Franks Serving as Secondary’s Utility Man

Franks Serving as Secondary’s Utility Man

Jay Adams

Published December 17, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Dominique Franks, left, is like the Tony Phillips of the Falcons

We’ve heard it over and over again from head coach Mike Smith, but it’s true: When one man goes down, it’s the next man up.

The Falcons have truly embraced that philosophy this season as the injury bug hasn’t exactly kept itself away from a team that has now moved to 12-2. But every time someone has gone down, it seems like we’re talking about that next man up.

This week, it was Dominique Franks, who came in during Sunday’s 34-0 win over the Giants when backup safety Chris Hope went out with a head injury.

Yes, you read correctly. Franks came in at safety — a position he’s been cross-training at since starter William Moore went down two weeks ago with a hamstring injury. When Hope came off the field Sunday, Franks quickly stepped in and provided security at a position he hadn’t played a game in for the Falcons.

“Dominique is like our utility infielder, to use a baseball term,” head coach Mike Smith said during his press conference Monday. “He’s a guy that can play corner, nickel and safety for us, and with William Moore down (Sunday) again, he was the guy that we had trained all through the week at that safety position in some of our substitution packages in the game (Sunday).”

Franks had three tackles and a pass defensed in the game Sunday. When Hope returned to the field, Franks found himself playing cornerback and nickel in different situations, further proving his versatility.

“I think he’s a guy that can play all of them fairly well and consistent,” Smith said. “He made some plays in the ballgame (Sunday) and that gives us an opportunity to see younger guys getting snaps and we still have two games in the regular season and we will have an opportunity to play in that second season so we need as many healthy bodies as we can and have guys cross-trained.”

Of course, on top of all that, Franks also serves as the team’s punt returner. No word yet on whether he can paint the field, coach or perform orthopedic surgery.

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