There are about 9,000 Dunkin’ Donuts locations in the United States. And by now, you may have heard that recent New England Patriots addition Ricky Jean Francois owns 30 of them.
But did you know the 30-year-old defensive lineman also owns a good catalog of quotes on his new teammate, Tom Brady? Well, that too is true.
Jean Francois has gone up against the quarterback’s Patriots offense on five occasions since entering the league as a seventh-round pick in 2009. The LSU product did so once as a San Francisco 49er, three times as an Indianapolis Colt, and once more as a Washington Redskin. His side went 1-4 while being outscored by 91 points.
Along the way, Jean Francois accrued 12 tackles, one sack, and a good deal of soundbites.
MIC’D UP IN 49ERS’ DECEMBER 2012 WIN
“That was a sack?” Jean Francois asked his 49ers teammate on the sideline after colliding with Brady on a third-and-15 for a loss of seven in December 2012. “For real?”
Brady went 36-of-65 for 443 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in that loss to San Francisco, sneaking in for another score.
It stands as the lone win Jean Francois has been a part of versus New England.
IN WAKE OF 45-7 AFC TITLE ROUT
Jean Francois, who spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons in Indianapolis, was eliminated from the playoffs by New England twice over that span.
The latter transpired in the January 2015 AFC Championship Game.
“It’s not just this game in particular, but just playing against the Patriots,” Jean Francois told Colts.com after being dealt a 45-7 result. “Good team. A team that came in here and game-planned the hell out of us. They executed everything, made mistakes here and there – not taking anything from them. That’s one great team with a great quarterback and a great head coach.”
AHEAD OF NOVEMBER 2015 MATCHUP
Jean Francois got to revisit Brady and the Patriots as a Redskin in 2015. He left few stones unturned leading up to it.
“Like I was telling somebody else, this guy has not thrown an interception,” Jean Francois told reporters of Brady, via Redskins.com, who had 20 touchdowns and one pick at that juncture in November.
“He didn’t throw an interception, so you might as well still put it in that category as zero,” Jean Francois said, alluding to a bobbled pass off Julian Edelman’s hands that fell in harm’s way versus the Colts that October.
Brady would be intercepted for a second time that year in the days that followed, throwing for 299 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-10 win over Washington. He completed 67 percent of his passes. Jean Francois, meanwhile, was on the field for 35 percent of the snaps against him.
“It feels like, at this point, he’s mastered the game,” Jean Francois said. “I think he has a chip on his shoulder due to some other things, but that’s between Tom Brady and other people. And I just believe he’s just trying to show on the field that he’s the all-time best at that position.”
Jean Francois continued: “We give him respect. You’re going to give a quarterback like that respect. If you don’t, Tom Brady ain’t got no problem showing you he can earn your respect real quick. So, yeah, we respect that guy. I respect him myself. I’ve played against him quite a few times, and he’s shown me every time he’s always that top-tier quarterback that he’s always been.”
IN ‘TOP 100 PLAYERS OF 2016’
Jean Francois remained effusive during his interview for NFL Network’s “Top 100 Players of 2016.”
“He's mastered the game,” Jean Francois restated after Brady ranked second on that year’s list. “This man has seen every coverage, he's seen every type of gameplan you can come up against him with. You might as well stop wasting your time.”
Jean Francois did not encounter Brady and the Patriots during the 2016 season.
The 6-foot-3, 313-pound veteran had two stints with the Green Bay Packers this season before penning a one-year deal with New England earlier this week.
He’ll face Brady’s half of the line strictly in practice now, though his view of the Patriots quarterback doesn’t figure to shift much from where it did prior.