Belichick has praise for Ricky Jean-Francois

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It’s been a crazy year for defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois. And that crazy year will end with a return to the Super Bowl, five years after making his only other appearance.

He heads to the NFL’s championship game with the public approval of the coach who signed him as a free agent after he’d been released by Washington once and Green Bay twice.

“Ricky’s a smart guy,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick told reporters on Monday. “He’s worked very hard to pick up our system. He’s given us a really solid level of play in the running game and the passing game. He’s a smart player. He’s got good instincts. He recognizes plays well, especially sometimes from more difficult to recognize type of plays or plays that are designed to throw you off. His ability to see those is good. He’s worked hard to learn our system and pick up the fundamentals and techniques that we’ve tried to utilize. I’m glad we have him. He’s done a good job.”

Belichick actually decided at one point last month that he didn’t want Jean-Francois, releasing him on December 2 before bringing him back on December 13. He has appeared in every game since then, starting both in Week 16 against Buffalo and Sunday against the Jaguars.

Sunday wasn’t Jean-Francois’ first appearance in an AFC title game in New England; he played with the Colts in the infamous #DeflateGate game three years ago.

16 responses to “Belichick has praise for Ricky Jean-Francois

  1. He was a stud on the Colts D. I was surprised when the Colts let him walk away, but then again, we are talking about the Colts. Solid pick up by the Pats.

  2. It looks like he passed A Branch on thw depth chart. Branch said he coulda played but was inactive. Branch was really good last year. This yr, not so much.

  3. “Branch was really good last year. This yr, not so much.”

    To me he’s been the biggest disappointment among Pats players this season. I expected much better from him.

  4. RJF and Martellus Bennett were on the Packers roster this year.. and they ended up with the Patriots?!?!? tired of seeing the Green and Yellow front office whiff in free agency. also, it seems that the Pats make their FA moves during the season and let the rest of the organisations over pay for talent in the summer.

  5. Seems like teams are always dropping these good veteran players out of nowhere midseason and they end up in New England every time and play important roles. I don’t get it.

  6. Smart guy. Can still play, but it’s a young man’s game and clubs keep looking at his age, so may be out of the league next year. Great thing for him if he gets a ring after being bounced around all year. He’s set himself up post-career better than most players.

  7. Think about how thin Pitt and other teams with playoff aspirations were on the D Line…then think about how cheap his contract is.

    Nobody else could find a roster spot for this guy??? Here he is starting for GB (along w/ James Harrison) in the playoffs.

  8. The Packers loved Francois in the locker room. He simply wasn’t effective enough in their scheme to get on the field. Lawrence Guy is another ex-Packer DL who didn’t make the cut. That’s the genius of Belichik. He gets out of a guy what he can do best while somehow covering up his deficiencies with scheme.
    You can’t knock the Packers for letting him go. This is what Belichik does like no one else.

  9. harrisonhits2 says:
    January 22, 2018 at 3:43 pm
    To me he’s been the biggest disappointment among Pats players this season

    tedmurph says:
    “Branch was really good last year. This yr, not so much.”

    Funny, last wk a bunch of Pats fanboys were cheering Branch’s return from injury like it was Reggie White rising from the dead to come back play for the Packers.

  10. whybotherifeverythinggetscensored says:

    January 22, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    He owns 30 Dunkin Donuts franchises, so he is also smart with his money, and set for after he stops playing.
    That’s impressive! He could always mentor these young players after football.

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