Ras-I Dowling putting injury past behind him in bid to join Jets

Ras-I Dowling
Ras-I Dowling was never able to stay healthy for the Patriots.
Credit: Getty Images

On the surface, nine games over two seasons and just 10 tackles from a second-round pick would seem to register a player as a bust. But for Ras-I Dowling, there’s more to the story than that.

Injuries have plagued a player who physically has as much talent as perhaps any member of the Jets secondary. Dowling, taken by the Patriots in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, has the look of a legitimate press cornerback in the Jets secondary. But he hasn’t been able to showcase that in his three years in the league.

Dowling had two injury-plagued years in New England where he played a combined nine games before the team got impatient with repeated hip and knee injuries and cut ties. Now, it is motivation to prove he belongs in the league.

“Definitely injuries hurt me in the past, [but] everything happens for a reason,” Dowling told Metro New York. “Now it’s time to be a Jet, not focus on that in the past — just put my head down, work hard. I can’t look at the past. That doesn’t do you any good.”

The Jets may have found a steal in Dowling if he can stay on the field. Even during his final year at Virginia, he played in just five games in 2010 due to injury. But as far as the eyeball test goes, he has the natural ability to contribute.

Under head coach Rex Ryan’s scheme, a cornerback needs to be physical at the line and and not let the receiver run an inside route. Because linebackers and safeties often blitz in the 3-4, there is no help on the backend.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Dowling certainly looks the part. He also has 4.4-second 40-yard dash speed and decent sized hands. Dowling primarily played in zone coverage in college and needs to transition to the role of cornerback in the Jets. He’s solid in run support and doesn’t shy away from playing physically, but needs to put it all together and stay healthy.

Dowling stepped in with the first-team defense last week during organized team activities with Dee Milliner sidelined.

He looked calm and composed and was solid in his coverage. OTAs are often a tough way to gauge a play due to the limited contact but Dowling didn’t hurt his case to make the roster.

“I’m just trying to do my job. I can’t focus on all of that and the depth chart and who is ahead of who. You have to ask [defensive coordinator] Dennis Thurman or Rex about that,” Dowling said. “I’m out there practicing now and it feels good to be out there again. It’s really just work hard. Injuries happen, so you try to prepare. Things happen — they happen for a reason. I just am happy to be where I’m at.

“I’m not focused on the past.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…