- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 22, 2016

ASHBURN — On a day when the old ways began to percolate back up, when reports from anonymous sources about gameplans and grumbling surfaced, veteran Ricky Jean Francois was irritated.

The gregarious Jean Francois is not a fan of anonymity. So, when he heard about a report from Pro Football Talk that players in the Redskins’ lockerroom were anonymously grumbling about quarterback Kirk Cousins to the media, he made his displeasure clear.

“Hopefully one of my teammates might be listening to me right now,” Jean Francois said Wednesday. “Don’t be anonymous. Just step out and tell us how you really feel about Kirk. At the end of the day, that man going to be our quarterback. At the end of the day, if you’re going to talk about that man, no need for you to be in our damn lockerroom. No need for you to even be here. Like I said, this man said he’s going to put all the chips on him to win. I’m going to do just that. Same faith he had in himself, I’m going to have the same faith in him. I want him to out there, ball, be successful and do things. I understand we had two bad games. OK, cool. It wasn’t his fault. It was the whole team’s fault. Including coaches, too. Coaches and players. Not just this man alone.

“If anybody really got something to say about Kirk in this lockerroom, my locker right here. I ain’t going to come anonymous.”

Anything he can do to avoid those anonymous leaks?

“You can’t,” Jean Francois said. “People got mouths. In this world, people are going to judge people, people are going to say things. So at the end of the day all you can control is what you can control. I can control helping this team win a game. Our focus is beat the [New York] Giants at their home. They’re a good team right now. Eli [Manning is] on point. I see their receivers balling right now. Their defense is on point. So, that’s the bigger story to us right now. Shouldn’t be about Kirk Cousins. Shouldn’t be about the uproar in the lockerroom. Ain’t nothing in the lockerroom. Look around. You see guys playing shuffleboard. You see guys laughing. You see guys talking about what went on today.

“It’s crazy that we’ll get ‘anonymous’ or tips about what’s going on. In this world, we’re always going to have anonymous people because you got fear in your heart. If you real, you’re going to step to somebody real and tell them how you really feel. Not go behind a keyboard or another — none of you reporters — behind go holla at another reporter on the slick be like, ‘We don’t like Kirk Cousins.’ OK. No, you ain’t got to do that.”

Is it frustrating that this happens?

“No,” Jean Francois said. “We ain’t in a perfect world. You know people are going to do things. Stuff like this always happens in every lockerroom. I don’t care how perfect people think lockerrooms are. None of our lockerrooms are perfect. People are going to talk about people. People are going to people and say little slick stories and stuff like that. It doesn’t frustrate me. It makes me laugh to actually show that we actually have somebody in this lockerroom that feels this way about this man. How you feel this way? You weren’t feeling this way last year when this man took us to the playoffs. So why feel like that now? We’re 0-2. We’ve got 14 games to go. Let’s go and ball and have fun with one another.”

With that, he sat down.

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