49ers nose tackle and likely Sunday starter Ricky Jean Francois spoke with the 49ers beat writers at his locker earlier today before practice and discussed the opportunity being presented to him. One quick side note. Over at the Press Democrat Inside the 49ers section, Grant Cohn provides a variety of blog entries discussing the 49ers. One thing that I particularly like about his posts is that he provides transcripts of just about every interview that goes on over there. We can get you the coach and coordinator transcripts, but he also transcribes locker interviews and conference calls with the opposing team. We link to them, but also wanted to give folks a heads-up to keep an eye out for them.
Back to RJF. This is a big opportunity for the young defensive tackle as odds are high that he'll be starting on Sunday. It is an interesting change between RJF and Isaac Sopoaga. The big difference is in terms of size. RJF is not a small man, but he is not quite as big as Isaac Sopoaga. The 49ers officially list RJF at 6-3, 295 lbs and Isaac Sopoaga at 6-2, 330 lbs. In that interview RJF says he is now 310. It's not quite Isaac Sopoaga big, but that's still some serious girth.
The 49ers coaching staff has shown a willingness to adjust their schemes based on opponents and players involved. Now that they might be dealing with a different style of nose tackle, could we see some adjustments? Sopoaga was great at occupying blockers and opening up holes. Will Vic Fangio potentially use RJF in more of an attacking mode? Fangio is not going to give us much insight into that, but how do you see RJF potentially being used in the starting nose tackle role?
On another side note, arguably the best information to come from the Q&A was a reminder that RJF listens to Phil Collins when he runs on the beach in Miami in the offseason. Apparently they played that during practice when he was at LSU and it has stuck with him. If he gets a sack or a big tackle on Sunday, some folks were suggesting the peanut-butter jelly song. Maybe a little In The Air Tonight? I would've embedded the Miami Vice version but it has been disabled, so I just went with the official video after the jump.