Defensive Back Logan Ryan
Q: Tell us about what the 10 days you were out were like and what the emotions were like having to sit out two games?
A: Fortunately, I was vaccinated so my bout with COVID wasn't too bad. It was pretty mild. Mentally it was the toughest part just not being there. I had hopes and thoughts and prayers that I could make it to both games. I thought it was a possibility and I packed my equipment for both. I did everything I could to try to get a negative test and I actually did, but it was just too close to game time. Trust me, I wanted to pull up in the parking lot with my uniform on and run in, right before kickoff, but the NFL doesn't allow it based on protocols and stuff like that. Very fortunate for me and my family that it wasn't too bad. But it is going around, I encourage people to treat it serious and encourage people vaccinated or not, stay masked up and keep doing everything we can because it's still going around. Very fortunate though.
Q: What symptoms did you have and what were you able to do for 10 days?
A: My symptoms were mild. I had sinus-related symptoms. I was congested and I had some headaches and some body aches and that was it. It was a few days. I was doing everything I could holistically, not what (Packers Quarterback) Aaron Rodgers was doing, but I was taking vitamins and drinking water. Then what I did for conditioning and all that, I had my kids home, I was bouncing on the trampoline two hours a day with them. You can't do much. It was 30 degrees outside, so I said, 'let's get some conditioning,' so we went on the trampoline. I threw my kids up in the air. I did tackling practice with my kids and I just did everything I could to be prepared to play if I had to. Fortunately, I recovered pretty quickly and I'm back here to get my wind back and back with the guys and I'm very excited to be back. They're happy to have me back, so it's always good.
Q: Is there anything you feel like you have to get back to strength-wise, agility?
A: No, strengths been good. Just reps, man. I'm a high-rep guy. I'm a guy that likes to take a lot of reps in practice. I just like to be there, man. Fortunately, in my career, I've missed very few games. I had a streak going on here of 24 games straight or whatever, so I don't miss games often. It was very weird. My family went to the Eagles game and I didn't go, so it was very weird that everyone was going to the game and I was staying at home. It just was very weird and different, but the guys stepped up. The guys played great, held it down for me. (It was) very encouraging. We've got a lot of young guys on our team, on our defense especially, that have just grown up. My safety room, the guys, pups, they've grown up and they're doing great. (Safety Xavier McKinney) Zay is playing as good as any safety in the league right now. We're all chasing him, and (Safety) Julian's (Love) exactly what Julian Love is, the ultimate player that can play any role, any piece that you need to build a team. He's a guy that plays 10, 12 years in the league, a Julian Love, a guy with that versatility and dependability.
Q: Do you know how you got COVID?
A: Do I know how?
A: I don't know. If I do, I'm going to find the person (laughs). But I don't know. I was living life how everyone else was and I was vaccinated. My wife was vaccinated. Even my daughter was vaccinated at six-years old. It was just, unfortunately came across this.
Q: Have you gotten your booster yet?
A: I haven't gotten my booster yet. I just got up eligible to get it. I don't know, but I feel like the boosters are important because I think after six months or so it kind of wears down and I'm seeing a lot more people get it who have been vaccinated over six months ago.
Q: I would imagine if you could miss 15 games and play in two, these last two would've been the ones you would've picked?
A: Yeah, I had them marked off. But when you play as long as I have, I have connections with every team. I know this team, I like this game. We need it. It's going to be a good challenge out there in the heat. I know (Dolphins Head Coach) Brian Flores really well. I know (Dolphins Co-Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach) George Godsey really well. I know (Dolphins Defensive Coordinator) Josh Boyer, he was my coach in New England. So those three guys are coordinators, they were like running my scout team when I was on scout team in New England, so I know those guys really well. I know how they think. They know how I think. They know how our coaches think. It's going to be a lot of familiarity on how the programs are run, how the defenses are run and the emphasis on getting the ball and playing physical. It's going to be a good battle of kind of some programs who are kind of run at the top very similarly in what they preach.
Q: You've played in 15 postseason games, you know what a playoff team looks like probably better than anyone around here. When you look at this team, if there's reason for hope, what is that reason?
A: Last game. A playoff team needs to be a team that's resilient. It doesn't matter how it went, I've talked plenty, plenty of times. I've gone into the playoffs 13-3. I was on a Tennessee team that was 2-4. We were 5-5 at one point. We fought our way back every game to make a run when it mattered and this is the time of the year, the urgency's up. This is the time of the year where you have to start playing well. A team like Miami, who lost six or seven straight, they just won four straight. They're playing as well as anybody in football right now at finding ways to win. A playoff team finds ways to win – ugly, pretty, whatever it is. You have to find ways to win. Last week was a good example of that. Miami's been fine in that, so it'll be a good battle with them because it's all about you've got to play well at the right time, and this is the time that matters.
Q: Given your knowledge of Brian Flores, what would you tell your quarterback about how to attack a Flores defense?
A: That pressure is coming. He's going to blitz, that's what they believe in and pressuring the quarterback. The playmakers in this league have gotten a lot better throughout the years. We have a lot of them and getting those guys the ball in space and making them miss tackles, it's going to come down to tackling when you blitz a lot. Can you tackle the guy in open field or not? We have some guys that can make people miss, so our playmakers need to do that.
Q: I'm sure you hated being home alone obviously watching the game. Did you learn anything? You're looking differently, you're not on the sideline. Did you learn anything about your team?
A: Yeah, I loved the resilience. It's like I said, a lot of guys stepped up. It was a great performance for resilience's sake. I learned when you're in it, when you go to work every day, you put your head down and you stay in it, I was really much of a perfectionist this year trying to do everything right, trying to be there, trying to lead by example every game that went good or bad. I tried to adjust for the team the next game and I just saw what my role was when I was out – to bring energy, to be a contagious leader, being infectious and be resilient and to keep leading the guys play in and play out. Whether I play perfect or not, the guys need my leadership, the guys need me there. It's not about a missed tackle or not, it's about how you respond the next play because the game wasn't perfect, but our guys found a way to make the plays in the end. I felt like I kind of felt my role and what it needs to be. That's what it's going to be going forward is the guy who's contagious in my energy and picking everyone up around me.
Q: There were times when (Running Backs Coach) Burton Burns was out, he said he was watching the game and that he wanted to jump through the TV. Were there any moments like that for you?
A: Yeah, when I saw the clip of (Buccaneers Quarterback) Tom Brady saying, 'Cover 2' in the middle of his drop back. That's when I wish I was there to help disguise that a little bit better. It's well documented how smart he is and that was a game that he studied a lot. He needed his team, he needed to play well, and I think his approach was, I'm not going to try go crazy. I'm going to take what the defense gives me and get my guys in positive plays. That's what my approach needs to be on defense is get the guys, it's not about making every play. Allow Zay to be Zay, allow Julian to be Julian, allow JB (Cornerback James Bradberry) to be JB and get our defense into positive plays and do what we need to do. I really wish I was there for that one because it was, Tom Brady was very good at reading us that game and I thought I could have made a difference there. At the end of the day, it was out of my control, it was taken from me. My brother said it to me best, if you're feeling well and you've got to do the time, it's like going to jail, man. Do the time, don't let the time do you. I was trying to take advantage of that time. I couldn't do anything about it.
Q: Have you gotten the sense over the years given that you did catch Tom Brady's last pass as a Patriot, that he wanted to compete against you again or he was even upset that a former teammate's the one that did that to him to end his career in New England?
A: If it had to be anybody, man, why not me? I mean, I don't know, that play, we talk about it a lot. That's good for a Jeopardy! question, but that's years ago. He's obviously got it back. He won the Super Bowl the next year at a new place and he's obviously moved on, I've moved on and I look to play against him again. Who knows if it's our last pass? We might see him in the playoffs. I'm really excited to keep competing. It just shows you that you can keep doing it if you keep putting that mind and time in. Taking my 10 days off, it showed me how much I love football, how much I really missed it and really still want to be here for my teammates and still do it for years to come. I was excited and encouraged and energized obviously, sitting here doing a 15-minute press conference, 40 minutes after practice. I obviously really missed this and my role on this team.
Q: When you look at Xavier, have you seen a guy go from one place to another over a year? He just looks like a different player this year.
A: Yeah, I would say so. That's how close anybody can be from being at the highest level, just consistency. Zay in the beginning of the year was getting to the ball, he just wasn't catching it. Now he's catching it, he's got great range. No other safety in the NFL has four or five picks out of the post. That's really hard to do. It's a lot of range, it's a lot of instincts and that means you're really playing well and playing free. I'm excited for Zay, but he's not stopping here. He's still out here early, he's still putting work in and I'm excited to play along with him and see at the peak of our powers what we can be and really help lead our team and lead our defense. He's a leading force now. He's not a young player who's just trying to do his part. He's a leading force in what we do and the reason why we're playing well defensively is because of Xavier McKinney and other people along with him. He's definitely a leader of the charge.