Ras-I Dowling Expected to Start Opposite Devin McCourty if HealthyThe New England Patriots have been one of the easiest teams to pass the ball against over the last two seasons.

They have plans to change that this year.

Devin McCourty serves as a reliable No. 1 cornerback, and Kyle Arrington filled in nicely alongside him in the starting lineup last season, tying for the league lead with seven interceptions. But the Patriots are hoping that Ras-I Dowling, who was drafted with the 33rd pick of the 2011 draft and had his rookie season derailed by a hip injury, will occupy the starting outside corner spot opposite McCourty, according to Pro Football Weekly.

If healthy, Dowling is expected to win a starting spot, which he held at the beginning of last season. While Arrington was effective in 2011, he is considered to be a better fit to play in the slot.

The Patriots finished the season ranked No. 31 in the NFL in pass defense, allowing nearly 300 yards a game through the air, so any possible solutions to their dismal pass defense will be explored.

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