Each Wednesday we'll bring you a Q&A with a Ravens player to help you learn a little more about the team. Today's guest is from the Ravens' battered secondary. Western Tech and Maryland alum Domonique Foxworth, who leads the defense with seven pass breakups and has recorded an interception, talked about life as a cornerback, his political views and community service, and his childhood fear.
Question: What's the toughest part about being a cornerback?
Answer: We have to find little ways to get away with cheating. [Laughs.] They [the NFL] make it so hard for defensive backs because they want points. So they make the rules lopsided to give the advantage to the offense. So you've got to take an inch wherever you can.
Q: With that in mind, it would seem that cornerbacks get recognized only for blown coverages. Is that frustrating?
A: It's the business I'm in. It's not new to me. Everyone has some occupational hazard that they get used to and deal with. I guess being the scapegoat is one [occupational hazard] for us. There have been a few times in my career where the media doesn't necessarily understand the coverage, and if you're the closest man to the play, it's not because you're running to the ball, but it's because you messed up. Sometimes that happens, and you take it because that's your team and you just move on.
Q: Who is the toughest wide receiver you've been assigned to cover?
A: More than anything, I think it's a type of receiver - the small, quick guys. I like big guys. I can run past them. They seem to be a little bit easier [to cover]. But the small, quick guys sometimes give you a tough time. But to be honest, the quarterback is the one who makes the difference. If you face a quarterback who can pinpoint passes and make the right decisions all the time, he'll make any receiver tough to cover.
Q: Then who is the toughest quarterback you've faced?
Q: Can you describe your emotions about playing against the Denver Broncos, the team that selected you in the third round of the 2005 draft?
A: I'll be excited to see my friends. I still stay in contact with [cornerback] Champ [Bailey] a lot and [linebacker] D.J. Williams. I'm loving seeing how well they're doing. So I'll be happy to see them and congratulate those guys. But I played against them last year [as a member of the Atlanta Falcons]. I'm not married to the Broncos. I don't have any strong emotions about seeing the Broncos as much as just seeing my guys.
Q: Will you have any conversations with your former teammates in the days leading up to Sunday?
A: I talk to Champ at least every couple of weeks to see how he's doing. So I don't imagine it being any different. Nothing special. It's not like I'm playing against the guy, so I won't be talking [smack] to him or anything.
Q: Unlike many athletes, you've been open about your political views. Have you caught any flak for being so open?
A: To each his own. I remember when I was young, people got on Michael Jordan for not speaking out, and people talk about Tiger Woods. But you don't want to bring that kind of scrutiny and attention on yourself unless you're willing to deal with the repercussions. That's something that I feel passionate about. I've always had a lot of interest in civil rights, and I collect civil rights artifacts. That sort of stuff and the sacrifices they made to allow me to be able to speak out is something I don't take for granted. If I feel passionate about something, I'm not afraid to share my opinions and take whatever flak may come with it.
Q: You are very active in community service. Who or what was the inspiration for your involvement?
A: When I was 14, my first job was at a residential camp - Camp Greentop, which is in Maryland - for disabled teens and adults. We did everything for them, from the bathrooms to the showers to eating. That helped me to grow up and gave me perspective on life. And my mom thought it was really important that we always worked jobs like that, that had a community-service component. It was always important for her to get me involved, and I fell in love with it.
Q: Did you have a childhood fear?
A: I think everybody was scared of the dark. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and having to go to the bathroom. So you had to sprint to the bathroom, turn on all the lights on the way as you're swinging your arms, and then on the way back, it's the same thing. Had to get under the covers because whoever was out there can't get you under the covers. I'm fine with the dark now.
Q: Who would be your dream date and where would you take her?