Orlando Franklin ready to bring added intensity to Chargers O-Line

Philip Rivers was sacked 36 times last season - tied for the 10th-most among all quarterbacks who took a snap in 2014. Ranked sixth all time in overall QB rating, Rivers has proven time and time again that when upright, he's capable of hurling it with the best of them.

The formula was simple: Keep Rivers on his feet, and your chances of winning football games increases.

It was for this reason that third-year Chargers GM Tom Telesco picked up the phone just minutes after teams were allowed to contact unrestricted free agents and dialed for one of the best available players to help carry out that simple formula.

"Offensive line has been an area that we wanted to improve on and Orlando Franklin was our main target through the whole thing," Telesco said Wednesday. "We like how he plays, both run and pass game. He's been very durable, very productive."

And just like that Rivers and head coach Mike McCoy had one more reason to smile.

Standing at a towering 6 feet 7 inches, Franklin comes to San Diego on a five-year $35.5 million contract after having spent the first four years of his professional career with the Denver Broncos as both a right tackle and left guard.

Though he admits he would have preferred to stay in Denver, Franklin says the move to San Diego is something he looks forward to.

"When you think about the Chargers, you think about how good their offense has been for the past few years," he said to the media Wednesday. "They're an offense that gets it done. You've got guys like D.J. Fluker, Philip Rivers, King Dunlap - you've got guys that give you a chance to win. You've got these receivers that are doing amazing things."

Just as Jacoby Jones said at his introductory press conference last week, Franklin joins San Diego's offense with his prospects set on working alongside one of the more outspoken leaders this league has to offer.

"He gets after it, I mean he throws that ball up and down the field," Franklin said of his new quarterback. "I know he's a perfectionist and I know he demands a lot from his teammates and he demands a lot from himself.

"I'm excited to go in the huddle and be a part of that and I know he's a guy that commands the huddle who takes care of business."

Splitting time between right tackle and left guard, Franklin said his position in San Diego doesn't matter. So long as he's one of the five guys out there on Sundays, he knows the skills he brings can help this team win.

"I take pride in what I do," Franklin said. "I'm a person (who doesn't think) it's enough for us to get a big gain or score a touchdown. I want to be the first offensive lineman in the end zone, the first offensive lineman congratulating the receiver or the running back each and every time.

"I bring a lot of intensity, a lot of effort. I play with a high motor. I'm going to give you 110 percent each and every play.

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