Swaggy. Big Swaggy. Big Bake. Big Daddy.
Those are just four of the many, many nicknames that are attached to Washington Redskins defensive lineman Chris Baker.
How exactly can one guy get so many different names?
Some were self-appointed, and some were given.
“My good friend down John Walker down in Baltimore, he gave me the name ‘Swaggy’ when we were playing a video game, and I came to the locker room and kept calling myself ‘Swaggy,’” he began.
“And I think a reporter heard it, and the next thing you know there was an article up and it was called ‘Chris Swaggy Baker.’
Ever since then it’s pretty much stuck with me.”
That swag, of course, has translated to the field as well.
One of the things new strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark wants to continue doing with players is fueling their competitive drive.
In his newly arranged weight room, Clark’s aware that while lifting dumbbells and bench pressing can be a very individual battle, players only get better when their lifting routines come with extra incentives and group challenges.
“These guys are so competitive that they will compete in anything,” Clark said on “Redskins Nation.” “They’ll take a bet of which bird will fly off that wire first and when they lose they’ll get upset about it. So they will compete in everything. So we’ll measure not just weight on the bar, but we’ll also measure bar speed. They really get into that. How far you throw a med-ball, how high you jump. All these types of measures we’ll do, it will help them to train more intently because they are competing, which is really their sweet spot.”
Clark, who was inducted into the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame in 2003, won’t be able to meet all of his players until April 20th. But, as he continues to study the roster, he’s already thinking about the message he wants to deliver upon the players’ arrivals.
“One of the main things I’ll tell them is if you are in this room, you’re a world-class athlete, and you need to train like one,” Clark said. “You need to train like one here, you need to eat like one, you need to sleep like one, you need to do everything in your life like you’re a world-class athlete. Their time playing in this game is very short. Make the most of it. Don’t leave anything to chance.”