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The Trouble With Bubba

TE Bubba Franks would like you to know that last season was a bump in the road and he is on a mission.

"I was just up and down, a little inconsistent here and there, and that's not me," Franks said. "But this year, I'm not going to have a problem with that at all."
The problem wasn't that he was inconsistent in 2006. He was very consistent every week, dropping passes and generally not producing in the passing game.

Actually Franks has been a model of consistency throughout his career. Look at his career stats. Except for 2002, he has always caught between 25 and 35 passes for 200 to 300 yards per season. He always averages between 8 and 10 yards per catch and every year there are coaches talking about his great hands in practice while we watch him routinely drop a few wide open passes each season. He has only been valuable as a blocker and to catch redzone touchdowns. His notable seasons are 2001, 2002, and 2004 when he has caught 7 TDs or more. For whatever reason, he has only caught 1 TD in the past two seasons and it is apparent he can't get open on his own in the redzone anymore, if he ever could do it. If he isn't catching TD passes then he is a below average player who is a drain on the passing game.

Franks wants to return to form, but he can aim higher than that. He should try and become the deep middle threat former GM Ron Wolf thought he was drafting in the 1st round back in 2000. Work on his route running so that he can develop a move that is sure to shake the linebacker covering him in single coverage and then he can be a redzone threat. However it isn't realistic to expect him to become someone he isn't. At least he will remain a consistent and quality blocking tight end and maybe if someone like rookie TE Clark Harris does develop into a good receiving tight end, then he might be able to score a few more redzone TDs in his career as teams start ignoring him in pass coverage.