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Transcript: Ras-I Dowling Conference Call

The New England Patriots second round selection (33rd overall) of the 2011 Draft CB Ras-I Dowling talks with the media.

Q: Where were you when you got the call?

RD: I was in Chesapeake, Virginia at the house with all my family and friends.

Q: Were you surprised?

RD: No, sir. No, sir. No, sir. I was just rejoicing with my family that this opportunity came to me. I wasn't really surprised because I believe in my abilities.

Q: Were you surprised it was the Patriots that took you?

RD: No, I'm just really happy it was the Patriots. It's a great organization, and I'm just happy to be there.

Q: Did you have any pre-draft contact with them - a workout or a meeting or anything like that?

RD: No, sir. I'm just ready to get up there tomorrow, or next week, whenever they're ready to bring me in. I haven't contacted them, or really spoken to them [about when] I'm going to come in. They're going to bring me in, so I'm just waiting for that call, whenever they call me.

Q: But did they have any contact with you before the draft?

RD: I spoke to them at the combine, like I spoke to many other teams.

Q: You didn't do a workout with them or make a pre-draft visit up here to Foxborough?

RD: Did I do a pre-draft visit? No, ma'am.

Q: You missed a few games last year, so can you update us on your health status?

RD: I'm feeling great. I'm 100 percent. If we had camp tomorrow, I'd be ready to go.

Q: When were you at the point where you felt 100 percent?

RD: I had my pro day not too long ago - my private workout - and I felt 100 percent then, so I've been 100 percent for a while now.

Q: How difficult was it for you to fight through the injuries that you've had over the course of your college career?

RD: Not that difficult, sir. I'm just a strong believer in Jesus Christ and having my faith. And whenever my time is up, he's going to lift me up in his glory.

Q: Did you miss games before your senior season or was it just the one year of bad luck?

RD: Just a one year kind of luck, sir.

Q: How important is special teams to your overall game?

RD: Very important. I think special teams is a big part [of the game] and really game-changing plays. I just continue to buy into special teams and I really believe that's the way of winning.

Q: Were you disappointed last night when the first round came and went and you were still on the board, and did you expect that?

RD: No sir, I didn't expect that. I wasn't disappointed. I'm just grateful that I got this opportunity to be a Patriot.

Q: I'm guessing you were watching the draft. There was so much speculation about this 33rd pick being traded, when the call came from the Patriots, were you surprised that that was the outcome?

RD: Like I said, I wasn't surprised. I don't think you should be surprised at where you want to go. You should be expecting to go in the first round, the highest pick or whatever. So I'm not surprised about them calling me; I'm just happy.

Q: Can you tell us something interesting about yourself? Do you have any sort of hobbies?

RD: No sir. I like going to church, reading my bible. That's one big thing I do daily. Just having faith.

Q: Can you explain the meaning of your first name?

RD: My father gave me that name. There was a boxer that was named Livingstone Bramble and changed his named to Ras-I Bramble. So, my father liked that name and gave it to me.

Q: How familiar are you with the Patriots secondary?

RD: I don't know. I'll just come in and just work hard everyday, learn something from each one of those guys because they've done something that I haven't done before: play a down in the NFL. So, that's one thing I really want to learn bits and pieces from each one of those guys and just come work hard everyday.

Q: What were your pre-conceived ideas about Bill Belichick and the franchise?

RD: It's a great organization. I think everybody knows that. They win year in and year out. And nothing else is expected [other] than winning. And they do things right there.

Q: Do you have any slot cornerback or safety experience?

RD: No, sir. Not in college.

Q: Have you played a lot of special teams since your freshman year?

RD: Yes, sir. Like I said earlier, special teams is one aspect that every team needs to win the game.

Q: Is there anyone on the Patriots roster you look up to?

RD: I look up to all those guys, just being in the NFL and coming to work everyday. It's not an easy position. So, I look up to all those guys, and I don't want to single one guy out. I respect every single one of them.

Q: What players did you look up to when you were growing up?

RD: I liked a lot of cornerbacks growing up. Ronnie Lott was a real good corner. Rod Woodson. There are a lot of corners. I can't just name every single one of them because there are so many that I used to watch growing up.

Q: Lott and Woodson both played cornerback and safety. Does that appeal to you?

RD: Not really, but I'm willing to do whatever the Patriots want, where they can use me, and whatever helps the team.

Q: Do you have a preference?

RD: Whatever the Patriots want me to do, sir.

Q: Do you kind of look at yourself in the Patriots' mold that they want guys that are quiet and go about their business and let their performance on the field do their talking? Do you feel you are a strong fit in that mold?

RD: Yes, sir.

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