Franks looks ahead

Tight end explains drop against Steelers, vows it won't hurt his confidence

Until Saturday night, Bubba Franks was having a solid training camp. The veteran tight dropped a few pounds over the off-season and had rarely dropped a pass through the first two weeks of practice.

Then on Saturday night, shades of the last two seasons came back to haunt him. On third-and-8 from the 50 yard line, quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw what appeared to be a very catchable pass to Franks for what would have been a first down, but Franks, like he has done a number of times the past two seasons, lost his focus. The pass bounced off his shoulder pads for an incompletion and the Packers were forced to punt.

While the pass may have been tipped by the defender covering Franks, he's not using that as an excuse. Nor is he using his sore right eye, which was scratched in practice about two weeks ago, as an excuse.

"I don't know if it was tipped or not" said Franks today after practice. "I was trying to run before I caught the ball."

Like a true professional, Franks bounced back in this afternoon's practice with an impressive diving catch in front of linebacker Tracy White during a 7-on-7 drill. He also caught a number of other passes in 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 drills. The one that he dropped on Saturday, and others like it in the past few years, is history, Franks says.

"I'm going to be me," Franks said. "Last year was last year. Things happen. You move on. You live in the past, you can't move on. I don't even want to talk about last year no more. That was last year. This is a whole new season. I already have confidence. I never lose confidence. It's just a matter of going out there and doing the little things."

"I think I took off running before I even caught it. That's that. That's the last time I'm going to speak about that."

The scratched cornea that Franks sustained in practice on July 31 is not completely healed, but he has used a shield for protection and can continue to practice.

"I practice with this eye," Franks said. "The same eye I go into the game with, so that's not an excuse. I just have to find ways to adjust with it."

The dropped pass against the Steelers may be the best thing to happen to Franks. It certainly must have reminded him of recent seasons, but fortunately for him, it came in a game that doesn't count. If he can take the negative and turn it to a positive, Franks should have a much better season. The Packers need him to bounce back, and he took that first step in practice on Monday.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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