RICHMOND – Chris Baker’s experience as a defensive end is alleviating the roster strain caused by serious injuries to Adam Carriker and Doug Worthington.
Baker has shifted to left defensive end, where he is backing up Jarvis Jenkins after backing up nose tackle Barry Cofield last season.
“I like playing end,” Baker said. “I’m very playing comfortable at end. I feel like I could pass rush pretty good, and it helps that I could play end and be able to play nickel and a lot more positions.”
The change was necessary because injuries to Carriker and Worthington depleted Washington’s depth. Carriker is out at least four months recovering from his third surgery on his right quadriceps tendon. Worthington was waived in June because he suffered a season-ending biceps injury.
Baker this summer is adjusting to the significant differences between the two positions.
“When you’re at end, there’s just a lot more space,” he said. “You’ve got to protect the defense a lot more. At nose, you pick the one A-gap and the linebacker works off you, but the defensive end kind of saves the defense.”
Playing on the edge in more space requires him to play with inside leverage on the right tackle and use his strength to control him in the run game.
“You’ve just to got to make sure your feet are good,” he said. “You can’t be as aggressive as you are at nose.”
Chris Neild is practicing as the second-string nose tackle after missing after missing all of last season with a torn ACL in his left knee.