DB Logan Ryan
September 7, 2020
Q: I know that you are a versatile player, you play safety, you can play inside, you can play outside. Just curious if it comes down the line this season that the Giants need you at outside corner regularly, is that something you are willing and able to do?
A: Yeah, good question. I’m one hundred percent prepared to and learning all the positions for sure. Where I line up from week to week will definitely be G-5 classified, team first. Joe Judge will tell you later type of answer. I’m prepared, I played outside corner a lot of years in this league. I started at outside corner in the Super Bowl before. I’ve had experience at it, I played outside corner at Rutgers for four years right down the road, so I definitely have experience at the position for sure. If the team asked me to play that, I’ll definitely do that.
Q: Kind of a follow up on the last question, can you describe your evolution a little bit. I know it came out that you view yourself as a safety, how has that gone for you as your career has progressed?
A: It’s been a lot of fun. I think the evolution is to be a DB and study all the positions and the arts of it. Like we talked about, I played perimeter corner a lot in my career and obviously played the slot position, safety. It’s a part of my game and whatever the team needs me to do from week to week. I think it gives us great versatility with myself, Jabrill Peppers. Julian Love is a former corner playing safety. I think that gives us position flexibility. Honestly, this is a matchup league. This isn’t 1980’s football where you go out there and you have four positions, you run a four three which is two safeties and two corners. I think the game is evolving a little bit and I think the more positions flexibility you have, I think it gives you the ability to do more stuff on defense.
Q: Obviously you agree a week ago, what has been the timeline for you since then? How much of a catch up game have you tried to accelerate in terms of getting for this playbook? Were you in here this weekend trying to catch up? Give us a scene setter of what this last week has been like for you?
A: Obviously I agreed to terms a week ago. With COVID testing and all that, I begged for an iPad, they gave me one. I’ve been studying film about 20 hours a day, a variety of positions. I got to see my mom who lives an hour south obviously. She’s scared to death of the sun right now because of COVID. I got to see her for a half hour and then right back to the film. My wife and kids are back home in Nashville where they’re at. I’m up here by myself. I have nothing to do but watch a ton of film and start preparing for the Steelers. Lack of film won’t be an issue for me. I’m going to do everything I can preparation wise. Luckily, I have played for Pat Graham, I’ve played for Joe Judge before. It’s a system that I’m familiar with. I played in the system before in my career, so I think that helped me a little bit with the terminology and things of that nature.
Q: Obviously the first time went through free agency it was a much different experience than this time. What was it like, the last five months? Was coming home always really your preference deep down?
A: Yeah, the last five months has been 2020. It’s been that for me, it’s been that for everybody. It’s been a crazy year, you never know where you will end up, you never know how it’s going to go. Coming home was definitely something that I always thought about. Joe Judge, playing for him and the familiarity with him and Pat Graham like I said, was definitely a huge swing in that favor. COVID gave me a ton of perspective. Like everybody, you’re not at work, you get to stay home a little more. I obviously haven’t been working for five months, it was Harley and my two kids. They’re used to having daddy. I’m the Phys Ed teacher, at my daughter’s kindergarten class. I do science, I do art and I do Phys. Ed and my wife does the other stuff. We just play all day. I really enjoyed being home with my family, enjoyed that time. Obviously been a grinder in this league for a lot of years. Going into my eighth year here, I’ve played for some tough coaches, tough programs, played in a lot of big games. It was good to have that little mental break. I’ve been preparing the whole time. I put myself through my own training camp with no cameras on me. Being able to come home and play 20 minutes from Rutgers and an hour from where I grew up, it’s a dream come true. I’m so grateful for the opportunity honestly.
Q: Has Greg (Schiano) been in touch with you at all? When you’re with a new team do you feel like the odd man out for X amount of time?
A: Greg meaning Schiano, Coach Schiano reached out. He congratulated me, happy to have me back in the area and I was ecstatic. We definitely exchanged texts and talked about that, I thanked him for that. I think Rutgers is excited to have me back. I look forward to helping their team out when I get the chance. I wasn’t in the virtual meetings with these guys. I’m a team first guy and obviously I play a variety of positions and do what the team needs me to do and try to make plays for the team. I lay my body on the line for the team. It was kind of hard not being around a team, especially a new team. I definitely had my outfit picked out, first day of school. I definitely had it laid out for me. I got in the building, I think we didn’t have to be here until nine or ten, I definitely was in the building by six or seven AM. I was a little early, I think that’s a good thing. I definitely had my outfit picked out. I’m definitely excited man. Hopefully, I made a good first impression on these guys. Hopefully it’s a good impression and I can be a good teammate and help this team.
Q: From one Rutgers alum to another, welcome. Coach Judge has spoken often about having players represent the area. Having played for Rutgers and having appreciated what it’s like to represent the area, what does that mean to you? What do you think you can bring to contribute to that goal?
A: First, for any kid in New Jersey who is working hard on the football field or in a park with their dad, throwing a ball, I played quarterback in high school, I played corner in college. I was an athlete. Then I’d come to the NFL and I played this position, that position. It’s just work ethic. Hopefully I can show them that if they work hard from the area, you can come play for the home team and bring that familiarity and that humility home to the Jersey kid. I’m just a hardworking kid. I was raised that way. I went to Rutgers out of New Jersey, and we worked hard for every win and for every loss. I got drafted in the third round in New England. I wasn’t guaranteed a thing. I worked hard every single day. When you’re 21 years old, leaving Rutgers as a junior and you’re on the practice field with Tom Brady a few months later, you have to grow up quick. I had to take those losses against Tom Brady and it really grew me up, and here I am. My career has been going by in a flash. Eight years in but I feel like I have a lot of great football left in me. It’s just my hard work and my preparation. I’m just a guy with average ability who worked really hard at it.
Q: You’ve known Joe for quite a while here. When we see him, we see this intense coach, yelling and getting on guys. I’m curious what was a younger Joe Judge like when he first came to New England? What have you seen in that evolution?
A: His language didn’t clean up. He definitely spoke the same, he definitely used a couple of profanities every other sentence.
Q: He came in day one and he was getting on guys? You guys must have been like ‘wow this is pretty intense.’
A: Yeah, day one he was definitely like that. He was intense. He was the assistant special teams coach and I was on special teams a lot as a rookie in New England, so we spent a lot of time together. He was detail oriented; he was serious. But he’s more of a players’ guy than he might want to come off as. I think he can relate to the player, and he does a good job of connecting to you and your family. We talk about our kids; we talk about where we’re living. I’m trying to find real estate right now in North Jersey. It’s impossible. I’m trying to rent. If anybody’s out there in Hoboken, please allow my pit bulls and my dogs to rent your place. They’re great dogs. I do a lot of animal rescue. I’m trying to find a place to stay. It’s really hard in this market right now to find a place, so I hope I have somewhere to sleep this season. But we talk about those things. I’ve known him for a long time. He’s seen me grow up in this league and I’ve seen him grow as a coach. We believe in one another. I truly believe that this place believed in me more in free agency than any other team out there. For that, for Joe Judge, for (Dave) Gettleman, for Pat Graham, I’m going to give it my all. I told Joe when I signed up, I’m going to come in, I’m going to do whatever you need me to do, whatever position that may be. Whether that requires leadership or practicing every play or taking every snap, I’m willing to do that for the team and for this city, because this is where I’m from. This is what I represent. I’m thankful for the opportunity, and I’m trying to show that in every single practice right now.
Q: How much did Joe actually contribute to you signing here then? You just said that was a big factor, right?
A: Yeah, it was. The Giants were not the only team interested. It was not my only offer. Having a conversation on the phone definitely steered it his way and Pat Graham as well. We talked a lot about what I can bring and how they believed in me. I think this gave me the best ability to make plays and just showcase my talent for the team. 100 percent, it had a huge significance.