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Packers don’t think Johnathan Franklin has a problem holding onto the ball

Johnathan Franklin AP

Packers rookie running back Johnathan Franklin has fumbled in each of the team’s last two games and he wound up on the bench for the remainder of last Sunday’s win after he coughed the ball up.

According to running backs coach Alex Van Pelt, that’s not because the team was trying to send a message to Franklin about holding onto the ball. Van Pelt said it was because Eddie Lacy was running well and not because the team feels that Franklin is too careless with the ball.

“I didn’t say, ‘Hey, you’re done for the rest of the game because you put the ball on the ground,’ because I don’t think he’s that guy,” Van Pelt said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “If he’s carrying it loosely and swinging it around and it’s out all the time, then that’s a different story, and you’re not going to be out on the field, but I think he does take care of the ball.”

Franklin, who had issues holding onto the ball early in his UCLA career as well, has spent extra time working on ball security in practice this week and there’s no indication that the Packers are going to leave him on the bench against the Ravens this weekend. Should the fumbling continue, there might be a change of heart from Van Pelt and the rest of the Packers staff but, for now, Franklin hasn’t been banished from the lineup.

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18 Responses to “Packers don’t think Johnathan Franklin has a problem holding onto the ball”
  1. trollsetter says: Oct 11, 2013 10:31 AM

    Oh, they don’t? They also probably think their first round pick, Dontone Jones, is an all pro with his one tackle. They’ll probably also tell you that Clay Matthews is durable. Sheesh, I guess if they can sell the fan base worthless stock they can sell them anything.

  2. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Oct 11, 2013 10:31 AM

    I hope this fumbling problem doesn’t derail the inevitable Hall of Fame career I’ve been promised by so many Packer fans.

  3. irishgary says: Oct 11, 2013 10:33 AM

    He Cincinnati fumble was critical. Two fumbles on two games is a problem that needs to be fixed quickly. He has the talent to be a big part of the offense

  4. zappa69 says: Oct 11, 2013 10:37 AM

    Why would the coaching think he has a problem hanging onto the ball? Let me tell you, bad coaching. Teaching cheap shots to your players, not teaching ball control. Teaching passing, but not teaching rushing. Teaching the “Lambeau Leap”, but not teaching defense.

  5. twonis says: Oct 11, 2013 10:50 AM

    Hey RickSpielmanIsaMagician– I seem to remember another running back who used to go by the name “Fumbelina” who is now more commonly referred to as “Purple Jesus”.

    He’s a rook. He’s obviously got talent, as evidenced in his 100+ yd performance. Give him a minute.

  6. aldante66 says: Oct 11, 2013 11:03 AM

    Now I know why he was there in the fourth. Another bad decision by the pack. One more problem player to deal with.

  7. aldante66 says: Oct 11, 2013 11:07 AM

    Now I know why he was there in the fourth. Another bad decision by the pack. One more problem player to deal with. Ya

  8. purpleguy says: Oct 11, 2013 11:25 AM

    Looking on the bright side for the Packers, he didn’t pull his hamstring when he fumbled.

  9. ronin36 says: Oct 11, 2013 11:47 AM

    “If they can sell the fanbase worthless stock, they can sell them anything.”

    Let’s be honest.. if other teams in the NFL could do something similar.. their fans would gobble them up.

  10. mn1288 says: Oct 11, 2013 11:49 AM

    Haha…Great to see the Vikes troll on this when AP was notorious for fumbles early in his career…And can’t catch a pass naturally for the life of him.

  11. T.D. says: Oct 11, 2013 11:59 AM

    Let’s give the guy a chance. He’s played in two whole games and managed to get 100 yards in his first. Getting your first NFL regular season experience is a completely different experience from college, so it will take him some time to get used to the strength and speed of defenses, ones who tackle with the specific aim of dislodging the ball. As noted above, Adrian Petersen couldn’t hold onto the ball to save his life for most of his first two seasons. Some hard work in the gym and with good coaching has completely reversed that trend, so who’s to say that Franklin couldn’t do the same (fumbling-wise, as I doubt that he will ever be as productive as A.P., though this is a testament to Petersen not a slag on Franklin)?

  12. vegasgreek says: Oct 11, 2013 12:08 PM

    left of the d in bed. The whole team spied on Travis Williams and made sure he carried the football every where he went until he stopped fumbling. it worked. By the end of this season the Vikes and the Bears won’t make the Playoffs. Josh Freeman will cash in big and use AP for a big score pay day and run away and sign with another team next season. I can’t stop laughing at the Vikings and Greg Jennings. He should have stayed in Green bay with a REAL NFL QB !

  13. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Oct 11, 2013 12:50 PM

    twonis says:Oct 11, 2013 10:50 AM

    Hey RickSpielmanIsaMagician– I seem to remember another running back who used to go by the name “Fumbelina” who is now more commonly referred to as “Purple Jesus”.

    He’s a rook. He’s obviously got talent, as evidenced in his 100+ yd performance. Give him a minute.
    ________

    Yeah, that’s what I was saying during training camp when guys like you were saying he was going to be great. Give him a minute.

  14. filthymcnasty1 says: Oct 11, 2013 1:31 PM

    He looked pretty decent racking up 100+ yards in his first significant action as a rook. I didn’t think he would even make the team as bad as he looked in camp.

  15. crownofthehelmet says: Oct 11, 2013 2:04 PM

    Well, this is a team that took Datone Jones with their first pick, so take it for what it’s worth.

  16. stellarperformance says: Oct 11, 2013 2:10 PM

    Rick Spielman is a Magician says:
    Oct 11, 2013 10:31 AM
    I hope this fumbling problem doesn’t derail the inevitable Hall of Fame career I’ve been promised by so many Packer fans.
    /////////////////////////////////

    I wasn’t aware you even played pro football.

  17. arrowgargantuan says: Oct 11, 2013 9:45 PM

    Minnesota Vikings QB situation.

  18. axespray says: Oct 12, 2013 2:01 AM

    The two fumbles were just awesome plays by Michael Johnson and …I think Suh or whoever.

    Helmet pop to the funny bone area – anyone would fumble in those situations…

    Against the bengals – we should’ve spread ‘em out and run a draw or screen pass to Franklin – get ‘em out in space.

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