Budda Baker proud to be recognized as one of league’s best safeties

Charean Williams
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

This isn’t Budda Baker‘s first Pro Bowl. It is his first Pro Bowl as a safety.

The third-year player made his first Pro Bowl as a rookie on special teams. Baker will start this one on defense.

“I’m at the position I’ve played my whole life,” Baker said when asked by Darren Urban of the team website if this one means more.

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Baker played mostly strong safety as a rookie under then-defensive coordinator James Bettcher. Al Holcomb replaced Bettcher the next year, and Baker played the nickel. Last season, with Vance Joseph as his defensive coordinator, Baker played more at free safety.

For the first time in his NFL career, Baker will get another season in the same defense at the same spot.

“I’ve always had to work in a different scheme, always worked at a different position,” Baker said. “I’m just excited to be in the same defense consecutively, because I’ve never had that. Personally, I think my stats will be a lot better. Keeping the same defense, it can only get better.”

Baker made 147 tackles, seven for loss, six pass breakups and half a sack in 1,119 defensive snaps, missing only 13 snaps all season.

“The film is honest,” Joseph said. “When you watch the film, you have to say this kid is one of the best players in the league.”

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