INDIANAPOLIS – The free agent signings, with a little bayou flavor, continue to pour in for the Indianapolis Colts.
On late Thursday afternoon, defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois joined the fray.
“The Colts are coming up on the rise,” Jean-Francois said. “They’ve got a great quarterback. They are building their defense. The Colts have always been known for their offense but sometime we’ve got to change the trend and become a defensive team too
Over the last three years, Jean-Francois has played in all 48 regular season games for the 49ers rotating along the line of the finest defense in the NFC.
From 2009-2010, Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky directed Jean-Francois and the 49ers defensive unit.
The two were reunited this week and Jean-Francois was pleased to see his coach that helped turn him from a seventh round draft pick into a formidable player along the defensive line.
“I talked to Greg Manusky, a guy that coached me when I first got into the league. He gave me my first shot. Me and him were laughing a majority of the time,” Jean-Francois said on Thursday afternoon.
Jean-Francois played collegiately at LSU and was named MVP of the Tigers 38-24 BCS National Championship victory over Ohio State in 2008. In the game, Jean Francois blocked a kick and contributed six tackles for a Tigers defensive line that included Colts defensive end
Talks with Jean Francois did not reach where exactly he will line up along the Colts defensive line but his ability to play any position along a three-man front is an asset.
“You can move me anywhere you want to. I’m comfortable with that,” Jean-Francois said. “The biggest thing I will be doing in the offseason and during the summer is to get my craft to the best of my abilities for the inside and the out.”
The Miami native will now head back home to get ready for his second team in the NFL.
Jean-Francois arrived to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center late on Wednesday before a deal was struck on Thursday afternoon.
Getting a chance to talk with head coach Chuck Pagano (a former University of Miami coach) and general manager Ryan Grigson helped Jean-Francois see the vision the Colts have for getting back to a Super Bowl, a place that Jean-Francois experienced just over a month ago.
“It was like I had already known (Pagano) because he goes down to Miami and he knows about a lot of Miami players and how we carry ourselves and everything,” Jean-Francois.
“Talking to both of them (Grigson and Pagano) was great. Getting more insight and getting to know more about them, not really selling the organization but telling me more about themselves and seeing will I be able to trust them and knowing when times are thick I can look up to them and they can look up to me.”
The trust and relationship between player and personnel has been formed and Grigson is anxious to see Jean-Francois on a defensive line that has added some quality depth.
“Ricky is a quick, aggressive and extremely powerful player,” Grigson said. “He has been a mainstay the last four years within a dominant NFL defense with a lot of special players. At 26 years old, we feel the arrow is pointing straight up and we’re looking forward to him making a big impact for us this coming season.”