Orlando Franklin

Orlando Franklin misses Broncos practice due to illness

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(denverpost.com)
Comments

Peyton Takes a selfie with Orlando Franklin





Bookmark and Share
Comments

Orlando Franklin Ready To Make Best Of Move To Left Guard

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(denver.cbslocal.com)
Comments

Zoom in on ... left guard Orlando Franklin

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(espn.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin: "I got mad at the world"

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(sportsmole.co.uk)
Comments

Orlando Franklin makes best of position change

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(denverpost.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin's Switch A Smooth Transition

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(denverbroncos.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin adjusting to life at left guard

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.”


Bookmark and Share
(washingtonpost.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin Has No Problem With Position Switch

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(denverpost.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin: Learning curve steep for rookies

OrlandoFranklin
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."


Bookmark and Share
(espn.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin makes transition to left guard

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.”


Bookmark and Share
(denverpost.com)
Comments

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

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(denverpost.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin honoured by Mayor Ford

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.”


Bookmark and Share
(metronews.ca)
Comments

Orlando Franklin will not let nerves get the best of him

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(utnsports.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin announces new foundation to help at-risk teens

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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).


Bookmark and Share
(bramptonguardian.com)
Comments

Broncos lineman Orlando Franklin extends proCane streak

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(kansascity.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin made major life choice early

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.' "


Bookmark and Share
(denverpost.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin: Don't blame Peyton Manning for loss

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(nfl.com)
Comments

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.

RobFordOrlandoFranklin


Bookmark and Share
Comments

Orlando Franklin's journey to Super Bowl XLVIII

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.”


Bookmark and Share
(cbc.ca)
Comments

Orlando Franklin of Toronto eyes Super Bowl ring for hometown

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(torontosun.com)
Comments

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

JimmyGrahamSaints
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.


Bookmark and Share

Comments

Orlando Franklin Named To All AFC West Team by ESPN

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(espn.com)
Comments

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

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(denverpost.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin not practicing

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(nflspinzone.com)
Comments

Broncos likely without Orlando Franklin for Sunday game against Colts

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(gazette.com)
Comments

Broncos likely without Orlando Franklin for Sunday game against Colts

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(gazette.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin recovering, but may not play at Colts

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(denverpost.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin Reportedly Day-To-Day With Ankle Sprain

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(predominantlyorange.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin Earns PFF Weekly Honor

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.




Bookmark and Share
(denverbroncos.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin aims to be NFL's best right tackle

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.”


Bookmark and Share
(torontosun.com)
Comments

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

DeQuanJonesCanes
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.


Bookmark and Share
(orlandosentinel.com)
Comments

VIDEO: Orlando Franklin Explains How He Got His Eyesight Fixed




Bookmark and Share
Comments

Orlando Franklin Out For Revenge After Manning’s Prank

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(cbslocal.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin Discusses Off Season And Houseguest Louis Vasquez

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(predomminantlyorange.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin is healthy after procedures

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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."


Bookmark and Share
(denverpost.com)
Comments

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.

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(milehighreport.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin expected to be ready for camp

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.




Bookmark and Share
(fantasysp.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin has shoulder scope

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(usatoday.com)
Comments

Broncos will consider moving Orlando Franklin from OT to OG

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(denverpost.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin could change positions

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
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.


Bookmark and Share
(denverpost.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin believes the sweetest revenge is success

27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0">


Bookmark and Share
Comments

Orlando Franklin Rated Top Right Tackle In NFL

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
Williamson’s ESPN Insider rankings has Tom Brady at second behind only Aaron Rodgers, with superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski in the top 15. Vince Wilfork checks in at 38, and Wes Welker is nestled in ten spots below the star DT in the 48th slot. It is surprising to see that Wilfork is on the list over Sebastian Vollmer, because Wilfork hasn’t been nearly as dominant this season. Meanwhile, Vollmer has been the class of the right tackles in the league this season.

Elsayed did not leave off Vollmer from his list and recognized his prowess in pass protection and run blocking. He wrote, “Is there a better right tackle in football right now? I’d say not.” Elsayed also noted that only Denver Broncos second-year right tackle Orlando Franklin has a better pass blocking efficiency rating than Vollmer this season. Franklin’s improvement from his rookie season has been huge for the Broncos, and they have a top bookend duo in Ryan Clady and Franklin this season.


Bookmark and Share
Comments

Orlando Franklin A Right Tackle With Flexibility

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
In the preseason opener against the Bears, the Broncos’ Orlando Franklin started at his customary right tackle position but switched to right guard with the No. 2 offense.

There are no plans to make the switch full-time. While the Broncos are expected to keep nine offensive linemen on their 53-man roster, only seven typically dress on game day.

“You’ve got to get ready for a whole season,’’ said Broncos coach John Fox. “And a guy’s flexibility is critical especially when you set your active game roster with seven linemen. So you need to have swing guys who can play inside and outside.’’

The Broncos usual right guard, Chris Kuper, was given the Bears’ game off so he could continue to ease back from his lower left leg and ankle injuries. Kuper is expected to start the second preseason game next Saturday against Seattle at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.


Bookmark and Share
(denverpost.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin Practices At Right Guard

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
Denver Broncos right tackle Orlando Franklin got off to a rough start at training camp when he received a concussion on the first day of practice. After being cleared to play over the weekend, Franklin is back at things on Monday, but apparently he is trying out a different position: right guard, according to Andrew Mason.

Orlando Franklin is back at team drills -- and unexpectedly, at RG. Chris Clark at RT. #Broncos

Franklin is no stranger to playing guard, as he spent time there while playing for the Miami Hurricanes. This is not wholly unexpected as the team had reportedly kicked around the idea before training camp started. Franklin struggled as a pass-blocker in his rookie season, but was outstanding as a run-blocker.

However, this is likely to get him accommodated to the position again, as Franklin moved back to right tackle later in practice. Incumbent starter Chris Kuper is coming back from injury and is listed as the first-teamer there on the recently released depth chart. Franklin will resume playing right tackle when Kuper is healthy enough to be on the field again -- or so we believe.


Bookmark and Share
(sbnation.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin back after concussion

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
Broncos RT Orlando Franklin has been cleared to return to practice after suffering a concussion on the first day of camp.

The injury won't be a concern going forward in camp, but is something to file away for if/when Franklin suffers another head injury. The Denver Post reported last week the Broncos have "kicked around" giving Franklin reps at right guard, but that idea will likely be shelved with RG Chris Kuper (broken leg) looking healthy early in camp.


Bookmark and Share
(rotoworld.com)
Comments

Orlando Franklin could see time at guard

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
According to the Denver Post, the Broncos have "kicked around" the idea of moving RT Orlando Franklin to guard.

The move would give the Broncos insurance on RG Chris Kuper (broken leg), but also open up a hole at right tackle. Kuper has been cleared for camp. Franklin actually made 12 more starts at guard than tackle for the University of Miami, and was much better in the run game than pass protection as a rookie.


Bookmark and Share
(rotoworld.com)
Comments

Two proCanes Rated Top 20 AFC West O-Lineman

OrlandoFranklinBroncos
We are continuing our divisional position ranking with the offensive linemen. Overall, it is a young group with many players who have potential to move up in future years.

1. Eric Winston, T, Kansas City: Arguably the best right tackle in the NFL. The Chiefs scored major with this free-agent signing.

2. Ryan Clady, T, Denver: Clady’s sack and penalty numbers are up, but he is still an above-average player who should benefit from playing with Peyton Manning.

3. Nick Hardwick, C, San Diego: A strong, reliable player whom the Chargers absolutely had to re-sign.

4. Chris Kuper, G, Denver: Ask any scout about underrated players and Kuper is probably on every list.

5. Jared Veldheer, T, Oakland: The list is getting difficult here. I’m going with Veldheer as the second-best left tackle based on potential. It’s sky-high.

6. Jared Gaither, T, San Diego: If healthy, he can be dominant -- as he showed with the Chargers late last season.

7. Branden Albert, T, Kansas City: Solid, not spectacular, but you can do a lot worse and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Chiefs gave him an extension this season..

8. Stefen Wisniewski, C, Oakland: I like this second-year guard-turned-center a lot. A future star.

9. Mike Brisiel, G, Oakland: Tough, gritty player who is perfect for the zone-blocking offense.

10. Louis Vasquez, G, San Diego: A quiet, solid contributor.

11. Jeromey Clary, T, San Diego: A lot of Chargers fans don’t like him, but he gets the job done.

12. Jon Asamoah, G, Kansas City: This second-year starter looks solid.

13. Ryan Lilja, G, Kansas City: A tough vet who is probably entering his final season as a starter in Kansas City.

14. J.D. Walton, C, Denver: A tough, young starter who still needs to find consistency.

15. Zane Beadles, G, Denver: He has potential, but still needs to grow.

16. Orlando Franklin, T, Denver: He struggled some as a rookie, but there is big potential there.

17. Cooper Carlisle, G, Oakland: He keeps hanging around. The end may be near, but he can zone-block.

18. Rodney Hudson, C, Kansas City: He is poised to start for the first time, taking over for Casey Wiegmann. He could be very good.

19. Tyronne Green, G, San Diego: He is taking over for the great Kris Dielman, who retired. Green has been good as an injury replacement in the past.

20. Khalif Barnes, T, Oakland: He could lose his job to Joe Barksdale if he slips.


Bookmark and Share
(espn.com)
Comments