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Ricky Jean Francois Ready To Repay Scot McCloughan

Posted Mar 9, 2015

When the opportunity to reunite with Scot McCloughan became a possibility, Ricky Jean Francois knew there was only one place he wanted to be – with the Redskins.

Defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois said when the opportunity to reunite with Scot McCloughan became a possibility, there was only one place he wanted to be – with the Redskins.

While they went their separate ways a few years back, Scot McCloughan’s decision to draft Ricky Jean Francois to the San Francisco 49ers meant a lot to the defensive end.

So when the chance to reunite with McCloughan in Washington was recently presented following his release from the Indianapolis Colts, Jean Francois jumped at the idea.

The defensive lineman officially signed with the Redskins Feb. 27.

“That was a guy that stuck his neck out for me a few years back when I was getting drafted,” Jean Francois told ESPN 980 last week. “He took a chance on me; it landed big, and [he] did a great job in San Francisco. To be able to reunite with him again, that tells me a lot. …That he believes in me and I don’t want to disappoint him in any way, shape, form or fashion, or disappoint the Redskins fans.”

In six seasons with the 49ers and Colts, Jean Francois recorded 96 tackles with 8.5 sacks and eight passes defensed.

During the 2014 season, he amassed career highs in tackles (28) and sacks (three).

Now in Washington under new defensive coordinator Joe Barry and his 3-4 scheme, Jean Francois said the biggest adjustment is going to be learning several different roles on the defensive line.

“I really want to get it [the scheme] mastered down with [Jason] Hatcher, that we can play both sides and we don’t have to switch sides, we can be good at both,” he said. “And like I said, it makes it a hell of a lot easier for a D-Coordinator to call plays when they can’t pick up schemes, so I’m trying to play every day across the line.”

Not only does Jean Francois have a previous relationship with McCloughan, but he also played with linebacker Perry Riley Jr. while the two were attending LSU.

Alongside Riley Jr. in Washington, of course, is the budding linebacker Keenan Robinson, who recorded 134 tackles in his first full season as a starter, the most of any returning Redskins.

As Robinson looks to build off the foundation set last season, Jean Francois said he reminds him of some of the best linebackers he’s played with.

“I know that he’s a wonderful inside linebacker and I [will] like [working] with him because I worked with a lot of inside linebackers like Navarro Bowman, Patrick Willis, D’Qwell Jackson [and] Jerrell Freeman,” he said. “To have a linebacker that’s young like him, I know I can get to where I want him to be, to the point I know he’s making plays in the backfield.”

Another player Jean Francois says he's looking forward to wreaking havoc with both on the field and in the weight room is Hatcher.

“Hatcher, that was another guy I looked at last year on film,” he said. “I looked at Hatcher after every one of his games because I wanted to see him pack heat. He’s ridiculously strong, that’s a very strong individual and I feel like I want him to be one of my workout partners. You’re country strong or football strong; I’ll take either one just to have his ability.”

While the Redskins' defense is still far from being completed with free agency just starting up, Jean Francois said that regardless of which players are in, success is a lot more than just ability.

“It’s just all about the mindset,” he said. “If you have the mindset, everything else will fall into place. I believe in what the GM is doing, he’s bringing in players, and me being the first, that says a lot about Scot for bringing me in first. I believe that defense is going to be a lot different. A lot different. I think people are going to be shocked to see what type of defense we come in with.”

RELATED LINKS:
-- 2015 Redskins Free Agency Journal
-- 2015 Free Agency Questions And Answers

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