49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

August 27, 2010
Iron man: Jean Francois was unbreakable this offseason

Ricky Jean Francois doesn't have the toughest name. It sounds more appropriate for a Parisian mime than a football player. But trust me when I say this, Jean Francois is nails. In fact, he's a no-brainer selection for the inaugural "Iron Bee" award. Jean Francois not only made it through every training camp practice this summer - he was only one of three defensive linemen to do so - he made it through all of the spring sessions as well. He plays perhaps the roughest position on the team, nose tackle. And with starter Aubrayo Franklin absent throughout the offseason, Jean Francois played with both the first- and second-team defenses. In other words, c'est magnifique!

Other "Iron Bee" notables include rookie offensive linemen Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati. They've played more this summer than any other offensive lineman as coach Mike Solari tries to get them ready for the regular season but neither missed a practice. Tony Wragge, Cody Wallace, Matt Kopa and Brian de la Puente were the only other offensive linemen with perfect attendance. That bodes well for Kopa, who had foot surgery in February.

A sign of toughness: Ted Ginn didn't miss a practice despite seeing a ton of playing time on offense and on special teams. Fellow receiver Josh Morgan also gets a gold star. He jammed his neck in a collision with Dashon Goldson, but never missed a practice. Defensive lineman Derek Walker had to be pulled out of two separate drills because of injury but clawed his way back into practice.

The others who attended every training camp practice: Jarrett Brown, Andy Lee, David Carr, Nate Davis, Shane Andrus, Alex Smith, Bakari Grant, Dominique Zeigler, Frank Gore, Taylor Mays, Michael Robinson, Tarell Brown, Tramaine Brock, Patrick Stoudamire, Curtis Taylor, Reggie Smith, Anthony Dixon, Chris Maragos, Karl Paymah, Jehuu Caulcrick, Moran Norris, Keaton Kristick, Mike Balogun, Khalif Mitchell, Isaac Sopoaga and Manny Lawson.

Here's the scorecard on the others currently on the roster. Sometimes a player went through individual drills but was held out of contact drills. For the purposes of this post, I considered that an absence. Also, I did not count special teams practices (not everyone participates in those) and walk throughs. I counted "veteran courtesy" days as a missed practice even though those players were not hurt.

One practice missed: Dashon Goldson, Diyral Briggs, Joe Jon Finley, Ray McDonald, Demetric Evans, Parys Haralson

two: Phillip Adams, Brit Miller, Alex Boone

three: Brian Westbrook, Nate Clements, Shawntae Spencer, NaVorro Bowman, Matt Wilhelm, Chilo Rachal, Joe Staley, Tony Curtis

four: Patrick Willis, Adam Snyder, Nate Byham, Jason Hill

five: Delanie Walker

seven: Michael Lewis, Takeo Spikes, Barry Sims, Justin Smith

nine: David Baas

10: Kyle Williams, Will James, Brandon Long

11: Vernon Davis

12: Michael Crabtree

16: Travis LaBoy

20: Ahmad Brooks

22: Eric Heitmann

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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