Orlando Franklin made his annual in-studio visit to SportsNet 590 The Fan's Prime Time Sports radio program out of Toronto. The interview (click on January 29th, 6pm) was interesting enough that we decided to transcribe it in its entirety.
Franklin speaks on several subjects, including the potential surgery on his shoulder, the Broncos offense in 2012, Peyton Manning's calls at the line of scrimmage, the differences between Manning and Tim Tebow, and finally, his Super Bowl prediction.
Franklin is quickly becoming one of our favorite interviews. He's always chilled out, very measured with this words, and the dude understands football. He rarely dumbs things down. Notice that he seems to have put the Ravens loss into perspective already. If only it were so easy for the fans.
On how his shoulder is feeling:
"It's feeling alright right now, so hopefully after I get checked up and stuff like that on Monday, hopefully everything's all clear and I get a green light...they said there might be a small tear in there right now. I don't think I completely tore it, so the surgery would be quick and minor...if I do need surgery. But hopefully that's not the case...it hurts a little bit...just when I move it."
On whether he's going to watch the Super Bowl
"Yeah, it's the Super Bowl. That's what all 32 teams strive for, so I'll definitely check that out. But I didn't watch the games last week, the AFC and NFC championships, because I definitely felt like we belonged there. But this is the Super Bowl, and I'm pretty sure everyone in this profession will be watching."
On whether he's pissed off at the Ravens
"Well you can't really be mad at Baltimore. You know they came in and played a great game, and unfortunately, we got the short end of the stick that game. You know I'm happy for them. It's Ray Lewis's last year. I've got a lot of great friends that play for the Ravens, so I'm definitely happy for them. I look forward to checking them out on Sunday."
On how the Ravens beat the Broncos
"I just believe in all aspects of the game--well, two aspects of the game--that we could have did [sic] better because our special teams did score two touchdowns for us in there, so I definitely think as an offense we could have done better. As a defense, you know, I think that they could have did [sic] some stuff toward the end of the game."
On if the defense let them down
"Our defense has played lights out all season. It definitely complements our offense. So, for--I don't know. I think all the stars must have aligned right for Baltimore that day, because I definitely didn't think we were going to lose that game. I was looking forward to playing Baltimore. I was looking forward to getting rid of Baltimore, but they got rid of us and they sent us home, so that's the nature of the business, but all the best to them."
On how he adjusted to the amount of audibles under Peyton Manning
"Peyton wants to play this game at a fast pace. He strives on being an intelligent quarterback, on being able to make decisions in hostile situations, so each and every week, he strives for perfection in practice. So when it comes to the game it makes it a whole lot more [sic] easier cause you got the coaches and you got Peyton mad at you during the week so on Sundays you don't make mistakes like that, so he wants to play that up tempo.
You know with Tim, I love Tim, but it was more like a black-and-white offense. You know, it was: 'This is what we're going to do and this is what we're going to do.' If that was the play, that was the play. There wasn't a lot of calling audibles. I think probably 60% of the time this season, we didn't huddle up with Peyton out there, so he knows how he wants the play to be run...and I'm happy with our offense that we were able to catch on the system that quick and we were able to put in that much hard work and win as much [sic] games and accomplish as much [sic] things as we did."
On if the first San Diego game was a turning point in the season
"Yeah, I think that was a turning point. We definitely jelled as a team that day. To be down as much as we were down and to come back just in the second half...but you saw it in guys. You saw it at halftime. They wanted to do this not just for themselves but they wanted to do this for their other teammates and they wanted to do this for their coaches. As everybody understood, if you lost that game right there, it would have never been good. I think we would have been 2-4 if we would have lost that game, and who knows where we end up. For us to come back and win in that fashion that we did, it was like, for the rest of the season, you see we never lost another game, so it was like, until a few weeks ago, it was like, 'Who could honestly beat us?'...the only way we could be stopped is if we stopped ourselves."
On how much the playbook changed this year
"Well, you know, they kept coach [Dave] Magazu, so, for offensive linemen, our calls didn't really change. And basically it was the same package. I know it changed dramatically for the receivers and stuff like that. You know for offensive linemen if you've got the four down and the Mike, you've got the four down and the Mike. The picture's painted black and white pretty much, but Peyton tweaked some little stuff, certain things, and, so once you kept on looking at your playbook, you know this is a profession, you're trying to perfect your craft, so it definitely didn't change too much for us, and if it did, it changed slightly, and it wasn't that hard to get it down."
On knowing where Peyton Manning was in the pocket (versus Tebow's movement at any time)
"That's the great thing about Peyton: as an offensive line, you know exactly where he's going to be in the pocket...like I said, he's a perfectionist. He knows where he needs to be in the pocket, and once you know where your quarterback is going to be at five yards, it's easier to run a defender around him---a faster person, a stronger defender, it's easier to take him where he wants to go because you know exactly where the quarterback is. The difference between Tim last year is you never really understood where Tim was going to be. You never understood if he was going to take down the ball, or if he was actually going to sit back there for a couple of seconds and try to throw the ball."
On how often Peyton audibled from the play that was originally called
"80%. Half the time we were just going off of his read at the line of scrimmage. The majority of the time there [are] two plays called in the huddle and he just picks the one he likes. Sometimes we don't even know there's two plays called. He hears it in the headset and he gets us to the line and he looks at the defense and he checks into what he wants."
On who he thinks will win the Super Bowl
"I think this game is going to come down to quarterbacks. If Baltimore can control Kaepernick, Baltimore wins the game. If San Francisco can control Flacco with the deep balls, San Francisco wins this game. Each team is going to go as far as his quarterback is going to take them, but honestly, I'd love to see Baltimore get the win being that they beat us and it is the AFC."
On the Ravens suddenly being known for their offense
"I think the world of Torrey Smith. That's one of my good friends. We train together in Miami and we have the same agent, so he's a hard worker. And you've got Anquan on the opposite side of him and they just complement each other. So it's a hard one-two punch."