- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - “Big Wiggle” can dance, of course. And he can cry.

Chris “Big Wiggle” Baker also is a starter in the NFL. On Sunday, he will line up at nose tackle for the Washington Redskins against the Jacksonville Jaguars, taking Barry Cofield’s spot while Cofield is out at least eight week with an ankle injury.

In the Week 1 game against the Houston Texans, Baker was at defensive end. And that was something.

“It’s an overwhelming feeling,” Baker said. “Before the game, I kind of broke down in tears and said ‘Thank God I’m a starter.’ I started my career off as an undrafted guy, not even being activated for games, bouncing around from practice squad to active, and now I’m the opening day starter.”

Baker is the Redskins’ life of the party. His other nickname is “Swaggy.” When “Big Wiggle” gets a sack, the dance that follows is something to behold. When the team had a dance-off on the field during training camp, Baker represented the defense and running back Lache Seastrunk the offense. It was no contest.

“I’m the best dancer on the team,” said Baker, making it sound as obvious as two plus two equals four.

But it took a while to get this far.

He was kicked off Penn State’s team after a campus fight and ended up at Hampton. After no one drafted him, he appeared in one game with Denver in 2009 and one with Miami in 2010 before the Redskins added him to the practice squad in 2011.

A year later, he became a regular in the defensive line rotation. This year he won a starting job at defensive end out of camp and was thoroughly happy that, for the first time in his career, he wasn’t thrown into the games during scrub time in preseason.

And, while Cofield will be missed, Baker (6-foot-2, 325 pounds) is well built to move one spot over and hold down the fort.

“He’s a nose at the end of the day, that’s his natural positon,” defensive end Jason Hatcher said. “He’s back at home, so I’m looking forward to him causing a lot of havoc in the middle.”

Hatcher, however, wondered aloud if Baker has become too much of a cutup.

“‘Bake’ is a cool guy, but sometimes he’s got to know when to entertain and when not to entertain,” Hatcher said. “Sometimes he over-entertains. I’ve been on his butt about that, so I’m going to continue to stay on him. This is not Hollywood, we’ve got to play football first, but he’s a great person. He’s becoming a little brother to me, (and I’m) trying to get some of his ways out of him. He’ll a little nut-case sometimes.”

It might take a while for Baker to get the message.

“Everybody teases me about my fun-loving ways,” Baker said. “I’m a happy-go-lucky guy, so I like to have fun and play ball. … You have to be serious when it’s time to be serious, but when it’s time to crack a joke, I can do that, too.”

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AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

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