DB Logan Ryan
December 30, 2020
Q: Logan, this game Sunday is essentially like a playoff game. You’ve been through this a ton of times, so how vocal have you been this week with the younger guys on the defense?
A: I’m always vocal, that’s what I do, that’s what they brought me here to be. I’m very vocal about executing better, about executing well enough to win the game. Obviously, there’s a lot at stake here, but there’s been a lot at stake for a while. It’s December football, so we want to play well. Those guys, they never have an issue of working hard or not listening or anything like that. We’ve got a great group of guys here doing everything they can to prepare throughout the week, so we’ve been doing a great job of that. There may be some extra player meetings, maybe some more things we’re doing on our own just to make sure we’re playing on the same page out there.
Q: Hey Logan, congratulations on the Good Guy of the Year award.
A: I appreciate it. You know, I want to thank you guys, everyone who voted. The George Young award, first time winning in my career. Extremely honored. I want to know who the two people who left me off are, but I’ll find them eventually. But everyone else though, I appreciate it, I appreciate everyone, and I had fun talking to you guys and talking about the games.
Q: The question I wanted to bring up is the last time you played Dallas it was the [Cowboys Quarterback] Dak [Prescott] injury. Have you reached out to him since the game?
A: I think I spoke about that when it happened. I reached out to him that night, felt pretty bad about that. Obviously, it’s football, but my people reached out, I sent him a couple books. I had a similar injury a couple years ago; I broke my fibula having a really good year and I snapped my leg on a fluke play. It really made me a better player, it made me become maniacal with my workouts, maniacal with my training. It was my first-time missing football games, so I came back with just a deeper level of appreciation for the game and a deeper hunger and a deeper work ethic. I really started waking up earlier. I reached out to Dak soon after that. Haven’t been in touch much since – obviously we’re both pretty busy human beings at this time of the year –but I wish him the best of luck and I’m sure he’s having a great recovery from what I’ve heard and what I’ve seen.
Q: Hey Logan, now that you’re signed for next year, the secondary, almost the entire group, is signed for next year, too. Is that kind of special that you’re going to be able to grow with this group? I know there’s a lot of young guys and [Cornerback] James [Bradberry] is under contract and [Safety] Xavier’s [McKinney] a rookie and [Cornerback] Julian [Love]. Is it kind of cool that you guys are all going to be able to grow through this season, the offseason, next season together?
A: I think so. I mean, we want to grow this year, we want to play more games together, we don’t want it to be our last Wednesday and we’re going out there to do that. Look, I think it’s great to have stability in this business. The last couple years, I’ve been playing on one-year deals, I’ve been betting on myself and that former nature. We know how that worked out, it worked out for me. It’s good to have some stability, but my work ethic is not going to change. You never know what happens in this league, you might think the group’s going to be exactly the same, it doesn’t always work like that. But I love coming to work with these guys. For only being here for 16 weeks, no OTAs with the group, no offseason with the group, no camp with the group to really form that bond, I think we’ve done a great job of coming together. I mean, we can’t even go out to eat together, we get fined. I can’t even go in an Uber with somebody, I’ll get fined. So it’s been a tough year to do that and I think we did a great job of coming together as a group, and we really owe it to each other and owe it to the city and owe it to this organization to have a good game this game because we did form a brotherhood fairly quickly.
Q: Hey Logan, I know you’ve talked about the extension and obviously you wanted to be here. Just curious from the business side of it though, two weeks left before you would’ve hit free agency. From your perspective, why take a deal right now?
A: It was everything I was looking for. To me, at this point in my career I’ve accomplished a lot of things and I want to continue to do that. I like being here, I like being close to home, I like my parents being able to see my kids a little bit more, this organization is really good for my family – obviously, we know what happened in my personal family this year with my wife. The organization is top-notch, first-class, [Owners] the Maras, the entire organization, [Vice President of Medical Services] Ronnie Barnes really helped my wife a lot and mourned the loss of my child. My son, my two-year-old, just banged his gum and cut up his gum and they got us to go see a dentist on a short week and got his gum checked out. He’ll make it, he’ll be alright, he’ll be good to go this week. But I just think it’s a first-class organization, I like the city, I like being back in Jersey, I like who I’m playing with, the money was definitely respectable and definitely what I was looking for, the market I was looking for. I think there’s a lot of growth at this safety position and they allowed me to come play it, they allowed me to learn a new position and they expected a lot from me right away and that’s what I wanted to be, trusted, accounted for and counted on, really just the appreciation on both sides. I think it was beyond the money and I think it was just a good fit.
Q: Logan, we have two teams playing this week that lost very early their most important offensive player. What does it say about them that they’re actually now playing for the chance to win the division title and get into the playoffs? What does it say about your team that you were able to overcome that loss of [Running Back] Saquon [Barkley]?
A: Had a lot of adversity, I think that’s what this year has been. I think a lot of teams lost a lot of players, it hasn’t been a healthy season, COVID, you don’t know who’s going to play and who’s not. It’s kind of that anxiety of 2020 football. It’s something that I’ve never experienced, none of us have ever experienced, the differences of this season. I think our locker room has stuck together, I think our locker room had a willingness to adapt, I think [Head Coach] Joe [Judge] has done a great job adapting virtual meetings, everything that we’ve done, going into games with very little practice, stuff like that. I think every team has had to do that and it’s affected every team positive and negative in some form or fashion this year. I just think our willingness to stick together, our belief in one another through good, bad or indifferent, no matter how it’s gone, has given us a chance and given us a possibility to play a last game and a meaningful game, so you’ve got to be grateful for that. But I know the character of our locker room and how we’ve stuck together. We definitely earned the right, the ability to play in this game and it to mean something, and I think that’s just coming back around with everything we’ve endured this year.
Q: Obviously, the last couple weeks your entire defensive scheme prioritized the running quarterback, especially last week against [Ravens Quarterback] Lamar [Jackson]. I’m curious from your perspective on the backend, how does it change when the pressure point – and not to take anything away from Dallas’s running game – is now back in the secondary at least from my perspective with the weapons that they have downfield and what does that do for you guys in preparation?
A: Yeah, that’s a great question, that’s a really good question. We’ve faced all forms and fashions of quarterbacks this year and this is definitely a more traditional quarterback in [Cowboys QB] Andy Dalton. Offense is similar to what we see daily with [Offensive Coordinator] Jason Garrett and our offense, so I think there’s some familiarity there. A division opponent, we’ve played them before. We’re not going to discredit [Cowboys RB] Ezekiel Elliott, I think the offense goes through him, but they have weapons at receiver, they have a quarterback who gets the ball out quick, a quarterback who’s extremely smart, he’s taking care of the ball. So it goes back to us having to disrupt the quarterback with our pass rush, with our disguise, having to roll it around a little bit and not be too simple, not load the box up maybe as we have in the past, not to get too much in the scheme here. We’re not playing Lamar Jackson triple-option football that we played last week with the run game, the scheme, so we might as well burn that tape up, throw it out the window, it’s not going to help us this week. We have to prepare to make it difficult on Andy Dalton to figure our defense out and just make it tough on him because when you don’t he’s really efficient and he was really efficient last week. That comes back down to what I do best and what I love to do, disguise, communication, checks, playing a game with the quarterback, so it’s really going to be a huge load on the secondary that we’re preparing for on Sunday. That’s what I love, great receiving corps and how to combat them and take them away.
Q: Hey Logan, you’ve played in a lot of big playoff games throughout your career. This is sort of a playoff game, it’s an elimination game, whoever doesn’t win can’t make the playoffs, but it’s also 2020, you don’t have any fans there. What do you expect the atmosphere to be like and is it going to be something different than these young guys who have never been in that big game, playoff experience are going to face?
A: No, I couldn’t say that. It’s going to be new for me. It’s going to be quieter than any playoff game or any big game I ever played in, it’s going to be pretty much silent like how it’s been all year, so it’s always different. I mean look, these guys have all played a big game at some level of their career, whether it be the state championship in high school, some college Tostitos Bowl or Popeye’s Bowl or something. There’s something that they deemed a big game and at the end of the day it’s, am I prepared, and can I execute? Did I work as hard as I can all week to be prepared and when it’s time to execute it can I execute it when it matters? You know, your opportunities of saying, ‘Hey, we’ll get it right next week,’ are gone. You’ve got to get it right that day, but you can’t put too much stress on yourself and you’ve got to do what got you there which is trusting your instincts. To me, it’s watching as much film as I can physically watch until my eyeballs fall out, lifting my weights, preparing, making sure my body is the best it can be so that I’m prepared and I have the confidence of being prepared out there and then can I execute my job, go out there and execute it and make the plays I’m supposed to make and be there for my teammates.
Q: Does intensity level though reach a different notch in these kinds of games or do you not view it that way?
A: I think the intensity is going to be there. As a competitor, you understand your days are limited in this league and you need to understand that. You need to understand your days are limited in the last game of the season, so I think everybody is going to have a heightened level of intensity going into this game. But I think the biggest thing we need to do and do a better job than we have been doing – because we have been very intense lately – is we’ve got to execute. I think it comes down to execution. At the end of the day, you can be the most rah-rah guy, but if you’re not on your assignment it doesn’t matter who you are, anybody can run by you in this league if you’re not where you’re supposed to be, so it’s really about executing and being able to execute in those moments.