Former Missouri star wide receiver Franklin already impressing Chiefs
By ADAM TEICHER
While it’s probably going too far to say Franklin was a star last week, the first week of offseason practice for the Chiefs, he certainly didn’t look as if he were lost.
Franklin instead looked as if he belonged.
“He’s really quick making his moves, and he’s got really strong hands,” said quarterback Damon Huard, who now in his 12th NFL season has seen more than a few rookie receivers come and go.
“He’s dropped a couple of passes, but everyone’s dropped a couple. As a rookie receiver, it’s always tough for those guys coming into a situation like this. But he’s got the skills to be a special player. If he works hard at it, he will.”
Jeff Webb and Devard Darling are currently heading the line to be the starting wide receiver opposite Bowe. It’s not inconceivable Franklin could beat them out.
He just has the rookie thing to overcome. It’s easy to forget in light of Bowe’s big season, but even he didn’t begin the season as a starter. He inherited the spot in the second game left by Eddie Kennison, who went out with an injury on the first offensive play of the year.
“It’s unfamiliarity with the offense, for one, and with the quarterback,” said coach Herm Edwards, listing some of the reasons that rookie receivers have problems. “The window closes a lot faster in pro football than it does in college football, so you have to be more disciplined in your route running. All of those things are a factor.
“All of a sudden, you’re playing against good corners. That’s a difference.”
Great news if you're a Chiefs fan.
Also gives us a new light on the battle for #2. Certainly you have to believe that Franklin has a chance.
The following tidbit makes that a little obvious:
Webb caught 28 passes as a part-time player last season, but the Chiefs appear more comfortable with him as a reserve. Darling was unable to make much of an impression or earn much playing time in four seasons with Baltimore.
That bit involving Webb gives me, the regular Joe Fan, the impression that the Chiefs are starting to whittle down potential starters, and Webb is starting to fall out of the mix.
What do you think? Have we had this conversation?