro game when youre a rookie and you played the year before. Though he has done mental reps, there is still a physical dimension that requires acclimitization at the pro level. And in that regard, he is stepping up and he is doing so after losing a year.

DBroncos4life
08-11-2009, 04:47 PM
...and how has the Patriots defense been over the last two years without the LB play?

Average at best despite their on-paper incredible d-line.

They have a 27-5 record the last two years.

elsid13
08-11-2009, 05:24 PM
...and how has the Patriots defense been over the last two years without the LB play?

Average at best despite their on-paper incredible d-line.

It be fair better then average.

TheReverend
08-11-2009, 05:43 PM
It be fair better then average.

Arrrrrrrr matey. It be!

alkemical
08-11-2009, 06:15 PM
arrrrr!

~Crash~
08-11-2009, 08:12 PM
I think baker will do well at the NT position.

I actually think Thomas at DE will do well - if they want to use the line to blow up the plays from the other team (disruptions) - i think thomas will work fine in that role.

Thomas is a one Gap player so yes if they do not tell him to play 2 gap much I think he will do great this year .

alkemical
08-11-2009, 08:38 PM
from all that stuff i read about an attacking 3-4d - it sounds like they are going to use the de's to try to blow plays up.