To this point, San Diego Chargers general manager Tom Telesco has had a good offseason with the San Diego Chargers. But one of the main moves he made last year—signing free-agent offensive lineman Orlando Franklin—didn’t quite pan out.
Franklin signed a five-year, $36.5 million deal with the Chargers following the 2014 season, in which Telesco lured him away from division rival Denver. Franklin also got a guaranteed $16.5 million for the first two years of the deal.
Following last year, some would say that his signing was a bad move by Telesco. Due to injuries, Franklin played in a career-low 10 games in 2015 and wasn’t all that effective when he was on the field. For him to make Chargers fans believe bringing him in was a good move, he’ll need to have a much, much better 2016 campaign.
In a recent interview with Steve Hartman and Mike Costa, Franklin spoke about getting his health—more specifically, his weight—in check.
“I know for me…. I can’t really speak about anybody, but I know for me, I felt I wasn’t in the best shape that I have normally been in going into previous seasons when I was in Denver. I know a big thing for me this offseason is to get my weight under control. Last year I played at about 325 and this year, I plan to play at about 315 pounds. I mean, a lot of people say, well it’s only ten pounds but at this level and moving down and getting down in your squats and putting your force against other people, it makes a big difference. Another thing that I felt that I needed to work on this offseason was flexibility. I felt like I got hurt a lot easier than what I did my first couple years in the league. I used to basically focus in on flexibility and last year I kind of didn’t really do that, I got out here kind of late and I was just trying to get my people to help me start with my stretching and stuff like that… just didn’t really feel like I found my right fit where now I feel like I’ve got a good grasp on all the people that are going to help me throughout the season with my flexibility, my mobility and get as flexible as you can be… as mobile as you can be. I think that helps with injuries”, said Franklin.
Health will be the biggest key to success for Franklin, but if he can stay on the field, he’ll succeed.
Offensive line coach Jeff Davidson will be able to get the most out of Franklin, helping to bring him back to the form he showed in Denver, where he was as good as any offensive lineman on the team.
Franklin started his career at tackle and though he plays guard now, he is versatile and can line up elsewhere if needed.
Franklin’s San Diego career definitely got off on the wrong foot. But don’t give up on the big guy yet. If the Chargers’ offensive line is to have success as a unit this coming season, he needs to be a big part of that.