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Greg Manusky: Ricky Jean-Francois Likely Starting For Aubrayo Franklin On Sunday

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Fooch's Note: Manusky transcript now attached after the jump.

This Sunday's game just got a little bit more interesting in the long term focus as Greg Manusky has indicated that there is a likelihood that Ricky Jean-Francois will get the start at nose tackle. Aubrayo Franklin had to leave last week's game with a groin injury and it appears to still be bothering him. It's possible Franklin could end up fine on Sunday, but Manusky said that for now it appeared as though RJF would get the start on Sunday. All the usual Twitter feeds (@slam49ers, @maioccocsn, @mattbarrows) are sending it out and it will be in the transcripts that come out later this afternoon. However, I thought this was definitely a worthy topic of discussion sooner rather than later.

Throughout the offseason, and particularly in training camp, Ricky Jean-Francois received the vast majority of the snaps as Aubrayo Franklin sat out waiting to sign his franchise tender offer at the last possible moment. RJF appeared to show vast improvement and I know I was excited about the opportunities he received over the summer. He took both first and second team snaps in camp and was the starting nose tackle for much of the preseason. Franklin eventually did sign his tender and reclaimed his spot in the starting lineup.

As a young player, RJF will have his share of slip-ups. Although he has some experience in the NFL at this point, he's still a young player who has not had a lot of opportunities on the defensive line outside of this past preseason. He's not a rookie like Anthony Davis or Mike Iupati, but rookie-like mistakes are certainly a possibility. Nonetheless I'm excited to see what he can do with a full game of NFL action that is not just a throw-away game after playoff elimination.

All I have to say is, it's PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME!

Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky
December 9, 2010
San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

On whether LB Ahmad Brooks will be a started going forward based on his performance against Green Bay:

"I think we're still going to have the rotation like we always have, with [LBs] Parys [Haralson], with Travis [LaBoy], Manny [Lawson] and Ahmad across the board. I think Travis did a pretty good job last week of getting to the quarterback. We'd like to see more of it of course, and he's growing, he's learning, and he keeps on getting better and it was a good performance by him on Sunday."

On whether he was referring to Brooks or LaBoy in his comments:


On whether Brooks will be the starter on Sunday:

"Right now, we're going to check with Parys, see how he's going. For right now, it's up in the air."

On how much production is a product of the rotation:

"Well, I think keeping each guy fresh is very important, and especially if they're playing a lot of special teams. Actually, Manny and Ahmad both played a decent amount of teams last week, and we were short one guy, and they performed okay. Ahmad did as well, he played pretty good. You know, just time will tell with each individual and how much success he has in the game."

On whether the start tilts toward Haralson because he plays the run pretty well and the starter typically plays a lot of first downs:

"I don't know if it's going to tilt to anybody's favor. I think production on the field, when you go on Sunday, you know the guy that has the most production and plays the best and sound, in regards to mental errors and things of that nature. You want them to play the defensive and play one defense the same all across the board. So they're getting better at it."

On whether LB Takeo Spikes' 18 tackles against Green Bay was a result of the Packers offense going up the middle:

"Yeah, I think so a little bit. I told him he missed two, so he could have had 20. But you know, he had a pretty good game. It was still that we lost the game though, so it is what it is."

On what he will do at nose tackle this week:

"Well I think with [DT] Ricky [Jean-Francois] getting a couple of reps there with [DT] Isaac [Sopoaga] being there as well to back up [NT] Aubrayo [Franklin] because right now I don't know his whole stature, and we'll see game day, on Sunday, to see if everything is alright with him."

On whether Jean-Francois was getting blown off the ball a little bit:

"I think when you're a young guy and haven't played for a while, even though he's gotten a little bit of snaps here and there, it's not quite the focus for a young guy to go in there with a veteran player as the center, you know, but that's what he's got to do. He's got to backup Aubrayo and he's got to do a better job of doing that when we call upon him."

On whether Sopoaga gets more reps at nose tackle than he normally would:

"I think across the board, we're always protect - you always kind of want to go in and always have some form of like a three - two guys at playing nose, but just as an alternate plan to have a backup nose, and that's Isaac."

On what he sees from Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch:

"Well, I think he's very good runner. I remember playing him up there in Buffalo a couple years ago. He's got great talent, great skill, good vision, good eyes, can break tackles, he's as quick as a cat, good stretch-cut scheme guy, and can make plays in the open field. You know, he's a pretty good player. We've got to defend him this week."

On how much of that defending starts at the nose tackle position:

"Well of course, it all starts with the nose. I mean, I've been saying that since I got here. I think it's a vital part of the defense, because it's the nuts and bolts of it and everything acts off of it, so we've got to do a better job if Ricky's playing, and Isaac, to go out there and perform at a high level."

On what needs to be corrected in the secondary from last week against Green Bay:

"Can't give up the deep balls. I mean, going into the game it's the same thing. This week, same as well, you can't give up the deep balls. We were in position to make a couple plays, quarterback put the ball on the money, that's what they do. They get paid. We can't give them up. We've got to knock those balls down, and make plays. We've got to tackle better on the back end."

On whether he can put his finger on why S Dashon Goldson hasn't made very many big plays this year:

"Don't really know. Across the board, he's playing okay and he's playing the scheme of the defense. Across the board, he's got to start making plays like he did last year and sometimes it's a period where he's in a cold streak right now, I don't know. But he's doing what we're asking him to do. We don't have a lot of tips or overthrows, which we're always looking for, but if we can get a couple of those that would be great."

On whether Jean-Francois will start if Franklin can't play:

"Right now that looks like the plan, to have Ricky in there and then Isaac back him up."

On whether Brooks gets in his ear about asking to be in the game:

"Yeah, I mean every player that's out there wants to perform in the game. You know, I did as well. But there's only a limited amount of reps for the amount of players we have. We have four guys on the outside, we only had three last week, and he performed very well. And we're expecting the same thing out of him this week."

On what he sees from Seattle C Chris Spencer and what he likes to do:

"He's a veteran guy, he's crafty, he knows the technique, you know, and he knows how to push and pull and do all the things that centers usually do. Veteran guy. We'll match up alright with him."