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Old 09-25-2012, 11:03 AM   #1002
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The KC Star article on Franklin is not encouraging:


COLUMBIA -- In the moments after Missouri’s 31-10 thrashing against South Carolina on Saturday night, a somewhat subdued James Franklin was sure he would learn a few things from the game film.

On Monday, Franklin — who was slightly more upbeat and just as candid — stated what those things were.

“I could definitely tell from watching the film that I just wasn’t in the same rhythm and doing the things that I usually do in games,” said Franklin, MU’s quarterback. “It was definitely disappointing.”

In general, Franklin said, he was way too cautious, way too tentative and way too ineffective. He finished 11 of 18 for 92 yards passing, rushed 15 times for 6 yards and accounted for zero touchdowns.

“I didn’t realize it was so obvious until I was able to actually watch the film,” Franklin said.

Franklin’s performance Saturday was surely a far cry from last season, when he emerged as one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation by passing for 21 touchdowns and rushing for 15 more.

Of course, Franklin wasn’t dealing with the injuries then that he is now. He underwent surgery in the spring to repair a torn labrum he suffered in March and missed the Arizona State game on Sept. 15 because of a bursa sac in the same shoulder that became inflamed after he took a big hit against Georgia the week before.

Franklin said the shoulder again bothered him Saturday, adding that the pain he felt every time he threw the ball shook his confidence. This is not his first time he experienced shoulder pain — he said he felt some last year — but in the past, it always went away during games.

Not so this season.

“It’s almost like I’m worried about doing it (delivering throws) because the pain is going to be there and I doubt that I’ll be able to put something on this throw or make that type of throw,” Franklin said. “It’s more mental than physical.”

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said Franklin can play better but added that the offense’s struggles — the Tigers gained 255 yards and reached the other side of the field only twice under Franklin’s direction — weren’t all on his quarterback.

“I think he’s doing OK,” Pinkel said. “Generally, any time you look at an offense, especially our offense, that is struggling, then you are going to point to the quarterback …(but) we look at the receivers, we look at the offense line, and all of the other aspects of it.

“I believe in him and expect him to get a lot better.”

Franklin said he appreciated his coach’s support and added that while the presence of backup Corbin Berkstresser — who led Missouri to a win against Arizona State in his absence — is pushing him to play better, several teammates have also been supportive despite his struggles.

“The guys, they were still being positive, (saying things) like ‘Don’t worry about it, you’ve just got to get back to your old self and just keep playing and feel comfortable and have fun,’ (that) kind of thing,” Franklin said. “I know there’s probably a few of them that are upset, but I know they did a good job of just uplifting me and letting me know to forget about it and move on to the next game.”

Franklin will begin that effort this week in practice, where he says he will make a concerted effort to get over the doubts that crept into his head last week because of the injury. The fact he made it through Saturday’s game is a start.

“Although it’s going to hurt, I know that hopefully — at least based on what it has shown in the past — it’s not going to get any worse,” Franklin said.

He also plans on reverting to his old running style of last season, the one that helped him gain almost 1,000 rushing yards. Pinkel maintained all offseason that Franklin, who repeatedly fought for extra yards and finished off his runs last season, needed to do a better job of picking his spots. But Franklin, a junior, is tired of playing it safe.

“I think I’m going to try to make an adjustment this week to not run dumb — I know that sounds pretty bad — but just kind of (get back to) how I used (run) and not necessarily just get a couple yards and duck down, but try to make more happen,” Franklin said.

That said, expect a more aggressive Franklin this week against Central Florida, both running and passing.

“That’s something I definitely want to fix because it’s obviously not working and I’m not really being productive from my position,” he said. “And if I’m not productive or at least doing things decent, then it really makes the offense struggle as a whole, and that’s something that we can’t have.”

Read more here:
I actually have a frayed labrum right now; it's creating a lot of tendinitis and inflammation in the shoulder and it hurts like crazy anytime I throw. I've had to move across the infield because I have to put a hump on the ball to get it across.

If he's feeling anything similar to what I'm feeling (and it kinda sounds like he is), there's no way he can be effective out there. The shoulder feels loose and fire shoots through it anytime you try to muscle up. The only thing you can do to keep it tolerable is to essentially flex the shoulder as you throw and give it more wrist/elbow snap to compensate for the decreased whip motion in the joint.

If this is honestly his labrum acting up again, he's toast. Even if he can fight through the pain, the velocity isn't going to be there.
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