"I'm anxious to go out there, see what I did this offseason, see what's going to help me out on the field," he said. "I'm anxious to go back out there with the guys, build on what we started on last year. I think another year with all of us together we can do a whole lot better this year on the defensive side and as a team."
Franklin spent the offseason working with a personal trainer in Atlanta and believes he's in better shape than when he arrived at camp last year. He did workouts with his trainer, boxing for a minute and then taking 30 seconds off to replicate playing in a game.
"We just tried to make it mimic plays like an average game, maybe like 64 plays, so I tried to do the same things with boxing," he said.
Niners defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said this week that while Franklin had fallen behind his teammates by missing camp, he believed the nose tackle could get up to speed for the opener by playing in one preseason game. Manusky said the biggest issue for Franklin will be "getting his wind back."
"Even though some of the starters are only playing 15 plays or 16 plays, at least they're back in the rhythm and get their groove back," Manusky said. "You can't really replicate that out here. But he'll be fine."
Franklin, 30, emerged as one of the top nose tackles in the NFL last season with 36 tackles, two sacks and one interception.
The 49ers placed the franchise-tag tender on Franklin in February and had hopes of agreeing to a long-term deal. But that didn't happen by the July 15 deadline, and Franklin chose not to report to training camp.
"The 49ers had their way with exercising the franchise tag," Franklin said. "Me and my agent decided to do what we did because it was best for us."
Of the six players who received franchise-tag tenders this offseason, Franklin was the only one to miss training camp. New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Ryan Pickett signed long-term deals, and Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour, Seahawks kicker Olindo Mare and Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Jeff Reed signed their tenders before camp started.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press