Quebec’s David Foucault chose tryout with Panthers over Dolphins and Colts — and is working at left tackle

FOUCAULTThe first thing David Foucault did after the Carolina Panthers signed him on Monday was call his parents back in La Prairie, Que.

“They cried,” the 6-foot-8, 320-pound tackle from the University of Montreal said in a Wednesday afternoon phone interview from Charlotte, N.C.

The 25-year-old francophone speaks spotty English, but easily conveyed the emotion of that memorable call to his parents.

“I’m really proud to show my parents I can do it. And I’m very happy that my parents are proud of me.”

The NFL club had invited Foucault (pronounced FOO-koh) to try out at their rookie camp on Friday and Saturday. He impressed straight away, and at the key position along the O-line.

“They put me at left tackle for all the plays,” Foucault said.

The Panthers’ veteran left tackle of recent seasons, Jordan Gross, retired earlier this year, and depth is thin across the O-line.

Foucault said the most difficult part of rookie camp was not so much the on-field speed and power adjustments, but rather the intensified, accelerated learning trajectory.

“It was very tough,” he said. “They put, like, 12 plays on the playbook, and you have four hours to (learn) on Friday night, and Saturday morning you have to know everything on the field. No one can do errors. You check all the details, and you have a lot of calls and plays you have to know on the field.

“But I think I showed the coaches, and me, that I can do it.”

Although the Montreal Alouettes last week selected the LaSalle, Que.-born Foucault fifth overall in the CFL draft, he went undrafted by the NFL, May 8-10.

Miami and Indianapolis also invited him to their rookie camps, but Foucault chose Carolina in part because the Dolphins already had invited a slew of offensive linemen to shore up their do-over O-line, and in part because Calgary’s Linden Gaydosh (a defensive lineman) landed with the Panthers the same way last year.

“If the Panthers didn’t want me, I would have had another tryout with Miami. But I’m with the Panthers and I’m very happy,” Foucault said.

Like McGill University product Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a sixth-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs, Foucault soon will find out during full-team “OTA” spring practices that rookie camp is nothing compared to going against the league’s top players.

Foucault, for instance, starting next Tuesday will face one of the league’s most athletic, effective edge pass-rushers in all-pro defensive end Greg Hardy.

“Yeah, it will get me good experience,” Foucault said. “He’s real fast with his hands, and has speed. Maybe he’ll show me some tricks. It will give me more experience each time.”

What is helping Foucault at this level isn’t just his enormous size and power, but his long arms — which are essential for an NFL effective left tackle, so as to steer the Hardys of the NFL away from his quarterback.

“I have good feet too, and I’m very athletic on the field,” Foucault said. “I want to do all the stuff to get better every day.”

Should Foucault make Carolina’s final 53-man roster on Aug. 31, the quarterback he’d ostensibly be there to protect is Cam Newton.

 

 

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