As a French-Canadian defensive back, Marc-Antoine Dequoy may be an anomaly in NFL training camp, but he certainly feels right at home in the fast-paced world of professional football.
“It’s football 24/7 pretty much. It’s intense, but that’s how it should be,” aid the 25-year-old told Montreal Gazette reporter Herb Zurkowsky.
Even though he’s adjusting to the new competitive setting well, Dequoy states the changes made to accommodate for the COVID-19 pandemic present real challenges to making the roster.
“It’s about making plays. Exhibition games provide players with that opportunity. Without having that, it could be a disadvantage. You have to focus on your mental preparation. You have to be mentally ready,” the former University of Montreal Carabins star said.
“The reps are going to be limited. If you have a chance to be on the field, you have to make sure you know everything and be ready. Your chances are going to be limited on the field.”
Signed as a undrafted free agent by the Green Bay Packers after a stellar U Sports career, Dequoy is one of those that is going to suffer from limited reps in practice as teams focus on getting veterans up to speed in an uncertain world. He has sparkling athletic ability to make himself stand apart from the rest, however.
At his Pro Day in March, the six-foot-three, 198-pound defender blazed a 4.35 second 40-yard dash, which would have been good enough for third at the NFL Combine, and impressed in every athletic category. Athleticism isn’t the key to making the roster, as Dequoy believes mental speed is what he has to prove to make the team.
“You have to show them you can learn fast. You’ll make mistakes. The most important thing is you understand your mistakes and you don’t do them again,” Dequoy said. ‘Being available. Showing you can play a lot of positions and the team can rely on you.”
Either way, the former U Sports star knows very little is certain when it comes to the NFL.
“Your job’s not secure. We have a cut-down coming in a few days. I could be in that. It could be my last few days here. Or I could go on for a few weeks. Who knows?,” Dequoy said. “You have to take advantage, work and study the playbook.”
Still, the native of Ile-Bizard, Quebec has a newfound confidence in his abilities.
“From what I’ve experienced, I have my place here and I know I can play with those guys,” Dequoy maintained. “There’s some real good players, but I feel I’m a good player also and I can make this team.”