Rookie defensive end Justin Francis wasn’t expected to have much of a role on the New England Patriots defensive line this year, and he barely played for the majority of the season. That all changed a few weeks ago, and Francis has been receiving some major snaps lately. He has turned those snaps into four hits on the quarterback in just five games.
That’s an incredibly efficient total for a fringe player, and he has been efficient when given the opportunity to rush the passer. Francis is a possible breakout player on the defensive line as a situational pass rusher in the future, and he is currently fourth on the team among DLs in QB Hits.
Bill Belichick has certainly taken notice and praised Francis for the year he is having, “He works hard to get better and I have a lot of respect for that. There’s not many people who work harder than he does. He competes every day in practice, both in the classroom and out on the field to learn and improve.”
Francis is another former Rutgers player, and most people have been quick to praise the DEs work ethic. That’s something that could help him take his game to the next level, and he is seeing his role increasingly get larger with each passing week.
Belichick also said, “He’s a competitive player. He works hard. He’s got some good ability.”
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