OAKLAND, Calif. – While the rest of his teammates were grinding away at two-a-day practices this month, Aubrayo Franklin was home in Atlanta boxing.
The speed bag, throwing combinations – that sort of thing. It didn't quite replicate the kind of hitting his San Francisco 49ers teammates were doing in training camp, but Franklin said it kept him in good enough shape that he wants to play in the team's final preseason game Thursday night.
Franklin, the 49ers nose tackle, signed his one-year tender worth $7.003 million and said he wants to move forward rather than think about any lingering unhappiness he might have over not getting a multiyear extension.
"I wouldn't say I'm upset," he told reporters as a press conference before the Niners played the Oakland Raiders on Saturday. "I'd love to end my career as a 49er, but this is the business part and it's behind me. I'm ready to go forward and play the season. Me and my agent just decided it was time."
Franklin reported his weight at 317 pounds, which is the weight the team lists him in its media guide. He said he enlisted a personal trainer and tried to do the same kind of drills he would have done in camp.
"You can't mimic the hitting part of it," he said, "but (you can) as far as the drills and trying to do the same thing I'd be doing as far as play reps.
"I think I'm close. I've been in this style of defense since I came into the NFL. The best part is just getting my reads back."
What did he miss the most? "You miss the part about being with the guys, the camaraderie and the grind of going in with the players and finding the fun stuff to do," he said. "But I think it's a blessing in disguise. I'm not going to get hurt or anything – knock on wood."