The New England Patriots are starting to see what the 29th overall pick can do.
Not taking any contact, since tearing his ACL in september of last year (while playing at Florida), Dominique Easley has not had an easy road back in his recovery.
“It feels real good,” Easley said, via Mark Daniels, of the Providence Journal. “I haven’t done that since last September so it’s just a work in progress. Trying to get better every day.”
Daniels went so far as to report Easley was “all over” the defensive line and had an excellent display “quick bursts”. For the Patriots this is good news. Easley offers such versatility, if healthy, he will make an impact in the interior of the defense or come off the edge in certain situations.
Mainly being used as a defensive tackle, Easley has relied on his teammates to keep him up to speed. Not bad, considering he has the attention of two of the best in the league, both Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly.
“It’s real important. You got to know what you — you’re supposed to know everything when you get on the field,” Easley said. “Just learning from Vince and Tommy and everybody else. It’s been a challenge, but I’m getting through it.”
Easley’s path to the NFL has not been a story book fairy tale, more like a nightmare. After suffering two torn ACL in his short career so far, it makes you wonder about the confidence a 22 year old player would put in his body.
Showing that quick burst in participation in practice is a small sign that Easley has turned the corner in recovery. Having already gone through this once before, the Patriots are hoping this gamble at the draft, will pay dividends in the future.
Easley’s status for tomorrow nights game, against the Carolina Panthers, remains uncertain at this point.