Patriots

Ricky Jean Francois thrilled to be with Patriots in 'Dunkin Donut heaven'

Ricky Jean Francois thrilled to be with Patriots in 'Dunkin Donut heaven'

FOXBORO -- If you like Dunkin Donuts . . . and you like football . . . New England isn't a bad place to be. That might explain all the smiling from Ricky Jean Francois in his first back-and-forth with Patriots reporters Thursday afternoon. 

"Believe me," he said. "That was one thing that popped in my mind. As soon as I got off the airplane it was like every block I hit I saw a Dunkin Donuts. I was like I came to Dunkin Donut heaven up here."

Jean Francois, a veteran defensive lineman who signed with the Patriots this week, is the proud owner of 30 Dunkin Donuts franchises. He said he hopes to one day own 50. He doesn't own any near the company's original location in Quincy, Mass., but his locations are concentrated along I-95 from Savannah, Georgia to Hilton Head South Carolina, he explained. 

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About three years ago, Jean Francois said he started to realize the importance of setting yourself up for life after football, and so he turned to Dunkin Donuts. 

"Everybody," he said, "drinks coffee."

The glazed-donut lover now shares a locker room with one of the most recognizable Dunkin Donuts pitchmen, Rob Gronkowski. 

"I love him because he’s got business booming now," Jean Francois said. "I tell him, every time I look at that commercial I smile. Every time you see it and I see Gronk, I’m like, "I’m making a whole lot of money just for seeing his pretty face.' "

"Yeah, I've got to take orders from him," Gronkowski said. "He might have to take orders from me. Maybe I'll bring in some coffees for him. I don't know. We'll figure it out but I did bring that up to him. Super cool and super neat."

Jean Francois may need a steady flow of caffeine in order to pick up the Patriots defensive playbook before Sunday night's game against the Broncos. When he entered the Patriots locker room late on Thursday afternoon, he did so with Lawrence Guy, who is among the new teammates helping him to learn Bill Belichick's system.

"That’s the biggest thing," Jean Francois said. "Anything can happen. They can throw me in that fire and if I don’t know that playbook, I don’t want to mess up something they have already going. That playbook is my best friend right now. That’s my wife, my girlfriend. That’s my everything."

The 30 Dunkin Donuts franchises that will surely give him some immediate cred with Patriots fans hooked on the stuff? Those will get his attention at a later date.

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Julian Edelman posts video of resistance-band training

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Julian Edelman posts video of resistance-band training

Julian Edelman is grinding.

The New England Patriots receiver, who is recovering from an ACL repair surgery that ended his 2017 season, shared a quick video from his workout on Tuesday. Edelman is shown running with a resistance band and a trainer in-tow.

Edelman has posted a few tidbits on social media to show encouraging signs during his recovery since he got surgery in October after suffering an ACL tear in a preseason game. He was spotted around the locker room a few times during the final weeks of the 2017 season.

"Rehab is a [expletive]. It sucks," Edelman said in November on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take podcast." "You go in and you’re feeling decent and then you warm up, you beat it up and then you get stiff again. I mean it’s just a process and you go in six days a week and you’re going into work it, work on everything — your flexion, your extension."

Jesse James relieved Patriots didn't win Super Bowl LII

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Jesse James relieved Patriots didn't win Super Bowl LII

Steelers tight end Jesse James is glad the Patriots' Super Bowl pursuit is done -- mostly because he played a big part in helping accelerate it.

In the final moments of the game, James failed to catch the ball during a Week 15 contest between the Steelers and the Patriots. The non-catch was a controversial one.

James told Centre Daily Times' Josh Moyer he finally felt relief on the morning after the Super Bowl when the Patriots fell to the Eagles, 41-33.

“I don’t feel like I gave them a Super Bowl with that,” James told the Daily Times. “So I’m over it now, but it’s going to be a topic of conversation until the rule gets changed — or it doesn’t.”

James' play was initially ruled a touchdown before the referees overturned the play, and took the lead away from the Steelers in the final moments of the game. Ben Roethlisberger then threw an interception a few plays later. By winning, the Patriots took a huge step in locking themselves into the AFC's top seed with a first-round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which they rode into the Super Bowl.

But of course, they couldn't finish their Super Bowl pursuit -- to James' satisfaction.