Veteran linebacker Robert Francois re-signed with the Packers on Friday
The Packers’ roster is filled with stars, but there are just as many little-known backups whose dreams are a lot bigger than their current roles. I’ll be focusing on those players in this new weekly feature.
How did he get to Green Bay? Robert Francois was originally signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2009, but he was waived by the team to make room for Brett Favre. After being claimed on waivers and then released by Detroit, he was signed to the Packers practice squad on December 7, 2009. He was promoted to the active roster the following October after an injury to Brandon Chillar, and aside from another very brief stint on the practice squad, he’s been a part of the 53-man roster ever since.
What has he done in Green Bay? Francois has primarily played on special teams since joining the Packers, but he did start a pair of games in 2011 when injuries hit the inside linebacker position hard. In those two games – both wins – the former Boston College star amassed 13 tackles, 1 interception and 1 forced fumble. Despite doing a solid job, he returned to the bench when Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk got healthy. And that’s where he’s remained. In fact, he didn’t play a single snap on D last season.
What can we expect in 2013? Probably more of the same, even though his agent insists that he’ll have a chance to compete for a starting job. I find that very unlikely, considering that he couldn’t get on the field a year ago when inside linebackers were falling like dominoes. To be honest, Francois should be more concerned about just making the team. With Hawk, Bishop, Jamari Lattimore, D.J. Smith and Terrell Manning all expected back, competition for roster spots figures to be extremely intense.
“You’ve got to go out there and show what you can do and prove (yourself). You can’t slack out there. I’m just trying to play. I just try to get better each week. Go out there and put more film out there that shows I can make plays.” (ESPN Wisconsin)