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April 1, 2017

After valuable time in Carolina, Foucault Ready To Prove Himself

He has yet to put pen to paper on a contract and the news of his trade only became official on Monday. Yet thanks to rumours and a former teammate being on the squad, David Foucault had been mentally preparing for this moment for the last week or so.

“I played with David Menard on the Montreal Carabins for 4 years,” said Foucault in phone interview Tuesday morning.

“He’s a good friend of mine and when rumours of the trade started we were texting each other saying how fun it would be to end up on the same team.”

BC Lions' Adam Bighill, left, and David Menard, right sack Calgary Stampeders' quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell during first half CFL football action in Calgary, Friday, July 29, 2016.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

He has yet to meet fellow Quebec product and offensive lineman Charles Vaillancourt, but should the eventually suit up together maybe we can call them our own version of the “French Connection.”

Nickname proposals aside., Foucault will be an intriguing piece to the puzzle as OTA’s and main camp rapidly approach. That would be the case for any player coming in return for a seven-time all-star like Jovan Olafioye.

Despite seeming like a risky move on the surface, the Lions also picked up offensive lineman Vincent Brown in the deal, it was mostly made out of necessity. Wally Buono has been there and done this several times over.

“When you look at trying to strengthen your football club you have to look at trying to give yourself more options, one with the ratio. To do that you have to give up a quality player to get a guy like David Foucault who played in the NFL for a year and half.”

The next step is signing the fifth overall pick by Montreal in the 2014 CFL draft. Foucault himself is operating under a routine he will be with the club when camp begins.

“It’s very exciting to know that a team wants me and it gives me good motivation to play football,” adds Foucault.

“I’ve talked to friends and coaches that have said BC is definitely one of the better organizations in the CFL. The team is very good, the city is beautiful and I am excited to get over there.”

“I fully expect him to be at training camp,” added Buono. “He’s excited about coming. We have talked. He sees the opportunity and so do we.”

Play. You can’t blame the LaSalle, Quebec product for wanting to do just that. After being selected by the Alouettes, Foucault landed an NFL contract with the Carolina Panthers and spent most of the next two seasons on the practice squad. Foucault marvelled at how much he learned from Panthers offensive line coach John Matsko, a good friend of his new positional coach Dan Dorazio.

“I learned so much from him,” claimed Foucault. “I am big on details and John taught me some good techniques. He and Dorazio are the same character, both tough coaches like they had in the old days. I am excited to have a coach like that because they push you to the next level.”

Foucault-Carolina

The 6’8, 315 pound Foucault suited up for five games in 2014 and started one the next year when Carolina went on to win the NFC crown. Despite being back on the practice squad for Super Bowl 50, Foucault insists he will value the experience forever.

“It was fun just to practice with the guys and to be around the Super Bowl events. We were still part of the team; we just didn’t have the same paycheque (laughs).

All of the guys treated us like we were on the team. It was real fun to be a part of that. It was a majestic experience.”

Dynamic Panthers QB Cam Newton took plenty of heat that Super Bowl Sunday: first for not diving for a lose ball to help prevent a late turnover and then his attitude toward reporters after falling to Denver. Foucault says that was nothing close to the real Newton.

cam-newton-fumble-super-bowl-21016

“Cam is a very exciting guy who likes to play football and was a great teammate,” claimed the University of Montreal product.

“He made a lot of jokes and would always calm everybody down when the pressure was on. When you’re a QB in the NFL you have lots of pressure with the media and everything else you do. Cam doesn’t care about that, he just wants to have fun.”

Other than shedding salary and getting a little younger up front, Foucault’s birth certificate was another element that led Buono to go down this path. The CFL’s all-time wins leader sees the value in potentially starting four non-imports on the offensive line.

“He’s a tremendous athlete for a man of his size,” added Buono.

“He’s big, he’s athletic and also gives us the opportunity to look at Hunter Steward at his natural position, which is tackle. We want David to be here, he wants to be here and if that’s the case it usually can work.”

Once the deal likely gets done, Foucault will be anxious to prove he was worth trading for.

“Spending time in the NFL taught me a lot about mental toughness and how to finish blocks,” said Foucault.

“I am a tough kid. I know technique as well.”

I think we can also agree the lower mainland is a little more scenic than Charlotte, North Carolina.

“I am excited to visit for the first time. My brother Francis spent two months on a west coast trip and said it was beautiful. He did Vancouver and Whistler.”

And with any luck, maybe his next championship week will involve a bit more of an active role.

Matt Baker: mbaker@bclions.com