Learning on the Fly

Learning on the Fly

From Southern accents in the huddle to high humidity on the field, French Canadian David Foucault is adjusting to life in the NFL.

The Charlotte Observer posted the following Ten questions about life away from football with Carolina Panthers offensive tackle David Foucault on September 13, 2014.

Foucault, an undrafted rookie from the Universite de Montreal Carabins, has already appeared in one game for the Panthers this season.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/09/13/5171327/qa-carolina-panthers-offensive.html#.VBg9s00tCpo

Q. Have you met many French Canadians down here?

A. Down here? No. My friends came to the first exhibition (against the Bills).

Q. I saw that. The guys in the front row dressed in blond wigs. Those were your friends?

A. Yeah. All my friends came to the game and had a lot of fun here.

Q. Did you know they were going to come here dressed like that?

A. Yes and no. I know what kind of friends I have and I knew they would do something like that. When I saw the picture it just made me laugh.

Q. When did you learn English?

A. In high school we start, in Quebec, to learn English. You have to pass the big test to go into college. It is my second language in Quebec because we need to learn that. Everyone in Canada in business talks in English and you need to do that. I was never good in my English course, I remember that. I understand it, I just need practice to talk it.

Q. How often do you practice it, or do you just have conversations in the locker room?

A. Yeah just conversations here with the group of guys and with the plays.

Q. What are some of the more interesting words you’ve picked up?

A. I have a little difficulty with the pronunciation of ‘th,’ like three or something like that. We don’t have that with a French accent. Everything with ‘th’ I struggle to make the sound with my mouth.

Q. Do the guys always understand what you’re saying?

A. Yeah I think so. When I talk or they don’t understand, they just ask to repeat slowly. And the same thing with all guys when I don’t understand what they say.

Q. Which quarterback is the toughest to understand in the huddle?

A. Joe (Webb) because he has a very southern accent. Cam (Newton), too, but I can understand him. I’ve made a progression with Joe from the first day but I need to concentrate on all the words.

Q. How are you dealing with the heat and humidity?

A. I think right now my body is used to it. But at first it was tough because it was always humid. It’s hot back there in Canada but it’s not humid. It was very tough the first time and I felt some sensation in my body. My movements were very slow.

Q. So you played hockey growing up. You’re 6-foot-8 and 305 pounds. What size skate do you wear?

A. A 15. What’s funny is when I have my skates on, I can’t pass under the door. I think I’m maybe at the maximum at the door, but you put me at four inches on skates I have to go under.