At the time of the draft, there was one player I was really excited about. Ras-I Dowling. Knowing football like I know football, I really think this kid can play.
You can imagine my disappointment when he missed the first preseason game, then the second, and then the third. So where is Ras-I?
I know he got injured relatively early in camp. But I read, not too long ago, on our very own Patspulpit that he had returned to practice. I expected to see him play against the Lions. But he wasn't on the field.
There seems to be a cumulative forgetfulness about Dowling in New England. The media doesn't talk about him, I haven't heard an interview with him since he has been here, and no one here on PatsPulpit talks about him much!
I think this kid can really play! I'm not talking about next year or the year after, but I think he has the talent ready to contribute this year in a big way for a secondary that needs a lot of help.
I love McCourty. But after that, let's be honest. It's slim pickings. Wilhite was just released, so we don't have to worry about him. I barely consider Butler to be an NFL talent. Arrington and Bodden can be solid, but both players can still be very flawed.
The way I see it, if Dowling were healthy, he would have been competing for the starting job along side McCourty this preseason to create the youngest and most dynamic set of cornerbacks in the league.
So does anyone know what his initial injury was? Did he in fact return to practice about a week ago? If so, why wasn't he playing against the Lions? Is it just me, or are people greatly underestimating how important a healthy Dowling will be to making this Patriots defense a lot better?