“He’s Sparking Up The Locker Room Already”

May 12th, 2017

New Bucs defensive tackle Chris Baker

Sometimes, free agents are signed not only for what they can bring to the field.

Their arrival can also be about delivering a presence to a team, or about setting a new and higher standard.

Take Robert Ayers, Brent Grimes and Daryl Smith, last year’s free-agency trifecta. Those guys were all business and intensity. You wouldn’t call any of those dude life-of-the-party types. They were classic signings, personality-wise, by a team needing to transform a culture handcrafted by Greg Schiano and Lovie Smith.

Enter new free agent Chris Baker. He’s perhaps known more for his personality than his 10 1/2 sacks and five forced fumbles during the past two seasons. (For those counting, Gerald McCoy has six career forced fumbles.)

The man’s nickname is Swaggy, and he embraces it.  He’ll play anywhere on the D-line and he’ll dance whenever he can.

Baker was a fan favorite in D.C., and his signing with Tampa Bay even prompted CSNWashington.com to pen a story titled, Chris Baker Is Dancing For The Buccaneers Now And It Just Feels So Wrong.

Lavonte David told Buccaneers.com that he feels a tone change from Baker already.

“We got back [to work at One Buc Palace], you know, Chris Baker. He’s one of those funny guys. He’s sparking up the locker room already,” David said.

New stud receiver DeSean Jackson is a swagger kind of guy, too.

There’s a real interesting mix of personalities with thes Bucs. It feels like it could be a championship-caliber chemistry, the kind that can be entertaining and nasty and united at the same time.

Joe will get a much clearer, hands-on sense through the spring and summer grind at One Buc Palace. But it all seems quite special right now.

63 Responses to ““He’s Sparking Up The Locker Room Already””

  1. tmaxcon Says:

    sounds like talent and the desire to win has surpassed the failed team captain choirboy experiment which created the losing culture No More Ice Cream Just Wins

  2. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Man O man I love to see him dance..

  3. Lamarcus Says:

    Never heard of the guy until buc signed him. Yes I’m a football junkie also. But sounds ok.

  4. Bucamania Says:

    Love the swagger. Fans in the NFC east sure know who he is. Eagles fans were glad to see him go, Most disruptive player on the Redskins defensive line.

  5. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    THIS defense will challenge the mental fortitude inturn creating a cerebral attack force the league has yet to witness!
    The offense will allow the D to sharpen their skills

  6. Casual Observer Says:

    On paper, this team sure looks like a champion. Hope it all translates. Can’t see why not, though. Will be a fun season.

  7. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    I thought this was about Tanard Jackson.

    My bad.

  8. rayjay1122 Says:

    During the draft, when the Titans selected A’doree Jackson, I had this excited feeling the the Bucs would scoop up O.J Howard. Then it happened and I celebrated our good fortune.

    That is the same way I feel about this upcoming season. I feel strongly that we will be in the post season and there will be no shortage of celebrating.

    If I am right and we make it to the post season, then look out because we could make a deep run and possibly………..!

    I can’t wait for the season! This is the time of year that is the worst. Mostly just Baseball and Basketball going on and I really am not much interested in either. C’mon Football!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  9. WeAreLost Says:

    Tanard lol

  10. JimmyJack Says:

    I like the forced fumbles stat. FF are becoming a devoliping skill in the league and we need more splash plays on defense.

    And shut up tmax you aren’t got a clue bro. You’re just a dumb ole dreamer. Time to wake up grow up and quit whining about your crushed dream you big ole baby.

  11. Steven007 Says:

    @Cancermax – (since you repeat yourself incessantly the least I can do is repeat the rebuttal)

    Sorry Maxi, I ruined your argument the other day. The DT is never the leader of the winning or losing culture on an NFL squad. Is stud Aaron Donald inexplicably the leader of the Rams losing culture? Ha, whatever. Is Suh leader of the Lions/Dolphins losing culture? Silly notion. On the other hand who do you think the leader of the winning culture on the Pats is? DT Malcolm Brown? Pffft, don’t be silly. Of course not. It’s Brady. How about the Broncos from 2 years ago? Was Sylvester Williams or Malik Jackson the leader of the winning culture? Nope, even heavily neutered it was Peyton Manning. Because that’s just how it is. Just like it’s JW on the Bucs (and Freeman/McCown before him). Tired statement dude. And wrong to boot. But we’re used to it.

    As for Swaggy, what’s not to love? With him next to GMC it will be fun watching them get a push up the middle.

  12. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs fans' Says:

    We do indeed have Championship-caliber chemistry (and talent and leadership and coaching).

    It will be Jameis vs Brady in the Superbowl this year.

  13. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I just can’t get that hit on Eli out my mind. I thought he all but killed the dude. He hits with so much force bro. Stars are aligning for our team people. That’s two years inn a row a potential top ten talent fell to the Bucs. I say that because were it not for his issues at Ohio st. Noah Spawn prolly wouldn’t have been around for us to select last draft.

  14. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    There is a lot of good stuff about this site and you keep adding every week it seems and it’s all good.

    But what really drove me here were the stories like this one. I like that you guys can write a story about how a “locker room feels”. I think the fans are getting this from the outside but you guys are actually there and it’s comforting to know that you guys are feeling it on the inside as well.

  15. destinjohnny Says:

    dont know anything about him other then every redskins fan i know says he is lazy

  16. Buccfan37 Says:

    What player exerts the same energy on every play? My guess none of them. I think Baker will improve the pressure.

  17. destinjohnny Says:

    dont shoot the messenger

  18. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    007 let me ask you a question who do you think had a bigger voice in the lockerroom Carson Palmer or Calais Campbell???

  19. Drew Says:

    I’m pumped to fire the cannon’s maties. The new new karma should be yield or be boarded and scuttled. Put the NFL on notice ye Buccaneers!

  20. Patrickbucs Says:


    Right on

  21. Steven007 Says:

    Palmer for sure. Certainly the more influential voice. As it should be. The only Defender I can think of offhand on a great team that had arguably the biggest, most influential voice was Ray Lewis. Clearly that’s rare though.

  22. RayJameisStadium Says:

    Baker and McCoy tandem will make our defensive ends better. It will probably hard to guess who is having more fun during the game….the offense or defense?

    No more old Bucs!!!!

    Fire them Cannons!!!

  23. Steve in Tampa Says:

    My good friend is A diehard Redskins fan. He was more disappointed by loosing Baker than DJax. “Damn it! You guys got Swaggy!” If I remember correctly.

  24. Steven007 Says:

    More to the point NOS, name a DT/DE on any other team that’s called out as the leader of anything aside from the defensive line? It’s like randomly calling Kawann Short the leader of the Panthers winning (or losing, take your pick) culture. It’s ludicrous to even say out loud. Is JJ Watt the leader of the Texans mediocre culture? Does anyone call Joe Thomas, who’s inarguably a great OL the “leader of the Browns losing culture”? Of course not. The whole thing is silly on its face.

  25. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    And who is the apex of this culture of intensity and overwhelming passion mixed with loving and enjoying the game and the brothers who fight with you?

    Why that would be our boy Jaboo.

  26. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I thought Chris Baker was keeping a low profile after his ” Tongue Lashing” from my boy Stephen A. Smith.

  27. Devildogbuc Says:

    Chris baker is a true dlineman he gets to the qb gets passed double teams thank god we have him ten plus freakin years with a sorry excuse of a dline finally we have a true dlineman

  28. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    The make up of the this team almost couldnt get any better. Baker will fit right in with his fun loving mentality, adding in the desire and passion of Jameis and kwon, i bet baker puts in his hardest effort yet

  29. JimmyJack Says:

    Baker is lazy. I’ve heard that before too. My guess is the skins don’t have a demanding locker room.

    Let’s hope the Bucs locker room will keep him working hard. Good luck in the sun Chris.

  30. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    If any of you are Twitter followers of Chris Baker, there’s one thing I can say..that man is so excited from the first minute through today, on being a Buccaneer.

    And as far as his day with the Foreskins..come on, that locker room had been lost in translation..completely lost…

  31. Getaclue Says:

    Calais Campbell was the undisputed vocal leader of the Cardinals. You just assume Palmer cause he is a veteran QB and don’t know anything

  32. 941BUC Says:

    Joe is it just me or is this new Tampa team have an “I don’t take no for an answer!v attitude?kinda like The Rock mentality….I don’t give a damn what you think!

  33. Gambelero Says:

    Looked for it, but couldn’t find it–an article about how the Browns chemistry is so much better this year than it’s been in a long time. Hope springs eternal…

  34. Getaclue Says:

    And the Texans have only had 2 losing seasons in the last 10 years with no QB while we haven’t been to the playoffs since and they haven’t had a franchise QB. You should stick to being knowledgeable about women’s lacrosse

  35. Steven007 Says:

    Well certainly your name says it all mr. clue. Absolutely nothing you said refutes anything I said. But nice try. Perhaps you should stay in the sandbox.

  36. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I ask the question because I saw on more than one occasion Calais at the center of the hype team job before the game. He like Ray Lewis in my opinion would be the biggest voice in the lockerroom. Palmer doesn’t come across like the type that would be concerned with any of that.

  37. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Oh and 007 if you require a few examples Michael Strahan Reggie White and Warren Sapp come to my mind.. Dude.

  38. Steven007 Says:

    NOS, actually in Arizona’s case I would probably say Bruce Arians is that guy. As evidenced by watching the Cardinals on some of the recent shows that have aired. Rare for a coach to be that guy. Campbell was certainly that guy on defense.

  39. Capt.Tim Says:

    “Baker is lazy”
    Oh no!!
    Who said that?
    DC55, RedskinTmaxipad, DistrictJohnny??

    No worries. Dumbasses abound on every site.
    People who dont understand football- AND ARE ASSES-always critize the offensive and defensive linemen.
    The average fan doesnt watch the line cery closely, so they fool some peopke intonthinking they sre knowledgeable

    Low hanging fruit, for thick browed trolls! Lol

    I actually watch the line.
    Baker is the first real help McCoy has had, since we drafted him!!

    Now, if we could just find a great DE- like we did with Simeone Rice, to team with the great but aging Robert Ayers!!

    Baker and McCoy will unleash Havok up the middle. Gotta get edge pressure.

  40. Capt.Tim Says:

    Sorry about misspellings
    Biiiig fingers
    Iphone 7 plus- still smaaaall keypad.

  41. BFFL Says:

    Is it just me or does Baker look like he just smoked a blunt in that pic

  42. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I been in moderation for about an hour so I’ll try again. If you require a few more examples Michael Strahan Reggie White and Warren Sapp come to mind. All superbowl winners and the clear BIGGEST voice in the lockerroom. One could argue Richard Dent and not the more on the field vocal Mike Singeltary was the Biggest voice and presence in that lockerroom.

  43. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    I don’t think it’s just you! LMAO I thought that’s what Joe meant when he was talking about “sparking up” the locker room!!!!

    Who doesn’t enjoy occasionally sparking one up?

  44. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Ahhh C’mon Joe let me spar wit’em☺. Psssssss..

  45. JayBucBoi Says:

    I’m bothered by the “football junkie” who’s never heard of Baker. The dude has been a good player in this league for a few years now. Plus, how could you have missed this…


    Not to mention him keeping the “Like that!” train Lovie Smith started alive…


  46. SB Says:

    I had to stop at you using Lovie Smith and Greg Schiano in the same sentence as a comparison. Schiano is the Anti Lovie and was fired too soon. Lovie was hired too soon and not fired soon enough. Culture changes take longer than the previous FO was willing to endure is what us lifer’s see. Luckily we seem to have Many major pieces in place to make a run right now so we should all be excited. The Culture down there in Tampa is changed in a good way and continuity is to be Embraced for the first time in a LONG time. GO BUCS!

  47. Blake_bucsfan Says:


    Love you Bud, but you’re dead wrong, Sciano was fired at precisely the right time. He was a borderline sociopath, and was not a leader of men.

    Do we not remember all of the good players he ran off? And all of the Rutgers/Schiano men he brought in to replace them? Toes on the Line? Rushing the Victory formation?

    Schiano wasn’t as much of an incompetent boob as Lovie was, but but he was a toxic influence on this team, and was not fit to be an NFL Head Coach.

  48. SB Says:

    Agree to disagree Blake. This said I agree to agree because Schiano never could have had our team temperature at this level.

  49. Nole&aBuc Says:

    I just glanced at an article in the T.B Times by Tom Jones. Just my 2 cents worth, Tom Jones is Tampa Bay’s equivalent to Skip Bayless .. just saying!

  50. DavidBigBucsfan99 Says:

    Thank you Joe for finally putting that buffoon Schiano in the same sentence with Lovies in causing this culture of losing. A certain narcissist up acts as Schiano was the 2nd coming of Don Shula or something and others and the other Joe who constantly demonize Lovie say nothing about him. He was as bad a coach as Lovie and deserves as much blame. That is why I brought up race when it came to that because no one said jack about Schiano. At least Lovie tanked a season to get us our first franchise qb. People need to put all blame where it belongs and give what little props are due.

  51. Steven007 Says:

    NOS there are some certainly, as I readily admitted. However clearly they are the exception and not the rule. That’s why in 50 plus Super Bowls even if accepting that your examples are pristine, that’s only a very few in total. It is usually the quarterback and that is my point.

  52. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Nahh don’t marginalize your question now dude. You said name, and I provided a few.

  53. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Mean Joe Greene. He didn’t win a chip but you ever heard of Deacon Jones. What about Charles Mann..

  54. SB Says:

    Sup Nos. Good to c u but I’m out. Go BUCS!!!

  55. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Be thorough in your post 007. When I think about it it appears to me you had been seeking my attention for awhile now….. You got it now muthaf@!!a.

  56. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    SB what’s good my G..

  57. Steven007 Says:

    NOS, you can parse my post all you like. I never said it was set in stone I merely said and I am repeating this that it’s usually the quarterback. Because it is. All rules have exceptions. And you pointed out a few. Hooray! Nice job.

  58. Steven007 Says:

    Joe Greene was great. But so were about 15 of his teammates, haha. That was a team full of Hall of Famers including their quarterback Terry Bradshaw, the straw that’s stirred that drink. Charles Mann? Really? Nice player but he will never be remembered as that guy.

  59. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Wow am I reading a debate on which coach was worse…Schiano or Lovie.

    Both were disasters for the Bucs and I think neither is suited to coach in the NFL for different reasons.

    However Schiano will continue to fare well at the college level IMHO. He does OK with kids…grown men not so much. Schiano is perfectly positioned right now for an amazing career comeback. When Urban calls it quits there’s a good chance he hand keys to the OSU program over to Schiano.

    Some programs are hard to ruin. Alabama…OSU…there are a few coaches who could mess up but it’s pretty hard and it’s usually something that happens off the field like with Tressel or punching a player on the sidelines like Woody Hayes. Schiano will probably be very successful running the Buckeyes.

  60. TampaTown Says:

    …championship-caliber chemistry, the kind that can be entertaining and nasty and united all at the same time.
    Be still my heart. ❤️

  61. Buccfan37 Says:

    I still hold that Schiano was ten times a better coach than Lovie.

  62. FutureBucsGM Says:

    I like how people are trying to act like Chris Baker was a household name or something..

    Before dude came here, only thing I really noted in Washington was that they had a very high powered offense.

    Whatever though that’s a side note.

    I’m interested in seeing how Chris Baker fits in, I mean in this article I’m getting impression that he’s playful

  63. FutureBucsGM Says:

    I like how people are trying to act like Chris Baker was a household name or something..

    Before dude came here, only thing I really noted in Washington was that they had a very high powered offense.

    Whatever though that’s a side note.

    I’m interested in seeing how Chris Baker fits in, I’m getting the impression that he’s playful but from what I’ve gathered- he’s actually pretty nasty.

    Dynamic to watch: Does him being more vocal cause a shift like we’ve witnessed with L.David and Kwon Alexander? Gerald McCoy is noticeably trying to be more vocal but seems out of his element. Baker should provide that vicious playful spark like Sapp used to but does that take a way from McCoy’s play on the field? If Baker becomes a vocal leader allowing McCoy to take a back seat yet slacks on the field does it affect the overall spirit of the defense. In an ideal situation they would work hand and hand becoming buddies and having fun while wrecking offensive lines. But Swaggy is more 3-4 and McCoy is more 4-3. They have to find a way that both can eat, McCoy didn’t fare so well and was visibly and vocally disturbed when he wasnt used as 3 tech in Schiano’s defense which made him play more like a defensive end.

    This should be interesting: This season feels BOOM OR Bust. A lot riding on this season.