Brian Baldinger

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Brian Baldinger
No. 62
Position:Guard / Center
Personal information
Born: (1959-01-07) January 7, 1959 (age 61)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:278 lb (126 kg)
Career information
High school:Massapequa (NY)
College:Duke
Undrafted:1982
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics
Games played:143
Starts:47
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Brian David Baldinger (born January 7, 1959) is a former professional American football offensive lineman in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles. He covered Philadelphia Eagles preseason games as an analyst with Scott Graham for several years. He currently works for NFL Network, where he serves as an analyst for the television show NFL Total Access. He played college football at Duke University.

Early years[edit]

Baldinger was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Always big, strong, and athletic for his age, Baldinger spent much of his youth playing a variety of sports in and around Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

His family later moved to Apple Valley, Minnesota, then Massapequa, New York where he and his brothers became well-known locally as they continued to excel in sports. At Massapequa High School, he practiced football, basketball and track.

College career[edit]

After high school, he initially enrolled at the Naval Academy, but later decided to transfer to Nassau Community College, where he became an All-Coastal Conference tight end and also practiced basketball.[1]

In 1979, he transferred to Duke University, where he was converted into a guard because of his blocking ability.[2] As a senior, he was voted the team's most improved player and started all 11 games.

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Baldinger was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 1982 NFL Draft on April 30. As a rookie, he appeared in 4 out of 9 games, playing mostly on special teams. In 1983, he saw playing time as a backup at center and guard.[3]

In 1984, he started two games at right tackle replacing an injured Phil Pozderac and also started 2 games at right guard in place of an injured Kurt Petersen.[4] In 1985, he injured his right knee in the third preseason game against the Chicago Bears and was placed on the injured reserve list.[5]

In 1986, he was a backup at center and also played as a third tight end in short-yardage situations. On September 2, 1987, he was placed on the injured reserve list with a left knee injury he suffered in a preseason game.[6] On October 24, he was activated to the regular season roster. He was declared inactive in 6 of the final 8 games.

Baldinger wasn't re-signed after the season. During his time with the Cowboys, he played every offensive line position and also had a few snaps at tight end.

Indianapolis Colts[edit]

On July 19, 1988, he was signed as a free agent by the Indianapolis Colts, to provide depth in the case of a lengthy contract holdout by guard Ron Solt.[7] He was the lightest member of the offensive line. He appeared in 16 games, starting three contests at right tackle. He caught his first career pass (37 yards) from a tackle-eligible position against the Green Bay Packers.

In 1989, he appeared in all 16 games. He started the season opener at right tackle in place of Kevin Call and started 2 games at left tackle in place of an injured Chris Hinton. He also was used as tackle-eligible in short yardage situations.

In 1990, he was named the starter at right guard for the first 8 games. In the second half of the season, he was moved to replace right tackle Call, who injured his left shoulder in the eighth game against the New York Giants.

In 1991, he started 13 games at center in place of Ray Donaldson, who was lost for the season with a broken leg he suffered against the Los Angeles Raiders.[8]

Buffalo Bills[edit]

On April 2, 1992, he was signed in Plan B free agency by the Buffalo Bills, joining his brother Gary Baldinger.[9] He was released on August 31.[10]

Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

On September 28, 1992, he was signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles to replace an injured John Hudson.[11] In 1993, he started 4 games at right guard in place of an injured Eric Floyd.[12] On June 4, 1994, he was released in a salary cap move, along with other 11 veterans.[13]

Broadcasting career[edit]

Baldinger began his broadcasting career at Fox in 1997, providing analysis for NFL Europe games. The network was impressed with his soothing voice and handy repertoire of clichés, and promoted him to a color commentary slot for NFL games. Baldinger worked alongside play-by-play voices Ray Bentley, Curt Menefee, Joe Buck, Pat Summerall, Kenny Albert, and Dick Stockton.

In May 2009, it was reported that Baldinger would be replaced by former NFL safety John Lynch on Fox's telecasts. Shortly thereafter, Baldinger was hired by Compass Media Networks to serve as lead analyst for their national radio broadcasts of select Sunday afternoon NFL games.

Baldinger also co-hosts a talk show for Sporting News Radio during football season, and teaches seminars for Nadia Communications. He is the author of the book The Map to Clear Messages. Baldinger has previously co-hosted various radio shows, and now is a frequent contributor for a sports-talk radio show for Philadelphia's "97.5 The Fanatic" sports station, an ESPN Affiliate.

Personal life[edit]

A resident of Marlton, New Jersey, he has two younger brothers, Rich Baldinger, and Gary Baldinger, who also played in the NFL.[14] He has a heavily mutilated right pinky finger that was injured when it became entangled in the facemask of Randy White.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TWinning Football Team Craves Fans". Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  2. ^ "Tar Heels Face Clemson Saturday". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  3. ^ "Terps' White premier defensive player in NFL". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  4. ^ "Cowboys Injured In Drills". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  5. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  6. ^ "Giants: Listen To Reasons". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  7. ^ "Free Agent". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  8. ^ "Colts are pointing fingers at each other". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  9. ^ "Football". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  10. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  11. ^ "Archives - Philly.com". articles.philly.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  12. ^ "Archives - Philly.com". articles.philly.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  13. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  14. ^ Luksa, Frank (July 7, 2002). "Lessons in Dallas prepared Baldinger". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved February 19, 2020.