Bubba Franks

Beleaguered Franks gives thanks - Tight end happy his miscues didn't cost team a victory

Green Bay - The Green Bay Packers used to rely on tight end Bubba Franks every time they got near the goal line.
Now they can't even afford to have him near it.

Franks had a big thanks to extend to teammate Dave Rayner after he saved the veteran's bacon with a 44-yard field goal in the final minutes at

Lambeau Field, giving the Packers a 9-7 victory that should have been so much easier.

"He saved me at the end," said Franks, who came to Rayner after the game and thanked him for his heroics.


This week the Green Bay Packers were given quite the scare when Pro Bowl tight end Bubba Franks failed to show up for work. Repeat calls to his home phone and cell phone were made and still, no answer.

Franks is one of the most reliable players on the team — a solid professional who would never miss work much less show up late.

The Packers, fearing the worst, went so far as to dispatch a member of the team to Franks' house to investigate with the hope of getting to the bottom of it. The team official repeatedly banged on the door and a window to no response. Fortunately, Franks finally responded and it turned out his alarm clock never went off and he was just in a deep sleep.

Still, because Franks is the consummate pro the team feared the worst. Luckily, their fears never came to fruition.


Frustration builds for quiet Franks

As Bubba Franks sat at his locker after Sunday's 38-10 loss to the New York Jets, the frustration came pouring out.

For most of the season, Franks, a three-time Pro Bowler, has been used primarily as a blocker.

On Sunday, Franks had what is becoming a typical performance. He had three catches for 18 yards, and while Franks did his best to take the high road, it was impossible for him to mask his frustration with his diminishing role.

"I don't even want to get into that," Franks said. "I don't feel like arguing or negotiating with nobody."

Chris Havel column: Franks disappears from red zone

Mike McCarthy is a magician.

The Green Bay Packers' coach has managed to make a 6-foot-6, 265-pound tight end disappear.

There is a better chance of Bubba Franks showing up on an Amber Alert, or on the back of a milk carton, than inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

Franks has gone from invincible in the red zone to invisible in the red zone.

Once upon a time, Brett Favre joked that Franks might become the first player in National Football League history to have more touchdown catches than receiving yards. It was Favre at his wittiest, and it was Franks at his best, and it was smiles all around.

Bubba Franks Update

Meanwhile, Bubba Franks is clearly frustrated with his reduced role. Asked if he was on the field when quarterback Brett Favre got hurt in the second quarter, Franks said:

"No I wasn't, I was on the sidelines. Spending too much time on the sidelines."

It seemed like he regretted opening that can of worms, though, because when asked why he was on the sidelines, he wanted to drop it.

"I don't know," Franks said. "I'm just a player. Don't ask me. I don't even want to get into it."

Franks is one of the most emotional and bluntly honest veterans the Packers have, and he was clearly upset by the loss.
"I don't think they fear coming to Lambeau no more. We don't have that mystique," Franks said. "We've been trying to get it all year. We don't have it. At all."

He added that he had wanted to see how the Packers measured up against New England to judge their progress.

"It was a measuring stick to me," Franks said. "The teams we beat, they all have losing records. To come up against a team like this, it was a challenge. And we didn't answer the challenge - not today."


Where's Bubba been?

For most of this season, Green Bay Packers tight end Bubba Franks has been the disappearing Pro Bowler.

Franks remains the Packers' starter and has been on the field all season. But in the box score, he's been a mirage.

In the last two weeks, Franks has been held without a catch. It's not that Franks hasn't had opportunities — he dropped two passes in Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills. In eight games this season, Franks has just 12 catches for 123 yards and no touchdowns.

Packers: Franks moves to end of the block

GREEN BAY - What Bubba Franks is going through right now is essentially the grown- up, NFL version of your kid being demoted in the elementary school play.

Before, the Green Bay Packers' three-time Pro Bowl tight end had a key role. If the Packers' offense was "The Three Little Pigs," maybe he wasn't the big, bad wolf, but at least the second pig.

Where's Bubba?

Sunday's trip to Miami is just the second for Bubba Franks as a Green Bay Packers tight end. The first trip was in 2000, Bubba's rookie year after being a first-round draft choice from the University of Miami.

His friends may have been asking, "Where's Bubba?" Packers fans are asking that now. The Packers enter Sunday's game ranked 29th in red zone offense after just five touchdowns in 14 trips.

Veteran tight end Franks trying to produce in different role

The play was one the Green Bay Packers have run dozens of times.

It was a play-action pass, and quarterback Brett Favre rolled to his left. He found a wide open Bubba Franks in the flat, and the tight end looked like he was on his way to a big gain. But Franks couldn't make a cornerback miss, and he was stopped for a 9-yard gain.

It happened on first-and-10 from the Packers' 32-yard line on their second series of Sunday's 23-20 loss to St. Louis at Lambeau Field. The Packers scored a touchdown on that drive, but if they hadn't, a play like that might have stuck out even more. The 28-year-old Franks, who is in his seventh NFL season, couldn't find a way to get around cornerback Travis Fisher.

Chris Havel column: Franks apology sincere, but veterans need to step it up

Once again, Bubba Franks displayed the outstanding leadership skills that make the seventh-year pro an integral member of the Green Bay Packers.

Unfortunately, Franks did so after the Packers’ 34-27 loss to New Orleans, rather than during it. Following a second straight loss at Lambeau Field, Franks addressed his teammates in the locker room to apologize for dropping passes and committing a costly unsportsmanlike penalty.

The gesture was classy and sincere, and it may make a lasting impression on the rookies and first-year players.

Franks wasn’t the only veteran who earned the right to apologize for substandard play.