Orlando Franklin

Orlando Franklin Looking To Return

Even if the Chargers (2-7) are going nowhere, it's important that players such as guard Orlando Franklin go somewhere in the final seven games.

Franklin, the most expensive outside free agent the Chargers signed last offseason, has gone down with a high ankle sprain and a knee sprain but may return to the lineup this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

If Franklin can begin to live up to the $16. 5 million in guaranteed money he received, the Chargers are more apt to untrack rookie back Melvin Gordon and solidify their blocking unit going into next year. At the least, a seven-game stretch would allow the team to find out what it has in Franklin, who has compiled only 228 snaps and so far looks like a classic buy-high addition.

"I've missed five games, and that's crazy," Franklin said this week. "I've missed one game in my career (before) I've been here. It's definitely been a frustrating year, and I definitely look forward to these next seven weeks and just being able to be consistent, being able to take every snap on offense."

A durable player with the Denver Broncos, who drafted him 46th in the 2011 draft, Franklin appeared in 67 of 68 games plus all seven postseason contests.

He looked fairly fit when the joined the Chargers last May, but once the pads came on this summer, he struggled to get into a flow.

Perhaps an omen came in the first padded practice, when Franklin and a linemate tangled feet, allowing Corey Liuget to shoot a gap and blast Gordon in the backfield.

A leg injury hampered the left guard for a few days in August, but he worked in the season opener and the first road game. Then he was carted out of the Week 3 game in Minnesota after getting hit from behind at the end of a play. When Franklin returned against Oakland in Week 7, he suffered an MCL sprain, leaving him at a loss to explain why he suddenly can't stay on the field.

"I don't think I could have done anything differently on those plays," he said. "I've been rolled up before, and I've had a high ankle before, and that's what I had. I never had an MCL injury before. But it's football. It's a 100 percent injury rate; unfortunately, guys are going to get hurt."

Even if the injuries clear up, Franklin's ability to help the Chargers is far from clear.

Long-armed Kenny Wiggins, his primary replacement, has looked as capable as a pass blocker. The more powerful run blocker is Franklin, who has strong hands and a mean streak, but as his games mounted in Denver, more stiffness was evident in his movements. Also, for all his NFL experience, Franklin is still learning to play guard, having spent his first three NFL year at right tackle. So, he's learning not only new linemates but the intricacies of a faster-paced position.

The way Franklin sees it, not only does he have a lot to gain between now and early January, so do the Chargers.

"We play five division games in these next seven weeks," he said. "Everybody knows that you win the division, you're in. And I feel like our division is a great division, but our division doesn't really have a leader right now, especially with Kansas City going up there, being able to do what they did to Denver (beating the Broncos on Sunday, 29-13).

"So I feel like we've got a big opportunity this next couple of weeks. We've just got to come together as a team."

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Chargers lose Franklin, Perryman to injury

Orlando Franklin slammed his helmet on the motorized cart as it began to shuttle him off the field.

It’s been that type of season for him.

The Chargers left guard suffered a left knee injury in the fourth quarter of a 37-29 loss to the Raiders. He declined comment afterward in the locker room, but his mobility level said enough: He barely could walk. Franklin was one of two known, potentially significant injuries, as inside linebacker Denzel Perryman exited in the first half with an arm issue.

How serious these ailments are will gain clarity Monday upon further testing.

Perryman, a rookie second-round pick, made his second career start for Manti Te’o (ankle), but he watched the second half with his right arm in a sling. A torn biceps is the concern, a source said Sunday.

Likewise, it remains to be seen when or if Franklin can return this year.

Sunday was his first game back after missing the past three, having been carted off in Week 3 with a high ankle sprain. These injuries are something new for Franklin in the NFL; he missed just one game in four seasons with the Broncos.

Franklin then joined with the Chargers in March as their biggest external free-agency investment. His five-year contract is worth up to $36.5 million, including an $8 million signing bonus. Kenny Wiggins stepped in to finish at left guard.

“It sucks to see it happen to a guy,” right tackle Joe Barksdale said of Franklin. “People always talk about it’s the reality of the business that guys are going to get hurt, some kind of nick or bruise over the season, some guys obviously more than others. What I can say about Orlando is, the first time he was out, he kept a positive attitude. He stayed in tune with the game plan, was there for his teammates on the sideline, made all the trips to the games even though he wasn’t playing.

“We don’t know what the diagnosis is. Of course, we hate to see it happen. He’s a strong guy. He’s going to bounce back. That’s who he is.”

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Orlando Franklin "Playing this week"

Orlando Franklin traveled with the Chargers to Green Bay and ran up and down the sidelines before the game but was inactive for his third straight game since suffering a high ankle sprain versus the Minnesota Vikings.

He made no bones about whether he expects to play on Sunday versus the division rival Oakland Raiders.

“I’m playing this week.”

That would be a boost for Philip Rivers and the depleted offensive line, which has lost three starters over the course of the season. A lot however, remains to be seen about the status of wide receiver Keenan Allen, who looked to be on course to for a record day with 14 catches and 157 yards before a hip injury forced him out of the game in the third quarter.

On Monday, Allen said he was feeling much better.

“I’m feeling better than I was at the end of the game. Got in, got treatment, just trying to work and get back. My mindset is definitely going on Sunday, we’ll see what happens. It was tough watching the team try to grind it out, go get a victory and not being able to help. That sucks.”

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Orlando Franklin is too banged up to make Chargers practice

The Chargers line is beginning to take its regular-season form -- and that's not a good thing.

Free-agent pickup Orlando Franklin is just the latest brusied-up Bolts blocker. 

Head coach Mike McCoy is in a preseason pickle. If he tells Franklin to tough it out at left guard, McCoy risks further injury. If he sits Franklin, the first-team offensive line loses valuable snaps together.

Bet on McCoy going with the latter plan. While cohesion sure helps, Franklin and his line-mates can find time to gel when the snaps actually count.

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Orlando Franklin at home in San Diego

Orlando Franklin joined the Chargers at a time their future in San Diego was anything but certain.

That hasn't kept him from making himself at home.

The left guard enters training camp as the main addition to what projects to be a more physical offensive line in 2015. He also is a new homeowner, having moved into the Poway neighborhood of San Diego this spring.

Franklin, a Denver Bronco the past four years, spent his early childhood living in Canada.

He and his wife wanted to own property somewhere cold and warm. When he signed with the Chargers in March, they already had 10 acres in Toronto. On a Wednesday in May, a Poway home hit the market, and by the following Monday, Franklin said, he had closed on it.

Any housewarming conversation begs the question what he'll do should the Chargers relocate to Los Angeles, a possibility as early as next year. He has a plan.

"(Broncos left tackle) Ryan Clady is one of my best friends, and he owns two places in LA," Franklin said. "I already told him that if I move to LA, I'm only paying his mortgage during the season. This is where I want to be. My girl and I always planned to be home owners in California or Florida because we like being snowbirds in Canada six months a year. ... It just so happened (we were) able to find a perfect house, I feel like, and got it for a good deal. I was like, why not?"

Franklin is at home on the field, too.

The Chargers offense is not unlike the one he had in Denver where coach Mike McCoy was the Broncos' offensive coordinator for Franklin's first two years in the NFL. He worked this spring mostly between left tackle King Dunlap and center Trevor Robinson; starting center Chris Watt was eased back from ankle surgery. Watt was a full participant during the June minicamp and is expected to be again in training camp.

Dunlap, Franklin and Watt are entrenched on the starting line.

The right side features less certainty. Johnnie Troutman is the incumbent at right guard, but May free-agency signing Joe Barksdale is expected to push him with Jeremiah Sirles among the others in the mix. D.J. Fluker is expected to remain the starting tackle, although he has seen occasional practice reps inside.

Not every Chargers lineman is at home just yet.

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Orlando Franklin leads a tougher Chargers line

Stopping the run at Chargers practice isn't so easy for Donald Butler anymore.

The inside linebacker has to maneuver around mammoth new lineman Orlando Franklin on a day in, day out basis.

"Just look at the man," Butler told ESPN. "His size alone -- he’s huge. So when he’s coming off of that double team, you better have your chin strap buckled up because he’s coming to take your head off."

It'll be a problem 31 other teams will have to think about in 2015. General manager Tom Telesco upgraded San Diego's size up front after watching his team tally a measly 3.2 yards-per-attempt on first down in 2014 -- second-worst in the NFL. 

That'll change with the 6-6, 326-pound Franklin now anchoring the interior.

"There’s no ceiling to this offensive line, to be honest with you," said Franklin, who signed with the Chargers this offseason. "When we want to run the ball, we should be able to get that done."

Butler agrees. He's seen the way Franklin and the new-look line gets downhill to block the run.

"And that’s what you love out of your O-linemen," said the inside linebacker. "I wouldn’t say down and dirty, but someone that brings that gritty mindset -- we want to run the ball, and you can run it behind me."

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One-on-one with Orlando Franklin

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Orlando Franklin calls Philip Rivers 'more approachable' than Peyton Manning

Orlando Franklin, the newly acquired San Diego Chargers offensive tackle is far more pleased with his first impression of quarterback Philip Rivers than he was with Peyton Manning.

"One thing I noticed immediately when I got here is that Philip Rivers is definitely more approachable than Peyton," Franklin told ProFootballTalk on Wednesday. "I don't know if it was because I was a lot younger being that I met Peyton in my second season and now meeting Philip going into my fifth season but definitely I will say Philip is more approachable than Peyton."

Franklin spent the first four years of his career with the Denver Broncos (three with Manning) and signed a lucrative five-year contract with the Chargers in the offseason.

Franklin's impression does not jive with the national perception of Manning as a gregarious, self aware, chuckler, slinging piping hot Papa John's pizza's when he's not studying game film. But the jab is likely just something players say in the immediate aftermath of a move to a new team. It's not the first time this has happened.

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Orlando Franklin: "I Definitely Made the Right Decision"

Orlando Franklin was a hot commodity in March as one of the premier offensive line free agents available.

He had his pick of the litter, and was confident the San Diego Chargers were the best fit. Still, he called his good friend Brandon Flowers just to make sure before making his final decision.

“Brandon and I are always going to be good,” he explained.  “We played against each other in college and we went to the same high school.  We played each other when I was in Denver and he was in Kansas City and here.  Now it so happens that we are going to be on the same team. Right before I signed with San Diego I asked him what it was like here and he told me, ‘You’ve got the right attitude and you’re a dog, so come on!  That is what we’ll need out here.  We are going to win a lot of football games together.’”

Now that he’s spent a month in the team’s offseason program, his belief he made the right choice has transitioned to fact.  Looking around the locker room at all his teammates, especially those he’ll take the field with on offense, reassures him of that.

“I feel like I definitely made the right decision,” he said.  “A couple weeks ago we went out and drafted Melvin Gordon, and then you look at the big five (up front). We have Philip Rivers back there who will do everything in his power to put us in the best possible situation and run the right plays. From what I see this offense is definitely on the up and up. We are taking the right steps forward to being a successful offense and being one of those top five or 10 offenses in the league. It is definitely an exciting time to be a San Diego Charger. They really wanted me and I’m glad I’m here.”

Franklin spoke at length about Rivers after inking his contract in March, but he’s even more impressed by number 17 after spending significant time with him.

“He’s such an intelligent guy, and he’s a guy who welcomes you.  He talks to you and understand that I am not going to know everything like the back of my hand right now, so he will slow some things down for me and ask if I’m good on certain plays.  You get that sense how badly he wants to win.  He desperately wants to win. When you have a quarterback that wants to win that badly, the sky’s the limit.”

While Franklin can’t wait to protect for his star quarterback, he’s equally eager to open up holes for the Bolts’ talented stable of running backs.

“Any time you come into a system and know you’ll have the opportunity to run the ball, it’s definitely an exciting time,” he said. “We went out and got a home run hitting back like Melvin Gordon.  Obviously college doesn’t mean anything, but he definitely possesses a lot of the right tools to be a successful back in this league.  Then you have a guy like Danny Woodhead, who’s been doing what he’s done in this league for a very long time.  And then you have a guy like Branden Oliver, who also has potential home run ability because you can barely see that guy running through those holes.  And to have a guy like Donald Brown too, it’s really exciting to have all those guys.”

As for the guys he’ll be blocking with, Franklin takes one look to his right at Chris Watt and another glance to his left at King Dunlap and already feels right at home.

“These guys are really intelligent guys who know this system. Chris Watt is penciled in at center, and you’ve definitely got to be an intelligent person to be the starting center of an offensive line.  That is the second quarterback on the team as far as getting the offensive line together and getting the right calls and points for everyone.  So it is exciting to play with a young player like that, and King has been out here for a while now.  He thinks like me and understands me.  For us to only have been here only a month and know each other (like this), it’s definitely a positive step in the right direction.”

While he admittedly knows his offensive teammates better than those on defense at the moment, the left guard has paid special attention to one of the newest Bolts on the other side of the ball.  Second-round pick Denzel Perryman hails from his alma mater at Miami, so he knows what the young inside linebacker brings to the table.

“It’s all about the U!  And you always need more guys like Perryman around.  He did a lot of great things, and as a second round pick he obviously understands the expectations that are on him.   He realizes that there is only one way to play this game – physical.  And he definitely brings physicality to us. He is a sideline to sideline player who brings the hammer when he gets there.”

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Ex-coaches talk up Orlando Franklin

PHOENIX -- It’s always interesting to get a different perspective from coaches of other teams who worked with new additions to the San Diego Chargers.

At the NFC coaches breakfast Wednesday morning, we had a chance to catch up with two head coaches who worked with recent free-agent additions for the Chargers, offensive lineman Orlando Franklin and cornerback Patrick Robinson.

New Chicago Bears head coach John Fox worked with Franklin while serving as head coach of the Denver Broncos. Fox vouched for Franklin’s toughness and tenacity on the field.

“He’s a great kid,” Fox said. “He started ever since he came out as a rookie. He started at right tackle. We moved him to guard. I think he’s a tremendous teammate and a tremendous young player that I wish nothing but success.”

Fox said Franklin can play in a zone or power scheme up front offensively.

“Yeah, he’s got enough athleticism to play in a zone scheme,” Fox said. “And he’s a big, powerful body coming off.”

Fox also vouched for Franklin’s ability to play with a chip on his shoulder.

“He’s plenty tough enough,” Fox said.

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Orlando Franklin adds toughness, grit to Chargers' offensive line

SAN DIEGO -- You don’t have to tell Orlando Franklin to bring the pain on game days.

“If you’re not a nasty player and a physical player, and you don’t bring an attitude to this league, why are you really here?” Franklin told reporters during his introductory news conference last week.

Franklin said he was born with a nasty disposition, and it’s one of the reasons the San Diego Chargers signed him to a five-year, $36.5 million deal in free agency.
Facing someone who will compete with a chip on his shoulder comes with the territory when a defensive lineman lines up across from the mammoth Franklin. And although Chargers general manager Tom Telesco wanted to improve the team’s toughness up front, he was more attracted to Franklin’s overall skillset as an offensive lineman.

The Chargers were one of the worst teams running the football last season, averaging 3.43 yards per carry, second worst in the NFL. Quarterback Philip Rivers was sacked 36 times, No. 10 in the NFL. The Chargers threw the football 57 percent of the time in 2014, compared to 51 percent in 2013, when San Diego had more balance on offense.

The addition of Franklin should improve San Diego’s ability to effectively run the football, along with keeping Rivers upright.

“He’s an excellent run blocker,” Telesco said. “And a lot of stuff that Denver does, where he has to use his feet and quickness to get an angle -- get a position and seal somebody and finish them off -- he does an excellent job at that.

“And in pass pro, he uses his long arms, he uses his feet and he can move. He’s a hard guy to run through because he’s so big and strong. So he’s a well-rounded offensive lineman.”

Franklin said the transition from Denver to San Diego in terms of scheme should be a smooth one because a lot of the offensive concepts are the same from the time coach Mike McCoy spent in Denver as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator.

A smooth transition should allow Franklin to play fast and physical once he begins working in San Diego’s offensive system.

“If all else fails, I’ve always prided myself on being a physical player in this league,” Franklin said. “I’m going to get the job done, no ands, ifs or buts about it. I take pride in what I do. I’m a person where it’s not enough for us to get a big gain, or score a touchdown. I want to be the first offensive lineman in the end zone congratulating the receiver or the running back each and every time.

“So I want to be down the field. I think I bring a lot of intensity, and a lot of effort. I play with a high motor, and I’m going to give you 110 percent each and every play.”

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proCane Free Agent Signing Roundup

A lot has happened in the last 48 hours in the NFL as far as Free Agent signings and our proCanes have been at the center of it all with several proCane stars joining new teams. See a recap of all the action below:

Former 49ers RB Frank Gore signed a 3-year $12 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts.

Former Texans WR Andre Johnson signed a 3-year $21 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts.

TE Jimmy Graham was traded from the New Orleans Saints to Seattle Seahawks.

Former Giants S Antrel Rolle signed a 3-year $11.25 million contract with the Chicago Bears.

Former Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson signed a 1-year $1 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

OT Eric Winston re-signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Former Broncos OL Orlando Franklin signed a 5-year $36 million contract with the San Diego Chargers.

OT Jason Fox re-signed with the Miami Dolphins.

MLB Jon Beason re-signed with the NY Giants.

Notable proCane Free Agents still available: Chris Myers, Brandon Meriweather, Santana Moss, Colin McCarthy, Reggie Wayne, Vince Wilfork, DJ Williams, Darryl Sharpton.

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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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Orlando Franklin Signs With Chargers Because of His Better Half

Orlando Franklin met with the San Diego media on Wednesday and talked about why he decided to join the Chargers, even though another team offered more money.

One was head coach Mike McCoy, Franklin's offensive coordinator for two years in Denver.

Another was the positive direction he sees the Chargers pointed in and a chance to work with quarterback Philip Rivers.

Yet another was the chance to play with Brandon Flowers, who went to the same high school as Franklin (Atlantic Community HS in Delray Beach, FL) and was lobbying for Orlando to join the Bolts.

But the most important sales pitch came from someone with no NFL experience. Watch the video to see who Chargers fans really have to thank for landing one of the biggest (literally and figuratively) fish in this year's free agent pool.

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Orlando Franklin Badly Wanted to be a Bolt

General Manager Tom Telesco and Head Coach Mike McCoy prioritize players who love the game of football.

All it takes is one conversation with Orlando Franklin to see he’s someone that eats, sleeps and breathes the sport.   That’s why the Chargers pounced on the massive guard, agreeing to a five-year contract with the highly-coveted free agent on Tuesday. 

Not only was Franklin a priority for the Chargers, but the 27-year old badly wanted to be a Bolt as well, choosing San Diego over other teams that offered him more money.   One key reason is the presence of McCoy, who served as Franklin’s offensive coordinator his first two years in the league with the Denver Broncos.

“I’m excited to go to a team that I’m familiar as far as Mike McCoy and his scheme there,” he said.  “The Chargers have always had a great offense in place with a great quarterback and a good offensive line. I had an offer on the table from (another team) that was a little bit more than San Diego offered, but I ended up coming to San Diego because I felt more comfortable with the scheme and McCoy.  Obviously the line calls are going to change because it is a different offensive line coach, but at the same time, I am going to feel more comfortable because of McCoy, and I feel the Chargers run what I’ve done.”

Originally a second-round pick by the Broncos in 2011 (46th overall), Franklin started all 17 games at left guard in 2014, including the divisional playoff game. It was his first year at the position after starting 53 games at right tackle over his first three seasons.  While he brings versatility, he made it clear he’ll be suiting up in one spot for the Chargers.

“I’m coming in to play left guard,” he said matter-of-factly. “They told me they don’t want me to do anything more or less than what I did for Denver.  They like my style of play, and I’m going to come in and give it 110% every play that I’m out there.  I pride myself on getting down the field after the ball is thrown.  That is how I’ve played since high school.  I like to get downfield and celebrate.  Football is the ultimate sport, and it’s the only thing I know in this world basically where you can zone out for three hours and not be worried about anything else going on in the world.  So I’m definitely excited to be doing that the next five years for the Chargers.”

He’s also excited to protect Philip Rivers, enthusiastically praising the quarterback as another reason he chose San Diego.

“Philip is a guy who can manage the huddle.  He is very similar to Peyton (Manning) as far as he wants the attention of his guys and is a perfectionist.  He likes guys to be on point and take care of business.  So I’m excited to play with a guy like that, and he can sling that rock!  So I’m definitely excited that he’s going to throw that rock up and down the field.  I’m excited to protect for a guy like that, and I’m just excited about the whole organization and what you have to offer. The Chargers are a team definitely heading in the right direction.”

It’s impossible to miss the hulking Franklin, and the 6-7, 320-pounder will now form an imposing tandem on the left side of the line next to the 6-9, 330-pound King Dunlap.   The offensive line is a position group that thrives on chemistry, so it's good news for the Chargers that Franklin and Dunlap have known each other for years.

“I met King Dunlap when I was in college and he was playing for Philadelphia,” Franklin explained.  “One of my best friends was playing for the Eagles, and I would go up and visit him all the time and King was actually staying with him. So that is where I met King a few years ago, and it’s exciting to play with a guy I can actually hide behind! King is an absolutely huge human being.  He had an awesome year and I’m excited to play right beside him.”

Dunlap isn’t the only Chargers tackle Franklin praised, as he was equally effusive in his excitement to join D.J. Fluker. In fact, he believes every one of the linemen will raise his game.

“Fluker is just a dog when it comes to football!” he exclaimed.  “He’s a guy that will just go out there and get it done.  He’s a physical player, and by all means he will do whatever it takes to get his man on the ground.  I like to pride myself on being a physical player, too.  I’m just excited to be on a line with a guy like him. I’m a competitive player, so I’m going to go out and try to get more pancakes than all those guys.  But they get it done. So it’s going to be a tough task, but I look forward to taking advantage of it and taking a shot at it.”

Franklin arrives in San Diego with a strong support system already intact, and that includes recently re-signed cornerback Brandon Flowers.  The pair graduated from the same high school, and although they didn’t attend at the same time, they’ve grown close over the years.

“When I got to Del Ray, Brandon just finished,” Franklin said. “So he knew of me, and once I got to Miami we played Virginia Tech.  Then when I got to Denver he was already in Kansas City, but his whole family knew me because I went to school with his sister.  We always knew each other, so it’s always been good.  His mom and dad would be at the games after I played against him, and we’d all chop it up.”

Faced with a life-altering decision about which team to join, Franklin sought Flowers’ counsel.  The cornerback was a pending free agent himself, but he enthusiastically endorsed San Diego.  Now, both will unite to wear the lightning bolt.

“Brandon is a great guy and I actually called him to talk about the Chargers when I thought about coming here,” Franklin admitted. “I asked him point blank what it’s like, and he said, ‘Man, you come here and you are exactly what we need.  We need more dogs on that field.’ I was like, ‘Alright, I’m coming!’  So I’m happy to see us both are here as Chargers.”

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Orlando Franklin changes Chargers OL

Plunging a reported $20 million guaranteed into guard-tackle Orlando Franklin, a physical, durable blocker with some stiffness to his movements, the Chargers strengthened themselves at guard, while also gaining an option at right tackle.

The Chargers know a lot about Franklin, 27. As a Broncos starter he went against them in nine games, at left guard and right tackle, and played two seasons under Mike McCoy after arriving a second-round draftee from Miami.

The Broncos may or may not have bid to retain Franklin in recent weeks. Though he missed only one start in Denver's run to four AFC West titles, new coach Gary Kubiak likes stretch run plays, and Franklin, 6-foot-7 and 320 pounds and not suited to scampering, profiles better in a more straight-forward scheme. His performance last season at left guard, where he'd last played in 2009, drew a scathing review from ex-Broncos guard Mark Schlereth.

It'll be interesting to see where he lines up, guard or right tackle, the latter of which would move D.J. Fluker inside and counter left tackle King Dunlap's stated belief that tackle best suits Fluker.

Fluker, for his part, said in December he'll play wherever he's told to play but also said tackle fits him.

Franklin held Denver's right tackle job for three years, middle of which, no doubt with assists from quarterback Peyton Manning, he led all NFL right tackles in fewest sacks allowed.

But after he struggled against Seahawks edge rushers in the Super Bowl 14 months ago and linemate Zane Beadle signed with the Jaguars, the Broncos moved him to left guard, where he remained for Denver's 17 games last year.

The move backfired badly in Schlereth's estimation.

"The Denver left guard position -- footwork, hand placement, leverage pad-level -- is beyond horrible," said Schlereth, an ESPN analyst, during Week 11 last season. The ex-lineman added, "I thought it was a good decision to move Franklin inside, but I was wrong and they were wrong."

Fluker has acknowledged wanting to come to training camp lighter than last summer.

Franklin could be a prod to the long-armed, heavy-footed Fluker, who turns 24 next week, to be as nimble as possible.

A fit Fluker seems capable of dueling Franklin, should the Chargers opt to create a competition. Franklin will start somewhere of course, but as an emergency tackle would be a far more accomplished stand-in than Willie Smith, who upon replacing a hobbled Fluker in Game 16 last year gave up two quick sacks to Chiefs star Justin Houston.

At guard, Franklin should be an upgrade from either Chad Rinehart or Johnnie Troutman.

The caveat is, predicting how a veteran blocker's body will age is an inexact science, as the Chargers rediscovered with Rinehart, who as a 29-year-old regressed last season mere months after General Manager Tom Telesco invested a two-year, $5.1 million contract that guaranteed $2 million.

Rinehart started 13 games at guard for the 2013 Chargers, a playoff team, after following line coach Joe D'Alessandris over from Buffalo.

Brightening the outlook for 2014, the foot ailment that cost him four games in '13 didn't require surgery, leading to a full offseason to train.

Numerous defenders nevertheless beat Rinehart on run and pass plays last season. No doubt the loss of four centers to injury made the left guard's job more difficult, but Rinehart moved more stiffly than in 2013, was slower to recover when knocked off balance and seemed to have less life in his body.

Franklin, meantime, was more powerful and agile than Rinehart. He is a better athlete who even played left tackle for part of his college career.

Too, the long-armed, big-handed Franklin is a nasty performer whose physical style matches Nick Hardwick's call for the Chargers to acquire "bad dudes."

As with all Broncos and Chargers blockers, he benefited from a quick-pass system and a quarterback adept at setting pass protection and directing a no-huddle scheme.

The great unknown is how much life he still has in his body, after working 51 games for Miami and 70 for the Broncos.

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Orlando Franklin to get over $7 million per year

The Denver Post reports free agent G/T Orlando Franklin's deal with San Diego will average $7.2 million per year and include $14 million guaranteed.

It sounds like a five-year, $36 million pact. The Franklin deal is one of several agreed to over the weekend that can't be finalized until Tuesday. Franklin is expected to play left guard in San Diego, upgrading on Chad Rinehart.

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Orlando Franklin Refutes Reports That He's Leaving

Amid reports that said he would likely be leaving the Denver Broncos this offseason, offensive lineman Orlando Franklin took to Twitter on Tuesday night to speak out on his impending free agency and where he currently stands.

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Orlando Franklin is unlikely to re-sign with Denver

Mike Klis of the Denver Post doesn't expect the Broncos to re-sign free agent LG Orlando Franklin.

The salary Franklin will command in free agency should be out of Denver's price range. Klis suggested Mike Iupati as a possible replacement though he might make more than Franklin this offseason. Either way, it sounds like Denver is going to have a hole to fill at left guard.

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Broncos' Orlando Franklin wants to return

ENGLEWOOD — Orlando Franklin's time in Denver might have ended with Sunday's playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. But the guard hopes it didn't.
Franklin, one of the Broncos' 12 players headed for free agency, made it clear Monday that he wants to return.

"I don't know anything else. I'm a Bronco," he said. "I'd love to be a Bronco for the rest of my life."

Emotions were high as Denver players cleaned out their lockers and answered myriad questions about the uneasy feeling left in the wake of Sunday's loss. But Franklin, who was been with the Broncos since they drafted him in 2011, seemed to feel the sting more, especially in regard to the possibility that Peyton Manning might not be back.

"I played with three quarterbacks since I've been in this league. I'll take Peyton Manning any day of the week," Franklin said. "He's a phenomenal quarterback. Yes, we're all going to make mistakes. It's football. No one is going to be 100 percent perfect each and every play. But nine times out of 10, he's going to put you in the best situation and the best position to win games."

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Orlando Franklin returns to practice for Broncos

Left guard Orlando Franklin and safety David Bruton cleared the NFL-mandated concussion protocol and returned to practice for the Broncos on Wednesday as they prepare for their AFC divisional playoff game.

Both players were injured in the Week 17 victory over the Raiders. Bruton started in place injured safety T.J. Ward (neck strain), but left with one himself after a blind hit by Oakland’s Denico Autry. Bruton was wheeled off the field on a stretcher and immediately taken to a hospital, as the Broncos feared a diagnosis much more than a neck strain and concussion.

The Broncos practiced in full pads Wednesday — a first in a while for them — and outside in 19-degree whether to prepare for an expected cold matchup against the Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday.

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Orlando Franklin hoping to shake off concussion for Broncos playoff opener

Orlando Franklin has been a model of dependability for the Denver Broncos, but he’ll have to shake off a concussion if he hopes to avoid missing his first ever National Football League playoff game.

After a bye through last weekend’s wildcard games, the Broncos, finalists in last year’s Super Bowl and 12-4 in the recently completed regular season, are set to host the Indianapolis Colts (11-5) in a divisional playoff game this Sunday, Jan. 11, 4:40 p.m.

“I had a concussion last week, but I definitely think I’ll be all right,” said the former longtime member of the Scarborough-based Thunder youth football club, in his most recent blog posting at Yahoo Sports on Jan. 2.

“I was able to pass a lot of the concussion tests this week. It’s just a matter of easing back into it. I think I’ll be healthy enough to go.”

Over four years, despite playing in the trenches, on the offensive line in front of quarterback Petyon Manning, he has only missed one regular season game (63 of 64) - and that was last season.

Unfortunately, however, it was in the final regular season game of this just completed regular season on Dec. 28 – which the Broncos easily won 47-17 over the Oakland Raiders – that Franklin started but did not finish the game because of the suspected concussion.

Fortunately, the Broncos’ secured a bye through this past weekend’s wildcard round, allowing an additional week of recovery.

“Your body is always going to be sore at this time of the year but you’re talking about a one-and-done game so you have to be able to push through,” Franklin noted on his blog.

The Broncos website reported that Franklin practiced on Monday, Jan. 4 “without a helmet for the one-hour practice” and is still listed as being “in the NFL’s post-concussion protocol.”

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Orlando Franklin: I love food, but I have to be careful what and how I eat

We celebrated Thanksgiving here in Denver last week, and American Thanksgiving is pretty much just like Canadian Thanksgiving. I’m really all about the stuffing when it comes to Thanksgiving. The turkey doesn’t even have to be all that great, nothing really has to be that great as long as the stuffing is good. That’s my favourite part.

Being that I’m Jamaican, I like eating Caribbean food, but out here there’s a big population of Mexican-descended people. I end up going and eating Mexican a lot. The cool thing out here is I actually live not too far from the first Chipotle that was ever created. The first one ever was created in Denver and it’s a little place, but it’s completely different compared to all the other ones. It’s pretty cool, going to that first restaurant.

I tend to like Spanish food period – Puerto Rican, Dominican, they’re pretty close to us as far as Jamaican people, for making oxtail and stuff like that. If I had to pick my favourite foods, I’d go with island food, like Caribbean food, first. And then I’d go Italian, then I might go Spanish, then I’d go Mexican.

I’ve had people come up from Toronto a few times. They’ll bring oxtail and curry goat and stuff like that. We’ll season it up here, because you can get all the seasoning here. In Denver, there is oxtail, but they’re so huge, so different from Canada. I’ve been here four years and I haven’t found a meat market that will cut them up or anything, so you just get this big oxtail. It takes longer to cook and the flavour is just different.

So whenever I have people come to town from Toronto, I definitely bother them and tell them they need to bring oxtail. It makes their flight a little more uncomfortable because they have to go through customs and declare that they’re bringing meat into the country. They try to tell me no, but I tell them, “Listen, I’m getting you guys tickets to the game, you guys better bring oxtail!”

But you have to watch what you eat. We have a nutritionist that’s there every day and travels with us. You definitely have to be careful because in the NFL we get fined if we’re overweight. My weight is 325 – that’s my fineable weight. Every week, for the most part, I weigh somewhere in the teens. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been around 315. But if I was 326 pounds, I would get fined. It’s $495 per pound that you’re over. They weigh you in each and every Thursday morning – you’ve got to get on the scale and you’ve got to make weight.

Your weight can have an influence on your performance if you’re too heavy. You don’t get fined for being too light. The nutritionist just kind of harasses you and tries to tell you to get your weight up and tries to make sure he gets protein shakes and calories in you.

It’s better to carry as little weight as possible. My knees tend to hurt me more if I’m in the 20s as opposed to being in the teens. It’s so minute that you think, what’s 10 pounds going to do? But it really does make a difference, just on your knees and after the game, trying to recover. I have found that I am more effective and my body feels better at about 315 pounds.

I kind of cut it loose last week because we weighed in on Thanksgiving morning. I was about 11 pounds away from my weight so I just ate, went to sleep, woke up, ate again, watched some football, ate again, you know? Then we went to Kansas City on the weekend and Kansas City is known for some of the best barbecue in the world, so we definitely went and got some barbecue on Saturday when we got there.

We’ll try to go and get whatever that city is known for. Like, whenever you play in Baltimore or Washington, they’re known for their crabcakes. Whenever you play in New England, they’re known for seafood. It would definitely be cool just travelling and talking about different foods in each city, trying different things.

I remember a couple of years ago we played in Tennessee and there was this one chicken place that was on the Food Network. My agent was in town and he brought me some fried chicken. This restaurant in Tennessee, I forgot the name, but it was known for its fried chicken, and he brought it to me. It was some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had in my life!

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Orlando Franklin couldn't "care less" about Mark Schlereth's O-line critique

Orlando Franklin said he only cares what those inside the Broncos' locker rooms thinks of their offensive line.

Broncos left guard Orlando Franklin told The Denver Post he couldn't "care less" about former Denver all-pro Mark Schlereth's scathing critique of the offensive line.

"All I care about is what the guys inside the locker room think. What the Denver Broncos think," Franklin said Wednesday. "I (couldn't) care less what he thinks."

Talking on ESPN 102.3 FM, Schlereth offered his review of the past three games, saying "they don't block anybody ... and I thought it was a good decision to move Franklin inside, but I was wrong and they were wrong."

Wednesday, quarterback Peyton Manning and running back C.J. Anderson defended the offensive line, which has been under scrutiny since the loss at New England when the Patriots confused Denver on fourth downs and stuffed the running game. Manning pointed out the difficulty of switching the group midstream, with Will Montgomery moving to center, Manny Ramirez to right guard and Louis Vasquez switching to right tackle.

"Certainly," said Manning when asked if the offensive line is good enough to win. "It's not easy forming chemistry in just two weeks. What's that, just a handful of practices together? There is a lot of communication that goes into playing offensive line in the NFL, especially in this offense. They are working hard at it."

Coach John Fox promised more balance in the offense, admitting that Denver abandoned the run too quickly in St. Louis. Asked about Schlereth's analysis, Fox responded, "everybody's got an opinion, but the are like a body part, and everybody's got one. So I will leave it at that."

All but Franklin received a negative grade in the loss to the Rams, according to ProFootball Focus, as the Broncos rushed for 28 yards on 10 carries.

"I am getting tired of the criticism. It bothers me," Anderson said. "The only way we can shut them up is go out and execute."

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Orlando Franklin misses Broncos practice due to illness

NFL teams welcome breaks to heal, recover and decompress. But the body doesn't always cooperate. The Broncos returned to practice Monday after a three-day layoff missing two starters, left guard Orlando Franklin and defensive tackle Derek Wolfe.

Both sat out with illnesses.

Franklin moved from tackle to left guard this season. Like the rest of the offensive line, he has turned in solid performances during the four-game winning streak as the Broncos re-established their running game behind Ronnie Hillman.

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Peyton Takes a selfie with Orlando Franklin

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Orlando Franklin Ready To Make Best Of Move To Left Guard

DENVER (CBS4) – Offensive lineman Orlando Franklin did a good job at right tackle for the Broncos last year, but the team wanted to get bigger, stronger and faster in the middle of their offensive line.

So Franklin is now a left guard.

He wasn’t thrilled with the change at first, and even thought it might have to do with what he says was a poor performance in the Super Bowl loss to Seattleicon1, but it’s all good now.

“It’s going well,” Franklin said over the weekend. “A lot of people don’t realize that I played two and a half years at left guard in college. As long as I’m on the field it doesn’t really matter, so whether it’s at right tackle or left guard this year, I’m going to be happy to be on the field.”

Fellow offensive lineman center Manny Ramirez said the line will be more physical with Franklin at guard.

“I think we will, just because we’re real big inside and we’re going to try to improve on running the ball this year from last year. So that’s the plan — that’s going to be part of it, for us to be more physical.”

The Broncos moved Franklin to guard because he’s athletic enough to make them a much more formidable group, and Ramirez — who has played plenty of guard in his career — is a great resource for him.

“When you’re at guard you pull a lot more than you would at tackle,” Franklin said. “But at the same time I think you’ve got to be a lot smarter at guard because you’ve got different times when you’re pulling the linebacker, the defensive end, you might be pulling for (one of the linebackers). … You’ve got to be on top of it.”

Franklin said the move means he’s “going to play football the way he wants to play football.”

“There’s little thing that we go through in a play, and maybe we have to tweak something here and there and we try to communicate it right then and there so when that play comes back around we’re able to not make the mistake or we could even make it easier on ourselves,” Ramirez said.

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Zoom in on ... left guard Orlando Franklin

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Whenever the Denver Broncos' chief decision-maker, John Elway, describes the developmental process, he will routinely offer "we don't draft All Pros, we have to make them."

And over the course of the next week we'll take a glimpse at a few key players who are at various stages of the developmental process. Some have been named to the Pro Bowl, some will be starters for the first time in the coming season.

But what they all have in common is more is expected of them than they could give, for a variety of reasons, in last season's run to the Super Bowl.

Today: Left guard Orlando Franklin

When Franklin was set to enter the 2011 NFL draft, he had started 25 games at left guard for the University of Miami, 13 at left tackle. And while most scouts believed he could be a valuable swing player in most any offense, a guy who could play inside at guard as well as the more power-oriented right tackle in the pro game, many of those evaluators believed he was a far more natural guard prospect over the long term.

The Broncos had guards -- Zane Beadles and Chris Kuper -- when Franklin arrived in the second round of that draft and they put Franklin where the job opening was along the front, at right tackle where Franklin started 47 games over the last three seasons. But with Beadles having left in free agency and the Broncos' desire to beef up on the interior, Franklin has moved to the inside.

And in the recent organized training activities and minicamp, it already looks like the move will have the desired effect. Franklin will be a powerful force in the run game, and on the inside any issues he had in pass protection will lessen on the interior.

A look at game video has consistently shown when Franklin got in trouble in pass protection on the edge. It showed how Franklin was concerned about surrendering the corner to a speed rusher when he would spread his arms out, almost to hook an outside rusher, rather than getting himself in position for the sturdy first contact from a more stable set.

As a result, Franklin was the most penalized player in the Broncos' lineup last season having been flagged 11 times overall, seven of those for holding. Chris Clark, who was filling in for the injured Ryan Clady, was next among the offensive lineman, with seven penalties overall.

And with the Broncos set to, again, run most of their offense out of a three-wide -- they worked out of the three-wide set 73.6 percent of the time overall last season and were close to 90 percent in the postseason -- their tackles are going to have work alone much of the time in pass protection.

Also, a move inside puts Franklin -- a savvy, hard-working player -- where his strengths will help a Broncos' running attack, usually facing lighter nickel and dime formations lined up to slow down the Broncos' offense.

Their run-game numbers on the inside were middle of the road during the regular season -- 18th in the league in runs over left tackle, 7th in runs over left guard (they had just 38 carries behind Beadles last season, however, so sample size a little smaller) and 15th over the center. Those weak-side runs were often against those smaller formations with fronts built for speed. So, the troubling numbers came in the postseason when the Broncos couldn't make any room in the run game against formations built to stop their passing game.

The Broncos averaged fewer than 2.5 yards per carry in three postseason games on runs over either the left tackle or left guard. And while they are not a running team in either word or deed, they will have to be one at times to close out the coming season the way they hope to.

And they believe Franklin's move will help them do it.

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Orlando Franklin: "I got mad at the world"

Denver Broncos offensive lineman Orlando Franklin has admitted that he was "mad at the world" for the criticism of his game which led to his change in position in the off-season.

Franklin put in a poor performance at right tackle in the Super Bowl which was widely maligned by the club's supporters and the media, and has resulted in the 27-year-old being moved to left guard for the 2014 season.

He told reporters: "Initially, you get down on yourself when you hear you're moving from your position. I'm not a 'me' guy, but it didn't seem like initially it was a good situation for me.

"It had nothing to do with the team. I got mad at the world. I read an article and saw what fans were saying, that I had a horrible game in that final game.
"I took it the wrong way. When people started getting on me about it, I didn't take it constructively. I didn't listen to what my coaches were saying about it. I was listening to all the outside noise."

Franklin was drafted in the second round of the 2011 Draft by the Broncos.

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Orlando Franklin makes best of position change

One reason offensive lineman Orlando Franklin was asked to play left guard: He has all of the necessary attributes.

He is 6-foot-7 large and 320 pounds strong. He has athletic flexibility and worldly adaptability, having lived in Jamaica, Toronto and Miami before settling in Denver.

He even has experience at the position going back to his college days at the University of Miami.

About all Franklin didn't have when he was first approached about shifting from right tackle to left guard was the proper attitude.

"Initially, you get down on yourself when you hear you're moving from your position," Franklin said last week after the Broncos had concluded their offseason workout program. "I'm not a 'me' guy, but it didn't seem like initially it was a good situation for me.

"It had nothing to do with the team. I got mad at the world. I read an article and saw what fans were saying, that I had a horrible game in that final game. I took it the wrong way. When people started getting on me about it, I didn't take it constructively. I didn't listen to what my coaches were saying about it. I was listening to all the outside noise."

For quarterback Peyton Manning, the 12 combined organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp sessions were another attempt to perfect his precision passing.

New receiver Emmanuel Sanders had to learn a new playbook. Nate Irving had to prove he could start at middle linebacker. Running backs Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman had to earn Manning's trust as blitz protectors.

DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward got acclimated to a new team and a new town while renewing lofty expectations.

Von Miller, Chris Harris and Kevin Vickerson rehabbed injuries.

Only Franklin, among Broncos players, was asked to learn a new position.

"I'm definitely not a finished product, but I'm more comfortable today than what I was nine weeks ago at the position," Franklin said. "It's like learning all over again. Offensive tackle is a little different. They've got a lot more moves and there's a lot more space. Being inside, yeah, they're a lot bigger in there, but it's like fighting in a phone booth."

The Broncos won the AFC championship last season but got drilled in the Super Bowl. The purpose of their offseason practices was to prepare for taking that final step.

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Orlando Franklin's Switch A Smooth Transition

It's probably a good thing for the Broncos that the biggest news of their second day of minicamp regarded practices that are over two months away.

When the Houston Texans arrive for three days of practices in August, they will provide a test for the shuffled offensive line. At that point, the line will have about two and a half quarters' worth of game time on its ledger. Every snap will help.

But perhaps no one will benefit more than Orlando Franklin, who should see more than a handful of snaps against J.J. Watt. The Texans like to adjust Watt's alignment to create advantageous matchups, and the flexibility should be enhanced by the arrival of No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney on the edge. The seasoned Louis Vasquez should see plenty of Watt, as well, but for Franklin, the week should offer a chance to evaluate his progress.

But so far, it's so good for him, which is where we begin.

1. Franklin looks smooth in his adjustment to left guard. This shouldn't be a surprise, given his college background at the position, his experience in the offense, and the presence of so many seasoned hands around him. It also helps that one of Franklin's neighbors, center Manny Ramirez, played right guard next to Franklin at right tackle for most of the 2012 season, when Ramirez was an injury replacement for Chris Kuper.

"I know the things that he likes and how he does certain things," said Ramirez.

At guard, you must react faster, given the shorter distance defenders have to the quarterback and ballcarrier by going up the middle. Franklin's footwork here has been sound; he does a good job getting set and not getting burned by spin moves and stunts.

The jury will be in deliberations on Franklin's transition for months to come, given that pads will not go on until training camp. However, the early returns are promising.

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Orlando Franklin adjusting to life at left guard

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Orlando Franklin is still smarting over his poor performance in the Super Bowl. Not so his switch from right tackle to left guard.

“I always understood it was a possibility. I knew when I was coming out that 50 percent of teams saw me at right tackle and 50 percent of the teams saw me moving back to guard because I played so many snaps there at Miami,” said the Denver Broncos’ fourth-year lineman.

“But when I first heard about it, you get disappointed because you’re moving positions. But at the end of the day, as long as I’m on the field and as long as I’m one of the best five, I’m happy with that.”

All 57 of Franklin’s starts for the Broncos, including five in the playoffs, have been at right tackle, where the 6-foot-7, 320-pound Jamaican made quite the name for himself.

He became the first rookie right tackle in team history to start every game in 2011, when he helped the Broncos lead the league in rushing. He led all NFL players at his position by allowing just 3½ sacks in 2012 and was part of a line that gave up just 20 sacks last season.

That group then kept Peyton Manning’s jersey clean in the playoffs until the night the Seattle Seahawks’ front four manhandled Denver’s O-line in the Super Bowl.

When the Broncos returned from the 43-8 loss that spoiled their record-breaking season, general manager John Elway had two fixes in mind: add the kind of grit to his defense that Seattle displayed and beef up his offensive line.

Elway had begun moving away from the smaller zone-blockers last year with the addition of 6-5, 335-pound right guard Louis Vasquez, the only free agent to earn All-Pro honors last season.

Now, it was time for a reshuffling.

The Broncos signed veteran center Will Montgomery to compete with Manny Ramirez, let Zane Beadles leave via free agency and moved Franklin inside. With star left tackle Ryan Clady set to return from a foot injury that sidelined him most of last season, Chris Clark was moved to right tackle, and Elway drafted Michael Schofield of Michigan to compete for that job, too.

Franklin’s adjustment is key.

“We feel great about that move, and I think he feels really good about it,” offensive coordinator Adam Gase said. “I really like his size inside. I really think that’s going to help firm up when we’re going a lot of our quick game. We want him to get his hands on people. Instead of having to worry about a speed rusher outside, he’s dealing with some of the bigger guys in the league. I feel very confident about him moving inside.”

So does Franklin, who’s looking forward to being more physical in the run game at guard.

One downside could be financial: Franklin’s going into a contract year and tackles make more money than guards. But he shrugged off any concerns, saying, “I think that if I’m one of the best five players and I’m on the field, I think that benefits me either way.”

What does bother him — still — is the Broncos’ performance in the Super Bowl that followed a record-breaking regular season in which they became the first NFL team to score 600 points.

“You’re going to think about it until you play your next football game,” Franklin said.

Of course, he’ll use it as motivation.

“I think each player will. I know I am, because I definitely didn’t have my best game,” Franklin said. “So, I definitely look at it as a learning tool. I look back at it as a learning situation and I’ve got to get better.”

He hasn’t bothered watching the game, however.

“You don’t really need to watch it,” he said. “I know there are about five plays in that game where I’ll never forget those plays, so I can see them in my head every day.”

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Orlando Franklin Has No Problem With Position Switch

When moving from right tackle to left guard, the trick is to not stumble into two left feet.

The Big O of the Broncos is having no such problem.

"It's actually pretty similar footwork," said Orlando Franklin, the very large blocker who is making the blocking positional transition this spring. "I really won't know if I'm a good left guard in this league until in a few weeks, when I get to go against some D-tackles in this league (when organized team activities begin). It's different putting my hand down, but you talk about tracks as offensive linemen and the tracks are all the same."

Between the Broncos' star-power, free-agent haul in mid-March and their solid, if less splashy, draft selections last week, Franklin is the rare offensive lineman who became an offseason conversation topic.

He was a starting left guard and left tackle at the University of Miami, but when the Broncos selected him in the second round of the 2011 draft, they immediately put him at right tackle, were he had started for three consecutive seasons.

For season No. 4 in the NFL, the final year of his contract, Franklin is getting moved inside.

There were a couple of reasons for the switch. One, when the Broncos drafted Franklin, they were using a more balanced offense that in theory would mix a power-running style with 30 to 33 passes per game. Franklin was a 315-pound right tackle whose strength was run blocking.

When Peyton Manning became their quarterback two years ago, the Broncos shifted to a spread-'em-out, fast-breaking, short-passing offense.

They used more stretch-running schemes, and Manning has averaged 39 passes per game. The Big O on the outside was asked to be lighter on his feet.
At left guard, he will go inside and take on more big-bellied, super-strong defensive tackles than the faster, sleeker defensive ends and linebackers he faced at right tackle.

Initially, Franklin wasn't pleased when he was told of the proposed switch. But he is warming up to it.

"I always understood it was a possibility," he said after the Broncos' offseason workout Wednesday. "I knew when I was coming out that 50 percent of teams saw me at right tackle and 50 percent of the teams saw me moving back to guard because I played so many snaps there at Miami. But when I first heard about it, you get disappointed because you're moving positions. But at the end of the day, as long as I'm on the field and as long as I'm one of the best five, I'm happy with that."

Therein lies another reason for the switch: It gives Chris Clark a chance to stay in the starting five. Clark made 17 starts last season, including the playoffs, in place of injured all-pro Ryan Clady. Even though an occasional pass rusher presented matchup problems, Clark played well enough overall to warrant a starting position. With Clady returning to good health and left tackle, Clark is switching to right tackle.

Manny Ramirez remains the starting center and Louis Vasquez stays at right guard.

"I was told nothing is definite," Franklin said.

A position switch going into a contract year can be dicey for a player. A right tackle doesn't make the money that a left tackle makes, but the right side usually pays better than guards.

Then again, right tackles rarely are named Pro Bowlers, let alone honored as all-pro linemen. Left tackles hog those awards; the fourth- or fifth-best blindside blocker can receive mention before the top right tackle.

"I think that if I'm one of the best five players and I'm on the field, I think that benefits me either way, whether I'm playing right tackle or whether I'm playing left guard," Franklin said.

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Orlando Franklin: Learning curve steep for rookies

It will be one of the buzz phrases of the Denver Broncos' offseason. Perhaps right there with John Fox's "skins on the wall" or quarterback Peyton Manning's “put in the work."

But ask about anything going on with the Broncos’ offensive line these days and it won’t take long for somebody involved to drop "the best five" into the conversation.

And since he started 16 games as a rookie in 2011, Orlando Franklin has been one of those best five, at right tackle. But now, as the Broncos pursue a better protection plan for Manning as well as a little more muscle in the run game, Franklin is to get a kick-the-tires look at left guard, and one of the options to find "the best five" just might be a rookie.

Michael Schofield, the Broncos' third-round selection in last week’s draft, and Chris Clark will get the initial looks at right tackle, with Franklin having been bumped inside. Having been the last Broncos’ rookie to start on the offensive line and also having made the transition to Manning’s tenure at quarterback, Franklin does have a unique perspective on the challenges Schofield faces in the coming months.

When asked Wednesday about the potential hurdles rookies face on the offensive line, Franklin said.

"The amount of stuff you have to know, especially in this offense. I think if I was a rookie in this offense, I don’t think I would have played. I think it was a lot easier for me to play with Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow (at quarterback) when I came in than it is to come in and play with a guy like Peyton."

Franklin also credited former Broncos captain Chris Kuper, who retired in March, for getting him through that initial season, something that shows the importance of mentoring a player like Schofield through the team’s offseason work and into training camp. The rookies will get their first real taste of things at a rookie minicamp Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

"Chris Kuper was a great guy, he’s one of my best friends on this team," Franklin said. "If it wasn’t for 'Kupe' I never would have played as a rookie. He really took care of everything, there were times he was telling me what to do and yet he was still performing at a high level with what he had to do."

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Orlando Franklin makes transition to left guard

While conceding initial disappointment over the position switch, Orlando Franklin believes left guard could be the right move.

The 315-pound Bronco said Wednesday that the transition from right tackle is going well, but he won't get a better read until full contact drills.

"When I first heard about it, you get disappointed. But as long as I am on the field and one of the best five, I am happy with that," Franklin said at Dove Valley headquarters.

Franklin graded highly at right tackle after the Broncos' offensive line shuffle in the wake of Ryan Clady's season-ending foot injury last year. He has experience at guard, having split time there at the University of Miami. Playing inside lends itself to a more physical style of play where rushers aren't the primary concern.

"It's easier to get your hands on them at guard. I feel like the play begins when you get your hands on them. At tackle, you are dealing with a lot smaller guys who are a lot faster," Franklin said. "The battle is before you get your hands on them."

It's not concrete that Franklin will remain inside. He was told that "nothing was definite" as the coaches begin their evaluations.

"They want to play the best five. If Chris Clark can play right tackle and I can go back and play left guard at a high level, that's what the starting five will look like," Franklin said.

Franklin said he will miss Chris Kuper, who retired after eight seasons because of multiple ankle injuries. Kuper helped him with line calls, and Franklin said he would not have played his rookie season without Kuper's help. And he definitely would not have played in Peyton Manning's offense in his first season.

"The amount of stuff you have to know, it was a lot easier to play with Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow when I came in," Franklin said. "Our offense is pretty complex because we run a lot of stuff at the line of scrimmage.”

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Orlando Franklin says he'll move to left guard for Denver Broncos

In a move that puts the Broncos' five best offensive linemen on the field, right tackle Orlando Franklin might be moving to left guard.

Franklin announced the proposed move on his Twitter account Monday after the Broncos' first day of offseason conditioning:

"Left guard, excited to learn and improve this offseason. I will give it my all." Franklin wrote.

If that move works out, the Broncos are planning to move Chris Clark from left tackle to right tackle while Manny Ramirez is expected to stay at center, where he will receive competition from newly acquired veteran Will Montgomery.

Franklin, a Broncos' second-round draft pick in 2011, played left guard and left tackle at the University of Miami. He was a three-year starter at right tackle for the Broncos.

Clark played left tackle last season after Ryan Clady went down with a ruptured Lisfranc injury in his left foot. Clady is back at left tackle with Franklin at left guard, Ramirez at center, All Pro Louis Vasquez at right guard and Clark at right tackle, where he will compete with Winston Justice and Vinston Painter, among others.

The Broncos are not running plays during Phase I of their offseason program, but they are having meetings.

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Orlando Franklin honoured by Mayor Ford

Orlando Franklin of the Denver Broncos has a fan in Mayor Rob Ford.

Ford wore Franklin’s orange No. 74 jersey in the days before the Broncos were crushed 43-8 by the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

Franklin, 26, who grew up in Scarborough, won high praise when he visited the mayor at his city hall office Tuesday.

Ford read out a proclamation congratulating the six-foot-seven, 330-pound right tackle.

“I truly wish you the best of success in your future endeavours, and win the next Super Bowl, buddy, again and again and again. There you go, partner,” Ford said.

Franklin took only two media questions before Ford escorted the player down the elevator outside the mayor’s 2nd-floor office.

Asked what he thought of Ford wearing his jersey, Franklin said: Anytime someone from Toronto supports me and the Denver Broncos, I’m happy. I’m from Toronto, so why not support Orlando Franklin?”

Asked if he had any advice for Ford in this election year, Franklin responded: “Just win.”

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Orlando Franklin will not let nerves get the best of him

After suffering a 43-8 defeat in Super Bowl 48 at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, it has been a long week for the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos, who suffered the third-worst loss in Super Bowl history, had an errant snap leading to a Seahawks safety on the first offensive play of the game. The Broncos’ record setting offense had four turnovers in total (two fumbles) and did not look anything like themselves in their Super Bowl defeat.

After their Super Bowl disappointment, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning received the bulk of the criticism. Manning finished the game with 280 yards on 34-for-49 passing. He actually set a Super Bowl record for completions. Receiver Demeryius Thomas’s 13 catches also were a Super Bowl record. However, by the time Manning threw a touchdown pass to Thomas as time expired in the third quarter, Seattle had built a 36-0 lead. Following their defeat, Broncos’ right tackle Orlando Franklin was quick to defend his quarterback.

“It’s unfortunate that a lot of people are going to try to put it in on ’18′ because he doesn’t deserve that,” he said after the game in reference to Manning. “We all had a hand in this loss.”

Following the loss in New York, Franklin returned home to Toronto, Canada. He spoke to the media Monday and continued his defense of Manning,

“At the end of the day Peyton will go down as one of the best quarterbacks in this leagues’ history and like I said, it wasn’t just him,” Franklin stated. “We all had a hand in that game. He does not play defense, he does not play special teams and the Seattle Seahawks were able to capitalize on both our defense and our special teams so we all could have done something different.”

The Broncos’ offensive tackle understands that the blame should not solely rest on Peyton’s shoulders and that each of his teammates could have performed differently to improve their chances.

“I personally have probably seen that game over in my head about 100 times and I wish I could go back to about five plays in that game,” Franklin said. “I think that if I had played different on those five plays maybe the outcome of the game would be a little bit different.”

“When you point your finger at somebody, four point back at you,” he added.

Franklin, who grew up in Scarborough, Ontario, was humble and collected when discussing the Broncos defeat. He took some time to reflect on his experiences this season and on his Super Bowl performance. When asked what he learned most from his first experience in the Super Bowl, Franklin admitted that he was very nervous.

“The biggest thing that I realized was…and I talked to a good friend of mine, Anrel Rolle who plays for the Giants about three days before the Super Bowl and he had been to two Super Bowls, he said to just play like it’s any other game, don’t get emotional, and that’s exactly what I did. I got too emotional. After the first snap it felt like my legs were wobbling, my legs were shaking after the first snap of the game. I got too involved in it emotionally. So that is one of the biggest things that I learned and when it comes around again and I get that opportunity to play in another one, I will definitely try to keep that under wraps,” Franklin said.

Franklin, 26, was candid when discussing his emotions to start the game. He knows that he made some mistakes and all he can do is learn from them. When asked how much of his personal performance he would attribute to the nerves he mentioned, Franklin said,

“At the end of the day I got to get the job done. I had a lot of nerves going on at the start of the game but that isn’t why I played bad or anything like that but I definitely needed to play a little bit more calm than I did at first.”

With or without Peyton Manning, the Denver Broncos are preparing to make another run at the Super Bowl in 2014 and if another opportunity presents itself, Franklin will make sure that his nerves do not get the best of him.

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Orlando Franklin announces new foundation to help at-risk teens

Toronto couldn’t ask for a better ambassador than Scarborough native Orlando Franklin who grew up playing football in the local Thunder minor football organization, and ended up playing in his first Super Bowl earlier this month.

Asked at a Monday, Feb. 10, press conference at the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Toronto about his relationship with the city he grew up in, the Denver Broncos offensive lineman said:

“I spend about four and a half months here in Toronto. I’m pretty much here every chance I can get ... It’s a place where I can see my childhood friends. I can get different types of food - it’s so diverse. I love it. It doesn’t matter if it’s cold or if it’s hot, I’m always looking forward to coming back to Toronto.”

Franklin also played a year of high school football at Scarborough’s Timothy Eaton, and Sir Robert L. Borden respetively before heading to the United States to further his athletic career.

Of course, coming back to Toronto as a now three-year NFL pro does carry its benefits with Franklin taking in the Feb. 8 Toronto Maple Leafs game at the Air Canada Centre.

“You try to support other athletes because you’ll see these guys around, different places you go,” he said, adding that back in Denver “I’ll go to about 12 to 15 (games) a year.”

He just missed being able to watch fellow Scarborough resident Chris Stewart who suited up for the Denver-based Colorado Avalanche but was traded the year before Franklin arrived.

Of course, that did work out well for Franklin.

“I bought my house from Chris Stewart,” he said.

Stewart also played football, and was a star running back in high school at West Hill Collegiate.

Asked what he thought about Mayor Rob Ford in a widely publicized photo wearing Franklin’s jersey, Franklin was diplomatic.

“Any support I can get from Toronto I’m happy. I would hope that he (Mayor Ford) would wear my jersey being that I am from Toronto and he is the mayor of Toronto and he knows that I’m from here.”

He was more enthusiastic when asked about his ‘Orlando Franklin Foundation’:

“It just really focuses on at-risk teens and helps them with their transition into adulthood,” said Franklin, who has been open about his own story as an ‘at-risk’ teen raised in a single-parent family.

In his case, he has credited his mother as being the key in helping turn his own life around. Now he’s just trying to return the favour where and when he can.
“I do a lot in group homes and stuff here in the Toronto area. I just try to let these kids know that pretty much if I was able to make it, then you guys can do exactly the same thing.

“It’s just how hard you’re willing to work and sacrifice. I try to sit down and talk to schools. I try to do stuff in the community, just anything I can really do just to really have a direct impact on young people’s lives and just help them as they get older.”

And finally, of course, there was the matter of the Super Bowl – which Denver lost 43-8 to the Seattle Seahawks. A shocking end to an otherwise outstanding season.

He hasn’t watched the replay. He doesn’t have to.

“I’ve personally probably seen that game about 100 times in my head. I wish I could have taken back about five plays in that game and I think if I’d played better on those five plays that the outcome of the game would be a little different.”

Franklin said he is already looking forward to next season with the Broncos, hoping he can stretch his playoff streak to all four years in the league.

“The good thing about it is, we’ve got a great team. I believe in my heart of hearts that if we come out and work the way we worked last year than we will back in that game (the Super Bowl).

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Broncos lineman Orlando Franklin extends proCane streak

NEW YORK — Orlando Franklin, the former Miami Hurricane and current Denver Bronco, has a particularly notorious fan - the mayor of Toronto, who admitted to having smoked crack.

Rob Ford, Canada's biggest embarrassment this side of Justin Bieber, recently briefed the media while wearing a Franklin jersey. Franklin spent his formative years in Toronto. And Ford, in addition to illicit substances, likes American football.

Franklin, the third-year offensive tackle appearing in his first Super Bowl Sunday, took the homage in stride this week.

"I got a couple of hundred (more Twitter followers)," Franklin joked when asked about Ford's support. "I am not really so much amazed as I am just happy that he is supporting the Denver Broncos."

Thanks to Franklin's participation, a Miami Hurricane has now reached the Super Bowl for the 14th time in 15 years. It's a remarkable streak that reaches back to 2000, when an astounding six UM products participated in the big game.

Franklin has been a rock on the right side of the Broncos' line from nearly the day they took him in the second round. He has started 47 of the team's 48 games since then, and is a big reason why Peyton Manning hasn't been sacked this postseason.

"He's just continued to get better," Broncos coach John Fox said. "He's a really good teammate. He's well-liked by our building and everybody in it, both in the locker room and out of the locker room. So I've been very, very impressed."

Franklin follows the lead of his quarterback. He said by playing alongside Manning, he has learned to pay attention for all 60 minutes and block out distractions.

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Orlando Franklin made major life choice early

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Orlando Franklin was 15, fresh out of jail for a second time and looking over a contract written by a mother who was determined not to lose her youngest son. "He wasn't listening," Sylvia Allen, Franklin's mother, said in her Jamaican accent Wednesday from her home in Queens, N.Y. "He was stealing cars, driving around. I wasn't worried, because he was a very smart kid. I knew he would eventually come around. He just was going down the wrong path and hanging around with the wrong people."

Franklin grew up to be enormous in size and right by the world. He is one Super Bowl game away from completing his streak of three consecutive seasons as the Broncos' starting right tackle. He is a young man with a troubled past who shares his story with today's youths in hopes he can influence one or two of them.

"When I was younger, I thought nobody was on my side, nobody would help me out," Franklin said. "I was a product of my environment. At one point in my life, I thought it would be cool to get arrested, because all my friends had already got arrested."

The first time Franklin was arrested, he was 13 and charged with robbery. Mom bailed him out the next day. The second time Franklin was arrested, he was 15 and charged with robbery and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Mom let him sit in jail for 13 weeks.

"The first time clearly didn't work when she came and got me," Franklin said. "The second time when she left me in there, I learned my lesson."

Football vs. hockey
Out of jail and back at home, Mom sat Orlando down. What do you want to do with your life, son? Franklin had played hockey his freshman year in high school. A defenseman, right-handed stick, pretty fair skater.

"I was a little bit of an enforcer," he said, smiling. "I tried to bully a little bit."

But he played football too, and his growing body that is now 6-foot-7, 315 pounds told him he was better suited for rumbling on ground than sliding on ice. The family had relatives in Florida, where football is a way of life.

But before Mom agreed to move her son down to the coastal town of Delray Beach, Franklin had to sign the contract.

He had to promise Mom he would never get in trouble again. And he had to promise to be a good boy.

Franklin honored his mom's pact. He graduated from high school and played four seasons at the University of Miami. Selected in the second round of the 2011 draft by the Broncos, Franklin signed a four-year contract that included a $1.68 million signing bonus.

It wasn't the first contract he signed, nor was it the richest. It's not always money that defines the richness of one's life.

"A great guy," said Broncos left guard Zane Beadles. "I know a little bit about his past just from hanging around the guys, talking about how we grew up.

"You see it in football. I had tons of teammates in college who were from Compton or Watts, and the things they grew up seeing and being involved with. In my experience, a lot of those guys are the best guys and some of the best friends you could ever have."

Mainstay in lineup
Counting playoffs, the Broncos have played 53 games since 2011, and Franklin has started all 53. No. 54 will be Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

He has remained the starting lineup despite injuries serious enough to keep other players on the sideline.

He started a few days after learning his half-brother from his father's side was killed in Jamaica.

Orlando was born in Kingston and lived there until he was 3, when his mother moved him and older brother Kieno to Toronto. What little Orlando knew of his homeland was enough to understand he couldn't go back.

"My brother was killed because he was doing the wrong things," he said. "Being that it is Jamaica, I was advised that I shouldn't go to the funeral because of what he was doing when he was killed.

"I was lucky to be with an organization like the Broncos, because they helped me get through it."

Playing that game that week (against San Diego) was probably the best thing I could do for that situation."

It could have worked out so much differently for Franklin and he knows it. Besides his mom, the contract and his own self-reflection, Franklin credits his older brother, Kieno, for his conversion.

"My brother had a lot of run-ins with the law," Franklin said. "He said: 'Look, we can't have two in the family have all this happen. I'm a screwup already. I've messed up so much. You have an opportunity to stop messing up.' "

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Orlando Franklin: Don't blame Peyton Manning for loss

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Seattle Seahawks set the Super Bowl record for most playing time with the lead in Sunday's championship victory.

Although Peyton Manning flunked an opportunity to establish a legacy as the greatest quarterback in NFL history, this was a team loss. The Denver Broncos were thoroughly outplayed in all three phases of the game.

"It's unfortunate that a lot of people are going to try to put it in on '18' because he doesn't deserve that," right tackle Orlando Franklin said after the game in reference to Manning. "We all had a hand in this loss."

Franklin emphasized that the Broncos "knew what was at stake," but were simply outplayed by the better team Sunday.

"They schemed the heck out of us," Franklin continued. "They did an extremely good job today, getting after guys."

It's a reminder that the Broncos not only got outplayed, but also outcoached by Pete Carroll's staff.

John Fox's challenge of a Percy Harvin drop that obviously wasn't a lateral scratched as many heads as Marvin Lewis' most baffling replay reviews.

With the booming leg of Matt Prater capable of sending the ball through the back of the end zone, the Broncos opted for a pop-up kickoff that Harvin returned for a back-breaking touchdown to start the second half.

Both of those decisions pale in comparison to an early third-quarter punt, down 29 points at Seattle's 39-yard line. It's not hyperbole to suggest this might have been the most nonsensical punt in football history -- Chuck Pagano's games excluded, of course.

Franklin took some semblance of solace Sunday night that the Broncos were able to accomplish a lot of things in this league that a lot of people are not able to accomplish.

It was a successful season in many ways. But Franklin, Manning and Fox all spit the bit in Super Bowl XLVIII.

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Rob Ford is wearing an Orlando Franklin Broncos jersey

Perhaps you have heard of Rob Ford, the man who is somehow mayor of a major North American city despite his drug use, constant drunkenness, occasional racism, very public sexual statements and just generally being a huge buffoon. None of this is libelous, because all of this is real stuff that has been documented as having happened. He was elected to public office, and did that stuff. (He's also fat and makes a lot of funny faces, which sometimes prevents people from getting elected to public office, but that's neither here nor there.)

Anyway: since he's technically the mayor of Toronto, he gave a press conference Tuesday to talk about the city's budget. Of course, he did that while wearing a Broncos jersey:

Specifically, he's wearing the jersey of Orlando Franklin, the Broncos' starting RT who grew up in Toronto after being born in Jamaica.


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Orlando Franklin's journey to Super Bowl XLVIII

Many times during Super Bowl XLVIII, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will stare down the NFL’s top-ranked defence, with five of his linemen the only things separating the future Hall of Famer and his surgically fused neck from a high-speed collision.

Six-foot-seven, 320-pound Canadian Orlando Franklin is one of those large men who will protect Manning from the onslaught of Seattle Seahawks pass rushers. At his size, Franklin can often shove aside defenders without trouble.

But the 26-year-old right tackle’s journey to the NFL has not been so easy.

Franklin was raised in the Scarborough area of Toronto, spending part of his time there living in a community housing complex. With his single mom, Sylvia, working to pay the bills, Orlando spent much of his time with the other kids in the neighbourhood. 

When he was nine, Franklin spotted some kids carrying football equipment. One of them was an older boy named Shawn Williams, who brought Franklin to the local Scarborough Thunder football team, where he would become a mainstay until leaving for the United States in his mid-teens. 

Williams remembers Franklin as tall for his age, clumsy, awkward and cursed with thick-lensed glasses he was often teased about.

One time, the pair had to search extensively for the expensive eyewear after Franklin lost a lens at a local pool . 

"His glasses would get banged around [playing football], so his lens would pop out at any given time,” Williams chuckles.

"They drained [the pool] and they still couldn’t find it, and they drained it again and they finally found it. It took almost two days for us to get this lens.

"He couldn’t see for days… He was walking around with one lens in the glasses and the other one out.”

'Good kids'
The two became friends and would sometimes get into trouble together.

“We really had no money,” says Williams. “You would want to get food, talk to girls, so we would get in trouble. …stealing cars, trying to be cool, stuff like that.”
Charles Wiltshire, 54, who saw himself as a father figure to Franklin and often looked after him and Williams, says local kids often fall victim to the conditions of poverty.

"You realize they’re good kids, they’re not troubled kids. They don’t want to steal, they don’t want to rob, they don’t want to sell drugs, but they’re left with no choice to survive.”

In his early teens, Franklin was arrested for robbery and Wiltshire says that he bailed him out, like he had for many other kids in the neighbourhood.

“[My wife and I] were the type that if it involved drugs we would bail them out, if it involved weed we would be upset, if it involved guns we would have nothing to do with that,” he says.

'The first one to make it'
“I was in a real dark place,” Franklin told the Toronto Sun before last week's AFC championship game. “I mean, the NFL? Hey, I didn’t even know if I’d ever graduate high school, let alone think I’d ever make it to the NFL.

“At the end of the day, I could not see where my future was or where I was at."

But the trip to jail seemed to be the sobering lesson that motivated Franklin.

His head coach with the Scarborough Thunder, Roberto Allen, says Franklin agreed to sign a contract with his mother saying that he would stay out of trouble.
Allen soon saw a change in Franklin's performance.

“That last year when he played with us he was very focused,” says Allen. “He grew, he wanted this. He kept saying to me, I’m going to be the first one to make it.”

“For a big boy like that, he’s pretty athletic. He can run downfield with running backs. Usually offensive linemen are blocking at the first level and second level, but he goes up to the third level — he’s running downfield blocking defensive backs.”

With Franklin starting to turn things around at home, his mother went looking for work in Florida in hopes that she could move there with him to increase his chances to advance in his football career.

"I owe so much to my mom," Franklin told the Toronto Sun.

“When I said I wanted to move to Florida, she quit her job and moved down there a week later. You have a lot of parents who want to see their kids succeed, but you don’t have a lot of people who pick up and relocate just to accommodate a 15- or 16-year-old kid.”

Franklin ended up securing a spot at Atlantic Community High School in Delray Beach, Fla., and as a senior he attracted interest from the University of Miami football team. 

'I can't take it'
Things didn't go smoothly at first in Miami. Wiltshire recalls how Franklin would call him when he was struggling to keep up with the Hurricanes.

“I remember he called me from Miami and said ‘Charlie I’m quitting this thing, I can’t take it no more, I’m puking my guts out, they’re working me like a horse, and we have to keep up certain marks in order to go and play.'" Wiltshire says.

But Franklin preserved and, after four years at Miami, where he was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference second team honouree in his senior year, he graduated with a degree in psychology.

In 2011, Franklin was selected by the Denver Broncos in the second round of the NFL draft (46th overall).   

Wiltshire was with Franklin in Scarborough during the draft and remembers how Franklin jumped in excitement when he received the call from former Broncos quarterback (and now vice president) John Elway, one of his childhood idols, telling Franklin he'd been drafted.

Franklin still returns to the community, and has even showed up at a Scarborough Thunder practice to speak to the players and sign memorabilia for auction. 

No matter the result of the Super Bowl in New Jersey on Feb. 2, those who helped Franklin along the way will still be proud of the kid with the thick glasses.

“My definition of a champion is not the one who won the race, but the one who tried his best to win the race," says Wiltshire. “And no matter what, he’s still my champion because I know he’s given his all.”

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Orlando Franklin of Toronto eyes Super Bowl ring for hometown

DENVER - As the city of Denver celebrated the sixth berth of its Broncos in the Super Bowl by painting the town orange on Sunday evening, Orlando Franklin’s thoughts were on another metropolis, a place he still calls home.

“This is 100% for Toronto,” the behemoth right tackle of the Broncos said after their 26-16 win over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. “This is great. But we have one more step to take.”

A step he hopes will come at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Feb. 2 when Franklin and his teammates play in the Super Bowl.

“I can think of nothing better than to bring back a Super Bowl title up to Toronto,” he said.

From developing his football skills as a kid with the Scarborough Thunder to spending a couple of stints at an East Toronto juvenile detention centre, Franklin’s meandering path from southern Ontario to the Super Bowl is now just one win shy of being complete.

Making this particular Sunday even more special was that Franklin’s mother Sylvia was in the stands to see her son and the rest of the Denver offensive line dominate the Patriots in the trenches, leaving franchise QB Peyton Manning virtually untouched all afternoon.

“All the guys ... Orlando ... I can’t say enough about the job they did out there,” Manning said. “They are a very close knit group.”

Sylvia will also be in New Jersey in two weeks. As the woman whom Franklin credits with keeping him from remaining in the “dark place” of crime and confusion he found himself in as a young teenager, she may have been the most thrilled person in the stadium on Sunday.

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Some proCanes Advance in the NFL Playoffs, While Others Are Sent Home Packing

With the first round of the NFL playoffs complete, some proCanes were sent home packing while others continue their quest for a Super Bowl ring.

With the New Orleans Saints defeating the Philadelphia Eagles, Jimmy Graham and Jon Vilma (IR) advance to the next round of the playoffs to take on the proCane-less Seattle Seahawks. Go Saints! The Eagles lost because they didn’t have any proCanes. Happy

Two proCanes were sent home with the Kansas City Chiefs losing a thriller to the Indianapolis Colts. DL Allen Bailey and TE Richard Gordon were sent home while Reggie Wayne (IR) will continue to help his team from sidelines in their next game versus the New England Patriots who have proCane DL Vince Wilfork who is also on IR.

The San Francisco 49ers behind the solid running of proCane RB Frank Gore ended up defeating the Green Bay Packers who lost proCane DB Sam Shields in the first quarter of their defeat. The 49ers will face the Carolina Panthers who have proCane TE Greg Olsen on the field and QB Coach Ken Dorsey on the sidelines. The Packers also have scouts Glenn Cook and Alonzo Highsmith on their staff as well as Winston Moss.

The Chargers who don’t have a proCane and defeated the proCane-less Bengals (boooooring), will face the Denver Broncos with their solid proCane offensive lineman Orlando Franklin.

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Orlando Franklin Named To All AFC West Team by ESPN

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Stack records and touchdowns like the Denver Broncos did this season and people notice.

The Broncos finished with a single-season record for points scored -- 606 –- as quarterback Peyton Manning threw 55 touchdown passes, also a single-season league record. The Broncos also became the first team in league history to have five players score at least 10 touchdowns; no other team in league history has had more than three.

As a result, there are plenty of Broncos' names dotting the All-AFC West team's offense, selected by the division’s NFL Nation reporters. Manning was selected along with wide receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas, tight end Julius Thomas, guards Zane Beadles and Louis Vasquez and right tackle Orlando Franklin. Manning was the least sacked starting quarterback in the league of those who threw at least 320 passes -- 18 times.

Click here to see the rest of the players named.

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Broncos OT Orlando Franklin a "tough guy" in return from injury

In a mild surprise, given the extent of the left leg injuries he suffered two weeks ago, Orlando Franklin was the Broncos' starting right offensive tackle Sunday.

"It tells you we've got some tough guys on this team," Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said.

And Manning is one of them. He suffered an ankle injury two games ago while getting hit in the end zone against Jacksonville and Manning was hit hard and hit often the previous Sunday at Indianapolis.

He did not limp or favor his injured ankle during the game Sunday. Throwing three interceptions weren't because of the ankle.

"Actually, I felt pretty good out there today," said Manning, who besides the three interceptions, completed 30-of-44 passes for 354 yards and four touchdowns. "I felt like I was moving around, and I was able to move in the pocket a little bit. The bye week is coming at a good time for a lot of people physically, for me as well to get some rest."

Franklin left the game two weekends earlier against Jacksonville with a sprained left knee and left ankle. He gave up a strip sack to Ryan Kerrigan that led to Manning's fumble, but otherwise delivered a gritty performance.

With Franklin back, Louis Vasquez returned to his customary right guard position. Vasquez made his first NFL start at right tackle last week against the Indianapolis Colts and played well.

Chris Kuper had a setback with his troublesome left ankle while he played right guard last week at Indy. He did not dress Sunday.

The Broncos' offensive front was, from left to right, Chris Clark, Zane Beadles, Manny Ramirez, Vasquez and Franklin . That has been the Broncos' line alignment since left tackle Ryan Clady suffered a season-ending foot injury in Week 2.

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Orlando Franklin not practicing

The USA Today’s Lindsay Jones reports that both Champ Bailey and Orlando Franklin were unsurprisingly only observers at practice today, and Franklin is out indefinitely with both knee and ankle injuries. Veteran offseason signing Louis Vasquez moved from G to T to replace Franklin, and he played well against Indy.

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Broncos likely without Orlando Franklin for Sunday game against Colts

ENGLEWOOD — It looks like Peyton Manning will have to attend his homecoming at Indianapolis on Sunday without the two massive tackles he started the season with.

The Broncos are holding out hope that right tackle Orlando Franklin, who sprained his left knee and ankle Sunday, won't be sidelined for an extended time like All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady, who landed on IR last month with a foot injury.

Coach John Fox provided no updates on Franklin, who went for an MRI exam Monday, or defensive lineman Sylvester Williams (neck).

At the very least, it looks like Franklin will miss the Colts game, however.

He limped through the locker room Monday with a walking boot on his left foot when he came out of the meeting room and was holding crutches, but not using them. He needed a cane to hobble out of the stadium Sunday night after Denver's 35-19 won over Jacksonville.

Franklin got hurt early in the third quarter when he was caught in the pile on Knowshon Moreno's first of three touchdown runs.

It's been a difficult year for the men who protect Manning.

The Broncos (6-0) lost centers J.D. Walton and Dan Koppen to injuries last summer, leaving the job to Manny Ramirez, who had never started at center before this season and who's still working out the kinks. His two bad exchanges with Manning on Sunday were both recovered by the Jaguars (0-6).

After Franklin got hurt with 12:16 left in the third quarter, Chris Kuper came in at right guard and Louis Vasquez moved to right tackle for the first time in his career.

Franklin's absence affected the play calling of offensive coordinator Adam Gase and Manning, although Denver had two touchdown drives capped by Moreno runs behind the makeshift offensive line.

"I thought Adam did a good job calling plays with Vasquez," Manning said. "I'm not sure he's ever played right tackle before. It kind of changes the way I think about audibles and things like that when you've got a new right tackle."

Despite the revolving door of offensive linemen, Manning has been sacked only five times, the fewest in the league for any QB who's started all his team's games.

For however long it lasts, Franklin's absence could have a big impact on the Broncos, whose 265 points are the most by a team through six games in league history.

They could stick with Kuper-Vasquez again on the right side or they could move Vasquez back to right guard, where he's started all 60 of his career games, and insert eighth-year pro Winston Justice, who was inactive Sunday, at right tackle.

Justice, who started 13 games for the Colts last season and signed as a free agent with Denver after Clady got hurt in Week 2, has quickly gotten up to speed and could step in Sunday if needed, Fox said.

"He's had plenty of time to learn our verbiage and our offense," said Fox.

Franklin has started all 44 games, including playoffs, since the Broncos made him a second-round pick in 2011 out of Miami.

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Broncos likely without Orlando Franklin for Sunday game against Colts

ENGLEWOOD — It looks like Peyton Manning will have to attend his homecoming at Indianapolis on Sunday without the two massive tackles he started the season with.

The Broncos are holding out hope that right tackle Orlando Franklin, who sprained his left knee and ankle Sunday, won't be sidelined for an extended time like All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady, who landed on IR last month with a foot injury.

Coach John Fox provided no updates on Franklin, who went for an MRI exam Monday, or defensive lineman Sylvester Williams (neck).

At the very least, it looks like Franklin will miss the Colts game, however.

He limped through the locker room Monday with a walking boot on his left foot when he came out of the meeting room and was holding crutches, but not using them. He needed a cane to hobble out of the stadium Sunday night after Denver's 35-19 won over Jacksonville.

Franklin got hurt early in the third quarter when he was caught in the pile on Knowshon Moreno's first of three touchdown runs.

It's been a difficult year for the men who protect Manning.

The Broncos (6-0) lost centers J.D. Walton and Dan Koppen to injuries last summer, leaving the job to Manny Ramirez, who had never started at center before this season and who's still working out the kinks. His two bad exchanges with Manning on Sunday were both recovered by the Jaguars (0-6).

After Franklin got hurt with 12:16 left in the third quarter, Chris Kuper came in at right guard and Louis Vasquez moved to right tackle for the first time in his career.

Franklin's absence affected the play calling of offensive coordinator Adam Gase and Manning, although Denver had two touchdown drives capped by Moreno runs behind the makeshift offensive line.

"I thought Adam did a good job calling plays with Vasquez," Manning said. "I'm not sure he's ever played right tackle before. It kind of changes the way I think about audibles and things like that when you've got a new right tackle."

Despite the revolving door of offensive linemen, Manning has been sacked only five times, the fewest in the league for any QB who's started all his team's games.

For however long it lasts, Franklin's absence could have a big impact on the Broncos, whose 265 points are the most by a team through six games in league history.

They could stick with Kuper-Vasquez again on the right side or they could move Vasquez back to right guard, where he's started all 60 of his career games, and insert eighth-year pro Winston Justice, who was inactive Sunday, at right tackle.

Justice, who started 13 games for the Colts last season and signed as a free agent with Denver after Clady got hurt in Week 2, has quickly gotten up to speed and could step in Sunday if needed, Fox said.

"He's had plenty of time to learn our verbiage and our offense," said Fox.

Franklin has started all 44 games, including playoffs, since the Broncos made him a second-round pick in 2011 out of Miami.

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Orlando Franklin recovering, but may not play at Colts

Orlando Franklin went through the locker room Monday carrying, not using, his crutches.

That was a good sign for the Broncos' right offensive tackle.

But Franklin also was hobbling not only from the left knee injury he suffered Sunday in the Broncos' 35-19 victory against Jacksonville, but from a boot on his left ankle.

That was not a good sign for Franklin playing Sunday at Indianapolis. Neither of Franklin's left leg injuries will require surgery. He is listed as day to day.

But the ankle could take a little more time than the knee to heal. If Franklin needs a week or so to heal, the Broncos already showed they could move the ball, and score, with Louis Vasquez shifting from right guard to right tackle and inserting Chris Kuper at right guard.

Kuper got his first action at right guard since the Broncos' playoff game against Baltimore — and first without a shattered plate in his left ankle since a Dec. 2 game against Tampa Bay last year.

"I felt fine," Kuper said. "I was able to do most everything that I like to do. It was nice to get my body accustomed to playing again. It was nice to get a win."

Vasquez is ranked by Pro Football Focus as one of the league's top pass-protecting guards this season. After he moved outside to tackle Sunday, the Broncos made two touchdown drives.

The Broncos' lone true backup tackle is Winston Justice, but he didn't sign with the team until Sept. 18.

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Orlando Franklin Reportedly Day-To-Day With Ankle Sprain

Broncos starting right tackle Orlando Franklin suffered a sprained ankle in the team’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

According to Jeff Legwold of ESPN, Franklin went in for scans on his knee and his ankle Monday morning. Pro Football Talk is reporting that only Franklin’s knee is affected, and he’s is listed as day-to-day.

Once Franklin left in the second half, the Broncos moved right guard Louis Vasquez to right tackle and inserted Chris Kuper at right guard. If Franklin is unable to play this week against the Indianapolis Colts, the team could start Winston Justice. Justice was inactive on Sunday.

“He’s had plenty of time to learn our verbiage and our offense,” John Fox said of Justice. “Right now, he’s still developing like everybody. Hopefully, we’re getting better every day—everybody is. But he’s on target as far as his preparation.”

As for the likelihood of the team signing anyone on the outside if Franklin can’t go, Fox kept the door open.

“We’re always looking to improve the team at any position. To answer your question, no more today than any other day.”

The Broncos offensive line may have a bit of a curse. Centers J.D. Walton and Dan Koppen were lost this summer due to injuries and starting left tackle Ryan Clady went on the IR with a Lisfranc injury.

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Orlando Franklin Earns PFF Weekly Honor

Broncos’ Right Tackle Orlando Franklin made the PFF Team of the Week for the Broncos as he allowed just one hurry against the Eagles and “added some good work when the Broncos ran” according to the site. New England’s Nate Solder was the other tackle named to the Team of the Week.

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Orlando Franklin aims to be NFL's best right tackle

How sure were the Denver Broncos they had victory in the bag last January in their AFC divisional playoff game against Baltimore?

“I was taking the tape off my hands. I thought the game was over,” Broncos right tackle Orlando Franklin said in an interview earlier this month in Toronto, where he was raised and where he resides in the off-season.

The Broncos led the Ravens 35-28 with 41 seconds left when Baltiimore’s Joe Flacco launched his famous 70-yard touchdown bomb to Jacoby Jones. That sent the game to overtime, and where the Ravens eventually won, 38-35.

“We lost to the team that eventually won the Super Bowl,” said Franklin, whose Broncos hit the field on Thursday as training camps across the NFL all open by next Friday. “That loss definitely humbled us, but definitely motivated us too.

“We had won some ridiculous amount of games in a row (11). There’s a reason they say the game’s never over until the last second ticks off. We had numerous opportunities to put that game away. As a team we didn’t take care of business. We were that close, but also that far. I think it motivated a lot of us this past off-season.”

For his third year in the league, the 6-foot-7, 330-pound Franklin is setting an individual goal as high as the Broncos’ team goal. Put simply, it’s to be the best.

One of two Toronto-raised offensive linemen on the Broncos -- second-year backup centre Philip Blake is the other -- the 26-year-old Franklin discussed these subjects and others during one of his many off-season charitable efforts in Toronto, a day of bowling for more than 100 disadvantaged local youths:
What’s the mood of the Broncos coming out of spring practices?

“We’re all eager and excited to get back out there. We know what we have. In my rookie year I don’t think we had an offensive identity. Last year we weren’t quite certain yet of our identity either, because Peyton (Manning) was coming off that season when he didn’t play, right? But now I think going into this season, we definitely have an identity and we definitely know what we’re capable of doing, as long as we take care of business.”

How has new wide receiver Wes Welker fit into the locker room and into the offence with Manning and the other wideouts?

“I feel like they have a good amount of chemistry together already. I mean, he plays around a lot too. He hangs out. He came in Day 1 and it wasn’t like he was hesitant to talk to us, or anything like that. He stepped right in like he’s been on the team the last five years.”

Can you give me an example of Manning’s competitiveness?:
“If a normal player gets beat in practice, it’s like, ‘OK, dang, I got beat in practice.’ But with Peyton, you can see that he really gets down on himself if he messes up a play. He holds himself to a higher level in every aspect. He’s big on routine, too. It’s not like he’s going to show up one week at 5:30 a.m. to go watch film just because we’re playing New England that week. No, he’s going to do that every week, for the whole season. He’s going to do that every week during the off-season too.”

Does that in turn motivate you?
“Yeah, definitely. If a guy like that who has accomplished so much in his life can continue to work like that, then why not? Who am I? I’m just a third-year player -- a second-round draft pick. Who am I not to wake up early in the morning too? Who am I not to watch extra film, if a guy like Peyton Manning is doing that stuff?”

How can the team reach the Super Bowl this year?
“Just for each individual to be accountable to each other. There are 11 guys out there at once on the field. If I can be accountable to all 10 other guys out there, and vice versa, I think we’ll be a great team, and it’ll be no contest as to who’s the best team in this league.”

What’s your individual goal for 2013?
“Last year I gave up three sacks. This year I want to give up zero sacks. I want to be in the best condition of my life and be the best right tackle in the league. I think arguably, between me and (San Francisco’s) Anthony Davis, we’re the best two right tackles in the NFL right now. But everybody can think highly of themselves. I still have to go out there this year and do it.”

On fellow Torontonian Philip Blake:
“I had no idea who Philip Blake was, to be honest with you. He wore my number (74) when he was at Baylor. But I made sure when the Broncos drafted him, I was like, ‘Buddy, don’t think you’re going to come in here and get 74.’ I made sure I tweeted him that. Philip, though, he’s a great guy, man. Last year he made my charity event. This year he couldn’t make it because he and his wife are expecting a little baby girl.”

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Orlando Magic tell free agent DeQuan Jones they will not re-sign him

Unrestricted free agent swingman DeQuan Jones won't return to the Orlando Magic for the 2013-14 season.

The Magic told him after their final summer league game this afternoon that they don't intend to re-sign him. Team officials parted ways with Jones on good terms, and the team will consider other ways to use his roster spot.

Jones, who spent last season with the team and the last week playing for the team in the Orlando Pro Summer League, told the Orlando Sentinel via text message that he isn't coming back.

Jones made his statement to the Sentinel after he sent several tweets thanking Magic officials and Magic fans for their support over the last year.

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VIDEO: Orlando Franklin Explains How He Got His Eyesight Fixed

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Orlando Franklin Out For Revenge After Manning’s Prank

DENVER (CBS4) – Orlando Franklin is turning to Twitter as he plots his revenge against Peyton Manning and Eric Decker after he was surprised with a shaving cream pie-in-the-face on live television last week.

Franklin was at Coors Field taking in a Rockies game with more than 30 Broncos teammates from a luxury box when the interview and sneak attack took place.

The Broncos offensive lineman told CBS4′s Vic Lombardi on Xfinity Monday Live that he will give four tickets to any home game this season to the fan who tweets him the best idea for a practical joke or prank that he thinks is worthy of trying as retaliation against Manning, the mastermind, and Decker, who did the deed.

“My first instinct was to get (Decker) back in some sort (of way). I was just happy that he slipped up when he was trying to get away from me and I was able to catch him and bring him back in front of the camera and wipe a bit of that shaving cream back in his face,” Franklin said.

He said he wound up doing the interview because “Peyton set me up.”

“Peyton told me that I should do the interview and I wasn’t really thinking. I’d never been to a baseball game before and I didn’t know that was a tradition and they set me up pretty good.”

Franklin told Lombardi he’s serious and asks that people contact him here: @OFranklin74.

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Orlando Franklin Discusses Off Season And Houseguest Louis Vasquez

Who would have thought that Denver Broncos right tackle Orlando Franklin would be making headlines in early May? He was the prime target for Peyton Manning’s latest prank on Tuesday night when he took a pie to the face at the Rockies game.

Pies aside, Franklin along with the rest of the offensive line has been using the off season to rest and rehab surgically repaired shoulders, toes, and ankles.

“My toe is great,” Franklin said Wednesday. “It’s 100 percent. My shoulder feels about 85 percent. My shoulder was a little bit worse than my toe. My toe wasn’t really a big deal. So I’m looking forward to getting after it. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to go full-go here in about two weeks when we start up.”

Franklin has also used the off season to drop some pounds so that the Broncos can play much faster on offense, which is Adam Gase and Manning’s idea.
“I know I for one want to play a little bit lighter this year than I’ve played in the past,” Franklin said. “I want to actually go down to about 315 [pounds]. I haven’t played in the NFL lighter than 320 in the past two years…I know a lot of guys want to be in better shape because last year definitely was an eye-opener with Peyton. You definitely got a little bit tired at times in the game. You don’t want that to happen again this year.”

Franklin said that he hired a nutritionist, and he’s feeling much better about himself. Those bags of potato chips at midnight or 6:00 a.m. are long gone, but entering Franklin’s house was something entirely new.

New guard Louis Vasquez lived with Franklin for over two weeks when he first arrived in Denver. That’s because the 6-5, 335-pound four-year veteran wasn’t closing on his house until the 19th.

“He just reached out to me and I said, ‘Yes, of course.’ Especially if this is a guy that I’m getting ready to play beside, potentially. Need to have some kind of chemistry there,” Franklin said.

The only downside to having Vasquez in his house goes back to food.

“He came in one night, the first night he got there, he ate my meals,” Vasquez said of the meals that the nutritionist recommended for him. “He woke up, ate my meals. I had to talk to him about that. Just a bad houseguest, I think. No, I’m playing. He was actually a good roommate. But he did eat my meals, and I wasn’t happy about that.”

It’s great to see Broncos players hanging out with each other off the field. Building chemistry and cultivating trust now will go a long ways, perhaps even all the way to February.

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Orlando Franklin is healthy after procedures

Let's review the four ailments suffered by Orlando Franklin this offseason.

The Broncos offensive tackle had corrective eye surgery. Worked like a charm.

He had surgery on his toe.

"My toe is great," Franklin said. "It's 100 percent."

He had shoulder surgery.

"My shoulder feels about 85 percent," he said. "My shoulder was a little bit worse than my toe. My toe wasn't really a big deal. So I'm looking forward to getting after it. I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to go full go here in about two weeks when we start up (with organized team activities)."

Finally, Franklin suffered a bout of good-natured embarrassment. With both courage and kindness, Franklin agreed to step in front of roughly 30 teammates and a live television audience to conduct an interview. As he was speaking, Franklin received baseball's tried-and-true prank of a shaving cream pie to the face.

It was wide receiver Eric Decker who delivered the pie and quarterback Peyton Manning who was behind it. Manning also organized the Broncos' players-only outing at Coors Field for the Rockies-Yankees game Tuesday night. The players were given the suite that Rockies owners Dick and Charlie Monfort use.

"I'm definitely looking forward to revenge," Franklin said. More footballs needed. Joel Dreessen was going through the projected reception stats now that the Broncos have added slot man Wes Welker to what already was a prolific, Manning-led passing game.

"We have a lot of weapons, and a lot of people to get the ball to, and that's a good problem to have," said Dreessen, a starting tight end, but "everybody wants their piece of the pie.

"The great thing about this team is we don't care. Whatever it takes to win. If Demaryius (Thomas) catches 100 again and Decker has 85 and Jacob (Tamme) and I combine for another 90 and Wes throws in his 100 ... You see, we're running out of balls, but who cares? We're just out to win ballgames."

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Orlando Franklin gets pranked on live TV by Eric Decker, Peyton Manning

You are never safe around Peyton Manning. Not even on live television.

Not even if you are a 330-pound offensive lineman.

Denver Broncos right tackle Orlando Franklin learned that lesson the hard way Tuesday, as he was treated to a pie in the face from teammate Eric Decker on ROOT Sports' live broadcast of the Colorado Rockies game.

According to Franklin, the prank was orchestrated by Peyton Manning.

Peyton Manning is a prank mastermind. Somehow, Manning convinced Eric Decker to deliver the pie, even though Manning punked Decker only a month ago. The future Hall of Famer convinced his wide receiver that he owed Duke University a four-figure bill for their offseason workouts.

Weeks later, Decker is doing Manning's dirty work.

"Prank mastermind" might not be a strong enough term... Manning is an evil genius, and we are all at his mercy.

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Orlando Franklin expected to be ready for camp

Denver Broncos OT Orlando Franklin (toe) underwent toe injury this offseason but is expected to be ready for the start of training camp. He is not expected to participate in offseason workouts.

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Orlando Franklin has shoulder scope

Ryan Clady isn't the only Denver Broncos offensive lineman recovering from shoulder surgery.

Right tackle Orlando Franklin had a scope on his right shoulder Thursday and is expected to be ready in time to participate in the Broncos' offseason workout program, according to a person familiar with the surgery. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the procedure.

Franklin has started every game at right tackle since the Broncos drafted him in the second round in 2011.

Broncos head coach John Fox confirmed last week at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis that Franklin had an offseason surgery to repair an injured toe.
Clady, who received the Broncos' non-exclusive franchise tag on Friday, had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. He is expected to miss the Broncos' offseason program while he recovers and in absence of a new long-term contract.

Denver right guard Chris Kuper and center J.D. Walton are also recovering from ankle surgeries and will likely miss offseason workouts.

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Broncos will consider moving Orlando Franklin from OT to OG

Q: There is been a lot of talk about moving Orlando Franklin from offensive tackle to guard. What are the chances that the Broncos draft a right tackle and move Franklin to guard? Are there many right tackle prospects in this draft or free agency? Franklin seems to struggle at pass protection at times.

A: Bill, the Broncos have mulled the idea about moving Franklin to guard since last offseason. Franklin is a physical drive blocker who has performed far better in the run game than he has from time to time in pass protection.

At his best, he has had some struggles on the perimeter, especially when the Broncos were not in a two-tight end set. And even before his recent surgery to repair his right big toe — his outside foot in pass protection — the Broncos had considered the idea he may be better at an interior position in the line.

When Franklin came into the 2011 draft, there were some teams who believed he would best suited at guard even at that point in his career. Franklin started three games at left guard in his freshman season at the University of Miami, started 11 games at left guard in his sophomore season and 11 games at left guard in his junior season.

He played far more at guard, overall, for the Hurricanes than he did at tackle. His senior season, when he started 12 of the team's 13 games at left tackle, was the only year when he played more at tackle than guard.

And the Broncos considered the move plenty before this past season, even giving Franklin a smattering of snaps at guard in training camp and the offseason program.

The Broncos would have likely already made the move, especially given the injuries to Chris Kuper this past season, but they haven't shown they have a better option at right tackle. And while quarterback Peyton Manning, with his anticipation, knowledge of a variety of rush schemes and his ability to get the ball out on time, helps any offensive line, the Broncos do need to have their best options at the two tackle spots.

Franklin struggled at times with opposing speed rushers — defensive coordinators did attack him in the rush — as he finished with five sacks allowed in man-on-man situations and also was the second-most-penalized offensive lineman.

His penalty total included five false starts.

Franklin remains one of the team's best power players, and the Broncos certainly would like to be more physical overall in the run game, especially in situations when they need to close out games and in short-yardage situations.

Opportunity may be knocking to make some moves. Franklin is recovering from toe surgery, so he is not expected to participate fully in the team's offseason program.

The Broncos will have the opportunity to try out some combinations that include linemen they already have on the roster as well as those they will add in the draft and free agency in the coming weeks.

The draft is deepest in the offensive and defensive lines this season, so the Broncos could address the offensive line with more than one pick and they will have a lot of prospects to choose from.

Florida State's Menelik Watson, at 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, is a tackle who sits on many team's boards from the late first round into the early third. Watson figures to be a riser by the time the draft weekend arrives.

The Broncos also met formally with Virginia's Oday Aboushi at the combine, and they will look hard at adding offensive linemen to their draft class. It's where the strength of the board will be whenever their picks come up.

So, there will be some new faces there and when Franklin returns to the field after his rehab, and while Kuper is in his own rehab from another ankle surgery, how successful those new faces have been at filling will determine whether Franklin.

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Orlando Franklin could change positions

The Broncos will look long and hard at moving right tackle Orlando Franklin inside to guard. He took some snaps there during last offseason, and there is a thought that it would be his most natural position.

There are some physical right tackle candidates to be found in the draft.

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Orlando Franklin believes the sweetest revenge is success

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