DB Logan Ryan
December 23, 2020
Q: Hey Logan, what’s the pulse of the team right now coming off the two straight losses, but playing a must-win game? Is there still fire, is there still fight?
A: Of course. I mean, what else do we have left, right? There’s not much left in this season and you’ve got to make the most of your opportunity, and I think guys are pissed off, I think guys want to play better and I think we know how. We’ve played good football here a few weeks ago. We know what it takes, we know what it feels like to win, we know what it feels like to lose. I think we’re fired up, I think we’re working really hard to be ready to go to really have a good performance here and to play a playoff football game, which with the stakes that we’re looking at that’s what this is. Honestly, having 15 playoff football games under my belt, being in the Super Bowl and having whatever experience, whatever that’s worth at this point, it’s all about execution. The weather’s cold, most teams are physical this time of year, most teams run the ball, most teams want to stop the run. It’s really about executing your details, executing the game, being good situationally and when we tend to do that, we tend to win the game. To us, it’s about cleaning up our details and executing and getting ready to play the Ravens.
Q: Hey Logan, I understand if someone’s going to roll their eyes and say, ‘Well, what the heck is he supposed to say,’ but you’ve been around enough. How close is this team? Do you see areas where you say, ‘We’re at a level that any team I’ve played on would be proud of, but there are some other places where we need to catch up’?
A: I think this team is close. ‘Close’ is a relative term, I just think we need to beat the Ravens. I think that is what needs to happen and I think we saw how we can play against Seattle. Look, I don’t know who’s played more playoff teams than us. We’ve played a lot of good opponents this year, our schedule has not been relatively easy with just our matchups and that’s no excuse, we’ve just played them all, we’ve played all the good teams in my opinion and a lot of them on our schedule, a lot of them are really good. This is a really good one and this is the opportunity to play meaningful football in December like I talk about and we’re in the game and we’re going in the game to win the game. We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves and I don’t lead like that, I try to preach confidence. The standard is to go out here and win this game. I tell you what, the fans listening or whoever may be listening, I’m preparing to go out there to win the game because that’s all that matters to me and that’s what’s at stake.
Q: [Head Coach] Joe Judge called [Ravens Quarterback] Lamar Jackson a unicorn. Now, he doesn’t have to tackle him, you do and he’s assigning you guys to tackle him. First of all, do you have enough guys in practice who can simulate him? You know you’ve got receivers or defensive backs or something who can simulate what he can bring. And from going against him, is he a different kind of athlete than even the really good athletes that you play against?
A: To answer it simply – the first question, do we have anybody? No, we don’t. There’s nobody that can simulate him and playing against him last year in the playoffs, yes, he’s different. He’s a world-class athlete, a generational athlete. Not many ball-carriers run like him with the ball in his hands, his speed, his ability to change direction. He’s a former MVP for a reason. He’s really, really good. You have to play really fundamentally sound. I don’t think it’s a one-on-one tackling game with him, I don’t think you want that, he makes a living on that. But they have tendencies with what they do. It’s football, they run plays, there’s gaps, there’s jobs, we’ve got to win our jobs, I really like our front, I really like our ability to stop the run and that’s what we all have to commit to doing. He makes it difficult because he’s that added runner, that extra runner. We have to do that for sure, we have to show up and do that and I think we will, and I think we can. We’ve just got to do it on Sunday. I think the difference here is go out here and get these turnovers, go out here and be disruptive to give our offense extra possessions, give our offense the ball to get the Ravens behind. The reason why my team had success against the Ravens last year is that we came out, we started fast, we got a lead and I think when you get a lead on the Ravens it makes them play behind, it changes their defense and their offensive schemes a little bit from playing from behind. They’re built to play from ahead because they’re really good at running the ball, they’re really aggressive on defense and you want to get those guys behind on the scoreboard early. So, starting fast is a major point for us and be ready to go on Sunday, believe you can win the game. Be ready to go and start fast is definitely a key point for us.
Q: You said you don’t have anyone to simulate him, but how do you try? Who gives it the best shot out there with you guys?
A: I mean, I don’t know. I’m not going to expose that. We’ll see what the coaches throw out there, but there’s nobody to simulate him and his speed. It’s something you have to adjust to, it’s something you have to be ready for, but if we had a Lamar Jackson to simulate him we should probably play him on offense in the game because that guy would be really good. I just don’t think we’ve got him and I don’t think many people do, and I think that’s why they get off to good starts is because he’s hard to simulate. He’s very, very talented, he’s very rare, and we’ll throw like bodies out there and have guys – some receivers, some whoever – to go simulate some of his running and put a quarterback to simulate his passing, but there’s not one guy who can do that all. We’ve got to go out there and be ready to go and have our cleats in the ground on Sunday.
Q: Logan, just a minute ago you were asked about the state of the team and you said ‘We’ve been playing good football’ and it sounded like you were going to say ‘Good football that you’ve reached back to a couple of weeks’ when you were playing good football. What’s changed over these last two games and how do you get back to where you were as the team that left the field in Seattle?
A: I compare it to hockey, when you’re not winning the game, you’re not playing the game on your terms, you pull the goalie to try to get back in the game. So, let’s bring it back – and I know Joe’s going to kill me for going back anyway – we get to Arizona, we didn’t play well. There’s no way you can win the game with bad field position, we lost the field position game, we were behind on the scoreboard, we’re chasing the score because we came out bad and we did not play well and they have too many good athletes on that team to get behind and not play them well, so that was just a bad game on every front. Last game, we go out there and we’re trying to do our best to defend Cleveland’s run game and stop [Browns RB Nick] Chubb and their rushing attack, and [Browns QB] Baker Mayfield played a very efficient game. He didn’t have many deep plays, he didn’t have many explosive plays, we didn’t force any turnovers on defense and he did a very good job of taking care of the ball, he did a very good job on third down, he did a very good job in the red area and he slowly beat our team with good execution, long sustained drives, ball control and we were behind. When you get behind by multiple scores in football at this time of the year, there’s no learning opportunities, there’s no learning games anymore. It’s go win the game and we’re doing things to go win the game and we end up losing it because we’re behind, we’re trying to create extra possessions, we’re trying to blitz or do something to go out there and create extra possessions. In the Arizona game, we force two fumbles in the fourth quarter, we don’t get them. So we’ve got to find a way to go get these balls, we’ve got to go find a way to come out and play our brand of football from the start so we can take control of the game and we can our offense, our defense the best way that we can and the best way that we game planned to. Yes, we lost the game. Yes, we didn’t play well, but we didn’t play our style because of the score. So we have to do a good job on the scoreboard so we can play our New York Giants brand throughout the game and I think starting fast is what I mentioned a couple times so we can go out and run our defense the full game, so we can play on our terms is the best way to put it.
Q: How much does having a healthy [Quarterback] Daniel Jones play into playing your game?
A: I mean, I don’t know who’s healthy at this point in the year. Honestly, I can’t tell you who’s 100 percent healthy, I don’t go off percentages. We’ve got to go out there and play, to suit up to play. You’ve got to do the best job that you can based on your situation. We need Daniel to play well, the team needs Logan Ryan to play well and I control what Logan Ryan does, so I’m going to do my best to play well. But when you talk about ‘healthy’ in Week 15 in the NFL and guys can’t really get massages or anything because we might get COVID – I mean, I’m 15 weeks no massage, so I don’t think anyone’s too healthy at this point of the year. It’s just go out there and find a way to win.
Q: In the last three weeks, you guys have scored three points total in the first half. Seeing Daniel in practice, are you encouraged to think that he might be out there this weekend?
A: I am, I am. Like I said, ‘healthy’ is a relative term again. I am. I think we’ll be ready to go. I think we come out here and we’re ready to go and we’ll write about it on Sunday, but our team’s preparing to go win this game. How we feel and how practice has no bearing on what Sunday’s going to be for us. At the end of the day, we’re going to go out there and put out a product to make the fans proud to win the game just like a playoff game would be. It’s honestly win at all costs, win by any means, do your job, execute at a high level. That’s the secret I tell these guys of playoff football is you just got to go out there and do your job like you’ve been doing all 16 weeks and don’t make it bigger than it is, and that’s what we’ve got to do. Doesn’t matter how you feel on Wednesday practice, how you feel on Thursday. I might not look great all the time on Wednesday, but I’m out there on Sunday giving all I’ve got for the team.