New guard Franklin leads a tougher Chargers line
Stopping the run at Chargers practice isn't so easy for Donald Butler anymore.
The inside linebacker has to maneuver around mammoth new lineman Orlando Franklin on a day in, day out basis.
"Just look at the man," Butler told ESPN. "His size alone -- he’s huge. So when he’s coming off of that double team, you better have your chin strap buckled up because he’s coming to take your head off."
It'll be a problem 31 other teams will have to think about in 2015. General manager Tom Telesco upgraded San Diego's size up front after watching his team tally a measly 3.2 yards-per-attempt on first down in 2014 -- second-worst in the NFL.
That'll change with the 6-6, 326-pound Franklin now anchoring the interior.
"There’s no ceiling to this offensive line, to be honest with you," said Franklin, who signed with the Chargers this offseason. "When we want to run the ball, we should be able to get that done."
Butler agrees. He's seen the way Franklin and the new-look line gets downhill to block the run.
"And that’s what you love out of your O-linemen," said the inside linebacker. "I wouldn’t say down and dirty, but someone that brings that gritty mindset -- we want to run the ball, and you can run it behind me."