Defensive Back Logan Ryan
Q: From a player's perspective, is it challenging to try to normalize dealing with COVID and players going off and on and not knowing who's going to be playing and also worried about you and your family's health? I feel like all of us are trying to normalize it in our minds because we have to and try to get through it, but I want to know from a player's perspective, do you ever get used to it? Do you have to?
A: Yeah, I think in football, you're taught from a very young age, no excuses, next man up and that's just the mentality. But it is affecting people these last two years as obviously we know. With so many things changing week to week, CDC guidelines, different strands, it's impossible to say it's not affecting teams differently. We've had a whole bunch of guys go on the COVID list like every other team has. When you go into a game plan, for instance without out (Safety) Julian Love right now, that changes a lot of guys roles when you go into a game plan without a cornerback or a running back as late as Friday. Our safety coach (Senior Defensive Assistant) Jeremy Pruitt goes on the list, so now we don't have our normal meetings with that. It's far from normal, these last two years have definitely been far from normal. Right now, it's just crazy different from normal as possible. You see teams out there without quarterbacks, you see teams out there without skill players, teams out there without a line. You make the most of it because if you don't play, you don't get paid. It's a pretty tough position for anybody and it's a tough position as a player because you really don't have good options, you've just got to make do with what you've got best and everyone's dealing with it. I wouldn't call it normal, I can't say you're prepared for it, you've just got to deal with the times that we're in, until we've got a hold of it as a world, this pandemic.
Q: I don't know if you've ever been in this situation before in your career being mathematically eliminated and still having games to play. How do you handle that? How do move forward with this? How do you communicate to the younger guys on how to do that?
A: Yeah, I've never been. Fortunately, I've never been in this position, I don't want to be, I don't like this position. It's been very frustrating, it's been a tough year, obviously for all of us, myself included. It's about habits man, it's about habits. I believe that championship teams or winning teams or competitive teams, there's only one way to do it. There's only one way to play the game, only one way to practice the game and regardless of times, score, or mathematical playoff implications, you still should play the game the right way. Hopefully I symbolize that and obviously, in times like these, when you want to feel sorry for yourself, you want to feel down and out, I understand that the position I put myself in in this league and as a father who's raising a young boy, a young girl, regardless of how the season may go for them, it's still all about how you finish and it's still about competing, snap in and snap out. Hopefully I can – I realize I play for more than myself and I symbolize more for myself. I still go out there and try to make my family proud and people everywhere who buys a ticket, I still try to prepare and compete my best and give them some entertainment. I think we need more of that. I think we need that and that's just what it's going to have to be moving forward.
Q: We know how you feel about (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator) Pat Graham, I'm curious what do you think of the job that (Defensive Backs Coach) Jerome Henderson has done this year? It seems like you guys have guys coming in and out of your secondary every game. It seems like mix and match. What do you think of the job Jerome has done as a coach?
A: I think Jerome's done a great job, I think he's done a good job. I don't think anybody is going to say they felt like everything went their way this year, it obviously hasn't, but Jerome's done the most with what we've got. I think Jerome does a good job as a former player and a coach to put us in position to make plays, switch our game plan week in and week out with the matchup. Who's (Cornerback James) Bradberry matching, what position am I going to play, what position is Love going to play, how can we get (Safety Xavier McKinney) Zay around the ball? I think he does a good job of trying to feed everybody that way. I think Jerome does a great job of we have some veteran players on our secondary, myself included and I think he allows me to speak when I have something to say, or he allows input from us who play the game, himself being a former player. He's not a dictator in that room, he allows his players to have input. I think it allows us to feel like we're heard and allows us to play hard because we know our coach is on the same page as us. I have a ton of respect for Jerome and like I said, we've all been going through stuff, Jerome's been going through stuff off the field with his family and I think he's able to show up to work every day and give his best effort.
Q: Fans are upset, they're angry, they're disappointed in the season and the last few years. I'm wondering how much you and the player sin general realize it, hear it or talk about it even at all.
A: No, we realize it and it's just not okay. Their reaction is okay, the product isn't okay right now. I take that to heart as a leader on this team, I haven't felt like the preparation and the work has always generated to the results on the field and I understand that, and I take my share of ownership on that. I just try to symbolize the way to play and how I play and control what I can control. I can't control the positions I'm put in on the field. I can't control the score all the time, but I just try to play every snap hard, especially last game finishing that game off and stuff like that. But no, I understand that we have a great fan base, a ton of tradition here. It's a privilege to play here. I played in a franchise in Tennessee where the fan base was nonexistent. You couldn't even get fans to the games, you had to put tickets half off to get fans to the games. So, I understand the tradition of this area, the history of the NFC East, what these rivalries mean with Philly and Dallas and the Washington Football Team. It means a lot – this is what people talk about day in and day out. I'm here to be part of that change. I'm here to demand better, I'm here to play better and I'm here to hopefully going forward start bringing some of that championship and playoff habits to the team because I believe you need to have that before you actually make that. I'm trying to be part of the solution the best I can. I take it very seriously and I hear what the fans are saying, I understand the frustration and I'm equally as frustrated. I'm going to try my best to finish this year off right and go into next season and look for changes.