Ricky Jean Francois signed a multi-year deal with the Redskins this offseason, knowing where he wanted to be because of the new Redskins general manager, Scot McCloughan.
If you could be a cartoon super hero, which would it be and why?
"Iron Man. Being a tech geek, you've seen him on any movie set, there's nothing he can't do. He can break it down to a tee. I like that. He's real detailed. You see from the first movie to this movie. You see all them suits. Each one of them suits gets better and better and better. To have a guy that can critique himself and be good at it, who don't want to be like that? Plus, he's a billionaire, too."
What sold you on Washington besides McCloughan?
Check out images of veteran defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois during his first few months as a Washington Redskin.
"They were trying to change that culture and they needed guys to come in here and change that culture. I was one of the guys Scott seen that had come from great coaches. I had come from San Francisco and Indy, all programs that were always successful and great in the locker room, so to come here and be able to change the environment, the way people carry themselves, the way people talk, the way they feel about themselves, just everything.
I understand Scot McCloughan wanted me for my play, but he wanted me to help the environment around us from the younger guys to the older guys. The older guys can always learn stuff.
I'm one person that comes in here and tries to learn things from every last person in this locker room. I don't care if you are a practice squad, a long snapper, a punter, kicker, quarterback, whatever. There's something I know I can learn from you."
Is the defensive line a dominant group capable of living up to "Capital Punishment?" "We gotta prove it. That's the biggest thing. I understand we gave ourselves a name, but now we have to go out and earn it. If we have that name and if we get run over each and every week like that, we don't stand for nothing. Each and every week, we have to go out there and play Redskins football.
I understand that people say the D-Line is the strength, it's the defense that's the strength of the team. You always gonna have a good defense, you're always gonna have a good offense.
The linebackers down here, we're holding up two people and they're filling the gap and making tackles for losses.
The guys in the back end are doing one hell of a job, helping us and we're helping them. It goes back and forth. As D-linemen, we ain't going get the attention that we're supposed to. Don't put the pub on the D-line. Put the pub on the whole Washington Redskins and the defense."
How did you come up with the peanut butter and jelly sack dance?
"It was something back home, a little kid, about 10, 11 years old — he was on a video with Trick Daddy Dollars. I saw him do it and when I came in as a rookie in San Francisco, Joe Staley got me to do it and ever since then, once I left San Fran, people wanted me to do it.
When I came here, I didn't think it was going to be a big hit but surprisingly, that went by real quick!"
What lessons can you take from San Francisco and Indianapolis that you can apply in Washington?
"There were no specific lessons. One guy, Justin Smith, said the same attitude you want on game day is the same attitude you gotta have in practice. Wednesday and Thursday are grind days, but those days, you plan the game. Every day you walk in the building, it's part of the game. Some type of phase, red zone, in between the 40s, special teams, the offense or the defense, we always have to keep that attitude. The attitude you want on Sunday, you make sure you start preparing for it on Monday, to get it, if you want it on Sunday."
You know McCloughan better than just about anybody here. What makes him tick?
"He knows football, loves football, he wants to play football. Every football team he's deal with, they're keeping the tradition going. Last year, they went 4-12. He don't care for that 4-12, he cares about the whole damn team he built.
You see what he did with the offseason, what type of team he built, the defense alone, then went in the draft and worked the offense and he did one hell of a job on both sides. He's still doing one hell of a job, picking guys up here and there and replacing those pieces.
If you get a GM that can do that week in and week out and not be satisfied just with the team he has, and if he knows he can make a team much better or give us the attitude we need, that's a GM you need on every damn team in the NFL."
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