DB Logan Ryan
October 29, 2020
Q: You weren’t obviously a part of the spring, so I don’t know if you have had any virtual meetings yet today. If you have, what has it been like? If not, how much do you think that will change the game preparation?
A: So far everything has been normal. Practiced out there on the field, meeting as normal. How we have to adjust is just what the NFL protocols will be. I wasn’t here in the spring, but I am familiar with the zoom app, I am a millennial. I’ll turn it on and make sure my kids aren’t doing backflips. I’ll have to mute myself a little bit. I’ll be super locked in. It’s important, it’s a big game. It’s Tom Brady and the crew coming to town. I’ll definitely be in the meetings, prepared and ready to go.
Q: Was it odd practicing with a mask on?
A: As comfortable as you would think. Not too comfortable, but this is 2020. A lot of things we have to adjust for, a lot of curveballs. I’m not complaining, got the best job in the world. I got used to it petty quickly.
Q: What’s it been like kind of navigating through the circumstances you guys are in? You guys only had four offensive linemen practicing today. Just having to deal with all the protocols and all that stuff? What’s the scene been like for you? As a veteran in the league, it’s obviously different than anyone has ever experienced before.
A: It’s a year I’m going to remember, for sure. Everybody is going to remember this. Everyone has to adjust in every walk of life. That comes to NFL players, that comes to NFL practice. That’s definitely been an adjustment with a lot of things. You know you have to take it for what it is. This is what we signed up for. I didn’t opt out, I signed up to play. I knew there was going to be some curveballs in there. I think that Joe has been extremely flexible. I think the Giants have done a great job handling everything the best they can. We just have to go with what the NFL protocol is. Whatever they tell us is what we have to do, is what we’ve done. We’re not the first team to go through this, we won’t be the last. We just have to handle it the best we can, which I feel like we have. It’s definitely going to be a year I remember.
Q: What’s Xavier McKinney been like behind the scenes? He’s a rookie and he’s injured but the coaches are talking about how they’re trying to make him be an active part of the meetings and stuff. As someone in that room, what’s been your impression of him?
A: X is doing a great job, he’s working hard. (He’s) here every day, attending every meeting, listening, learning. I haven’t got to see him play yet obviously, I came here after his injury. He’s asked me a lot of intelligent questions. He seems like a smart player. I’m excited to help him the best I can when he’s ready to go. He’s doing everything you can ask him to do at this point. Like I said, he’s locked in tune to every single meeting. He was out there today in the pouring rain standing around getting wet, so he’s definitely committed.
Q: Nobody knows Tom Brady better than you on the field. What do you see when you look at him on film this year? To follow up a little bit, you were the last guy to pick him off up in New England. Did you kind of reach out to him in the offseason, kind of give it to him a little bit?
A: To answer the first question, what I see in Tom Brady is Tom Brady. Like fine wine, he keeps getting better. Twenty years of experience, arguably, I think the best player to play the game, the best quarterback. He does everything he can to figure out the defense. He’s a great point guard in this league where he just distributes the ball to his playmakers. He has everyone playing well for him. They have a guy Scotty Miller, number 10, who’s running past everybody. Mike Evans, Godwin, Gronk is back to old Gronk form. He brings the best out of his teammates. He is one of the greatest teammates I ever had. He makes everyone around him better and that’s what I see in Tampa. The same old Tom Brady to me and that’s excellence. Definitely the interception was a big play in my career, a big play in both our careers. He reached out to me afterwards. I had dropped one earlier in the game and he said why can’t you drop them both? I said even though I like you, I can’t drop them both. We have much respect for each other. To me, he’s the ultimate test as a player. He’s like the final boss in Mario or whatever game you might play when you’re on the last level and they have hammers and cannonballs and everything going off in the game. He presents every threat to you possible. You have to stay super locked in. As a competitor, I feel like he brings the best out in me because I know I have to be my best in order to compete with him. I love playing against him because it’s the greatest challenge in football, definitely mentally, and physically, as well.
Q: You’re a guy that digs in all the time. You’re looking for any little tendency or tip that you can get. I know it’s a different offense that he’s now running than the one you studied for last year and the one you played against in practice for years. When you go up against the quarterback, how much is it the offense and how much is it the tendency of the quarterback? Can you go into this game kind of giving your teammates tips about what Brady likes, what he doesn’t like? Is it strictly based on the Tampa offense?
A: I think I have to give my teammates the best of what we can control. I can’t control what they decide to run, but we can control what we decide to show him. Try our best to disguise and make things hard on him. You don’t out-trick Tom Brady. He’s made a 20 career and a lot of money of not being tricked. At the same time, we have to line up and execute well. I think the biggest thing to Tom Brady and the biggest thing I can tell guys is that it’s his guys. It’s the guys around Tom Brady that he knows how to utilize. We have to understand Mike Evans, we have to understand Gronkowski. We have to understand Scotty Miller, we have to understand Cameron Brate. We have to understand Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette, LeSean McCoy. You go down the list, I can name the whole roster. We have to understand how he uses those guys because he uses all his players to his strengths. As much as this is about Tom Brady and Logan Ryan and all that stuff, it’s lot about his guys and how he’s going to use his guys and their weapons. He’s going to make his players do what they do best. He’s going to give them the ball in their best ways. We have to find a way what their best ways are and give them some trouble in order to get to Tom Brady as well. I think it’s about his weapons and me in the back end as a safety, it’s about my weapons, too. Try to line it up so we kind of attack him that way.
Q: Regarding the close games you guys have been involved in which obviously you have not come out on top in. What has that done to your confidence as a team? How much would winning of those things have you guys go the other way once you get over the top there?
A: We won one against Washington. We’re up in our division games in all fourth quarters. We lost two, we won one. It makes me go back out there. The L.A. Rams, the Chicago Bears, the great Pittsburgh Steelers, we played with all those teams. To me, it shows me that as a team as we’re trying to get better, we’re competing every week. These guys aren’t outclassing us, they’re not on a different level of talent, they’re not something that we can’t compete. I’m telling these guys, ‘look, we’ve played with some of the top teams in this league. This quarterback that we face is one of the top quarterbacks in this league, and Tampa Bay is one of the top teams in this league. We’re going to go out there and compete with them like we did.’ Six minutes left in the fourth quarter and we have to decide to put us back out there and see what happens. That’s the only way you can learn from these instances is to be in them. We’ve been in them enough, we had chances and opportunities to win maybe four or five of the games this year and we didn’t. At the same time, all you can do is learn from those experiences. I can’t say to these guys, ‘oh, we have no shot, we’re going to lose by 50’ because we haven’t done that this year. We haven’t done that.
Q: With regard to James Bradberry, did you know him much prior to getting here? What have you made out of the season he’s had so far?
A: I told you guys the first day I signed, I obviously know a lot of players in the league. I didn’t know James personally, but I knew of James and I knew he was a really good player and I really liked his technique at the line of scrimmage. He has patience and he has length. He’s got this calmness and this poise about him that I’ve seen in some other guys that are elite corners in this league and he’s one of a kind. I said he made a living and made a lot of money covering number one receivers in the NFC South, which is the hardest division to be a number one corner in. in my opinion. With the Mike Evans’ of the world and the Michael Thomas’ of the world, and Julio Jones. Those aren’t three slouches there. He covered them twice a year and he looked pretty well against them. I believed in James Bradberry before I ever met him. When I play with him, I am his biggest believer, I’m his biggest fan. I’m hyping him up. I think he is the best corner in the league and I’m going to tell him that every day. I think he is playing like it.
Q: What do you see from Gronk and are you not surprised or surprised that he came out of retirement?
A: I see Gronk as Gronk. He’s catching touchdowns, he’s having fun. That’s Gronk, he’s an elite tight end. He has a great rapport with Brady. What I see is what I’ve always seen, it’s what I’m used to seeing, is greatness. Guys have to be willing to take the challenge of him and Tom. Coming out of retirement, I was shocked like everybody else. I had no idea. (He was) making a lot of money, doing well. People love to see Gronk. He went in there and went to WrestleMania and he went to go back with Brady. That’s a pretty cool career he’s got. That’s Gronk, there’s only one Gronk. I’m excited to compete against him and excited to go against those guys.